Pull together a baseball-theme party that will make up for the missed fun at the ballpark.
One Hour Before. On your way home from the game, swing by a grocery store for hot dogs and all the fixings. Top off your cart with classic ballpark snack -- popcorn, Cracker Jack, peanuts in the shell, and soft drinks. Remember bagged ice!
Thirty Minutes Before. Ice down drinks in a large tub or cooler, and pour munchies into serving bowls. In the kitchen, line up everything you'll need to cook and serve the hot dogs. Set out toppings and pile buns in a basket for guests to help themselves.
Keep the party casual and call on whatever is handy. Pull in a bench or console table as a buffet table and spread a drop cloth or old sheet for kids to plop down. After they scatter peanut shells, you can gather the cloth for easy cleanup.
Spur-of-the-moment energy will keep the party mood lively. Turn on a TV or radio that's broadcasting a ball game. Be ready with board games to keep kids from becoming rowdy.
Creative Twists on the Hot Dog
For a new twist on an old dog, use these Major League-city franks as role models.
- DENVER The Denver Dog comes hot off the roller grill at Coors Field and is topped with green chili sauce, shredded cheese, and jalapenos.
- ATLANTA Always a hit at Turner Field, the Georgia Dog takes on a regional accent with coleslaw and Vidalia onion relish.
- BOSTON The classic Fenway Frank is smothered in mustard and relish.
If you think "high and tight" refers to last year's pants, it's time to brush up your baseball slang.
- Baltimore Chop: A grounder that hits in front of or off home plate and hops over the infielder's head.
- Can of Corn: An easy catch by a fielder.
- Moon Shot: A very long, high home run.
- Closer: A team's late-inning relief pitcher.
- High and Tight: A pitch that's up in the strike zone and inside on a hitter. Also known as "up and in."
- Ribbie, Ribeye: Another way of saying RBI, run batted in.
- Yakker: Curve ball.
Baseball Lingo courtesy of Major League Baseball; mlb.com.