When it’s your job to make sure things smell good, you tend to pick up on scents. And one place that provides inspiration in spades—as evidenced by our new limited time only Big Ass Brick of Pine Tar Soap—is the majestic sports shrine known as the ballpark. So grab your glove and seat cushion (no judgement) and take a whiff with us as we catalogue our favorite smells from this most venerable of places.
THE PARKING LOT
Even before you enter the gates you are greeted with a pleasing orchestra of scents: charcoal, various meats (encased and in patty form), and beer. This is because of the glorious ritual known as “tailgating,” and if your local ballpark set-up doesn’t allow for this, then we can offer you nothing but pity.
Do not get us started on domes or roofed ballparks.
FRESHLY CUT GRASS
Duke Cannon has made no secret of his love of a tightly mowed lawn and razor-sharp mow lines, and there are no finer examples of this art than the ballpark. But aside from the visual splendor, this setting also gives you the scent of freshly mowed grass hanging in the air for 9 innings, making it hallowed ground in Duke Cannon country.
There’s beer inside, and there’s beer outside, and then there’s beer at a baseball stadium. Bringing that cup of carbonated gold to our nostrils is just an entirely different ballgame—even at $11 a pop. Adding to the beauty of it all is others get to share in your joyful experience, as the nine guys seated to your left engage in a display of genuine teamwork to expertly pass your beer down to you without a spill.
Arguably the greatest snack of all time and the best invention to come out of the 1800s (aside from the diesel engine), we always have a hard time saying no to popcorn, even if it does cost almost as much as a tank of gas. Just one whiff of it and you feel obligated to grab a bag (or bucket) and play the ol’ toss-up-and-catch-it-with-your-mouth game.
A NEW GLOVE
It’s honestly a wonder this glorious aroma has not made its way into a Big Ass Brick of Soap yet (let’s get on that, R&D department). The fresh, smooth brown leather imparts such a strong nostalgic pull that Duke Cannon has to fight the urge to ask the kid next to him if he can try his mitt on for an inning or nine.
Who’s to say if peanuts smell great on their own, or if more of their aromatic potency is released when the shells are cracked open? Such questions are for the guys in lab coats. All Duke Cannon knows is that once he smells them, a vendor is quickly summoned and it’s not long before his Red Wings are completely obscured by an ever-growing pile of shells.
The briny scent of this classic ballpark delicacy with its subtle notes of a master grill is a smell Duke Cannon has coursing through his veins. Everyone knows a ballpark and a hotdog go together like Babe Ruth and home runs; top it off with some mustard and relish and you have us tempted to dab it on our pulse points between bites. This is what you’re supposed to eat when you’re at a ballgame, so don’t even think of trying to offer Duke Cannon a plate of Crab Rangoon from your luxury suite.
There is perhaps no greater “scent” than the one generated during a win and high-fiving section mates you don’t even know after clinching a tight game. It’s something indefinable in the air that we cannot exactly describe, but we do know it smells about 1000x better than slowly trudging out of the stadium holding a plastic mini-helmet half-full of soggy nachos after a soul-crushing 9th inning loss that has Randy threatening the ump and scaring the program lady.