How much did you guys follow the World Baseball Classic? Who did you root for? Coming in, my two favorite teams were the US and Australia, but both teams were eliminated…
So the Championship round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic was at AT&T Park. Games 1 and 2 of the Semi Finals featuring Puerto Rico, Japan, the Dominican Republic, and of all teams, The Kingdom of the NETHERLANDS!!!
When I first found out that the WBC finals would be in San Francisco, of course I wanted to go! At the time, however, the idea seemed pretty unrealistic because I was expecting crazy prices for the games.
I soon found out that they would be using these commemorative baseballs for the classic. Of course, now I just wanted to go even more!
When ticket strips went on presale, I wanted to buy a 3-game strip, but my parents said no, as all three games would be school nights. After that, I didn’t really look at tickets until about the week before the game.
This was more just something I wanted to do, rather than something I honestly expected to be able to do. Despite my doubt, in the 3 days leading up to this game, I was constantly checking StubHub as well as the Giants website for a good deal.
When the US was eliminated, I would say at least 500 additional tickets went up for sale at very low prices.
A couple days before the game, I found some great seat options on StubHub, and my dad agreed to get them once I finished my weekend homework.
When I got back from baseball practice on Saturday, I was discouraged to find that all but one set of the tickets I had been interested in had been purchased.
At this point, I decided to check the Giants website to see if I could find a good deal on tickets. I get to the ticket screen and I see that there are 3 ticket sections that have $8 SEATS!!!! Those sections were the Bleachers (Left Field seats), Lower Box Left Field (The 5 sections on the foul side of the foul pole in the lower level), and the View Reserve Right Field (The 3rd deck nosebleed seats on the first base side). I say my mom and I spent 15 minutes on 3 different computers, determined to find aisle seats in the bleachers. I then found 3 seats on the aisle, in the 6th row of section 137, and my dad bought the tickets then and there.
So my mom didn’t want to go and my sister didn’t want to go. We just had an extra seat. But that was fine with both me and my dad! Here is what my print-at-home ticket looked like.
Not too bad, but I wish it was a real ticket…
This made me even more excited! Oh, you all should go follow him on Twitter here!
But anyway, at this point I was beyond ecstatic for the game!
The night before, I found out that Clarence Darrow, a Giants season ticket holder that I have gotten to know on Twitter, was going to be at the game! As soon as I bought the tickets, I bombarded him with questions about ballhawking, and he gladly gave me lots of helpful advice! So, thank you very much! Go follow him on Twitter!
After informing my Twitter followers of the WBC fire sale, I found out that Bay Area ballhawk Max has just purchased $8 bleacher seats as well! You can follow him on Twitter here!
In all this excitement, I realized that neither of the two teams I would see, in Puerto Rico and Japan were English-speaking countries. I realized that I would have to learn to ask for a ball in Spanish and Japanse. I already knew that Spanish is “Dahme La Bola/Pelota Por Favor”, but I knew that I would have to figure it out for Japanese. I tweeted Zack Hample, asking for help, but Milwaukee ballhawk Shawn Bosman volunteered to help me! He DM’d me on Twitter and was kind enough to give me lots of advice not only there, but in the comments of his most recent blog entry as well! Yes, Shawn has a blog called The Inherent Dangers of Watching Professional Baseball, which you can check out right here!
I didn’t honestly get much vlogging in. I got everything right up to the point that we got there. Enjoy what I was able to put together!
So I thought of inviting my friend Greg to the game to use the extra seat a few hours before we left, and around 1:15, we picked up Greg from his house and we were on our way!
We arrived at AT&T Park exactly at 2:00, but we didn’t get out of the parking lot until 2:15, as cars were packed up. Oh, and parking was *$30*. And I thought the $17 in Oakland was expensive…
This was our view from the parking lot. Hell. Yes.
I couldn’t be more excited!
We walked from the parking lot to the bridge across McCovey Cove.
First, we stopped at the O’Doul gate and I got my picture with the Juan Marichal statue! (If you can see in the background, there are 5 people in line).
And then we started to walk along the cove, past gates like these. The Giants open them up during games for people to get a free glimpse of the game. However, if I am not mistaken, you can only stay for a certain amount of time.
We continued walking, and look who I saw in the Cove! It’s Dave Edlund, better know as McCovery Cove Dave! He is the one in the Blue Kayak. You should all go follow him on Twitter here!
Past the other gates, I saw these inside the fenced area.
Where I got my picture with the Orlando Cepeda statue.
