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May 27, 2006

Take me out to the ballgame - peanut free

The old, familiar song about baseball goes "... buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks...," but on Wednesday, June 1st, you won't be able to find either of those food items at Fifth Third Ballpark. That day, the Whitecaps will be hosting their fourth annual Peanut Free Baseball Game to give peanut allergic children the opportunity to experience the great American pastime.

"We held our first peanut free baseball game in 2003 after a local mother inquired about the possibility of us not selling peanuts for one day so her son could come to the game," said Whitecaps director of food and beverage Matt Timon. "We received so much positive feedback that first year that we decided to make it an annual event. We won't sell peanuts or nuts of any kind anywhere in the ballpark. We'll also be giving the whole ballpark a thorough cleaning the night before to try to take care of any peanut residue. While we won't sell or cook peanuts that day, the Whitecaps can't guarantee that there won't be peanut residue in the park or that other fans won't sneak peanuts into the ballpark."

While one child was the initial impetus for the peanut free game in 2003, the Whitecaps found that dozens of peanut allergic children took advantage of the opportunity. According to a recent study by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, more than three million Americans suffer from a peanut allergy. For those people, being around a peanut or even a peanut shell can be life threatening.

"This is an important day for us," said Timon. "Our vendors who sell peanuts and other peanut products have been incredibly supportive and they're just as excited as we are to be able to offer this opportunity to people who would not normally be able to come to the ballpark."

During the Thursday, June 1st School Day Game, peanuts will not be available at any concession area, including the suite level. Timon and his staff will also pull roasted almonds, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Kit Kat Bars, nutty cones, sunflower seeds and nut topping for the soft serve ice cream from the menu.

source: oursportscentral.com

Posted by David at May 27, 2006 11:34 AM


What a great idea! I live in a baseball town (St. Louis, MO) and I have often thought how sad it will be for my son (who is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts) to have to stay away from the ballpark. Maybe the Cardinals will consider a similar arrangement!

Posted by: Ria at May 27, 2006 1:24 PM