Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 6: Gateway Grizzlies, Sauget, IL. Consuming Doughnut Burgers, Hitting the Hippie, and Ghost Riding the Whip

We got a late start to the day thanks to Ben's job interview and - more to the point - my supreme laziness after sitting up drinking and chatting with J until 3am. But we started it off with a bang, hitting up Pappy's Smokehouse BBQ here in St. Louis for lunch. It was sublimely delicious, and we received BBQ recommendations for Memphis (where we'll likely be later). Highlight aside from the food was a picture of Willie Nelson holding up one of the restaurant's shirts that said "Yeah...We Smoke."

Then we went to the City Museum. For any of you who don't know about the City Museum, it's essentially what a bunch of mad artists and engineers decided to do with all the crap left over after you build a city. Result: a giant adult playland.

But tonight's game blew all that out of the water.


1. Our first doughnut burgers! Listed on the menu confusingly as "Baseball's Best Burger," this was an epic patty with cheese and bacon sandwiched between two halves of a Krispy Kreme doughnut. Bonus points for the argument between two concessioneers over whether it was better with mayo or plain.

It was rather tasty. Ben compared this to a McGriddle, and I think he's on to something. The burger patty was seasoned almost like a sausage, and if you swap the glaze on the doughnut for the syrup baked into the McGriddle, you're pretty much there.

Oddly...this was not even close to the most caloric concession item? See below.

2.) The umpire getting hit by balls three times, in three different areas (chest, neck, and leg). Bonus points for the audible swears we heard from the front row.

3.) After a ball way low that was called a strike getting to shout at the ump: "Learn anatomy! That's called a shin! S-H-I-N. Not a knee."

4.) After a foul ball to the parking lot, the announcer: "Car hit by a foul ball? Call this local auto repair company!"

5.) Spin the prize wheel for a dollar? Don't mind if I do!

6.) A ball somehow landing in the press box after I commented the net should be hung lower so a ball could actually get in there. Bonus points to the radio guy who chucked the ball back into the crowd where no one could see it coming.

7.) The stadium has a hot tub you can rent for the game? Oh, I'm so coming back here with the $120 that costs.

8.) Getting to order "Item X" from a concession stand. Turns out it was fried buffalo chicken wontons. Yum!

9.) HIT THE HIPPIE contest in the middle of the 6th inning! They actually had kids throwing real baseballs at a guy dressed in tie-dye on part of the stadium roof! My jaw stood agape for the entire contest. I simply could not believe Eric Cartman finally managed to take over a baseball team.

And the announcer was vicious: "Hit that hippie! Look at him taunting you in his tie-dye. Oooooooooh, so close! You made him jump there!"

God bless you, Sauget, Illinois.

10. The "intentional" flyover by two Harrier Jets into the airbase next door right in the middle of the National Anthem.

11. A kid being honored for honor roll night forgetting what school he went to.

Regularly Scheduled Metrics:

Price of Beer 
5.75 pts: $4.25 for a pint of anything. Bud was the same price as a delicious local brew called Big Bison Ale.

Most Caloric Concession Item 
5 pts: I don't know if it was actually 1,000 calories, but the "Baseball's Best Hot Dog" Jason ordered - and to his credit, finished - was a thing of beauty. A deeply grilled hot dog with sauerkraut, bacon, and a generous helping of plastic cheese. Bonus points because the concession guy asked me "Does he know what he's ordering?" To which I responded "I give his consent on his behalf."

Minor League Personalities 
4 pts: Local celebrity? Shriners count. Little League Team? Check. Teenagers on a Date and Family Out for a Nice Night Together? Check.

Willingness to Give Random Bloggers Free Seats 

0 pts: Nothin'.

Funniest Roster Name 
1 pt: Screw you, Midwest. These names were too normal. 1 point for a guy whose last name I thought was "Atrocity" when they first said it.

Promotion Quality 
10 pts: Hit the Hippie? We're done here. Nobody else even comes close.

3 pts: They were all in the same section...but we promise, it was a nice section.

Men's Room 
5 pts: *Sigh* still no trough...

Bonus points
+1 for Homer's Woo Hoo! being played on the PA, +2 for playing "Changes" by Bowie during a pitching change, +5 for the donut burger, +2 for the grounds crew dancing, +1 for the unintentional Harrier flyover, +2 for the umpire swearing audibly, +5 for a freakin' hot tub

Total: 51.75. By our entirely subjective measurements, it falls just ahead of Lynchburg.

Final take: Hit the Hippie? HIT THE HIPPIE!? Sauget, IL...this is the first time I felt like I was finally getting the true Minor League Experience. And this is "Independent Professional" baseball. They're not even associated with MLB! 8/10.

Postscript: As if the night wasn't epic enough, Jay decided to close it off while ghost riding his whip (by which we mean White '02 Pontiac Grand Prix) through East Saint Louis while blasting U2's Beautiful Day - followed immediately by Snoop Dogg's What's My Name? Because that makes total sense and is not at all dangerous in any way.


  1. It is really nice to see Jim Gaffigan's comedy becoming reality with the donut hamhamburger

  2. Zach, this post was beautiful. Actually the whole blog has been wonderful so far - hilarious and it makes me jealous I'm not on the road too.

    City Museum is even more fun at night, when they charge you a little less, give you a flashlight, and let you explore the whole place with all the lights off. I can't imagine how much fun I would have had if I had been there as a child.

    Please lord tell me you are still planning to visit Graceland Too southeast of Memphis. I would love to hear what you have to say about that place.


  3. Thanks, Ezra (er, anonymous). We'll most likely get there, but our blog is taking a northward swing it turns out. The rest of our route is TBD, but right now it's Kansas City and then up to Omaha. Graceland, Too is certainly on our list :)

  4. damn dirty hippieJune 23, 2011 at 11:10 AM


    That City Museum does look pretty sweet though.