Hot dog brand Ball Park chose a dozen dog-slinging superstars to feature in a limited-edition pack.

By Mike Pomranz
October 02, 2019
Courtesy of Ball Park

The MLB postseason is officially here, and the excitement has already started. I'm not talking about the Nationals' stunning come from behind victory last night thanks to Brewers' right fielder Trent Grisham's egregious error. No, I'm talking about the debut of the first-ever set of trading cards dedicated to ballpark hot dog vendors!

Yes, they're finally here: Back in July, the hot dog brand Ball Park announced its was looking for nominees to include in a forthcoming set of baseball cards for "the unsung heroes of the game." Produced to coincide with the MLB playoffs (though the set isn't affiliated with Major League Baseball), the first-of-its-kind set features a dozen hot dog vendors across five different metropolitan areas. "From a rookie to a 40-year veteran, the trading cards feature vendors that have more than 220 years of experience combined," Ball Park explains.

As is typically the case with trading cards, each one features a photo on the front and details on the back. In this set, the stats are height, weight, birthday (no year!), city, and favorite hot dog topping—as well as "R/L handed," though you'd think all these professionals can handle switch hot dog selling duties. The cards also contain a paragraph about each vendor revealing insights like how Howard Elliot is also an actor who was once cast in a commercial as a hot dog vendor and David Moskowitz performs his original music at open mic nights.

Courtesy of Ball Park

Sadly, since the set isn't sponsored by the MLB, the one thing these trading cards are missing is the stadium where you can actually meet these vendors. That said, it's worth noting that the New York vendors are listed as either from "Queens" or "The Bronx," which leads me to believe that the place listed on the card is a pretty on-the-nose indicator of which team these guys work for.

"It is hard to imagine a hot summer day at the ball park without a delicious hot dog and the dedicated vendors who deliver them," Rachel Friedstat, senior brand manager for the Ball Park brand, said in the announcement. "We honor all of the hot dog heroes across stadiums nationwide with this unique trading card set, and we encourage fans to join us as we tip our hat to these all-stars."

However, if you want to join in by scoring a set, well, that's where things get tricky. A Ball Park spokesperson says only a "limited print run" of Hot Dog Vendor Trading Cards were produced. "If they garner widespread consumer-interest, Ball Park Brand will consider making the cards widely available," he continued, but otherwise, they won't be released to the public. For the record, they do exist; we were sent one—which means maybe one day they could end up on the secondary market. And speaking of the secondary market, as any baseball collector will tell you, a major key to a valuable card is scarcity. So in the end, somewhat counterintuitively, if Ball Park really wants to immortalize these hot dog vendors, keeping the print run limited might actually be the best way to do it in the long run.

Regardless, if you just want to see these hot dog vendors, images of all the cards can be found online at ballparkbrand.com/hot-dog-heroes.

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