For the first time in a quarter-century, the Milwaukee Brewers' racing sausages won't have their longtime sponsor.
MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 30: The Racing Sausages come out for their race during the sixth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park on May 30, 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
A quarter-century link has been severed between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Klement's Sausage Company. Fans are left wondering who will be the next top dog for the team.
The Famous Racing Sausages are all on the chopping block. Bratwurst, Polish, Italian, Hot Dog and Chorizo and the whole team of Klement's meats have been cut from the Brewers.
"That's terrible. Klement's, Klement's Sausage is out," said Brewers fan Debbi Locicero when she heard the news. "It's a tradition in Milwaukee to have Klement's Sausage. I'm not happy."
Fans were not the only ones upset. Klement's Sausage Co. CEO and President Thomas Danneker broke it to the employees and spoke to our media partner WTMJ radio Tuesday afternoon.
"The Brewers came into our office last week and let us know they had signed a deal with a new sponsor and that Klement's was out. Clearly, we were surprised and disappointed," Danneker said.
It has loyalist worried what it means for their beloved Brew Crew and one of Milwaukee's favorite meats.
"Now that this partnership is done maybe it's pulling Milwaukee apart a little bit," said Brewers fan Johnny Dollar.
Others were worried about what will become of the Famous Racing Sausages. They will no longer be Klement's but the Brewers said they are not going anywhere.
They belong to Major League Baseball. Danneker said Klement's signed them over in the early 2000s. But he does not know who will become the next sponsor.
That did not stop sausage savants from weighing in.
"I think the Brewers should work on a partnership with one of our local sausage manufacturers. We have a couple," said Brian Bergner.
Everyone wants someone who can cut the mustard.
"I'm going Usinger's. No definitely not Johnsonville," said Christina Meyerer.
"Johnsonville all day," said Dontrielle Rodgers.
"I would hope [they] go the Usinger route, you know," Dollar said.
"Johnsonville doesn't say Milwaukee like Usinger's, well actually Klement's does. But Usinger's says Milwaukee. So it needs to be a Usinger's," Locicero said.
The decision remains encased in mystery, but the Brewers released this statement:
"With the heat being turned up today as rumors simmer on the Brewers sausage category sponsorship, there has been speculation about the future of Milwaukee’s most legendary runners.
The Famous Racing Sausages are a 'link' to the Brewers past and present. Rest assured, they are also central to the future of the franchise.
Stay tuned - more details to come soon."
We reached out to both Johnsonville and Usinger's for comment, but so far no word.