…that person being stadium vendor Kenny Geidel, who passed away Monday at the age of 64, a day after working his final Pirates game at PNC Park. With a piercing cadence that made him an beloved if not indelible part of the city’s sporting scene, Geidel’s more than quarter century working Pittsburgh events is recalled by the Post-Gazette’s Dejan Kovacevic :
“When I was much younger, my oldest brother would take me to Three Rivers for Pirates games, and one of my first priorities was to find the ‘Coke here guy.’ It never took long,” said Justin Hunter, a West Virginia native who now lives in Asheville, N.C. “To me, hearing Mr. Geidel’s voice at a baseball game was as natural as hearing the crack of the bat.”
Mr. Geidel’s style was inimitable: He would move briskly through the aisles, whether pounding the metal steps of Three Rivers’ box seats or trudging up the steep concrete of the Civic Arena, and his glass-cracking cry — accompanied by a trademark bobbing of the head — would penetrate whichever section he was patrolling. Even in heavy rain, Mr. Geidel would continue working.
To different fans, Mr. Geidel had different nicknames, none of them official. For fans who go back to the Three Rivers era, he was the “Coke-here guy.” To hockey fans, he was “Cotton Candy Man.” To the PNC Park generation of baseball fans, he was “Lemonade Man.” Mr. Geidel’s popularity extended to the online world, where he had a following on Facebook and Twitter, and several YouTube videos had been created in his honor even before some of the tributes that popped up Tuesday.
The Pirates observed Mr. Geidel with a moment of silence before their game Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers. That was preceded by his photo being displayed on the scoreboard, with a recording of his lemonade cry.