Humans of Wrigleyville: The peanut vendors

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Making your way toward Wrigley Field, you're bound to find someone selling crunchy, salty peanuts. The chant "peanuts" echoes around the ball park as many fans pick up their game day essential snack.

"You gotta eat peanuts at a baseball game, that's baseball rule," declared Cubs fan Todd Lindsay before a recent matchup with the Brewers.

If you're not convinced, an energetic sales pitch might change your mind.

"Peanuts, pistachio, sunflower seeds here," called out Marcus Lyons from his soapbox just south of the Wrigley marquee.

"When I'm up high, when i speak my words can float to people's ears," he explained.

He's been doing this over a quarter century. But Larry Stevens, based farther north on Clark Street, has him beat.

"We got the big bags. Peanuts," he hollered, before sharing that he's been hawking peanuts outside the ballpark 37 years. Along the way, Stevens said he figured out what makes peanuts popular.

"With the beer... oh, they love it," he said.

He's also had a few celebrity clients along the way.
"Ernie banks, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen...they used to come out of gate three and a half and get my peanuts," he added.

For Stevens, it's a family affair. His older brother Ralph Stevens retired after the 2016 World Series run and nephew Ralph Stevens, Jr., has been in the business for years too. He sets up shop near the bleachers each game three hours before first pitch.

"Cheaper right here on the outside, buddy," Stevens, Jr., called to passersby.

This melody echoes down the street, drawing repeat customers and new ones alike. Despite the hoarse throat, he still smiles.

"They're just wonderful people. That's why they call it the friendly confines."

Supported by a group of unofficial community ambassadors whose voices are at the heart of the game day symphony.

Who are your favorite #HumansOfWrigleyville?

We want to know who reminds you of Wrigleyville! Email or tweet @JesseKirschABC7 to share the stories of people who make the neighborhood special.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.