Sports | May 27, 2022 11:17 am

Mets Look Good in ’22, But Have Been Dominating the MLB Cheesesteak Eating Contest in Philly for a Decade

The competition started when former Detroit Tigers All-Star Dmitri Young put down 11 cheesesteaks during a three-game series in the early 2000s

A cheesesteak at at Steak Shack on cheesesteak day. The New York Mets have been dominating the MLB cheesesteak eating contest in Philly for a decade.
A cheesesteak at at Steak Shack on cheesesteak day.
Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty

While they’re currently throttling the National League East at 29-17, the New York Mets have been even more dominant over the last decade in an eating competition that routinely takes place at the home of one of their divisional rivals.

Started in the wake of former Detroit Tigers All-Star Dmitri Young putting down 11 cheesesteaks during a three-game series against the Phillies at some point in the early 2000s because he was hungry, Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park is now home to an eating contest that spans across Major League Baseball.

These are the rules of engagement, per MLB.com:

  • Everything must be consumed in the clubhouse.
  • No yakking.
  • Some form of meat must be on the roll.
  • The bun must be filled.

Colorado Rockies physical performance coach Mike Jasperson is the current champion of the contest after eating 25 chicken cheesesteaks during Colorado’s recent four-game series at Citizens Bank Park with 21.5 of those sandwiches being consumed over a three-game span, another record.

Measuring in at 10-12 inches, all of the sandwiches Jasperson put down to claim the record were prepared to order in the visitors’ clubhouse by attendant Eric Michaels and his team.

“We make them as they come in,” Michaels told MLB.com. “We don’t just make a bunch of cheesesteaks and then players come in and say, ‘Can I get one?’ And say, ‘Yeah, here you go.’ If you come into the clubhouse and say, ‘Can I get a cheesesteak with mushrooms, provolone and onions,’ we’re hand-picking the mushrooms and onions out of a little jar and taking the provolone out of the fridge and we’re making that sandwich specifically for you. We kind of make them to order, one by one. And that gives it a little extra love.”

Colorado’s Jasperson, who said he put on nine pounds during his championship run and was recognized with a cash prize paid out by members of the Rockies, sits atop the cheesesteak leaderboard for now, but the all-time rankings are dominated by members of the Mets, who visit Philly more frequently than nearly any other team in MLB.

Though his mark is now well behind Jasperson’s, ex-Mets bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello was the cheesesteak champion for a time after he bested Young by eating 14 cheesesteaks during a three-game series in 2011. Racaniello was then topped by another Mets bullpen catcher — Eric Langill — who powered through 17 in 2013.

However, those individual records pale in comparison to what the Mets were able to do as a team in 2014 when the entire roster collectively stepped up during a rain delay to consume 103 cheesesteaks in 10 hours on a single day. Members of the team who participated include Jacob deGrom, Bobby Abreu, Jose Valverde and Bartolo Colon.

It isn’t 1,000 cheesesteaks, but who’s counting?