The origin of the races is sketchy. Laurel Prieb, a former Brewers vice president who is now Major League Baseball’s vice president for Western operations, said the races existed when he arrived in 1991, but only as a cartoon shown on the scoreboard at County Stadium. Three animated wieners — a bratwurst and Polish and Italian sausages — scampered past Milwaukee landmarks and finished at the stadium.Got that? It's a Wisconsin idea:
“At some point, somebody — and I don’t know who came up with the idea — said, ‘Why don’t we rent some costumes and do it live as a kind of surprise?’ ” Prieb said. “It was meant to be a one-and-done thing.”
The live debut is believed to have occurred on May 29, 1994, the day the Brewers retired Robin Yount’s No. 19, although the team’s chief operating officer, Rick Schlesinger, said he could not confirm the date.
Teams in other cities have co-opted the basic racing idea, using United States presidents, scoreboard subway cars and pierogi, but only Milwaukee has sausages....But it's okay. You can show the love for Wisconsin by copying our fabulous styles. We began with 3, added a 4th (hot dog), and in 2007, they added a 5th, a chorizo named Cinco. So you can kind of see why the Washington Nationals wanted a 5th president, and yet, it was hard to go beyond the classic 4 who were predetermined by Mt. Rushmore. (Whatever political wrangling went into that decision is long past.) Obviously, they had to avoid all the recent presidents to avoid political disputes that live in the minds of the fans. It can't be Reagan or Clinton. And it can't be anyone boring or negative. And it has to be someone who can be depicted in a cartoonish costume. There was only one man for the job:
“It’s unique to Wisconsin.... It wouldn’t work anyplace else.”
Isn't it obvious?