A Yankee Stadium Gluten-Free Moment

My name is Kendall Egan and I have enjoyed working on advertising and marketing with Gluten-Free Living since 2003. I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish and I feel so 21st century now that I am a “blogger.”

A diagnosis of celiac disease over ten years ago was a very important turning point for me. I was fortunate enough to return to health on a gluten-free diet. My son was diagnosed just after his third birthday and that was an even bigger turning point. A hungry, growing boy who attends birthday parties, team dinners and sleepovers needs lots of bread, cookies, cupcakes, pizza and pasta. Baking became a serious part of my life.

The little triumphs of making life “normal” are extremely satisfying and the little defeats of not achieving “normal” bum me out! I try to learn from both good and not so good gluten-free moments. With my apologies to Ann Whelan, a NY Met fan, the Egan’s are NY Yankee fans. I had one unforgettable gluten-free moment at a Yankee game two season’s ago.

In the 2005 season, my husband, four kids and I attended five or six games. Before the new stadium construction began, we parked in the same lot and visited the same hot dog vendor each game for our dinner. These were the “world famous” Ozzie Dogs. The celiacs in our family would buy a hot dog slit down the middle with ketchup, potato sticks and no bun.

Our “chef de hot dog cuisine” would carefully wrap it up in the waxy serving tissues so that Brett and I could hold it and munch away without ending up in a ketchup-y mess.

When we attended our first game of the 2006 season, we parked in our same lot and walked up to the Ozzie Dog cart. The woman said hello and asked us how we had been. She was always friendly, and I chatted back. She then asked, “Now which of you gets the bun-less Ozzie Dog slit down the middle with ketchup and potato sticks?”

My brain started whirring….it had been one year since we had been to a game, there are eighty home games per year, roughly 40,000 attendees per game and countless patrons who visit the Ozzie Dog stand. I don’t remember where I put my car keys on a daily basis, yet this woman remembered that someone in my family needed a special hot dog.

After I scooped my jaw off the ground, I asked her how she could possibly remember us out of the thousands of people who buy hot dogs from her cart. Her response was, “Your kids always said thank you and it’s not every day someone asks for a hot dog with no bun.”

It was one of those nice little triumphs, our special order hot dogs and nice manners made us unforgettable.