Is there any role Tom Hanks can’t play?
Since fans won’t be allowed to attend MLB games this season, the Oscar winner is taking on the part of ballpark hot dog vendor.
A recording of Hanks hawking ballpark grub and other knickknacks will be playing during Oakland A’s home games to make it sound as if people are in the stands, the team revealed.
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“Hot dogs here! Colossal hot dogs!” the “A League of Their Own” star belts out above crowd chatter that will be piped into the park. “Not a ballgame without a hot dog! Who wants a hot dog?”
The Oakland native’s familiar voice will also be heard peddling programs, scorecards, peanuts and soda.
The league will not let fans in stadiums this year due to the coronavirus — which Hanks and wife Rita Wilson contracted in March — so teams have taken some creative measure to replicate the big-league experience.
Several teams will fill seats with cardboard cutouts of fans and pipe in crowd noise. Fox Sports plans to fill stadiums with virtual fans during its broadcasts.
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Hanks, 64, probably didn’t have to do much research for the role, since he sold peanuts at A’s games growing up.
“I was 14 years old and I went down to sell peanuts and soda, and thinking that it would be kind of like from a TV show where everybody helps out the young kid trying to make a thing,” he told Jimmy Kimmel in 2019.
Instead, he recalled, he irked older vendors who didn’t like having to compete with a kid for sales and got robbed twice.
MLB opened its 2020 season Thursday night.
The defending World Series champion Washington Nationals fell to the New York Yankees, 4-1, in a rain-shortened battle that got some celebrity help when Dr. Anthony Fauci threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The Los Angeles Dodgers topped the San Francisco Giants, 8-1, in the other game.
Fourteen games are scheduled for Friday, including the A’s hosting the Los Angeles Angels.