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Akron RubberDucks honor LeBron James, roll out ‘Return of the King Burger’ (pic)

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The Akron RubberDucks, the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, have joined the countless Ohio-based businesses seeking to capitalize on the return of LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers. And the team, like many ball clubs, both in the major leagues and minor leagues, have chosen to make a big splash by way of a ridiculous concession item.

The RubberDucks opted to pay tribute to the native son of the city that the ball team calls home by rolling out the “Return of the King Burger,” an exercise in indulgent excess given that it boasts condiments and toppings not usually associated with a standard burger, but more than fitting fare for the “royalty” that it honors.

The burger starts with a four-ounce patty, but then the entire burger-eating experience gets kicked up a notch as it is topped with a king crab meat blend, Boursin cheese, wine and gold slaw. The slaw is tossed with champagne vinaigrette and seasoned with salt, pepper and Old Bay Seasoning, according to a release by the team.

Fancy. The team should have hired Robin Leach to formally introduce that hamburger. “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams” and all that “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” nonsense.

But one doesn’t need to be a member of the upper crust to enjoy the burger as it is modestly priced at a very reasonable $8.50.

“We’re excited to have another great addition to our ‘Extreme Foods’ lineup,” said general manager Jim Pfander. “Our food and beverage director Brian Manning spent a long time putting together the perfect ingredients to welcome the ‘King’ back to Akron.”

The “Return of the King Burger” is just the latest item added to the team’s “Extreme Menu” ballpark fare, and isn’t even the first over-the-top example of meaty goodness the RubberDucks have rolled out this season in honor of a high-profile athlete that calls Ohio home.

The team introduced a ridiculous hot dog earlier this summer to celebrate the arrival of Johnny Manziel to the Cleveland Browns. The “Johnny Footlong” boasts an 8-inch frankfurter smothered with Sriracha sauce, Texas Jack chili and shredded pepper jack cheese.

So, yeah, the RubberDucks definitely know how to capitalize on the goings-on around Ohio and celebrate big-time athletes from other sports in the region. But it is a minor league baseball outfit, and as we have learned over the years, these teams know how to market and promote its product, albeit in often unconventional ways.

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