Food and Drink

How the Minnesota Twins’ lucky summer sausage got made

A sausage in a plastic wrap container sits in the dugout.
The mysterious and all powerful summer sausage the Twins are crediting for their nine-game winning streak.
Bally Sports

You may have heard that old saying, “You don’t want to know how the sausage gets made.” But when that sausage is credited for bringing the Minnesota Twins a nine-game winning streak, we did want to know. And we found out.

It started with an email to the Twins communications team: “This might be the weirdest question I will ever ask you … but where did the sausage come from?”

The sausage” is a summer sausage the team has been transporting to and from the dugout in a Ziploc bag shoved in a shoe. Before every at-bat, the players touch the sausage for good luck. And the hits haven’t stopped since. 

According to a team spokesperson, the lucky sausage was part of a care package for infielder Kyle Farmer. He had done a commercial for Cloverdale Foods, which supplies the official bacon — not sausage — of the Minnesota Twins. But they did give him summer sausage for his efforts.

Twins White Sox Baseball
A Minnesota Twins fan holds a sausage before a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox on Monday, in Chicago. Fans have started bringing their own sausages to games after Twins players revealed they believe a summer sausage that made its way to their dugout has been giving them good luck.
Erin Hooley | AP

Farmer didn’t want it and, like in any workplace where you have leftover food, Farmer set it out on a communal table hoping someone would grab it. And from there, hitting coach David Popkins took it and put it in the dugout.

The Twins are now in their longest winning streak since 2008.

The folks at Cloverdale Foods say they’re amazed to see the success of the sausage.

“We are shocked and thrilled that somehow it accidentally made it into the clubhouse, the dugout, around the bases, and even on road trips and beyond,” the company says in a statement to MPR News. “As huge baseball fans ourselves, we truly understand and respect the elements of superstition and luck. The belief that this stick of sausage is somehow magically influencing hits is a huge honor.”

The lucky sausage joins a long list of professional sports team talismans. A couple standouts: New York Yankees’ Jason Giambi reportedly wore a gold thong to break a 2008 slump, and in 2012, Twins star Justin Morneau always had the same pregame meal of macaroni and cheese – always microwaved for exactly 3 minutes, 33 seconds.

As for the sausage, Manager Rocco Baldelli said he is a bit worried the team’s luck could run out when the sausage package inevitably opens up after being thrown around so much.

“The thing hasn’t been refrigerated in many days, and there is no doubt that when that thing opens up, whoever is touching it, is in deep trouble,” Baldelli said in a postgame interview Sunday night. “There is no doubt in my mind that we are carrying something that is very unhealthy to the human body.”

Of course, we asked about that, too. Cloverdale summer sausages are shelf-stable and do not need to be refrigerated. In other words, play on!