Braves lead league in cheesesteaks eaten

June 30th, 2022

This story was excerpted from Mark Bowman's Braves Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Consuming cheesesteaks within the visitors' clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park has been something Major League players have looked forward to for many years. So with the Braves in town this week, there was reason to ask which team consumes the most cheesesteaks every year.

“It’s the Braves by far,” Phillies visiting clubhouse assistant Eric Michaels said. “It seems like each of their players and coaches have at least one (sandwich) every day.”

Michaels viewed this practice when he was a batboy and he has been in charge of making the sandwiches since he assumed his current role. Earlier this year, he watched Rockies physical performance coach Mike Jasperson set a record by eating 25 during Colorado’s four-game series at Citizens Bank Park. Jasperson also set the three-day record at 21 1/2.

Max Fried had eaten two cheesesteaks before Wednesday night’s game against the Phillies. But this doesn’t even compare to what some other Braves have done. Bobby Cox’s former bench coach Chino Cadahia once consumed six in one day.

“It was a 4 o’clock game,” Braves Major League coach Eddie Perez said. “Chino had two for breakfast around 10 a.m. and two more around 3 o’clock. He then took two home with him.”

That’s an impressive total. But to officially be listed among the leaders, an individual must eat the cheesesteaks while within the clubhouse. Phil Gosselin remembers Evan Gattis once eating five or six cheesesteaks on a day when he wasn’t in the Braves’ lineup.

“There are guys that talk about eating a lot of cheesesteaks, but it’s much more impressive when they do this when they are playing that day,” Michaels said.

This brings us to current Braves broadcaster Jeff Francoeur, who ate 14 cheesesteaks during a four-game series in 2006. The former right fielder played each of these four days and went 5-for-15 with a triple.

“Some claim I only ate 13, but I say I had the 14th done before the bus left the parking lot on our way to New York,” Francouer said. “The hardest part about that was the Sunday day game.”

When Francoeur arrived for the Sunday afternoon game, he knew he was close to setting the Braves’ record. He ate his first cheesesteak at 10 a.m. and then devoured another around 12:30 p.m., approximately 30 minutes before the first pitch. He ate another in the clubhouse after the game and the last one just before leaving the parking lot, or so he claims.

Though Francoeur ate two cheesesteaks without any problem before Tuesday night’s game, he knows there’s no chance he could come close to doing what he did when he averaged more than three cheesesteaks a day during that four-game stretch when he was 22 or 23.

“If I was a couple years older, I’d have never been able to do it,” Francoeur said. “Nobody ever told me to stop. These days, they’d be like you’re not having another because you have to play.”