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Pretzels And Sports, A Brief History Of The Other American Pastime

Pretzels And Sports, A Brief History Of The Other American Pastime

From the streets of New York City where you can find a pretzel vendor preparing piping hot fresh pretzels at just about every other corner to your favorite stadiums where the shouts of “Pretzels here” are as American as apple pie, pretzels are America’s guilty pleasure. 

But did you know that it’s also intricately linked with sports?

While there will always be a debate between baseball and American football fans over which sport is America’s favorite pastime, we’d like to submit that the real winner of that debate is eating pretzels while enjoying the game in person.

We know we’re biased, but after all, Pretzels is our name and we’re not alone in loving that deliciously twisted dough. 

Getting back to pretzels and sports, back in the 1880s there was a professional baseball player nicknamed Pretzels.  We’re not kidding!

Born Charles H. Getzien in Prussia before emigrating with his family to Chicago where his love of baseball began, Getzen went on to play in the postseason or what we now call the World Series with the Detroit Wolverines, a national league team.

A renowned pitcher of his time, it was Getzien’s wild curveball which according to the hitters he faced said looked like a twisted pretzel, that earned him a no-hitter and the affectionate nickname Pretzels Getzien.     

Speaking of baseball, rumor has it that the pretzels first made an appearance at baseball games in Philadelphia. Just like in New York City where vendors sell soft pretzels, street vendors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where the soft pretzels made their debut sold their pretzels in the streets and at the games to baseball fans. 

Today, not only has eating soft pretzels on gameday become America’s pastime at ballparks, stadiums, and arenas but they are a suggested go-to snack for athletes before a race looking for a simple carb and quick energy boost. 

So the next time you go for a run, or a hike let provide you with the snacks to give you that boost you need to make it to the finish line. 

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