Since 1999, the Pierogi Race has been a tradition at Pirates games. Inspired by the Racing Sausages from Milwaukee, the Pierogies have been sprinting around the warning track since the days of Three Rivers Stadium. The race is now a daily routine at PNC Park after the fifth inning.
The race used to include Potato Pete, but he was replaced with Oliver Onion after the move to PNC Park. However, he still makes appearances a few times per year.
The pierogies used to exit the right field tunnel after an animated entrance video that played on the scoreboard, and finished near the first base dugout. Starting in 2009, they now run from the umpires/grounds crew tunnel next to the Pirates dugout, all the way to the right field corner, which is about 280 yards.
The racing sausages from Milwaukee and/or racing presidents from Washington usually come to Pittsburgh once per year. Here’s a picture we took on May 10th when the presidents faced off against the pierogies at PNC:
One of the racers was fired in 2010 for comments about the team’s management. You can read that story HERE.
The Great Pittsburgh Pierogi Race N’at is a hit at PNC Park, as the crowd always rises to their feet after the bottom of the fifth. Although it’s just four people dressed as polish dumplings, many fans take the race very seriously. Tons of fans also make bets on the race- some jokingly, some serious- with other fans that sit around them. Even though it’s a childish act that is featured at ballparks across the country, it truly is a tradition at PNC Park.
Here’s a video that shows the old version of the Pierogi Race:
A video of the new version that features the longer course:
A video of the longer course, Pierogies vs. Presidents:
To explore more features and events of the ballpark, our page of PNC Experiences can be found HERE.