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Obituaries

Marc Rosenberg, Camden Yards’ ‘lemonade-shaking guy’ and local entertainer, dies

Marc Rosenberg, the “lemonade-shaking guy” whose manic energy and aerobic lemonade-selling routine at Camden Yards delighted park visitors and made him a viral hero in an age before cellphones, died Friday at an alternative medicine institute in Mexico of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The Owings Mills resident was 56.

“Even if you didn’t know his name, you knew the shaky lemonade guy,” said Pete Kerzel, managing editor at MASNsports.com.

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Mr. Kerzel said he first encountered Mr. Rosenberg at Camden Yards in the mid-1990s, the early years of the ballpark when seats regularly sold out.

“Watching Marc work the crowd is in some ways like watching kids at Santa Claus. When he got there and he got his shtick going, you couldn’t help but smile. It was such a warm and endearing thing,” Mr. Kerzel said.

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Mr. Rosenberg’s energy astonished anyone who encountered him. With lightning speed, he sprinted up and down the steps of the stadium selling drinks and replenishing supplies. If someone ordered a lemonade, he would mix the drinks together with a full-body shake and dance routine that could last up to a minute.

“He fed off the crowd just like the ballplayers do,” Mr. Kerzel said. “And like a good vendor, he knew when to come back.”

He was frequently invited to appear on local TV and showcased in magazines and news features.

While Mr. Rosenberg became part of the “fabric” of Camden Yards, he also worked at FedEx Field, M&T Bank Stadium and other local sports facilities. Mr. Kerzel said when he spotted Mr. Rosenberg outside Baltimore, he was greeted with “the biggest hug.”

Mr. Rosenberg last worked inside Camden Yards in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic shuttered the ballpark to visitors. Without him, “things are just a little less joyful today,” Mr. Kerzel said.

Mr. Rosenberg was born in Baltimore to David Rosenberg, a salesperson and representative for a women’s clothier, and Isabelle Rosenberg, who ran a summer camp for girls in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

He attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and, after graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park, moved to California hoping to break into the entertainment industry. He worked a behind-the-scenes job on “Candid Camera” and later moved to Martinique and then Cancun to work for Club Med.

After establishing his career in Baltimore as a Camden Yards vendor in 1996, he generated a local following as an entertainer. Often wearing outlandish costumes, including suspenders with oversized ties and shorts, he performed at bar and bat mitzvahs and enlivened holiday office parties and even conventions. He worked as an auctioneer and was a motivational speaker at area high schools, where he recounted the entry into his vendor career.

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The lemonade routine began as a temporary stint, according to a video of his speech to the students. One hot summer day, his body aching, he began shaking the lemonade theatrically to mix the ingredients up.

“I took my tray … and I slammed it down, and I took that lemonade, and said, ‘If you want it, you’re going to get it now!’ ” he said in the video. “And the reaction was, ‘Oh my gosh, what are you on?’ ”

His reply: “I’m on lemonade, damn it, buy one!”

Right then, hands in the section began to pop up. Everyone wanted a lemonade.

In his speech to students, Mr. Rosenberg said the owner of the Orioles at the time initially complained about the antics to Mr. Rosenberg’s manager — until finding out how his sales were. He was “off the charts” compared with anyone else in the stadium, Mr. Rosenberg said.

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“I was creating excitement, I was creating fun,” Mr. Rosenberg said. “At the end of the day, I want to put a smile on your face.”

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As “Shaky,” his enthusiasm for the Orioles wasn’t dampened by the coronavirus. Last year, Mr. Rosenberg was featured on a local news segment to mark an unconventional opening day at Camden Yards, his big personality making up for the lack of fans at the ballpark.

“It’s positivity, not negativity,” he shrieked into a microphone held by newscaster Rachel Aragon, occasionally blowing into a yellow duck whistle around his neck. “And all I know is that I’m fired up for Opening Day, Rachel, yeaaaaah!” Ever optimistic, he predicted good things for the team, that the “baby birds” would grow up to “big birds” and “run.”

“O’s fans are number 1, we love you,” he said, blowing a kiss to the camera. “Opening Day, we’ll see you at the yard soon.”

Mr. Rosenberg is survived by a younger brother, Bruce Rosenberg of Rockville, and several cousins.

There are no immediate plans for a service or celebration of life.


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