Home / A&E Feature / Local Pride / And They’re Off: The Klement’s Racing Sausages
Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012

And They’re Off: The Klement’s Racing Sausages

sausage
Photo courtesy of Klement’s
Google+ Pinterest Print
Polish, Italian, hot dog, bratwurst and chorizo—here in Wisconsin, they all make tasty treats on the grill. Whether cooked in your backyard or at a stadium tailgate party, these sausages are a local staple. There are some sausages, however, that are not for eating: the Klement’s Racing Sausages.

Started in the ’90s, the Klement’s Racing Sausages first appeared as an animated short on the scoreboard at Milwaukee Brewers home games. Bratwurst (No. 1), Polish (No. 2) and Italian (No. 3) appeared on the field during a few Sunday games at County Stadium and were welcomed by a very enthusiastic crowd. The Racing Sausages made more appearances on Sundays and added a fourth sausage—Hot Dog (No. 4)—in the mid-’90s.

In the final year of County Stadium, in 2000, the Sausages began their regular races on the field. Miller Park opened the next year and continued the new tradition. Now, however, the Klement’s Racing Sausages raced on the field at every home game—much to the delight of spectators. The fifth and most recent sausage—Chorizo (No. 5)—was added in 2007.

 

Get to Know Your Sausages (profiles courtesy of Klement’s Sausage)

 

Bratwurst:

Bratwurst comes to the Brewers after years of Olympic training on the German national team, never quite making it past the trials. He is intimidating to the other participants with his muscular physique. Bratwurst trains like a machine, having not missed a day of weight lifting in years. He is very competitive and wants nothing more than to win every race. Watch out, though: He may stop at nothing to be the best.”

Polish
:

“Polish Sausage came to Milwaukee after years of coaching high school cross-country. He's most notable for his effective way of racing. Many lose confidence in him at the beginning of races because of his slow starts. However, when the time comes to make his move, Polish Sausage always closes the gap. When the others are tired from exerting too much energy at the beginning of a race, he makes a strong finish look easy.”


Italian
:

“The Italian Sausage is the suave one of the bunch. He makes everything look easy and, most times, doesn't even break a sweat. His spicy personality is a favorite among the crowd. Italian has been known to work his way out of many sticky situations. This skill usually allows him to sneak out of the pack and into the lead down the home stretch of Sausage Races.”


Hot Dog
:

“Hot Dog, also known as Wiener (or Frank, to his closest friends), is an All-American favorite of both the young and old. He's worked hard to deserve this reputation. The simplicity of Hot Dog is what makes him so popular. He tries his best in what he does, and knows the effort was there even if the win was not. People cannot help but to love Hot Dog. His happy-go-lucky personality brings a smile to the crowd’s face. The infamous Sausage Race is not one for the faint of heart. Hot Dog's demeanor keeps him from ever being rattled even in the fiercest of competitions.”


Chorizo
:

The Chorizo came to Milwaukee after many years of paying his dues training and racing throughout Central America and overseas. While his exact workout regimen is kept a secret, it is known that the Chorizo has spent time training in the hills of central Mexico, hiking the mountains of the volcanic region of Guatemala and rock climbing in Puerto Rico—the Chorizo has even been seen running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain—all with the goal of someday making it to the big leagues. Chorizo is a fiery competitor, taking an immense amount of pride in the work he puts in to be the best he can be.”

Since its beginnings a little more than a decade ago, the Klement’s Racing Sausages have become an instant Milwaukee tradition. The competitors have even gained national attention, with some of the Sausages appearing on SportsCenter commercials for ESPN. The next time you are at a Brewers game, pick a favorite and cheer along with the crowd for your chosen Sausage.