9/1/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

Wow. That’s all I can say. I completely lost track of time. It was a 6:05 game with the gates opening at 4. I wanted to be there at 3, do that would mean leaving at 2.

Around 2:40, I honestly thought it was 1:40. I told my dad that I wanted I catch the 2:20 BART train to get my mom and I to the Coliseum around 3.

My dad told me it was almost 3 and I will be completely honest with you, I flipped out. The gates were going to open in just over and hour and I was still at home.

We jumped in the car and just missed the 3:00 train by about 4 minutes.

The train left around 3:20 and we arrived at the Coliseum around 3:50.

This was not going to be a good day.

I almost considered turning around multiple times, but I knew that I needed to just deal with it and go with the flow.

I ran from the train to the BART ramp and down to check gate B. It wasn’t open, so I ran up to gate MM and jumped in line there.

15 people? And it was 10 minutes until the gates opened? Hell. Yes. My mom showed up a minute later, and quickly purchased 2 bleacher seats.

She joined me in line, along with the 149 guys. I had a better feeling about this game!

When we got inside, I ran straight for the RF bleachers. I had to run through the concourse and down 3 flights of stairs, but I got there fairly quickly.

I set my stuff down in the 1st row of section 148. I pulled out my glove and saw that the A’s were taking BP.

The only ball that came close to me during A’s BP was hit 3 rows behind me and I should have had it. It was hit DIRECTLY at me, and I figured it would be right behind me. It bounced 3 rows behind me and I reached my glove to try and get it when it bounced back, but It just cleared my glove and a guy with a baby under his arm barehanded it.

The A’s portion of BP ended 5 minutes later.

I took off my A’s jersey, and headed over to where the Red Sox were playing catch.

2 players that stood out to me were Andrew Bailey and Craig Breslow, both former Athletics.

The Sox started hitting 5 minutes after I got to the RF line.

There was one ball that I had my eye on

I knew for sure it was a Fenway Park 100th anniversary commemorative ball, and I really was hoping to snag one, but when a Red Sox coach went to grab it, and when I called out for it, he ignored me.

When Andrew Bailey and Craig Breslow were done throwing, I asked Andrew Bailey for my first ball of the day.

Not commemorative. But I was still positive. I still had seen a lot of Fenway Park balls being used

The Sox were hitting ball all over the field that were not being fielded. If I had a retrieval device, I would have had at least 10 balls. But I didn’t, so I didn’t.

Then, I saw another commemorative ball in the outfield

After I got the ball from Bailey, I crouched down to take off my A’s hat and put on my Red Sox hat.

There was a guy who yelled at me for doing it, and I just ignored him.

A few minutes later, I noticed Craig Breslow coming over to pick up a ball on the warning track. I called put to him and he tossed me the ball.

I had seen him turn the ball over in his hand before tossing it to me. At first, I thought nothing of it, assuming he was making sure it wasn’t commemorative. I went to put it in my backpack, before checking the ball to see if it had the Fenway Park logo.

YES! My day was complete! I snagged a Fenway Park ball.

Like, literally, I could go home now if I wanted to. I wanted to snag just one commemorative ball, and from what I had heard, they didn’t have them in the bullpen, so I knew I would have to get a ball that had been hit.

So, do you remember the guy who had yelled at me earlier? When I called out for the ball, he yelled “NO! THAT GUY ALREADY HAS ONE!” Like before, I just ignored him. I showed him the logo, so that he knew why I wanted to try to get a ball. He seemed really pissed at me.

I tried to stay away from him, because I seemed to be getting on his nerves.

Batting practice ended just before 5, close to an hour after after the gates had opened.

I was somewhat disappointed with 2 balls, and there was one more ball I came relatively close to.

I was close to the dugout, because I knew BP would be over soon, and there was a ball hit to my right. I knew I would get it, so I ran through the rows, and it bounced softly in the section to my right. I ran to grab it, but so did that other guy.

He got his glove on the *Commemorative* ball, and at the same time my hand landed on his glove. He yelled at me to get my hands off him and that the ball was for him.

I started to walk away, but I stopped when I heard him yelling profanities at me. I just went to go tell the ushers, when he told me that he never wanted to see me chasing balls again. Apparently, I was a grown man who was stealing balls from little kids.

Huh? I was more confused than I had been in a long time. 1) I’m 14. 2) The ball was hit, not thrown. 3) If I’m a “Grown Man” and not allowed to catch balls, then why do you have 5?

It turns out that he had been catching balls for his kids, because they didn’t bring their gloves, and I’m fine with him trying to catch balls, but I wish he had been a little more mellow or something like that.

I guess I don’t have the right to try to get balls from myself? I was getting more and more confused.

Over the course of BP, he had gotten 5 balls for his kids. BTW, for future reference, all three of them were decked out from head to toe in Giants gear.

