College Pitcher Almost Dies: Brian Read Choked on Hot Dog, Needed Surgery

'I Started Swallowing Prematurely,' Says 19-Year-Old

A college pitcher almost died while attempting to eat a hot dog during a hot dog-eating contest at a baseball game. Brian Read, a sophomore pitcher, was racing to swallow one hot dog during the seventh inning stretch of a game last week and choked- he ended up having to have emergency surgery to survive.

The college pitcher almost died because a piece of the hot dog had become lodged in his throat sideways, doctors discovered. They had to use surgical tools to take out the undigested, unchewed hot dog, giving Read some relief.

19-year-old Read, who normally plays for Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Miss., is instead pitching for the Seacoast Mavericks in Portsmouth, N.H. It was during a Mavericks' game that the hot dog-eating contest was held. Read was competing, but rushed to finish his hot dog a bit too quickly.

"I started swallowing prematurely," he told

After coming in dead last in the contest, the teen began vomiting. Even after that, he still couldn't swallow anything, including water and his own saliva, according to Fox Sports.

The next day, he still didn't feel well and couldn't swallow, so he went to the hospital. Between his esophagus and stomach was a piece of unchewed meat about an inch-and-a-half long. After anesthetizing Read, medical staff managed to perform surgery and take it out.

After the surgery, Read said he couldn't wait to finally be able to drink water.

"I don't think a simple drink of water has ever tasted so good," he said.

When asked about his first meal after the operation, he said he's much more careful with his food now.

"I was taking the smallest bites and chewing it to a ground pulp," Read joked.