Tony Perinacci and Denny Peltola are decked out in Cleveland gear on crisp October afternoon, waiting for the engines of the Fatty Wagon to warm up.
"I'm one of the biggest Cleveland fans you'll ever meet, but I haven't been to a game in years!" says Tony with a grin. "But I gotta tell you...I love this job". Denny nods in agreement. It's game day in Cleveland, and Tony and Denny are gearing up for a long night of shuttling baseball fans down to Game 1 of the World Series.
With so many people flooding downtown to watch the Indians and Cavs, finding parking can be a stressful (and expensive) experience. Enter the Fatty Wagon. With the purchase of one item at the brewpub or gift shop, home and visiting fans can ride our shuttle roundtrip from the GLBC brewpub to Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena for only $1 with a purchase of a gift shop or brewpub item. Beloved by many, the Fatty has become known as the perfect way to get downtown safely and responsibly.
I met up with Tony and Denny to learn more about the Fatty Wagon and hear of their favorite Cleveland sports memories.
How long have you been driving the Fatty Wagon?
DENNY: We both alternate who drives each night, but I've been driving for 4 ½ years now.
TONY: And I’ve been doing it for 6 ½ years!
How does the Fatty Wagon work?
DENNY: The Fatty Wagon will take fans from the Great Lakes brewpub down to the stadium for all home Indians and Cavs games. Occasionally we’ll run the Fatty for special events, like St. Patrick’s Day.
TONY: People always say the same thing about the Fatty…it’s a great experience.
DENNY: Right, and those that are just learning about the Fatty Wagon are really happy to know we are around to get them down safely.
How long does the Fatty run?
DENNY: During most games, the Fatty starts running an hour before the start of the game, but we’ve been starting early for the World Series. We’re happy to take the fans down whenever they want to get to the stadium. Most fans want to get there before the first pitch or tip-off, but we’ll run people down during the 3rd, 4th, 5th inning if they’d rather enjoy a drink or two at the brewpub bar before heading down.
TONY: And it’s a round trip ticket, so if you want to leave the game early, you just call the brewpub and we’ll come get you. If the game goes into extra innings, we will wait until the game is over.
Can anyone ride the Fatty?
TONY: Yes, just ask a server, bartender, or guest shop attendant about getting a ticket and they’ll be able to help.
Even fans from the visiting team?
TONY: I’ll absolutely give visiting fans a ride and I’ll even be polite and smiley while doing it!
DENNY: They may get some good-natured jeering from the home team fans, but we’ll always welcome them aboard the Fatty.
TONY: We’re glad they’re here. I’m glad they’re visiting Cleveland to see what a great city it is. I may not wish for their teams to win, but I’m glad they’re here!
Since the Indians are back in the World Series, what are some of your favorite Tribe memories?
TONY: 1995 Indians was a lot of fun…so was 1997, of course. But this year has been especially so. I’m excited! I’m scared! I want it so bad!
DENNY: Same thing for me. I used to love to go down to the old stadium. Hardly anyone would go to the game or follow the team back then, but those that did were loyal fans. It feels like it’s finally paying off.
TONY: When I was a kid and sat in the bleachers at the old stadium, we’d have a whole section to ourselves!
Predictions for the World Series?
TONY: I’m a lifelong Cleveland Indians fan, and I’ll tell you right now, they’re having a great season. I just want them to keep going! If they win, it’d make my whole year!
Any last thoughts?
TONY: Go Tribe! Go Cavs!
DENNY: And go Cleveland!
To learn more about special World Series hours for the Fatty Wagon, click here!