On Thursday, June 27, the Brewers will celebrate one of the most memorable days in franchise history – the debut of the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages 20 years before. On that date in 1993, the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages came to life, transforming from animations on the Milwaukee County Stadium Scoreboard to live racers.
The celebration starts at 6 a.m. at Northpoint Custard, 2272 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr. The first 250 fans will receive a free sausage breakfast sandwich (of course), a coffee, and best of all, an exclusive 20th Anniversary Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages Commemorative T-Shirt.
Fewer than 500 of the shirts will be made, and the event will be first come, first served. The Klement’s Racing Sausages will also be on hand.
The celebration will continue at Miller Park as the Brewers take on the Chicago Cubs at 1 p.m. A pregame ceremony will honor the Famous Racing Sausages and the race itself will feature the "Original Three Sausages" – The Bratwurst, The Italian and The Polish – with The Hot Dog and The Chorizo holding the finish line.
The Klement’s Famous Sausage Race began as a scoreboard animation in the early 1990s with just three characters – The Bratwurst, The Polish and The Italian – running toward Milwaukee County Stadium against a backdrop of the city of Milwaukee.
In the fall 1992, Milwaukee graphic designer Michael Dillon of McDill Design presented an idea to Gabe Paul who was the vice president of operations for the Brewers, to transform the race from the scoreboard to live action.
On June 27, 1993, as the Sausages approached Milwaukee County Stadium on the scoreboard video, the left field doors swung open and – much to the surprise of players and fans – out came the larger-than-life mascots. The three made their way to home plate with The Bratwurst (worn by Dillon) winning the first-ever live race.
For the remainder of the 1993 season, the Sausages raced live only at those games with particularly high attendance. In 1994, the live sausage race resumed on Sunday, May 29 – the day the Brewers retired Robin Yount’s No. 19 jersey – and became a fixture at every home game since – with Klement’s as the official sponsor.
Later in the '90s, The Hot Dog joined the race. In 2007, after a one-race tryout the previous year, The Chorizo rounded out the group of five sausages fans see today.
So far in 2013, The Italian has the most wins with 10.
The Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages are celebrities wherever they go. The icons have traveled to Major League Baseball All-Star Games, were featured in the popular ESPN "SportsCenter" commercials, have gone missing, and survived assaults and kidnappings.
A total of 15 MLB teams were inspired by the Brewers Famous Racing Sausages and now have live races of their own. For more information, please visit Brewers.com/sausages20.