49ers' Banjo Guy Loses His Banjo

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Banjo-playing 49ers superfan Stacy Samuels has lost his signature banjo.

    You've probably seen him if you've attended even one San Francisco 49ers or Oakland A's game since about 1985. Stacy Samuels, better known as "Super Niner" or  "Banjo Man," has roamed the stands of Bay Area sports events wearing a beanie with a tiny plastic set of propellers while incessantly plunking away at his banjo for more than 25 years.

    "I wish I had some of what he has," countless A's and 49ers fans have mused over the decades.

    But this holiday season, there's trouble in Banjo land. Samuels set down his signature banjo outside a cafe in Fairfax, Calif. and some Grinch swiped his priceless piece of Bay Area sports history.

    "It has a lot of sentimental value," Samuels told the San Jose Mercury News. "It's witnessed some exciting times in sports, including a couple of Super Bowls."

    "I miss it like an old friend," he said.

    The dude abides by a code of taking that same banjo to every 49ers and A's home game, and wandering the stands playing "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." But he set it down outside the Barefoot Cafe in Fairfax, and didn't notice when he drove off without it.

    Being the clear-minded and sober kind of guy that he is, Samuels was not aware that he had lost the banjo until the next day.

    "Each instrument has its own character, and this one had a special character to it," Samuels said. "It was a particularly good-sounding banjo. I played it at many significant football and baseball games. And it's held up to a lot of mistreatment."

    Samuels is asking that anyone with information on the whereabouts of his banjo contact him through his business, the Interstellar Beanie Company. He is offering a reward.

    So maybe you too can finally have some of what that guy has.

    Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who's sure the world would be a better place if there were more banjo-techno remixes.