Wow. This was a truly incredible day!
Last year, A’s FanFest was the same weekend, on Sunday, January 29th. It was a lot fo fun and you can read about it here!
It started off at 6am, when I woke up and slowly got ready, with the rest of my family out of bed by 6:45. We were out of the house and on our way to Oakland at 7:20, getting there around 7:50, where I found about 6 lines, each with 20-50 people. I got in the shortest line, which was to the far right. My dad and sister shortly arrived from the parking lot, with folding camping chairs and blankets, as we had a 1.5 hour wait in front of us.
Like I mentioned in this entry, the event was taking place mainly at the Oracle Arena.
My sister and I decided to wander around a little, so we headed towards the Coliseum, where people were waiting anxiously in line for single-game tickets, like I did last year.
The day before, there had been a supercross event at the Coliseum, so they have been unable to hold FanFest there. All of the semi-trucks were still parked in the lot.
At this point, my dad and I left the line, bringing the chairs and stuff back to the car, as we headed to go pick up our media credentials for BlogFest!
At 9:30am, the lines started to move, and people were brought in. I would say there were 20 or so people in front of me in line.
It felt like a mad dash to get to the bleachers! I ran inside the barricaded area between the Coliseum and Arena, and ran inside, up an escalator, and got in a very short line for the Authenticated Memorabilia stand, which quickly grew VERY long. I’m sure you are wondering what the big deal was.
In the right of this picture, you see people crowding around the coveted jerseys table. BP/Spring Training jerseys were $30 each, Bob Melvin/Josh Reddick/Brandon McCarthy jerseys were $200 each, and all other jerseys were $100 each. In the center, you should see a table with plastic bags, that inside contained dugout jackets that were each $100!
Along with these items, there were signed aprons from MUG Root Beer float day for $20, DVDs commemorating the 2002 20-game win streak for $20, and bases for $100.
Game-used pants were $10 each, and I would say they had about 7 different styles, mostly from throwback games.
There were also 2 tubs of game-used baseballs, which I thought nothing of. I later saw people with lots of different commemorative balls, which I think would have been cool to have!
I got those 5 items, spending $110. How cool is that??
From there, we headed down to the lower concourse, where I was looking for anything free.
We stopped at the Stockton Ports table, where I got a bunch of free stuff!
We eventually got to what seemed like the area near the clubhouse.
Last year, Mike Gallego, Eric Sogard, and Tommy Milone greeted people in the clubhouse. This year, it was new bullpen coach Darren Bush. Here is the thing… NOBODY recognized him! Except for me, that is!
I immediately approached him, and he was very excited to see that someone had recognized him. I felt bad for him! Darren is a great guy, and I have a feeling I will be getting a few balls from him in 2013!
We left the clubhouse at headed out get autographs, since the autograph coupons we had received upon entry were for session #1, which was supposed to end soon. There were 3 autograph stations outside, in the area between the Coliseum and Arena. There were signs above each station with the people signing at each table.
My dad was accidentally given 2 autograph coupons for session 1, so he gave his second one to me, so that I could get two more autographs!
I was just standing next to the line watching the “action” when it got to a point that nobody was moving forward. Apparently Ray Fosse was scheduled next for the photos and *Everyone* in line was waiting for him. The volunteer that was controlling the line yelled out that anyone that wanted a photo with Billy North and Sal Bando, along with the trophies, could go to the front of the line.
I picked up this wristband at the stand
After we got our food and sat down, I realized that it was time for my dad and I to head off to BlogFest.
We left my mom and sister at the Q&A session and headed off to drop off some stuff at our car before heading to meet up.
If you don’t remember what BlogFest is, just click here to read what I wrote a few weeks ago about it!
I’m sure you are wondering what those 3 guys said…
Here is the deal. I have an audio recording of all 3 interviews. Right now, I am working to transcribe all 45 minutes of interviews, and publish IT ALL in a separate blog entry, with analysis of what they said.
It is taking a long time to get everything together, so hopefully, I will get everything up within the next week!
We left the press conference room with everyone else and headed back up to meet up with my mom and sister.
My dad had to leave to go pick up my grandmother and uncle, as we would be driving them out of town after FanFest, so I was alone with my mom and sister.
If you remember from this entry, then you know that in the mail, my family was invited to a special season ticket holder photo meet-and-greet session. The line was getting long, so my mom got in line, while my sister and I decided to wander around.
We headed upstairs to the Memorabilia sale that I had visited earlier, and prices had drastically decreased!
Jackets, baseballs, bats, helmets, and Spring Training jerseys had sold out, however game-worn jerseys were $40, Game-worn hats and pants were $5 each, champagne bottles from the 2012 clubhouse celebrations were $15 each, DVDs from the 2002 season were $5 each and aprons from MUG Root Beer float day were $5 each.
I then went over to take a look at the hats. $5 for a hat is a great price alone, but these are 59fifty hats that are usually $40 with tax. Then consider the fact that they are game-worn!
They only had road and 2012 BP hats left, and since I already have a 2012 BP hat, I searched through all the road hats, and found 2 in my size (7 3/8).
This hat is special for me because Tye Waller tossed me my first ever baseball.
Ron Romanick, the A’s pitching coach in 2011!
Yay!! “Official” Certificate printed out from the MLB.com website!
I really wish my dad could have been there with us. It was very, very awesome!
After this, we headed back upstairs, since my sister and I both had received special autograph coupons that allowed us each to get another autograph.
I handed mine and the souvenir helmet that I had previously gotten signed to my mom and she and my sister got in line for Eric Sogard’s autograph.
I headed back to the memorabilia sale to look around. All they had left were jerseys, DVDs, pants, and a few hats. They were desperate to get rid of everything! Hats were still $5, and those were swooped up quickly. DVDs were still $5, and there were A LOT of those left over.
However, they had A LOT of pants left, and there was a lady walking around yelling “PANTS ARE $1 EACH!”
Then, I took a look at the game-used jerseys that they had lying out. They were…. *$20* each!
A #63 Danny Farquhar green jersey! How cool is that?
Who is Danny Farquhar you might ask?
“He was traded to the Oakland Athletics from the Toronto Blue Jays along with Trystan Magnuson for outfielder Rajai Davis after the 2010 season.
On April 18, 2011, Farquhar was traded to the Blue Jays in exchange for reliever David Purcey.
Farquhar made his major league debut on September 13, 2011, against the Boston Red Sox. He pitched 0.2 innings and allowed three earned runs on three hits, while walking two with no strikeouts. Farquhar was later optioned back to New Hampshire. On June 2, 2012, the Blue Jays designated Farquhar for assignment after claiming Chris Schwinden off waivers from the New York Mets.
On June 9, 2012 the Oakland Athletics claimed Faquhar off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. After making five appearances in the minor leagues for the Sacramento River Cats, the Athletics waived him to select the contract of A. J. Griffin.”
*He never played a game for Oakland, just the AAA River Cats
*He was in the A’s organization twice
*He was waived for a guy that I saw make his MLB debut.
I talked with a few people, and before I knew it, my mom and sister came back.
At this point, we headed out and met up with my dad, grandma, and uncle and headed out of Oakland.
This was an amazing day, and I had some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities! I met great people, got great deals, and had a great time!
This event put me just one step closer to Opening Day!
For me, I am looking forward to an exciting season as an A’s fan and season ticket holder!
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.