Rain delays and baseball don’t mix. They make the field swampy, stall the game, and create a headache for workers and patrons. One night in late May 2017, one of those dreaded rain delays showered Trenton Thunder. On nights like these, the only glimmer of hope is that the clubhouse manager may have a decent post-game spread with all kinds of culinary delights for the players to sink their teeth into. On this night however, the visiting clubhouse manager at the time, Nick Barba, made a decision that would change the game of baseball forever, he ordered from 1911 Smoke House Barbecue.

It’s important to note that the clubhouse manager is the one responsible for cleaning the shoes and washing the player’s Thunder uniforms. His role also includes providing a pre- and post-game meal, which is often referred to as the “spread.” Nick Barba was Thunder’s visiting clubhouse manager from 2016-2017 and decided to order from the restaurant after receiving a friend’s referral.

After a soggy rain delay, all that anyone wants to do is eat a good meal. Right? Well, the skies opened up and bright lights focused down on Arm & Hammer Park as a meal of chicken, wings, mac & cheese, baked beans, and barbecue sauce came straight from the heavens themselves.

Not before long, all of the food was gone. There weren’t even scraps left. Here’s where it gets interesting. This discovery by Barba turned out to be as impactful as the as the designate hitter is to the game of baseball. This meal peaked the interest, and tastebuds, of Thunder’s 13-year home clubhouse manager Tom “Tonto” Kackley.

Tonto decided that since Barba hit it a homerun using the establishment to cater his team’s meals, it would be good enough for the Thunder.  It turned out to be a grand slam. A few days later players found in the lounge a feast fit for kings as they experienced the power of pork roll meat balls, cheesesteak eggrolls, mac & cheese, barbecue chicken, and spicy coleslaw.

Since this decision, 1911 Smoke House Barbecue has gained a significant reputation, becoming the “go to” spot for many Thunder and Yankees players and staff. The restaurant caters meals for teams at the ballpark providing assortments of turkey, pork, chicken, and more.

Tonto often informs everyone a day before when he is ordering just to see the excitement in the team’s eyes. You never know when you may make a life changing discovery. One night in late May 2017 Thunder’s visiting clubhouse manager, made a discovery that would change our taste buds, forever.

To have your taste buds changed forever, visit 1911 Smoke House Barbecue on 11 West Front Street. You can also check them out online at http://1911bbq.com/.

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