UPDATE: The people have voted and MLB's top vendor is Arizona's Derrick 'Lemonade Guy' Moore
Vote now: Who will be the champion #MLBTopVendor?
It takes hundreds of players, dozens of coaches, scores of broadcasters and millions of fans to make each and every MLB season special.
But even with all those people doing their best to contribute, there'd still be no dugout ice cream, no peanuts for Anthony Rizzo to bogart and no gluttonous hot dog monstrosities without the hard work of the food and beverage vendors at MLB stadiums.
In an effort to give these folks the recognition they deserve, we asked you to vote for the #TopMLBVendor. We began with eight noble contestants from across the country, each highly skilled in the art of the concession sale, but only one could wear the Top Vendor crown. Over two days, you told us that the cream of the crop were the D-backs' Lemonade Guy and the Pirates' Mustache Man. It was time for the final showdown. Your candidates:
Derrick Moore has been hawking concessions at various stadiums for more than 30 years. He tries to think of catchy sayings for all the products he sells because he knows it makes him unique and increases sales.
The only thing more electric than that blue drink he's shilling is his now-iconic pitch: "LEMONADE, LEMONADE LIKE GRANDMA MADE!"
Moore thought of his famous line when he first started selling the stuff at Chase Field and it reminded him of the lemonade his grandmother made for him when he was a child.
If we're talking about the best vendors in Major League Baseball, we must-ache you whether you've heard the good word about Rick Szeflinski, the beloved peanuts guy in PNC Park's Lexus Club seats.
Szeflinski is a Maryland native who came to Pittsburgh because he always wanted to work for the Pirates. For the past few years, he hasn't just been livin' the dream ... he's been doing it in style.
Bucco fans can't miss him because he's the only vendor who dresses up in retro Pirates uniforms and rocks a Rollie Fingers mustache. He can't miss Bucco fans because he's got incredible aim when doling out those bags of peanuts and Cracker Jacks.
Let the campaigning begin
In a battle between two eminently worthy vendors, election analysts predicted a tight race down to the wire. Voting kicked off on Friday afternoon, with Lemonade Guy riding strong social media presence (and an impressive set of pipes) to an early lead:
But lo, like a cannonball coming across the bow, Pirates play-by-play man Greg Brown delivered a message: The title of Top Vendor would not be won so easily:
This is a marathon, not a sprint, and as games began on Friday night, the one they call the Mustache Man mounted a comeback.
With all of Bucs Nation behind him, Mustache Man narrowed the gap, and things were simply too close to call as the midnight deadline loomed. With things getting desperate, both sides brought out the big guns to help get out the vote:
It was a hard-fought race featuring two deserving winners. But as 12:00 neared, one candidate was able to make a late push and separate himself. With almost 40,000 total votes tallied, your winner is:
Congratulations, Derrick, you're MLB's Top Vendor. We'll let you have the final word: