One of my favorite things about going to a Houston Astros baseball game was Arnie the Peanut Dude.
Arnie, a fixture with the Astros since the days of the Astrodome, passed away Tuesday at the age of 61.
Arnie’s claim to fame was throwing peanuts to the fans. By that I don’t mean tossing a bag from the end of the aisle. No, Arnie would hum them to you from the bottom of the section with unerring accuracy. In all the years I caught peanuts from Arnie, he never once missed. Maybe the Astros could have used him in the pen.
Arnie also worked with the Sunshine Kids charity, bringing one of the Kids along with him, making them an honorary “peanut dude” and donating part of his proceeds to the childrens’ charity.
I was lucky enough to talk to Arnie once about his peanut chucking. The Astros were playing the Indians and I was wearing my Indians jersey. Arnie asked if I was an Indians fan and I said I was. He told me about getting his start throwing peanuts at the old Cleveland Stadium as a kid. He’d been at it a while.
I don’t think the peanuts at Minute Maid will ever taste quite the same.
RIP Peanut Dude. You will be missed.