My dad and I left the house just after 12:30, making a quick stop along the way to get lunch at Subway, and a sporting goods store to buy a cheap Tigers hat, then we are on our way.
I had been tweeting back and forth with ballhawks Wayne Peck and Spencer Sanborn for a while (you might remember them from this entry) and I knew that they were both going to be there, and was excited to meet Wayne for the 1st time.
Yep. I was the only one in line at Gate B. And my dad had brought a camping chair to sit in in line. Yep. This was going to be a long day. I had a LOT of time to kill, so I walked around.
There were a lot of news vans parked outside. Let me see if I can list all of the stations. CSN Bay Area, CSN California, MLB Network, TBS, ESPN, KTVU Channel 2 News, NBC Bay Area News, KRON 4 News, CBS 5, ABC 7, and there were probably a few more.
You probably don’t but I recognized him right away. That man is Brodie Brazil, who hosts A’s Pre and Post-game Live, and is the San Jose Sharks rink-side reporter, as well as a 95.7 insider. Huge Bay Area celebrity.
I was then stopped by a security guard, who asked to see my ticket, then did the Bernie.
Ok, are you ready for a crazy story? So I was walking past Gate A, and after I had walked 50 or so feet past the gate, I heard a ball hit the pavement. I immediately turned around and ran back. Somebody scooped up the ball immediately. I headed over to take a look at the ball, and when I asked to take a quick look, I was shocked to see that it was a near perfect 2012 Postseason ball. WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???????
Where did this ball come from? Wha— uh??? I was at a loss for words.
I was headed back to Gate B when I noticed a familiar face. It was Wayne! Sorry, I didn’t get a picture of him right away. I chatted with him for a minute, before he headed to the team store to look around.
Sooner or later, a lady got in line behind us. We talked with her for a few minutes. I spend a lot of time on my phone, then decided to go put it in the car and walk around some more. The line at Gate D was getting decently long, and in the front of the line was Spencer Sanborn!
I got back to the line. It was just my dad and the other lady. There was 1 hour until the gates open. WTH???? There was almost NO ONE in line, and the gates would be opening soon.
That is definitely the best facial expression I have ever seen regarding a professional sports facility.
We talked for a long time about a variety of things. Ballhawking, the Coliseum, how much the Coliseum sucks, crazy ballhawking adventures. Wayne is a good guy. He wrote a great blog entry about this game that you can find here! He also went to the game the following day, which you can find here.
Do you like my shirt?
Shorty, after 4:07, they let us in. My ticket scanned perfectly and I headed through the turnstile. But it wouldn’t budge. The arms were never unlocked. And the ticket taker couldn’t open it. So after a few minutes, I just walked around and received my bright yellow rally towel.
Do you see the guy in the Tigers had and shirt in the orange sleeves? That would be Spencer.
I guess it would the overflow media and press area. Interesting.
BP was frustrating. There were very few balls hit down the RF line, and those that were hit were fielded by the same guy who ignored fans.
There were a couple that spent a lot of time standing next to me that I guess are Tigers season ticket holders. The one ball that I came closest to during the 1st 45 minutes was a ball that was thrown to ME specifically, that they reached out in front of me and barehanded. Ok then…
During the regular season, the bleachers were General Admission, but since it was the PLAYOFFS, they had assigned seating. Because they didn’t have to worry about being the first ones in line, the RF Crew started to trickle in during the 1st hour of BP
For those of you who don’t know, that man is Will MacNeil, one of the Die-Hards in Section 149. He is an awesome guy and I have talked with/about him before in entires like this one and this one. He is the proud owner of a very cool item. A replica WWE wrestling belt. Josh Reddick sent it up there in the beginning of the season.
That’s Will on the right, and you can follow him on Twitter here. I am not 100% positive who the man on the left is.
All the guys out there are great. I strongly encourage you to sit out there some time. It’s awesome.
Back to BP…
This guy had some awesome signs. That man would be Ian Sagerbaen, and was dubbed my MLB.com’s Cut4 as the Greatest Sign Maker in MLB History
And I was shut out for BP…
I got two different ones that were both double-sided.
I wasn’t able to get down close to the field on either the 1st or 3rd base side, so after multiple attempts, I headed back to our seats in time for Stomper and “The Herd” to come around the warning track.
Once the ceremonial first pitch had been thrown, it was 4:59, one minute untill TBS went live to the Coliseum. Dick Callahan, the PA announcer, told the crowd to get crazy, as we would be live on national television soon. The place quickly ERUPTED!!!!
The little boy started to cry at which point everyone started boing the drunk guy. His response? “I didn’t see the kid, okay guys?”
Throughout the game, there was a drunk A’s fan walking up and down the stairs of the sections cheering his head off. He was half drunk and half really excited. I have to admit, he did make the game a little more fun.
In the top of the 9th, he pulled me out of my seat to cheer. It was kind of awkward.
After an Omar Infante strikeout, Miguel Cabrera singled to right field. On a 1-2 fastball, Prince Fielder grounded into a double play to end the game.
After a few minutes of celebration, something occured to me. I hadn’t snagged a ball. Then, I thought about the home run, and wandered over to see if the ball was somehow still beyond the wall. Nope. IT wasn’t. Oh well.
You know, it was disapointing to not snag a ball, but still, I would count the night as a success.
1) I got to meet finally meet Wayne Peck, who is a great guy.
2) I was the first one in line at a postseaon game.
3) I got a yellow rally towel.
4) I was at a POSTSEASON GAME!
5) I got some pretty cool posters.
6) I WAS AT A POSTSEASON GAME!
7) I had a ton of fun
8) Did I mention it was my first POSTSEASON GAME?
Even though I did’t snag a ball, It was a LOT of fun! I attended my first ever postseason game, and it was more than I could ask for.
Wow. That was a lot of fun!
Yep. It was my last game of 2012. I had a great season. A lot of fun!
So. Regarding offseason entires, I have a bunch of ideas in mind. I’ll share more throughout the World Series and offseason, so check back frequently more more updates!
• 0 ballS at this game 😦
• 23 balls in 15 Major League games this season = 1.53 balls per game.
• 38 balls in 21 baseball games this season = 1.81 balls per game.
• 28 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 43 total 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.