Revered frankfurter purveyor Nathan's Famous brought its well-known hot dog-eating contest to Busch Stadium May 17, 2014. A qualifying round for the international contest that will be held on Independence Day in Coney Island, New York, this weekend's event at Busch crowned one man and one woman as regional champs, but not without some tension. In the men's division, an initial tally declared Eric "Badlands" Booker of Queens, New York, the winner, but a closer inspection revealed that Sean "Flash" Gordon of Downingtown, Penn., was the actual winner with 27.5 hot dogs to Booker's 27 hot dogs. Marlene Wiggington of Troy, Ill., won the women's division by eating 9.5 hot dogs.
The winners of the St. Louis qualifier will head to New York to compete against champs from thirteen other cities on the Nathan's Famous circuit. The event, an annual tradition since 1916, will be broadcast on ESPN. Last year's men's winner ate 69 wieners and buns in 10 minutes, while the winner of the women's division ate 36.75 in the same amount of time.
Photos by Jon Gitchoff for the Riverfront Times.