A 41-year-old man has died while competing in an amateur taco-eating contest at a minor league baseball game in California, according to police reports.

Fresno man Dana Hutchings collapsed on Tuesday night while competing in the taco eating contest during a innings break at a Fresno Grizzlies AAA baseball game at their home Chukchansi Park stadium. He was taken to hospital but passed away shortly after arriving.

According a report from another fan at the game, Hutchings was “eating so fast compared to the other two” people in the contest, and that “it was like he’d never eaten before.” The witness also stated that Hutchings “was just shoving the tacos down his mouth without chewing.”

Around seven minutes into the contest, Hutchings is said to have collapsed, hitting his head on the table in the process, before falling to the ground. Officials overseeing the event called off the contest immediately while emergency personnel attended to the scene.

Fresno sheriff spokespeople stated that it was not know how many tacos Hutchings had eaten, nor was it clear if he won the contest, which is a bloody wild thing to have to state publicly if you think about it.

The sheriff’s department issued a statement that did not confirm an official cause of death, but bizarrely quipped that they “have an idea” what caused it.

Fresno Grizzlies officials also issued a statement asserting they were “devastated to learn” of the death and that the “safety and security of our fans” was their highest priority.

They were also at pains to stress that the event was *not* officially sanctioned by Major League Eating, the controlling body for professional competitive eating in the United States. Again, another wild sentence to comprehend.

Interestingly enough, the Grizzlies were set to hold a professional-level taco-eating contest at a Taco Truck Throwdown event scheduled for this weekend. That contest has since been cancelled.

The official Major League Eating World Taco-Eating Championship is scheduled for October 4th in Santa Monica.

Image: AAP