If you've ever attended a Tigers' game at Comerica Park, watched them on TV or listened to a game over the radio, you have heard the Singing Hot Dog Man:
Today Charley Marcuse, long known for his operatic vending of hot dogs at Tigers' games, announced he was fired by his employer, Sportserivce.
Though he has long been associated with the Tigers since 1999, the Singing Hot Dog man was not an employee of the club. Sportsservice handles concessions for Comerica Park and many other big league stadiums. The Tigers, who have clashed with Marcuse in the past over his unique vending style, are referring all questions to Sportservice. Neither Marcuse or Sportservice will comment on the termination.
In 2004, the Tigers asked Marcuse to cut the singing out altogether. An uproar ensued, the national media became involved and a compromise was reached. The team allowed Mancuse to sing between innings, but never when the Tigers were batting.
The Singing Hot Dog Man was a polarizing figure for the Tigers and their fan base. Many fans loved the singing and the character it brought to attending a game, but others found him loud and annoying. You have to wonder just how involved the Tigers have been in Marsuse's dismissal. I would not be surprised it's more than what's being let on.
Personally, I thought the Singing Hot Dog Man gave Comerica Park something uniquely Detroit. He became a part of the overall experience of attending a Tigers game in person, entertaining fans with his voice.
As they say, all things end badly, otherwise they wouldn't end. But the Singing Hot Dog Man sure was fun while he lasted.
Charley Marcuse released a statement Friday night:
Since 1999, the final season played at Tiger Stadium, I have been selling hot dogs at Detroit Tigers games. What started as a part-time summer job quickly turned into a passion. For fifteen years I have tried to provide a unique, engaging, and fun experience for everyone. The vast majority of feedback and interactions have always been positive. Fans constantly tell me that I have added to their enjoyment of the ballgame. The Detroit Tigers and Sportservice, a Delaware North Company, see it differently. After so many years I am very sorry to see this day come.
I am deeply thankful to the fans for their loyalty and support. It has been an amazing experience serving you for the past fifteen years. All of you are the reason I keep coming back. I hope to have the opportunity to serve you again in the future.