CHICAGO — A Southwest Side grocery store owner is getting attention for really, really loving mustard.
William “Bill” Baffes, 82, was caught on camera with a big dollop of mustard on his cheek during Wednesday’s White Sox game at Guaranteed Rate Field. But Baffes didn’t realize he’d become a human hot dog, continuing to watch the game and talk with his wife while the cameras turned to him again and again to see if he’d cleaned up the mustard.
The commentators jokingly called him “Colonel Mustard” and “Mustard Man.”
But Baffes, who owns the County Fair grocery store in Morgan Park, didn’t realize he was splattered with Chicago’s favorite condiment — or even that was he on TV — until his kids called.
“They were watching the game and they called me up,” Baffes said. “I was surprised. … They just told me what was going on, that you’re on TV, blah, blah, blah. It was a lot of fun.”
The camera still trained on him, Baffes laughed and wiped off the mustard with a napkin with help from his wife of 58 years. He’s heard from dozens of people since the unintentional TV appearance, and his wife, Joan Baffes, posted a photo to Facebook of Bill with dozens of bottles of mustard and the caption, “Free mustard from the Mustard Man.”
He and his wife “were both just laughing about it,” he said. “We heard from [people] all over the country.”
The culprit: $1 Hot Dog Wednesdays at the field (Baffes took his with mustard, and that’s it).
“That’s the beauty of this particular promotion: It’s $1 hot dog night, but it’s $2 napkin night,” one host joked.