Roving A's hot-dog vendor working on PhD, is also vegetarian

Hot dogs at the ballpark – a tradition almost as old as baseball itself.  Hal Gordon – or Hal the hot dog guy, as the fans know him – is a true throwback.

From his outfit, “with the red and white stripes we confuse predators,” said Hal, to the accessories.

“We got sauerkraut, onions, jalapenos, that's three types of mustard, mayo, relish, ketchup, hot dogs, and some capers - that's the super-secret menu item the capers.”

But even in this context, Hal is unique. He’s working on his PhD at Berkeley.

“Hopefully in a couple years I'll graduate with a degree and I'll be Dr. Hot Dog.”

He’s a legitimate vending veteran – the A’s are his sixth major league employer.

“Every time I move to a new city I think that's it, I'm done, I’m gonna move on and do something else, and then spring comes around, and I go, 'I wonder if there's any good vending in this city?'”

And of course, there’s the personality overflowing, just like his condiments. All of which makes Hal quite the fan favorite.

“Not all hot dog guys have the energy that Hal has,” said longtime A’s fan, Lee Uehisa.

I mean, how many vendors are popular enough to justify their own baseball cards?

“It's just like making people laugh, and also eating hot dogs too. It's great,” adds Hal.

Not so great – lugging around the old-time vending apparatus.

“It's about 52 pounds, says Hal. But the best part is when you sell more, it weighs less. Extra incentive.

Moving product is not a problem for Hal.  Despite the fact that – believe it or not - he doesn’t practice what he preaches.

“I'll tell you the dirtiest secret and now everyone will know.  I'm actually a vegetarian.   So I have to atone all year long for selling everyone hot dogs.”