A Los Angeles Dodgers peanut vendor known for pitching peanuts to fans at games is barred from making his iconic throws this season.
Roger Owens, who began pitching peanuts at Dodger Stadium in 1962, told the Los Angeles Times that the stadium’s concessions company Levy Restaurants cited fan safety as a reason for the ban.
Owens, whose skills once earned him an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” said he didn’t want to “pick a fight” with the company but is puzzled by the decision, according to the newspaper.
“They have time to see it coming,” Owens told the LA Times.
“It’s not some bullet that goes straight through. I’m always wanting to make sure that whoever I am throwing to will catch the bag of peanuts. I want them to catch it, because they feel a sense of accomplishment.”
Roger Owens can toss a bag of peanuts behind his back.
Or between his legs.
He's been doing it at Dodger Stadium for 60 years.
But not anymore.
The @Dodgers celebrity peanut vender now simply hands over the product.@BillShaikin tried to find out why.https://t.co/RKF0XWHe8L
— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) July 1, 2022
Owens began his peanut pitching “out of necessity” when a fan yelled for him to toss a bag roughly 60 years ago, according to a “SportsCenter” profile in 2005.
“I went behind the back, it wrapped around all these people in the aisle and came right into his hand and everybody started clapping,” Owens told “SportsCenter.”
“And I was kind of surprised so I went home and started practicing to an invisible man on the couch.”
HuffPost has reached out to Levy spokesman Kevin Memolo with questions regarding the reason for the ban.
Peanut pitching bans are no stranger to the stadium as bans occurred in both 1976 and 1985, the LA Times reported.
The stadium, however, later took those bans away.
Owens told the newspaper he is “heartbroken” over the latest ban.
“Pitching peanuts to the fans brings a lot of joy and happiness,” Owens said.
“This joy and happiness hasn’t been there.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.