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Nut-Free Night at the Ballpark

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Imagine being a kid again, obsessed with America's favorite pastime. When your chance comes to go to a ball game, you're not allowed. Doctors orders. You've got an extreme allergy to peanuts.
No peanuts

It sounds absurd, but this scenario occurs more often than you would think. About 1% of the population is allergic to peanuts, causing 10 deaths per year in the U.S. alone. Unfortunately for the affected, peanuts are the staple food of baseball. Hot dogs and beer have their place, but one cannot got to a baseball game without walking all over peanut shells and coming into contact with peanut dust in the air. It's an absolute tragedy for that 1% of America's youth.

Luckily, times are changing. Approximately half of MLB teams are now hosting at least one nut-controlled night per year. At such games, there is an isolated section of seats specifically for the nut-allergic. The seats are thoroughly cleaned, peanut sales and consumption are forbidden in the general area, warning signs are posted, and a medical staff is posted nearby.

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Rochester's Silver Stadium. The triangular grassy knoll is always nut-free.

Teams offering peanut-free nights include the Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres, and New York Mets, amongst others. However, it's the minor league Rochester Red Wings in upstate New York who are setting the precedent. Their stadium includes a grassy patch on the third baseline that peanut-free for every game. They also feature a concession stand that offers snacks without common allergens such as nuts, dairy, and wheat.

If you know someone with peanut allergies, spread the good word, and take them out to the ballgame!


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