I recently read that the Seattle Mariners for two games during the remainder of the 2008 season will ban the selling of peanuts in two upper-deck sections to accommodate the growing number of people, but mainly children that have severe allergies to even the smell of peanuts.
This decision is one of the best a ball-club could ever make.
I am one of those people. I'm 20-years old and I've been allergic to the smell of peanuts for at least 15 years. When I was first diagnosed with food allergies, it wasn't made clear how severely allergic I was to peanuts and several other foods. My parents knew consuming peanuts would send me into anaphylaxis shock which is basically a death sentence without immediate treatment.
My parents didn't know smelling them would do the same.
So one day in grade school my class made igloos out of peanut butter and marshmallows. Within less than a half hour I was minutes away from death.
A little more traffic out on the roads and you may never have gotten a chance to read this article.
Aside from the real life dangers peanuts present, the pain this allergy causes runs deep into my heart.
I cannot describe to you the pain I've felt growing up, being taunted by kids with a peanut butter sandwich at a lunch table, being labeled as "that" guy who cannot smell peanuts.
I cannot describe to you what it's like to watch well over 100 baseball games a year on
television and watch shows like baseball tonight every night, but not be able to
experience the real thing.
I cannot describe to you what it feels like when all of your best friends go to a
baseball game and come back and laugh about stories like how my best friend got hit in the back with a J.J. Hardy batting practice homer while eating a cheese-steak.
When I read the Seattle Mariners banned peanuts in two sections it almost brought me to tears because I know this will be a trend that will catch on.
For 20 years I've wanted to go see a baseball game, but couldn't. For 20 years I wanted to hear the crack of a Major League bat.
Now some day I might get to see Ryan Howard go opposite field or Cole Hamels shut the Braves out. Some day I might get to be a kid again in a big old ball-park.
I've been brought to tears while writing this because I know some eight-year old kid in Seattle is going to be able to at least enjoy a baseball game while he deals with all the pain a stupid allergy to a little bean will cause.
So Seattle, I thank you for what you have done to help a small portion of your fans. Hopefully your actions will help thousands of baseball fans across our country watch the sport we grow up on.