Celebrate the Dodger Dog With a Dodger Dog

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Jennifer Bjorklund

They don't pick just anybody to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game.

You have to earn it. And earning it Monday night at Dodger Stadium means downing more hot dogs than anyone else.

An eating contest before the game will determine who gets to throw out the first pitch.

The competitive eating is part of a Dodger Dog celebration. The team will hold their first Dodger Dog giveaway since the mid-1990s.

Each fan will receive a  voucher as they enter Dodger Stadium for the game against the Pittsburgh  Pirates.

The idea for the Dodger Dog giveaway originated with the Dodgers, who  approached executives from Farmer John, who relished the idea, Dennis  Clougherty, senior product manager for Farmer John, which makes the Dodger Dog,  told City News Service.

Approximately 25,000 Dodger Dogs are sold per game, with more than 2.3  million sold last season, according to Levy Restaurants, the stadium's  concessionaire.

And here's a little Dodger Dog history.

The extra-long 10-inch Dodger Dog was conceived by Thomas G. Arthur, who  ran the food concessions at Dodger Stadium for 29 years.

Arthur sought to add excitement to the menu when the stadium opened in  1962. He thought back to his Coney Island childhood, when he would relish  Nathan's foot-long hot dogs, and decided to borrow the idea.

After receiving some "snide comments from people that it was really not  a foot long,"Arthur decided to dub it the Dodger Dog, his son, Steve, told  the Los Angeles Times in his 2006 obituary.

Monday's game also marks USC Night. The 120-strong Spirit of Troy USC  Trojan Marching Band will perform the national anthem and a 10-piece horn  section from the band will play "God Bless America"during the seventh-inning  stretch.

Band director Arthur Bartner will throw out a ceremonial first pitch.

The Dodgers enter play with a three game lead over the Colorado  Rockies in the race for the National League West title. Both teams have 18  games remaining. 

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