Backed primarily with overwhelming support on Twitter, the Mud Hens may have iced the competition when it comes to MiLB.com's inaugural #foodfight.
Toledo's Fantastic Freeze Sundae, a full-sized batting helmet filled with ice cream and toppings, has taken a commanding lead in voting, leaving the early support for Lehigh Valley's roasted corn a distant memory. Gwinnett's Knucksie trails Durham's Nuke Dog for the third spot as voting continues to determine the best ballpark concessions item in Minor League Baseball.
Two weeks ago, 64 teams thought their concessions item had a claim on being called the Minor Leagues' best. Now, just four remain in #foodfight. Voting for the final round ends at lunchtime on June 6 with team bragging rights and three prize packages on the line.
One grand prize winner will enjoy a trip for four to the ballpark of the winning food item, including airfare, hotel accommodations, game tickets and a food voucher to taste the winning item. Other prizes include free Minor League tickets and a prize pack.
Toledo's enormous serving of ice cream earned a win in the Gut Busters bracket to advance. To be clear, this heaping helping of frozen goodness is not your typical novelty, mini-helmet scoop of ice cream. It's served in a regulation-sized Mud Hens batting helmet. The dish consists of three flavors of your favorite Toft's ice cream, with five scoops of each delicious flavor topped with whipped cream, hot fudge, rainbow sprinkles, peanuts and cherries.
So, if that doesn't excite the buffet-style eater in you, here's a look at the three other contenders in need of votes this week:
- Durham Bulls' Nuke Dog: A culinary tribute to the 25th anniversary of Bull Durham, the super-spicy "Nuke Dog" debuted at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Opening Day 2013. Named for fireball-throwing Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh, it's a classic Carolina Packers red hot dog with crushed red pepper as an added ingredient. It's also topped with the award-winning, all-natural "Get Me a Switch" spicy relish from locally based Cottage Lane Kitchen.
- Gwinnett Braves' Knuckie: Cooked up by the mind of legendary Braves pitcher Phil Niekro and featuring the familiar flavors of Georgia, "the Knucksie" contains house-smoked pulled pork covered in two different BBQ sauces, served open-faced on skillet corn bread with pickles, caramelized onions and coleslaw. In addition to being delicious, the Knucksie comes with a bonus: fans who eat one are entered into a nightly drawing to win a baseball signed by Mr. Niekro himself!
- Lehigh Valley IronPigs' Aw Shucks Roasted Corn: A staple of IronPigs baseball since the team's debut in 2008, "Aw Shucks" is composed of locally grown ears of sweet corn brushed with butter and a secret blend of Southwest spice and parmesan cheese.
Fans can continue voting on MiLB.com and Twitter. To vote via Twitter, fans should follow @MiLB, tweet the hashtag #foodfight, and include the name of the team or food item they wish to vote for. Retweets count, too.