Rich Men, Pour Men

Yankee Stadium Beer Vendors’ Cups Runneth Over—So Tip ’Em Already

Always the promoter, Goldfarb pitched his product in Japanese, with a decidedly Bronx accent, when Hideki Irabu was with the Yanks. Grossman, however, is wearing down. He claims he's leaving to start his own advertising business: a fleet of 1950s ambulances fitted with billboards. Brewski, on the other hand, says he'll never quit. "It's like being a kid forever," he adds.

And then some vendors don't get to choose when to leave. One guy got the ax when he held a can opener to a customer's neck after tripping over the guy's laptop. "He lost his mind," notes Brewski.

The good ones, though, have been known to work into their eighties, spending their last days selling programs outside the gate. Fading with them are drippy cups. Soda and beer are now sold in plastic bottles. A roped-off VIP section offers waiter service, admitting only a select number of vendors. (Just mentioning the section gets vendors upset. "It's too crowded," grumbles Lazarus.)

But there's always a new generation working its way up. And some of them are doing it fast. Mark Samtur is only 23, but he's been working at the stadium since he was 15. Well before that, Samtur, who works as a graphics coordinator at the MSG Network, was privy to stadium stories. His father was a vendor at Yankee Stadium, and his mother worked in the commissary. Samtur, a diminutive Nicolas Cage look-alike with a goatee, takes pride in hustling, schmoozing with players (David Wells offered to buy him a round), and getting girls' phone numbers. "It's a good way to meet women," says Samtur, who aspires to be a sports broadcaster. "Once they have a couple, they act so friendly and they tip so well. It's definitely a turn-on."

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