If you live in the Kansas City area you may have heard of him already. 'Meat' Mitch isn't just a clever double entendre; it's turning into a top notch brand of BBQ — and one that's winning over players in Major League baseball.
Mitch Benjamin originally hails from Lancaster, PA. where his original passion lies with golf. After cooking up some wicked good recipes while working with TaylorMade, Mitch developed a relationship on the golf course with Hall-of-Fame baseball player George Brett. Knowing of his competitive — and award winning — BBQ team, it wasn't soon after when Brett encouraged Mitch to whip up something special for the Kansas City players. Now when Mitch and his crew show up after a big win, it's one great party.
"When the last out happens, especially on home game victories, they come running in, arms go up in the air, they chant 'Meat Mitch,' and [Jeff] Franceour comes over and grabs ribs; he doesn't even use a plate, he fires them into the cannon. Bruce Chen will come in wearing nothing but a jock strap…they'll hoot n' holler. It's a ball. It's stuff that no one else gets to see that we get to experience."
And as funny as it sounds, Mitch didn't grow up around BBQ. He mastered the trade after moving to Kansas City and falling in love with the culture over 15 years ago.
"I moved out here in 1996 and BBQ was kind of brand new to me. We didn't have it on the east coast. I moved in, my next door neighbor had a swimming pool, a big smoker and a refrigerator full of beer and I fell in love with the whole scene. It wasn't long before I had my own smoker and kind of took it to the 'nth degree."
Every year fans watch the host to the All-Star game show off their culture surrounding their city. Kansas City is no different. You can't think of K.C. without thinking B.B.Q. While interviewing Mitch, it was obvious in his voice that he was ecstatic and honored to be at the forefront of combining possibly the two biggest traditions the city has to offer; baseball and barbeque.
"When it came time for the All-Star game…Major League Baseball really wanted to do a push on Kansas City and the fact that we believe and fight for the fact that we are the official home for BBQ."
So all weekend long, whether it be the celebrity game, home run derby, or the actual All-Star game itself, players and coaches will be devouring Mitch's barbeque following every contest.
If you can't beat the heat and make it out to any of the All-Star festivities in Kansas, you can check out MeatMitch.com and his award winning BBQ sauces and rubs. Just get to it before the rest of the players in Major League Baseball do.