Along the entire ballpark, at various spots, there are commemorative bricks that people purchased, following the 2010 and 2012 World Series. Greg’s mom bought him a brick that was placed outside the 2nd Street Gate, so we stopped to look for it.
And we found it!
For him as a huge Giants gan, how cool is that?
We then stopped at the Willie Mays Gate, which I believe it the main entrance to AT&T Park.
And of course, I had to get a picture with the Willie Mays Statue!
We then stopped in the dugout store, where I picked up a WBC Program. I then of course had to get this picture!
AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE! Oi Oi Oi! (Go to an A’s home game when Grant Balfour is pitching, and you’ll get that reference)
Remember that bridge we crossed to get from the Parking lot to the Stadium? Here it is!
At the Lefty O’Doul gate, someone called my name, and it turned to to be one of my readers! I talked to him and his brother for about 20 minutes or so. Very cool guys!
We then continued on our way back to the Marina Gate to get in line.
This is that boat that the Pre-Game “Reception” was being held on.
There were these really talented drummers performing. It was a lot of fun to watch them play!
About 15 minutes or so before the gates were supposed to open, Greg and I headed over to the little fenced in area where fans can catch a glimpse of the game for free. I saw Japan was in full swing taking BP. I also saw this…
A 3 diget number on a uniform? I had never seen that before!
This was the scene in line 5 minutes before the gates opened.
Before the gates opened, since we were the first ones in line, they checked my bag before I ran in.
Then, before we could get our tickets scanned, we had to be “wanded” with a metal detector wand. YAY!!!
After my ticket was scanned, I was handed a little giveaway WBC pasport thing and I headed to the bleachers!
Japan’s Batting Practice was in full swing!
They were not hitting home runs and in fact, they weren’t hitting it even close to the fence. I was VERY bored. The front crossasile was filling up FAST with people/ballhawks, so it was almost impossible to move around.
I was kind of surprised how empty it was!
The Japanese media was SWARMING the Japan dugout.
Then, I noticed that Puerto Rico was starting to play catch. Given the lack of bleacher activity, I headed across the arcade, or Levi’s Landing and made my way over to the RF corner
Outside, the Marina was looking gorgeous.
McCovey Cove was buzzing with Activity.
And Dave Edlund was all ready to snag some home runs!
Like I mentioned before, the bleachers were very empty, but there were no balls hit into the stands, making being there pointless.
Note how a majority of the people are along the outfield fence. Almost all of them had a ball retrieval device of some sort. But I’ll get to that soon…
The Puerto Rican team was warming up, so that was where I headed.
I then noticed that over by first base, Intentional Talk was set up and they were doing an interview. The funny thing was, the show wasn’t set to air live for almost 10 minutes. So to all of you that thought Intentional Talk was 100% live, sorry for crushing your hopes and dreams…
But, more importantly, the Puerto Rican team was warming up and there were balls to be snagged!
Before I get to Puerto Rico’s BP, there are a few things that I want to share.
I would say that this was one of the most effective ball retrieval devices at AT&T Park. It was always successful, and it was very bulky.
Yep. One of the players saw it, then a coach asked to borrow it, then before I knew it, all the players were taking turns playing catch with it. I think he got a ball out of it.
Lastly, how many of you guys watch Intentional Talk? How many of you were watching it on Sunday, March 17th? Well a short while into Puerto Rico’s BP, a guy on the field with a camera and a jacket that said MLB NETWORK CREW walked up to me, Greg, and a few other fans.
He then told us that we would be live in 30 seconds! WHAT???
He then gave us a countdown and told us to get loud, which we all did! It was “officially” my live debut on Intentional Talk, which is probably my favorite TV Show!
A few minutes later, I received this Tweet from Todd Cook, of Cook & Sons Baseball Adventures.
This photo was attached…
YAY!!! Thank You very much Todd, for capturing this screenshot for me, so ya’ll better go follow him on Twitter, you hear?
Now… Look at this grainy picture that I took on my phone. Specifically look at the Intentional Talk set. Do you see anything special?
No? Chris Rose was doing push ups! I never got a chance to watch the show back, so if anyone can give me information surrounding this, that would be great!
But, Puerto Rico batting practice was in full swing and SF Giant Angel Pagan was the star of the show!
There were very few home runs hit into the bleachers, and those that did were not worth going for, as it was a mad dash EVERY time.
I won’t say a whole lot. However, I will share that it was very hard to get balls. There were a few line drives that were simply too far away and I couldn’t get there in time.
