Here's the most unusual promotion from the minors this season: Beer vendor Vince Rainey has been called up from the High Class A Florida State League by the Washington Nationals.
The 25-year-old Rainey has been a fixture at Jackie Robinson Ballpark for more than a decade, hawking his wares at Daytona Cubs games after first being hired by Buck Rogers as a 13-year-old. Rainey works Space Coast Stadium during Washington Nationals spring-training games, and it's there he caught the attention of Nats owner Mark Lerner, who invited Rainey to join the vending crew at Nationals Park in 2014. From the Daytona Beach News-Journal:
After more than a decade hawking such ballpark delights as frozen lemonade, cotton candy, peanuts and, most famously, ice-cold beer, in the minors, Vince had received his call up to the majors.
"I'm ecstatic," Vince said as he proudly held the note he carries in his wallet. "My entire life, I've been waiting for something to happen because everything I do – every beer that I sell – I put 100 percent into it. Every sale – peanuts, cotton candy, whatever."
Vince, who also tends bar at BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse on International Speedway Boulevard, said he will move to Washington, D.C., in November to start working for the Nationals. The Seabreeze High and UCF graduate (bachelor's degree in communications) said the Nats will train him to work in the marketing department, and during the season he'll also be a big-league vendor.
Lerner made the offer via hand-written letter; no impersonal phone call. Nice.
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