Tom Hanks returning to childhood job to ‘sell’ hot dogs at Oakland A’s games amid MLB season with no crowds

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Tom Hanks is returning to one of his first jobs, selling hot dogs and peanuts at Oakland A's games amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hanks, 64, is best known now as an Oscar-winning actor. However, when he was 14, he worked as a vendor walking up and down the stadium barking for anyone who wanted to purchase a mid-game snack. Now, the MLB season is forging ahead with teams placing cardboard cutouts in seats and using old audio to give the illusion of a crowd. To help make things feel more authentic, Hanks is lending his voice to "sell" hot dogs.

His hometown team, the Oakland A’s, announced that fans can not only hear the actor’s voice hawking hot dogs to imaginary patrons, but a cutout of him in a red-and-white striped vest – with what appears to be his high school yearbook photo – can be spotted by eagle-eyed fans who tune into the games on TV.

“Life is like a box of… popcorn,” the team tweeted last week. “East Bay's own @tomhanks is reprising one of his first roles as a Coliseum vendor! See if you can hear him mixed in with the crowd noise during tonight's #OpeningDay broadcast.”

The tweet came with a recording to Hanks’ voice shouting things like, "It's not a ballgame without a hot dog!" and "Hot dogs here! Colossal hot dogs!"

According to People, the audio was first featured during Oakland’s Opening Night on Friday, with the cutout positioned behind home plate.

Hanks previously spoke about his time working as a colosseum vendor during a 2019 appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

"I went down to sell peanuts and soda, and thinking it would be like in a TV show where you saw the young kid trying to make a thing," he explained.

"Well, first of all, I got robbed twice," he continued. "Note to self: Hide those wads of cash. Don't be walking with a wad of cash in your pocket. "

He also revealed that he had a tough time earning the respect of some of the career vendors.

Tom Hanks’ lent his voice to the Oakland A’s team amid their crowd-less season.
(Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

“I came across professional vendors, who did not like the fact kids were there,” he recalled. “I’m 14 years old and a guy, probably in his late 50s, is yelling [at me], ‘Hey, kid, that was my sale!’”

He said that the man then forced him to pay for a bag of peanuts to make up for the one that he sold to a child.


While Hanks is helping to give some semblance of normalcy to the MLB season amid the pandemic, it might all be for nothing. The Miami Marlins attempted to kickstart their season but it was recently placed on pause after more than a dozen players and staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

Hanks and his wife, singer and actress Rita Wilson, were among the first celebrities to reveal they had tested positive for the coronavirus in March.

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