A strong bullpen performance might not have been the only factor that helped The Royals to a 5-2 victory against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.
Before the game, Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue sent 51 of its signature Z-Man sandwiches to the Royals clubhouse.
Why 51? Because on Tuesday — the day of the Royals’ 7-0 loss to the Twins — Minnesota ordered 50 Z-Man sandwiches, which come stacked with smoked brisket, melted provolone and two onion rings on a toasted kaiser roll.
Employee Jake Walker assembled the napkin-annihilating sandwiches, which cost $6.79 each.
That night, “the Z-Man-powered Twins kicked our butts seven-zip,” says Oklahoma Joe’s director of marketing Doug Worgul.
On Wednesday, Worgul told Oklahoma Joe’s owner Jeff Stehney that the Royals could use a barbecue boost. Stehney agreed to send 50 Z-Man sandwiches to the team. But Walker, the guy who assembled the sandwiches, didn’t think that was enough.
“No,” he said. “We’re sending 51.”
Four hours before gametime, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer tweeted, “Had an@ OklahomaJoesBBQ
z man today for pregame meal! It's going to be a good day.”
It was a good day for the Royals — but not for the Twins.
“Sure enough,” Worgul says, “the Royals won.”
The story speaks to the power of good barbecue and good marketing: It scored Oklahoma Joe’sa mention on NPR. That’s not the first time the local barbecue joint has hit a home run in the national press this summer: Last month, USA Today named the barbecue joint’s ribs “America’s Tastiest.”
Worgul says Oklahoma Joe’s doesn’t plan on sending any Z-Man sandwiches to the Royals before their game against the Boston Red Sox tonight.
“But if they make the playoffs we might,” he says.
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