As the classic “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” song goes, many baseball fans show up to the stadium looking to buy some peanuts and Cracker Jack. And at Dodger Stadium, one person in particular makes all the peanut pitching happen, all while making it a bit more entertaining than how most would conventionally buy peanuts.
In a recent interview with CBS Los Angeles, Roger Owens shares his story about how he became known as the “Peanut Man” at Dodger Stadium.
What he started back in 1958 to help simply make money for family groceries, has now developed into a legendary tradition years later.
After the Dodgers transitioned from playing at the Coliseum to the Chavez Ravine, the Peanut Man has not missed a home game since. He’s seen decades of changes to the team, the stadium, and the generations of fans.
“My job at Dodger Stadium just means the world to me and the fans and for a long time. I didn’t really how much they appreciate and look forward to me being there. That’s why I hate to miss even one game. If I have a sore back, no doctor can prescribe the medication that I get at Dodger Stadium. I’m going to my fourth and fifth generation of people and people will come up and bring their grandchildren and say ‘you used to pitch peanuts to me when I was this young.’”
After six decades, Owens shared some of his favorite moments: witnessing Sandy Kofax’s perfect game back in 1965, Orel Hershiser’s scoreless inning streak in 1988, and Fernando Valenzuela’s only no-hitter in 1990.
Not only has he been able to experience history, he’s also been able to watch modern-day greatness as well, including longtime LA legend Clayton Kershaw.
Like the list of talented players to have worn a Dodgers jersey, Owens is recognized and loved amongst Dodger fans himself. His talents took him to the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson where he showed the crowd the pitching techniques he uses when throwing peanuts.
This past season, Owens’ peanut flinging tradition was put to a stop for safety concerns. Though he now is asked to just hand out the peanuts, his joy and passion does not waver.
“Someone said if you love your job, you’ll never have to work another day in your life. That’s how I feel about every game I work at Dodger Stadium.”
His commitment to the Dodger franchise is rooted beyond simply being known for his fun behind-the-back and between-the-legs tosses.
Now recovered from back surgery, Owens returns for the 2023 season at the Chavez Ravine doing what he loves most for the 65th year.
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