Saturday, 4 August 2007

Peanut Wars - Victory was in the Bag

OK, this isn't a WIL story, but I liked it anyway.

Seals 'Farm Out' Peanuts
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 15—The lowly peanut, almost as much a part of baseball as the ball and ball, has been banished from the home grounds of the San Francisco Seals.
Paul I. Fagan, president and main stockholder of the Coast League team, announced that because of the cleaning-up expense, the goobers no longer will be sold by the concessionaires.
Fagan, who admits he likes to munch peanuts himself, said in commenting on his ukase:
“They cost us too much money. They sell for 10 cents per bag, out of which we get a flat 25 per cent, or 2½ cents from the concessionaires for each bag sold. I estimate it costs us five cents for giving every man, woman and child who buys a bag the privilege of throwing them on our clean floor.”
He said it costs the management $20,000 a year in janitors' labor to clear up the shells.
• • •
OAKLAND — Clarence “Brick” Laws, co-owner of the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League, said today the peanut “will never disappear from the Oakland baseball park as long as I have breath in my body to prevent it.”
The Oaks are the traditional trans-bay rivals of the San Francisco Seals, whose ball park no longer will be sullied by empty goober shells.
“I want to tell every peanut, personally, that he is more than welcome in Oakland,” Laws said. “We may even open an orphanage for San Francisco peanuts.”

Goober Gobblers Gloat
Seals' Prexy Calls Off Battle Against Sale of Peanuts;
'As Much a Part of Baseball as Catcher's Mask'

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 16. (U.P.)—Multi-millionaire Paul Fagan waved the white flag from the window of his sanctum in Seals Stadium late today and admitted he was licked by a 10-cent bag of peanuts.
“I give up ... Mr. Peanut wins,” Fagan announced in his surrender statement. “It's the first time in my life I've been beaten, and it had to be by a peanut!”
The president of the San Francisco Pacific Coast League team said he had no idea what he was getting into when he announced yesterday that henceforth and forever-more the peanut would be banned from the Seals' ball park.
He said the reaction in the past 24 hours had convinced him that the peanut is just as much a part of the national pastime as the catcher's mask.
Since announcing his ban on peanuts in the ball park because the janitorial services cost more to sweep up the shells than the sale netted him, Fagan had been almost afraid to appear in public.
At the ball park, at his uptown office and at his Hillsborough home, he had been beseiged by telephone calls and telegrams.
The idea man who has introduced such innovations as plate glass backstops and hankerchiefs in ball players' pockets, finally admitted this his latest idea was not so hot.
“The peanut can come back and he'll be welcome,” he said. “I never realized how powerful a little fellow he is.”
“In 24 hours, I've had complaints from the Peanut Venders' Union, the Peanut Pickers Association, the Peanut Growers Association and peanut bag companies—all protesting that I was ruining their economy.
“Of course, there has been the good with the bad. For instance, an eye doctor called me up and said the ban was a good one, because the wind picks up little pieces of peanut shell and blows it into peoples' eyes, scratching the eyeballs.”
Meanwhile, the fans were nearly unanimous in condemning the action, local newspaper office switchboards were flooded with calls from protesting fans—and Seals Stadium telephones jangled, too.
Brick Laws, president of the Oakland Acorns, usually a staunch supporter of Fagan in his demands for outlawing the draft, big league status for the Pacific Coast League, and other important items, wouldn't string along on this one.
“As long as I can draw a breath of air,” said Laws, “there will be peanuts for sale in the Oakland ball park.”

No comments: