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'The Hot Dog Lady,' Well-Known Vendor for Cubs, White Sox, Dead at 71

By DNAinfo Staff on February 19, 2014 7:45am  | Updated on February 19, 2014 9:34am

 Ho Pun Padzett sells hot dogs at U.S. Cellular Field last May.
Ho Pun Padzett sells hot dogs at U.S. Cellular Field last May.
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CHICAGO — Ho Pun Padzett, a "soft-spoken" woman who sold hot dogs and peanuts at Cubs and White Sox games for 15 years, died this week at 71.

Though little is known about the woman among her fellow vendors and those attending ballgames, she made an impression on many, even prompting the creation of a parody Twitter account that has been devoted to her since March 2012.

"The best part of Ho is she would sell hot dogs like crazy, but would never yell or advertise what she was selling. They would just sell," said Ted Waters of Elmhurst, who has had White Sox season tickets since 2006.

White Sox spokesman Marty Maloney confirmed Padzett had been a hot dog vendor at U.S. Cellular Field since June 1998. Maloney said Padzett was known for her generosity. 

"On more than one occasion, she would take her tips and buy all the kids in the outfield a hot dog," Maloney said via email. "And oftentimes she would buy Comiskey Cash [a currency specific to U.S. Cellular Field] and distribute that to young children in the outfield so they could buy concessions."

A spokeswoman for Levy Restaurants, the company in charge of concessions at both ball parks, confirmed she had been a peanut vendor at Wrigley Field since 1998.

Vendor Rus Nelson said he worked at games with Padzett at Wrigley and the Cell.

"She was very soft-spoken," Nelson said. "We don't know too much about her. She was a friend."

Padzett, who lived on the Near West Side, died of heart disease at University of Chicago Hospitals at 9:42 a.m. Monday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

Her death prompted several fans to share their memories on social media.

Many of the posts were accompanied by the #taptaptap hashtag, reminiscent of a sound that was associated with Padzett.

"All she would do would tap on the metal hot dog warmer letting you know she was around," Waters said.