Episode 700: Peanuts And Cracker Jack : Planet Money It takes strategy and skill to sell snacks at a baseball game. Meet the hot dog vending legend of Fenway Park.
NPR logo Episode 700: Peanuts And Cracker Jack

Episode 700: Peanuts And Cracker Jack

Jose Magrass, hot dog selling machine. Nick Fountain/NPR hide caption

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Nick Fountain/NPR

Note: This episode originally ran in 2016.

There's not a lot of running in baseball. Mostly the players just stand around. But up in the stands, there is a very different game being played--one that demands hours of nonstop effort. The players in this game are vendors, the ballpark workers who run up and down stairs, carrying cases of water and bins of hot dogs above their heads. They are competing to sell as many snacks as possible, in as little time as possible.

In Boston's Fenway Park, the top seller is Jose Magrass. He is a legend. He's been known to sell 500 hot dogs in a single night--$2,750 worth. But slinging that many dogs in one night takes skill, shrewdness, and strategy.

On today's show: The secret world of ballpark vendors. It's a game of weather forecasting, ruthless efficiency, sore thighs, and swollen vocal chords.

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