Whitecaps Hold The Peanuts

June 1, 2004
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GRAND RAPIDS — In what has now become an annual event, the West Michigan Whitecaps will declare tomorrow’s game “Peanut Free Day” so people with peanut allergies can safely attend a baseball game.

“Last year, we received so much positive feedback that we knew we had to do it again this year,” said Matt Timon, food and beverage manager for the Class A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. “This year, 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 and 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 impetus for the peanut-free game last season, 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 3 million Americans suffer from a peanut allergy. For those people, being around a peanut or even a peanut shell can be life threatening.

“Making peanut free day an annual event was an easy decision,” Timon said. “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.”

Tomorrow’s game begins at 11 a.m. Timon and his staff also will 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.

Tickets still are available by calling the Whitecaps at (616) 784-4131.  

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