I explained to the guy that I write a blog, where I talk about my adventures at stadiums, and attempting to snag balls. I gave him my contact card, with my blog’s address on it, and walked away. I did not want to deal with him any more.

I don’t need to get into any situations like this.

I headed over to the Red Sox dugout, hoping to get a ball from someone.

I wasn’t able to get anything, so I headed over to the A’s bullpen, where I saw a few ball lying around.

I figured my best option would be to ask the ball boy for a ball. I got there, and when I did, he headed into the stands to talk to someone. She had an A’s jersey on that had a 1 on the back and said BATBOY KEVIN. I would assume that it was his girlfriend.

When he went back onto the field, I asked him for the ball, but he had already promised it to someone else.

At this point in the evening, it was 5:20, so I headed back to the bleachers, so that my mom could do out and get herself something to eat.

Soon enough, players came out onto the field to start warming up.

I would have gone over to the Red Sox bullpen, but the ushers never let me stay there longer than 3 minutes.

There was a special promotion going on for this game, called Weekend at Bernie’s. I hope you all know the back-story behind the promotion…

No? Ok. I would hope you know about the whole Bernie-ing thing, so I won’t go over that, comment down below if you would like me to explain it, and I shall add it in.

In 1989, a movie came out called Weekend at Bernie’s, staring Terry Kiser as Bernie. The Bernie became popular in Oakland, and not only did Brandon Inge put Moving like Bernie as his walk-up song, but so Coco Crisp now uses the song Bernie Lean as his walkup song.

So I hope this gives you a sense of the promotion. The first 2,000 fans to enter the stadium were given these “Bernie Masks”

And Terry Kiser threw out the first pitch. And of course, he did some dancing on the mound.

Once he had thrown the pitch, he jumped into the arms of Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick, as Brandon Inge watched on.

Time to play ball!

Josh Reddick took his place in right field

And Coco took his spot in center

In the top of the 1st, Coco Crisp came to bat. Guess what?

Lead off home run!

From our seats, my mom was able to get some awesome pictures!

In the 2nd inning, when Brandon Inge was in his first at-bat off of the DL, it was time to bernie!

And in the top of the 4th, Brandon Inge had to come out of the game. He re-aggravated his shoulder injury in the 3rd inning, making a throw. His season was unfortunately over.

A.J. Griffin was the starting pitcher for the A’s, and he was dealing!

His first 4 2/3 innings were perfect.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia stepped to the plate, and bunted for a single. Um… Stay classy, Jarrod.

He was booed for the rest of the game. Along, of curse, wit Cody Ross. If you are a right fielder in Oakland, you’re going to have a bad time. The RF bleachers are very creative. Very. Cody Ross completely missed a fly ball in foul territory early in the game. Then, he misplayed another ball in right field, crashing against the wall in complete failure, prompting the training staff to come out

And don’t worry; in the top of the 6th, the Red Sox got 2 real hits.

My view for the game was really fantastic, it is hard to beat sitting in the right field bleachers for a game!

In the 7th inning, Terry Kiser, Kara (The A’s in-game host), and the two guys behind the Bernie Lean music video came out to the right field bleachers.

This is what had caught my attention originally

Terry took a picture of the right field bleachers and then hosted a bernie dance-off, which was won by a 149 regular.

The two guys from the Bernie Lean Music video actually sat in the row behind me, in section 149. I chatted up one of the guys for a little bit, before he gave me a sheet with a QP code for a free download of the song

And in the top of the 9th inning, BoMel was on the top step of the dugout, like he always is, waiting for the A’s to win their 8th consecutive game.

That is about it. I had a great time, and didn’t really come close to any home run balls, but it was still a lot of fun!

And it turns out, when I got home and was watching the game on the DVR, I saw myself twice in the RF Bleachers.

The first time was right after Coco Crisp hit his leadoff home run, it showed me doing the Bernie. I took a picture of the TV right before I started to Bernie

And in the top of the 9th, the broadcast showed me again in the RF bleachers

Overall, I wasn’t expecting a good day, but hey, look what happened! It was an awesome day with my mom!

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 2 balls at this game (1 pictured because I never got a picture of the two balls together)
• 19 balls in 12 Major League games this season = 1.583 balls per game.
• 31 balls in 17 baseball games this season = 1.824 balls per game.
• 24 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 36 total balls
• 6 consecutive games in Oakland with at least 1 ball
• 8 consecutive games with at least 1 ball
• 4 consecutive games with at least 2 balls

Nick Badders is a unofficial reporter for MLB.com. He writes the blog, 7000 Coliseum Way, and you can follow him on Twitter @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay. You can also LIKE his blog on Facebook or follow him @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay on Instagram. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

5 comments

  1. Pingback: 2012 in Review « 7000 Coliseum Way
  2. Pingback: 4/3/13 at the Oakland Coliseum « 7000 Coliseum Way
  3. Pingback: 4/27/13 at the Oakland Coliseum « 7000 Coliseum Way

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