The Pawtucket Red Sox—or PawSox to friends—will become the Pawtucket Hot Wieners for a game later this summer. It’s the latest entry in the trend sweeping through every level of minor league baseball, the temporary, food-based, alternate identity.
Wieners—which Rhode Islanders differentiate from hot dogs because you can identify the meat in them; they’re made of beef, pork, veal, and spices—are a local specialty, dating back to Greek immigrants in the early 1900s. Just as Philadelphians will argue over where to get the best cheesesteak and New Yorkers can list the best three pizza joints like they’re the names of their children, so too do those in Pawtucket have a favorite wiener.
The PawWieners (I presume) will take on the Durham Bulls August 16 wearing the neon-ish be-logo’d uniforms and caps with wiener-dog logos.
Paul Caputo is a grown man who collects plastic ice cream helmet sundaes from minor league baseball stadiums because he likes logos that much. He is the author of the first book published by SportsLogos.net, The Story Behind the Nickname: The Origins of 100 Classic, Contemporary, and Wacky Minor League Baseball Team Names. He can be found on Twitter at @Count2Baseball and he maintains the Countdown to Spring Training on Facebook. Paul is a Philadelphia sports fan, but he's not so bad.