SOUTH BEND - Standing in Section 106, just behind the home dugout, Anthony Allen arches his back, takes a deep breath and launches into his familiar sales pitch.
"Get your beer here! Jumbo beer! Peaaaaanuuuuts and ..."
"Cra-cker Jacks!" a couple dozen Silver Hawks fans shout.
"That's right, baby!" Allen shouts back, flashing his signature smile and pounding three times on the side of his vendor tray, thwap, thwap, thwap.
A native of Chicago, Allen, aka "Ton-e the Beer Man," has been hawking food and beverages at the Cove for three seasons now, since 2009. (He missed the 2012 season).
During that time, his energy and enthusiasm for the job has netted him a devoted fan base, both inside and outside the stadium.
"I was at the 4-H Fair with my kids and I heard my sales pitch," Allen says. "They say, 'That's right, baby!' Or, 'That's the peanut guy!' Or, 'That's Ton-e!' "
Allen, 44, cut his teeth in the big leagues, working the stands at Wrigley Field, Comiskey Park, Soldier Field and old Chicago Stadium in Chicago, he says, and at the Metrodome and Target Center in Minneapolis.
"All the experiences I went through (in the pros), I try to bring here, bring the major league to minor league," he says.
"They asked could I cashier, and I tried cashiering," he says.
"Then I went from cashiering to the beer court, and I made so much raucous in the concourse they said, 'Hey, can you vend?' And I said, 'Yes, I can.' And so we did it as a test run for a couple of days and, four years later ..."
He says he loves interacting with fans and players, even Swoop, the team mascot, "because I figure if I can get them riled up, get the team riled up and everything, look where we end up: first place!"
What's more, he says he finds that the more vocal and animated he is, the looser people's wallets become.
"After I do my sales pitch, I mean, they be so amazed that all of that is coming at them, they be like, 'Oh, yeah, you deserve a tip. And oh, by the way, give me a peanut.'"
It's all about serving the customer, he says.
And it's not an act, he says.
He adds, "As long as I'm around people and I can make them happy and crack jokes, they'll have a wonderful time and want to come back, and I'll stay here."
And that's right where the Silver Hawks want him.
"The crowd loves him," says Joe Hart, the team's general manager. "He loves doing it, and the crowd loves him."
That's right, baby.