Mariners to pay tribute to 'The Peanut Man'

Mariners to pay tribute to 'The Peanut Man'

Mariners to pay tribute to 'The Peanut Man'
SEATTLE -- Without the lovable Rick Kaminski tossing peanuts up and down the aisles with laser precision, Safeco Field will undoubtedly feel a bit different on Friday night against the Rays.

So to honor Kaminski, the vendor better known as "The Peanut Man" who passed away Wednesday at the age of 67, the Mariners and Safeco Field concessions provider Centerplate have announced a series of tributes to celebrate a man who has been a fixture at the ballpark since the team's inception in 1977.

There will be a moment of silence for Kaminski at 6:35 p.m. PT prior to the national anthem at Friday's game. There is also a pregame Seattle Supersonics ceremony that will take place at 6:40 p.m., so fans are encouraged to arrive early.

After the moment of silence, a ceremonial toss of peanut bags into the stands by Kaminski's fellow vendors -- many of whom he mentored -- will take place. The Safeco Field vendors will also wear a black peanut-shaped patch with "Rick" stitched in white on their sleeves for the rest of the season.

It doesn't stop there. There will be a special recognition of "The Peanut Man" on the video board at the end of the first inning, and Kaminski's name will also be in the dirt behind second base.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of peanuts sold at Safeco Field this weekend against Tampa Bay will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of King County. Fans can also donate with a $1-a-toss charity peanut-bag toss on the main concourse under the left-field bleachers, with proceeds going to the Boys & Girls Club. The Mariners will also make a donation through the team's nonprofit foundation, Mariners Care.

Finally, an exhibit of memorabilia from Kaminski's life and career will be displayed at the Baseball Museum of the Pacific Northwest and the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame at Safeco Field for the rest of the season.

Kaminski became famous throughout Seattle because of the way he mastered the art of peanut-bag tossing, whether it was behind his back, over the shoulder or a fastball right into your hands.

"He knew exactly how to line drive it into someone or how to lob it and have it drop into their lap," said his partner, Candi Mindt-Keener. "He knew exactly how to make it work."

And it wasn't just Kaminski's throwing abilities that made him a fan favorite. The Seattle native always wore a smile, was engaged with the fans and simply seemed to embrace his job every single day.

"He found his love," Mindt-Keener said. "He loved going to work each and every day and going down in the stands before the game and seeing all the season-ticket holders and chatting with each one of them. He knew them all by name, and they all knew him. He was their biggest fan."

Kaminski was in the printing business when he applied for a part-time position at the Kingdome in 1977, Seattle's first season in the Major Leagues. He quickly became attached to the job, and soon enough, he dropped his law-school ambitions to become one of the most recognizable faces within the Mariners organization for more than 33 years.

Taylor Soper is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.