Baseball Food Myths/Legends

Today, July 4th, is the famous Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. And, in homage to that and as a semi-sequel to the article about Chris Sale‘s diet, here’s a look at two of the other great baseball tales involving appetite… after the jump, of course:

Wade Boggs and the 64 Miller Lites

According to legend, Wade Boggs once drank 64 cans of Miller Lite on a cross-country flight once. While he has admitted the number is inflated, where would the fun be in just saying he had a dozen or two dozen? No, we’re looking at the legend here!

So first, some math, a beer or soda can contains about 12 fluid ounces. Therefore, Boggs would have ingested about 768 fluid ounces of beer. That’s the equivalent of 50 pounds of water.

Here’s what the “nutritional information” for such a binge looks like:

Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 12.58.09 PM

Well, at least he didn’t get any fat calories.

Of course, the real question is whether Boggs could actually have survived such a flight. Now, a flight from New York City to Seattle (Jeff Nelson of the Yankees teams of the 90s was the one who first brought the story to light) takes about four and a half hours. So, going by the first BAC calculator I found on Google and the Baseball Reference weight for Boggs of 190 lbs, he would have had, at the end of the flight, a Blood Alcohol Content of…


That is high. Really high. It should have been fatal, although apparently the highest BAC ever survived was higher.

So, could Boggs have had such an epic binge and survived? Theoretically yes, but I’d say the science suggests that the legend is just that: legend.

Babe Ruth and the “Bellyache Heard ‘Round The World”

The Bambino, contrary to popular belief, was not the fat man he is often made out to be.

Oh, he most certainly was not thin or the world’s finest specimen of athleticism, he was most definitely overweight. However, he was not the morbidly obese individual some caricatures make him out to be. He was more like a small fullback or a large safety, to use football positions as examples.

However, there were some times where he was, most definitely, an out of shape lug. The most notable of these, perhaps, is 1925. That year, he came to camp weighing 256 pounds, and ended up missing a lot of time due to the infamous “Bellyache Heard ‘Round the World”. It is said that that ailment was brought about by too many hot dogs, soda-pop and beer, but it was probably venereal disease. After all, if there was one thing Babe Ruth had an appetite for more than food, it was women.

Still, using various other sources, let’s just assume he had 18 hot dogs (the high limit according to the Baseball Reliquary, which claims to own a hot dog partially eaten by the Sultan of Swat) and about eight 8-ounce bottles of soda-pops. Here’s what the nutrition of that meal would be:

Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 1.48.10 PMWell, it wouldn’t cause the venereal disease that probably caused the infamous bellyache, but all of that food with so little fiber would definitely cause a lot of indigestion.

And finally, a word from our sponsors (not really, but I found it funny):


1 thought on “Baseball Food Myths/Legends

  1. Pingback: Continuum Week In Review (7/1-7/7) and Week Ahead (7/8-7/14) | The Baseball Continuum

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