In A League of Their Own, Tom Hanks gave us the iconic line, “There’s no crying in baseball!” Well now there are no fans either, which means teams like the Oakland Athletics (who, let’s be honest, weren’t exactly playing to a full house anyway) are having to pump in crowd noise to make their vacant stadiums sound less hollow. So why not have some fun with it?
You may not have known (I certainly didn’t) that Hanks, an Oakland native, at one time—we’re talking long before he achieved fame starring in blockbusters like Philadelphia and Forrest Gump—worked as a stadium vendor at the Oakland Coliseum, distributing peanuts and other snacks at A’s games. The two-time Academy Award winner gave that gig up in the 1970s (probably the right call given his success in Hollywood), but the Athletics, harkening back to a simpler time when Catfish Hunter and Reggie Jackson were Coliseum staples, have decided to relive Hanks’ glory years. Per ESPN, if you listen closely to A’s home games this year, you may be able to make out Hanks exclaiming pre-recorded phrases like, “Peanuts! Two-bagger, bag o’ peanuts!” and “Who wants a hot dog?”
Though maybe not on par with Hanks’ more memorable voice-acting roles including his turn as Woody in Pixar’s critically-acclaimed Toy Story franchise, players and fans alike will surely appreciate his presence at the park this year. And if you don’t like the idea of Hanks imploring non-existent fans to buy peanuts and dogs at A’s games this season, well you can just go to Greenbow, ALABAMA!