Peanuts & Baseball: A Shared History

Peanuts & Baseball: A Shared History

Peanuts began their harmonious relationship with baseball in the late 1800s, and their salty and satisfying crunch continues to delight ballpark visitors. But the connection between these two fan favorites almost didn’t happen. Thanks to a clever concessionaire and a peanut company willing to get creative, a unique partnership laid the foundation for a baseball tradition that endures to this day. Read on and unshell the fascinating history of peanuts and baseball, a story as timeless as America's pastime itself.

How Peanuts and Baseball Began

In 1895, baseball was just blossoming, and ballpark concessionaire Harry Stevens was on the lookout for new ways to boost sales. A local peanut company, eager to advertise their product on the back of baseball scorecards, offered Stevens a proposition: Instead of a traditional cash exchange, they would pay in peanuts! Recognizing a golden opportunity, Stevens agreed and began selling these in-shell peanuts to fans during the baseball games. Needless to say, the salty snacks were a hit, and the rest is baseball (and peanut) history.

Why Baseball Peanuts Are Still Popular

Peanuts became a home run hit at the ballpark for a number of reasons. First, their salty goodness perfectly complements classic ballpark fare, including hot dogs, popcorn, and cold beer. Plus, peanuts are a nutritional powerhouse, packing enough protein and fiber to keep a baseball fan fueled for nine innings—ten, if it's a nail-biter.

But there might be a more subconscious reason for the peanut’s enduring popularity. As Harry Stevens' grandson theorizes, baseball's slow-building tension creates a need for nervous energy release. In-shell peanuts are a delicious and convenient distraction that keeps your hands occupied, and they offer a satisfying crunch that pairs just right with the crack of the bat. Peanuts are simply an ideal snack for a baseball game.

The Peanut Song & The Peanut Vendor

The catchy tune “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was penned in 1908 and cemented the peanut's place in baseball lore. With the iconic lyric “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks,” the song became a seventh-inning stretch tradition, reminding fans to fuel up with a pack of in-shells for the final push in the game.

But the peanut's connection to baseball goes back even farther. Believe it or not, the peanut vendor's signature call, a rousing “Peanuts! Get your peanuts here!” originated with street corner vendors during the Civil War era. While the phrase wasn't born at the ballpark, it transitioned perfectly into stadiums, becoming a beloved part of the baseball experience for generations of fans.

Enjoy Hampton Farms Peanuts at MLB Games

Cracking open a bag of peanuts is a time-honored tradition at the ballpark, and Hampton Farms is proud to be the number one supplier of in-shell peanuts to Major League Baseball stadiums across the country! With over 3.7 million bags enjoyed by fans every year, it's safe to say we've got a winning formula. Whether you're cheering on the Angels, Dodgers, Mets, Royals, or another favorite MLB team, you can experience the iconic taste of peanuts—in-shell, roasted, salted, unsalted, or even boiled—and continue this delicious tradition at your next baseball game.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.