Chad the Beer Guy starts 15th season at Blue Jays' spring training
Florida beer salesman continues to endear himself to Jays faithful
"Beer is on special! Buy one...get one!"
"If you can't catch a ball, catch a buzz!"
"You can't drink all day if you don't get started now!"
Those are the marquee lines from Chad Stypmann, a 36-year-old beer salesman at the Toronto Blue Jays spring training park in Dunedin, Florida.
The lines are easy to remember for anyone who's been down to watch the Jays in Dunedin, because Stypmann repeats them all game in a booming, baritone voice.
This year, his 15th at Jays' spring training games, he's looking for more pitches to get more customers. He's even soliciting lines on his Instagram account.
It all began when Stypmann went to a game and saw first-hand the beer salesmen at the stadium. "These beer vendors have no pizzaz," he said to his companion. "More umph!"
He bet his friend that in one shift he could sell what two of the vendors could sell combined. He won the bet. "That's all she wrote!" said the beer guy.
He's now a voice actor, who sings Take Me Out To The Ball Game during the 7th inning stretch.
Spring training begins
As the Jays face off against the Philadelphia Phillies in Dunedin, Stypmann said the first game of the season is like a homecoming. "I see a lot of familiar faces," he said.
Even if he doesn't get a new line, he has his core fans in the Dunedin stands. He said Jays fans are regulars in south Florida, both because of the Jays popularity and because spring training falls on March break.
"I don't necessarily go down every aisle," he said. Instead, he focuses on relationships with people in the stands.
He now brings his family to the games too. He even proposed to his wife at the ballpark, while standing on top of the dugout.
He said Canadians will seek him out to get their game beers from him. Others will buy beer exclusively from him. He said he is friends with many Canadians on Facebook.
He said there is a sense of camaraderie and community in Dunedin. But even if fans are not regulars, they can find Chad the Beer Guy. The stadium only holds 5,000 people, so his loud, deep voice can carry through the stadium.
He's even taken some tips on how to appeal more to visiting Canadians. "One of the Canadians told me you have to say 'eh' to sell more beer," he said. So he started a call-and-response with Canadians by shouting "eh!" into the crowd, and fans from north of the U.S. border yell out "eh" back.
He'd like to visit Toronto sometime, and invited the Blue Jays organization to bring him up for a game. He thinks he would fit in well at the Rogers Centre.
That's because, as Stypmann can be heard saying through spring training, "baseball without beer is just baseball."