More than 1,000 Capitol Hill lawmakers, staff, meat industry representatives and members of the media filled the Rayburn House Office Building Courtyard yesterday to celebrate July as National Hot Dog Month at the American Meat Institute (AMI) Annual Hot Dog Lunch on Capitol Hill. 

“Since the mid-1970s, AMI’s Hot Dog Lunch has been an annual celebration. This lunch brings to life America’s love of hot dogs, a love that bridges the gap between party divisions,” said AMI Interim President and CEO Jim Hodges. “The Hot Dog Lunch is one the most popular events on Capitol Hill as our guests join us to celebrate this iconic American food..”

AMI projected that it would serve more than 3,500 hot dogs, corn dogs, bratwursts and other sausages from popular hot dog manufacturers including Dietz and Watson, Hillshire Brands, Hormel Foods Corporation, Smithfield and Tyson Foods. All uncooked or pre-packaged leftover food will be donated to Carpenter’s Shelter, a local food bank.    

The 2014 Hot Dog Lunch is co-hosted by Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN). The event is also sponsored by American Bakers Association, International Bottled Water Association, American Beverage Association, Snack Food Association, DIAGEO and  Hormel Foods Corporation.

Hot dogs and baseball are an American tradition and each year the Hot Dog Lunch pays tribute to this one-of-a-kind relationship.  Attending this year’s lunch to greet fans, sign autographs and enjoy some hot dogs were:

Steve Carlton, the first pitcher to win four Cy Young Awards, and a1994 Hall of Fame Inductee. He is recognized as one of the most accomplished pitchers in Major League Baseball, and for good reason: he is the current record holder for the second most lifetime strikeouts and wins for any left-handed pitcher. Carlton began his career as a pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1965. He later went on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, and the Minnesota Twins. He retired in 1988 and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1994.

Cecil Cooper, former first basemen and accomplished hitter with both the Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers. His accomplishments include: being a five-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove Award winner, 3-time Silver Slugger recipient and a two-time American League RBI Champion. Cooper began his career with the Boston Red Sox in 1971 and later finished his career with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1987. After retiring, Cooper reinvested his knowledge of baseball into the Houston Astros as a manager from 2007 to 2009.

Ken Griffey, Sr., two-time World Series Champion and a three-time All-Star. Beginning his career in 1973 with the Cincinnati Reds as an outfielder, he soon became an integral part of the Reds storied Big Red Machine—which won consecutive World Series in both 1975 and 1976. He was voted as a member of the All-Star Team in 1976, 1977, and 1980, and voted All-Star MVP in 1980. His baseball career included stints with teams such as the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds and Seattle Mariners. He retired in 1991 but continued to be a part of baseball as manager of the Bakersfield Blaze, a Single A minor league affiliate for the Cincinnati Reds for three seasons. He officially retired in 2013.

Photos from the lunch will be available on the American Meat Institute Facebook page. For more information about hot dogs and sausages, visit the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council's new website at and Facebook page at For hot dog videos including proper hot dog etiquette, visit our YouTube channel at

Source: AMI