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Thread: Ballpark Characters

  1. #1
    Member mrmopar's Avatar
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    Ballpark Characters

    I never thought about it until it was too late. I have been growing an autograph collection for many years now, and I even used to grab signatures at batting practice at the Kingdome when I was a kid, but it was not in the too distant past that I started adding some of the more uncommon characters to the list. It may have started when I saw a Ned Colleti GM certified autograph card and decided I needed to have that for my collection. I collect a wide variety of autographs, but my two main focuses are the Dodgers (anything and everything and I do mean anything) and early Seattle Mariners (first 10 years or so).

    There are two vendors who stick out in my mind from when I was a kid watching baseball in Seattle/The Kingdome in the late 70s/early 80s. The first was Bill The Beerman. I was not old enough to drink beer when I experienced Bill's bellowing calls, but he sure was unforgettable. He would pass by your seats a few times every game and he was just unique. The 2nd was a peanut vendor known as Rick The Peanut Man. This guy took the peanut toss to a new level. He made it a fun experience to buy a bag of peanuts at the game.

    I'm sure just about every stadium has or had characters like this and I am here to say that if you have one or more at your favorite stadium, take the time to chat with them, ask for an autograph and/or a photo. I wish I had now, although it was the furthest from my mind as a 10 year old.

    Both Bill Scott (2007) and Rick Kaminski (2011) have since passed away, but I will never forget them for the shows they put on when I was a kid, getting my first taste of Baseball.

    I was at the local card shop this past week and was talking about older Mariners items and the owner asked if I has seen the shirt he had, signed by Rick The Peanut Man and Dave Henderson, former Mariner OF and Broadcaster, also deceased. I had not noticed it, but wandered over to it and saw a $20 asking price. Not something I would normally want (T-Shirt), but that autograph of Rick was what I wanted. I couldn't say "I'll take it" fast enough! I consider that a bargain and would love to some day come across a Bill The Beerman autograph to complete the pair!





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    Last edited by mrmopar; 08-15-2018 at 12:12 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member finestkind's Avatar
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    Great stuff.

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    Member Letch77's Avatar
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    Man, that's cool.
    I remember in the early 2000s, going to Royals games and enjoying the calls of the Lemonade Guy. "Leeeemonade lemonade lemonaaaaade...WOOOOO!!!" I don't remember what year it was, but in one of the MLB video games that had actual crowd sounds, you could hear his call in the background at Kauffman Stadium. Chuy Gomez...he made quite the concession business after walking the stands for the Royals.
    To this day, when a vendor shouts "lemonade" among the crowd at Royals (or T-Bones) games, a scattered chorus of "WOOOO!" can be heard.
    Wanting to buy '96 Select Certified Mirror Gold baseball...commons & stars

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    Senior Member tramers's Avatar
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    Dirty water vendors - Yankee Stadium , Old guy using a device to rattle in the stands before game --- this was old stadium . Uh HUH at Kannapolis and several other stadiums when he could drive . Sax players on bridge in Pittsburgh. Front row of crazies at Hickory Crawdads " how many steps " yell . Many others I've seen these just on my mind now . Minor leagues have a more fun group due to able to meet players . In twenty five years I've seen many that are now in majors . . One player had his car jacked up - almost needed a step ladder to get in , many took pictures . Watching 5/6 players get in a car for ride home -- minor leaguers don't make much . Oh yes the 18- 21 year old girlfriends - watch players go into slump second day LOL. Getting carded to buy beer when you're 55 years old - twice by same person in one night . Don't forget the ball boys with their girl fan club --at 14 years old - now have to be 16 . Dancing usher - 89 year old . Players EATING live bugs in dugout , playing with live snakes at club house . Watching how some players go out of their way to sign for kids , give batting gloves , cracked bats and baseballs . The love they show to those special needs kids . Getting to talk to minor leaguers retired dad that played in the majors . To see the rings from winning World Series .

  5. #5
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    What I great idea for a off the beaten path autograph collection. Growing up in and around Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park in the late 60's and early 70's and having the great honor of working at Wrigley in the 80's I can think of several characters

    Andy the Clown at Comiskey. He was a throw back to the GoGo White Sox era of Fox and Aparicio and only ended his reign when the Sox moved to their new stadium.

    Ronnie WooWoo at Wrigley. That guy was either loved or hated by anyone at the ball park. There was no in between.

    I cannot remember his name but the scorecard seller outside gate K at Wrigley. The guy was nearly 85 years old and never missed a day since he was given the job in the 40's. His low voice when he yelled "Programs.....scorecards...." will forever be etched in my mind.

    Jeff the hot dog vendor at both stadiums. He always walked around liked he didnt want to be there and would yell..." Hot dogs......hot dogs......would somebody buy this sh*t so I can go home". It worked every time. He just couldnt return to that area of the stadium for the rest of the game.

    These are just a few that come to my mind right now.

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    There was a hot dog vendor at the Ballpark in Arlington in the 90s, at least, when I went to games more regularly there. He was Arlington-famous for his very, very loud, and nasal,"Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooot doooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogs!" They had him at a card show in the Arlington convention center once, signing programs or something, and he let out a Hot Dog. Everyone stopped in their tracks for about six seconds while it was going on and everyone regretted those six seconds perpetually.
    Looking for 2011 Topps Marquee Museum autographs, rare Frank Thomases, and any Grady Sizemores I don't have

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    Senior Member olerud363's Avatar
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    I remember going to a game at Fenway in the early 2000's, and there was a peanut vendor who would toss the bag to you from where he was. It became in-game entertainment in that section behind home plate when someone would signal to him and he'd toss the nuts. We'd all cheer if the person caught them, especially on those long lobs from several rows away, or boo if they dropped them.

    At Rogers Centre there was a beer vendor who had a signature call:


    Unfortunately he got fired for selling to a minor.

    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Freedom Card Board mobile app
    Collecting John Olerud cards and memorabilia.
    My hobby website: www.cardboardcorner.weebly.com

    Thanks to JBel4331 for the awesome custom signature and avatar!

  8. #8
    Member mrmopar's Avatar
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    Here is another obscure auto I picked up just in the nick of time, only a month or so before his death.

    https://1978theyearitallbegan.blogspo...ager-nobe.html

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    that's cool

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