Red October 2022

From Wawa hoagies to free tacos, Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber has a thing for food

The outfielder once ordered 25 pizzas for local firefighters to enjoy during a playoff game.

The Phillies' Kyle Schwarber is safe after stealing second past Astros second baseman Jose Altuve during the seventh inning in Game 1 of the World Series in Houston on Friday

The Phillies' Kyle Schwarber is safe after stealing second past Astros second baseman Jose Altuve during the seventh inning in Game 1 of the World Series in Houston on Friday

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo
danyahenninger-headshot-2022

Kyle Schwarber is just one of a roster of surprise stars helping the Phillies exceed all expectations in their stunning postseason run, but he’s the only player who’s repeatedly won fans deals on food.

First it was discounted hoagies. Now, after a stolen base in World Series Game 1, it’s free tacos.

Schwarber, who joined Philadelphia last spring as his fourth MLB team and ended the season with a National League-high 46 home runs, went on a streak over the summer. His slugfest coincided with the time Wawa holds its annual Hoagiefest: During June and July, he knocked out 22 homers, per official game logs, including at least 15 between the promo’s start and end dates.

After the Phils advanced in the playoffs, the Delco-based convenience chain decided to bring the promotion back — this time named after the 29-year-old outfielder himself.

Wawa announced Schwarberfest would net customers $5 Shortis and $6 classic hoagies, if ordered through the Wawa app. For anyone into superstition (read: pretty much all sports fans), the promo appeared to bear immediate fruit. In Game 1 of the NLCS vs. the San Diego Padres, the day after the hoagie deal was announced, Schwarber hit a rocket, sending the ball 488 feet for a Petco Park record and a Phillies win.

Wawa has now extended Schwarberfest through the end of the World Series. Meanwhile its namesake player has found other ways to feed the now-global crowd watching the Phillies storm the Fall Classic.

Food has actually been a recurring theme throughout Schwarber’s career.

He had an up and down start after being drafted in the first round by the Chicago Cubs, who sent him to the minors for a year before bringing him up mid-season in 2015. The following year, he contributed as a designated hitter to helping the franchise win their first World Series in over a century, but had a rocky next season, again spending time in Triple A. How’d he turn things around? Working out and getting into healthy eating.

Before the 2018 season, Schwarber engaged in a serious “get fit” regimen. He started cooking — even calling himself “Chef Rizzo” after a teammate — and eventually lost around 20 lbs.

Last season found the slugger on the Red Sox, and his hitting strength helped Boston get to the ACLS. After he impressed by smashing a grand slam during that series, he took it upon himself to help out hungry fans.

Before one of the home games, he ordered 25 pizzas for local firefighters and police officers so they could enjoy while watching their team.

This time, as the Phillies took on the Houston Astros in the first matchup of the championships, it wasn’t the outfielder’s hitting that scored folks free munchies. It was his base running.

Since 2015, Taco Bell has run the World Series promotion “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco.” The deets this year: if a player steals a base, anyone in the U.S. can get a free Doritos Locos Taco by signing up for rewards using the fast food chain’s app.

Schwarber declared before the series began that he planned on being this year’s “Taco Hero.”

He delivered on the prediction during Game 1, with a seventh inning slide into second base that was hardly even contested.

In the end, Schwarber’s grab didn’t turn into a score Friday night.

Tied 5-5 after coming back from a 5-0 deficit, the Phillies had to squeeze past the ninth inning with a sliding catch by Nick Castellanos and wait for J.T. Realmuto’s go-ahead homer in the 10th to steal the game out from under the Astros and flip the home field advantage back to Philadelphia.

World Series Game 2 is Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, and the series comes to Citizens Bank Park for a Monday night Game 3.

No matter how much free food Schwarber scores, there’s no doubt Philly fans are ravenous for a win.

Want some more? Explore other Red October 2022 stories.

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Tagged

Wawa, Food, Sports, Phillies