Photo by Ozzie Garza.

Opening Day is here, and to me that means more than just a new baseball season for the Texas Rangers, who are hosting the world champion Houston Astros this week.  It also means new food delicacies will be served in Globe Life Park’s concession stands.

Baseball food is more than just hot dogs, has been for a while now. The Texas Rangers can attest to that. The team recently unveiled some of the gourmet food items that will be available at all Rangers home games this season.

The new food items range in price from $7.50 to $27.50. Some of the treats include The Dilly Dog, a fried dill pickle cored and stuffed with a beef jumbo sausage; The Triple B, a bacon, brisket, and bologna sandwich topped with barbecue sauce on a soft roll; the Lay’s Home Plate Chicken Sandwich, a full-sized chicken breast butterflied, crusted in potato chips, and fried; and the twin offerings of Vegan Top N Go Frito Pie and the Vegan Nacho Grande.

The new grub at Globe Life Park is restaurant quality. Photo by Ozzie Garza

Other food items include the Bacon Jam Burger, the Poblano Burger, and the Smoked Pork Ribs. 

Fans can also get Home Run Fries and Pickle Fries as well as Spicy Garlic Buffalo Fries. For dessert, there is the 7th Inning Cinnamon Roll and the Rold Gold Waffle Cone. Each treat is almost big enough to fill the void left in Rangers fans’ hearts after Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.

Delaware North, the food service provider at Globe Life Park, began planning for this year’s food items soon after the 2017 season ended.

“We brainstormed and threw ideas around,” said Todd McBee, an assistant chef.

Every year brings new, creative ideas. Last year, the kitchen’s most popular creation was the MVT, the Most Valuable Tamale. Many items stick around for years, like the 2-foot long hot dog.

In my more than 45 years of going to major league games at different ballparks, I have come to enjoy the variety of food that’s available. While I’m not a food connoisseur, I’ve had gourmet meals you expect at 5-star restaurants at baseball parks. I’ve dined on sushi, lobster rolls, and caviar. All 30 teams try to outdo each other. 

I’ve always said that hot dogs seem to taste better at the ballpark. Many fans probably agree with me, as more than 60 million hot dogs will be eaten at major league ballparks this year. Rangers fans will certainly contribute to that number, as one of the stadium’s most popular promotions takes place at every Wednesday home game with Dollar Hot Dog Night.

While I enjoy the ballpark dogs, my favorite thing is a heaping pile of nachos. Perhaps I am biased, because ballpark nachos were first sold in 1976 at the old Arlington Stadium. Now, you can find them at any sporting event around the country. 

There’s still a place for peanuts and Cracker Jacks, but save room for a Triple B and a Rold Gold Waffle Cone.

Ozzie Garza was born in Texas City, Texas, on Feb. 14, 1947, two months before the Texas City explosion that killed more than 500 people, including his father, and injured more than 5,000, including his sister and brother. He moved to McAllen, Texas, in 1952. A North Texas State University graduate, Garza served in the U.S. Army as a public information officer for the Military District of Washington in Washington, D.C. He also worked on Capitol Hill, at the U.S. Department of Labor, and for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He has written numerous articles for the Rangers game program and other sports publications. He is in his second year as a Globe Life Park tour guide.