It was also very hard to ask for toss-ups, as I was around almost all spanish-speaking people, who were having full conversations, and I could only ask for a ball in Spanish or say the very basic things I have learned in Spanish at school.
All told, I did not have any balls when Batting Practice came to a close.
I was kind of glad that it was all just over with. Greg and I decided to go hit up the MLB Tonight set and see what was going on over there.
This was my angle:
While we were over there, look who was signing autographs!
I have a few things to point out…
- He CAN grow facial hair.
- That is MY pen.
- His Facial Expression
Look what I walked away with!
Yep. He signed my WBC Program. How cool is that?
While he was signing autographs, there were a few things he said that I loved.
- “I’m not going to sign that ball. It will just de-value it!”
There was a dad who told him that his son watches Intentional Talk everyday…
- “You know what we call that here at the Network? Bad Parenting.”
Great guy! I have to say Intentional Talk is one of my favorite shows! So go hit up Chris on Twitter and send him a link to this blog entry! Ok? ALL OF YOU go tweet him a link to this entry. Spam the crap out of him!
Hey and Chris Rose, if you happen to be reading this
- Sorry for the Spam!
- Thanks for the follow a while back!
- Please DM me on Twitter, I have a question for you.
- You should comment down below in the comment section.
After I was lucky enough to get his autograph, I met up with Conner, who reads this blog! He’s a cool guy, so go check him out on Twitter!
The three of us walked around for a bit, where we saw this line to get into the stadium at one of the gates…
Greg wandered off and Connor and I got into a discussion about the likelyhood of me getting a ball from the Japanese team that was TAKING INFIELD PRACTICE!!!!
That’s just too cool.
After a short while, I met back up with Greg, then we parted ways once we got to our seats, and I went to go meet up with Max, who also reads this blog. You can all go follow him on Twitter here! We talked for a while about various things, such as ballhawking, baseball, and other such items!
I have to say, it was great getting to connect with so many of my readers at this game!
This was what the scene was like right before the pre-game ceremonies
The Giants mascot, Lou Seal was wearing a green Giants jersey in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.
The pre-game ceremony was really nice! They announced each member of the Puerto Rican team in Spanish and their lineup in Spanish and English.
And each of the countries represented in the classic had someone carry out there flag onto the field.
Japan’s pitcher and catcher were getting loose, but after hearing about strict ushers, I decided not to try and head down there.
Then, Sadaharu Oh, the all time Japanese home run king (868 Home Runs) and Orlando Cepeda each threw out a ceremonial first pitch.
It was so cool to see it in person!
The game finally got underway, and this was my view for the game!
I am only partly kidding. This lady was sitting behind us for the introductions and such but moved in front of us for the actually game. She was REALLY into it!
The game moved along pretty fast, with neither team scoring much. As expected, Angel Pagan got a large ovation at the plate.
Carlos Beltran- not so much!
The Puerto Rican team did score one run early.
Then, in the 7th or 8th inning, Alex Rios hit a home run a few sections to my left.
As soon as the ball and bat made contact, I took off running to my left, but it was hard to go fast in a crowded row. I didn’t come as close as I would have liked, so no, I did not snag the ball.
The seats behind us were pretty packed!
Shortly before the game ended, Greg and I walked around a little bit. We saw the Fan Cave trolly car.
And I got a few panoramic photos from the Arcade
And one of the Cove
This was our view for the final out
And, as all of you know, Puerto Rico won 3-1, overtaking powerhouse Japan.
As soon as the final out was recorded, Greg and I headed down to the fence.
I got this picture down there.
My dad got this picture of me.
And then the seagulls took over!
We then decided to head over to the MLB Tonight set to watch their post-game show.
They had a few interviews taking place.
Harold Reynolds and John Smoltz were the analysts at the table.
Greg Amsinger was the host for the show.
Harold has always been one of my favorite guys at the network.
On the main camera, there were two monitors mounted.
That top one shows the desk, while the bottom one shows what is live.
Goodnight from San Francisco!
It certainly was a fun day. Even though I didn’t snag any balls, it was a memorable experience. The cultural difference was amazing and it will be IMPOSSIBLE to ever forget it all.
My next game is Monday (4/1) at the Oakland Coliseum, otherwise known as OPENING DAY!!!!
Tomorrow, I will post an entry about a game I attended in Stockton last weekend, then hopefully I can get my Opening Day post up within the next week! I have 3 games hopefully planned over the next week, so stay tuned!
- 1st Game of the Year
- 0 Balls at this Game
- 0 Balls in 1 Game this season = o Balls Per Game
- 28 Lifetime MLB 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.