‘Barry the Beer Guy’ a fixture for fans at Ogden ballpark
OGDEN, Utah (AP) — The refrain “Cold beer!” isn’t uncommon at a baseball park. But at Lindquist Field, fans who hear it with a certain timbre know it’s a little different.
Because it’s Barry the Beer Guy.
At Ogden Raptors games, that’s the nickname for Barry Carr, a 51-year-old insurance agent who resides in Roy.
In his third season as “the beer guy,” Carr — “I’m kind of, sort of famous, a little bit. I’m an incredibly minor celebrity,” he says — has become a happy fixture at Lindquist Field.
Each day for 38 home games in the summer, Carr arrives at the ballpark just before 6 p.m. He starts in the bowels of the stadium in a storage room where the beer for walking vendors is stored.
It’s packed in ice for a full day before Carr carefully plucks out the varieties he knows his regulars will want, expertly packs it in his beer bucket with fresh ice and heads to the top concourse.
“It’s the coldest beer in the park,” he said.
As soon as the playing of the national anthem is complete, he walks the stairs and gets to work.
“He remembers you, he knows what kind of beer you like to drink, so when he’s around in your area ... he has the right cold beer for you,” said Pam Sorensen, a Brigham City resident and Raptors regular for about 15 seasons. “Because they’re wet, it’s hard to open, but he always opens it for you.”
Last season, the Raptors staff even gave him a customized apron, complete with a glittery Oggie the Raptor logo and his marketing moniker.
The work apron of Barry Carr — aka “Barry the Beer Guy” — sits across seats at Lindquist Field, home of the Ogden Raptors.
But he’s not a “minor celebrity” because he carries beer and has a catchy nickname.
“He always has something funny to say. He’s a good man,” Sorensen said. “You won’t find anything bad to say about Barry.”
As homestands wear on, Carr says he feels the aches in his legs build when he wakes up for his day job each morning.
“Of course I feel it, but it’s one of those things that just doesn’t matter,” he said. “Doing the job is hard, but it’s fun. I can walk through the stadium and shake hands with people, give hugs, joke around with them and it’s just one of the most pleasurable things I get to do.”
The Ogden High alumnus says he’s been a Raptors fan from the beginning — “I’m an Ogden boy through and through” — but picked up the second job by answering an online ad when times were tough financially for he and his wife, Sharajoy.
He took the job for a little extra cash, mostly just making tips, but said it quickly became more about the community and having fun.
“I make sure to say ‘hi’ to just about everyone I can,” Carr said. “If they’re drinking beer or not, I don’t care. If they’re here, they’re part of this and I want them to feel welcome.”
He also quickly learned to find beauty in being at the ballpark.
In his first season — when his wife had just lost her job and money was tight — he said two men called him to the top of the stairs to ask him if he was OK.
After he responded in the affirmative, the strangers pressed again, making sure he knew the question was about money. He said he was getting by.
“And they each handed me $100. I cried.”
To those who know Carr, such an act of charity is apropos.
“I’ve never seen him mad or angry or sad or disappointed,” said Stacy Oliver, a West Haven resident and concessions manager for the Raptors. “If it’s a hot day, he just goes through it and does it. If it’s a crappy day, he doesn’t really care.
“He’s a good guy ... He’s happy, always happy.”
Information from: Standard-Examiner, http://www.standard.net