It was 2012 AL West Champs fleece blanket day. Oh Yeah!
My dad and I left our house around 8:30, I picked up my new glasses, and we headed off to Oakland.
I would say it took about 25 minutes to get there. Quickest it has ever taken either of us to get to Oakland. We arrived around 9:15 am or so.
Anyway, once we had parked, we started walking towards gate MM, when I realized that I had left my rosters in the car. My dad headed back to the car to grab them for me, and I headed to get in line at MM. I was SHOCKED to see that there were over 50 people in line an hour and 45 minutes before the gates were supposed to open.
Why were they doing the Bernie? The guy on the right had one of those mini portable speakers and it was playing Bernie Lean.
Once my dad got back, he got in line and I decided to walk around a little bit, as I always do.
As you can see, they had the lines set up to double back and forth, like they did for Scott Hatteberg bobblehead day.
The lines were pretty long…
I had to walk around a lot. Since we were up against the wall, they were attempting to squeeze us in pretty tight!
At this game, my school’s Jazz Band was going to be playing the national anthem! As I was walking around, I saw them getting their tickets.
Yeah… it was PACKED! I didn’t get in line right away, I just walked around in the BART Plaza, as I didn’t want to stand in that line for 30 minutes.
I decided to just get in line 15 minutes before the gates opened. Right after I got in line with my dad, Will popped over and asked me which seats I wanted him to save me. I asked him if he would be able to save my regular seats for my dad and I, and he was happy to do so! How awesome is he!?!?
I got out of line again, as this was the scene at 11 am…
I was just wandering around near the front of line, when Will asked if I wanted to jump in line with him. OF COURSE! Thank You very much Will!
At 11:07, the gates opened and I ran in, grabbed my blanket and was off! A lot of people don’t know how to get to the bleachers from MM, but I have it down. You run straight, turn right, and run down these stairs.
Make a turn into that tunnel, and you’ll be at the entrance to the bleachers!
The A’s were stretching when we got inside.
Doug Fister was throwing a bullpen.
And Tigers players were playing catch.
Like I said, the A’s were stretching.
Without looking at the next picture, can you tell me wh- HEY! I SAID DON’T LOOK AT THE PICTURE.
Awesome. You looked at the picture. But, yes, I headed over to where the Tigers were playing catch.
AJ Griffin and his luscious hair were jogging along the warning track.
I would have headed over to the A’s bullpen area, but as I mentioned, they were just stretching.
I was trying to get a ball from one of the Tigers players. There was one sitting barely out of my reach on the field, and I was determined to get it.
The seats were pretty empty.
One of the Tigers players that was playing catch overthrew the ball and pitching coach Jeff Jones walked over and tossed me up the ball!
Right as he picked the ball up, my phone started to ring. It turned out, it was my dad!
Here I am talking with him. Yes, he did take this picture.
Once I got that ball, I decided to take the rest of the day off from ballhawking and relax. I headed back to the bleachers just to chat with people, even though the A’s were playing catch.
Sean Doolittle used to be a power-hitting first baseman, Now he is a pitcher.
Here is Tommy Milone.
Sidewinder Pat Neshek and pitching coach Curt Young.
Evan Scribner running
Blevins, Scribner, and Chris Resop running
A’s bullpen catcher Casey Chavez
Hiro Nakajima is still rehabbing, he played a bit of catch with a team assistant.
Here was my view for the game.
This is the 1 ball I snagged during pregame.
The field cleared VERY quickly, so I had a lot of time to relax and such.
As he was coming from the indoor cages to the clubhouse, Miggy and the Tigers gave the RF bleachers some love.
Octavio Dotel was one of the few players left on the field.
He was playing catch with this guy.
I have no clue what is going on here.
Players were still walking in from the indoor cages.
Derek Norris usually does some drills near the bullpen.
Justin Verlander was taking the bump for the Tigers.
The grounds crew worked on Watering the field.
This guy was catching for the Tigers.
Then, these people walked onto the field.
My school’s Jazz band was playing the national anthem for the game!
Here they all are!
It was pretty cool to see!
My dad got a video of the performance.
How awesome is that?
The Tigers bullpen catcher, Scott Pickens, warmed up Verlander.
Derek Norris warmed up Anderson.
How cool is this photo?
Jeff Kunkel is the Tigers 2nd bullpen catcher.
While my dad was out and about wandering around, I got this really cool picture of Verlander.
Chris Young was rocking the stirrups.
Most of the position players began to filter onto the field.
Tigers position players got loose on the field.
Chris Young seemed pretty entertained by it all.
Verlander finished up in the bullpen.
The A’s took the field.
And Brett Anderson took the hill.
Brandon Moss was starting at first base.
V-Mar looking at a pitch.
And making contact!
Torii Hunter was in RF for the Tigers. More on that soon.
As expected, Verlander was dealing.
Jaso rounding first base.
Chris Young running with the bat in his hand.
Now he is running down the line.
Josh Reddick stepping to the plate.
Looking at a few pitches…
Just a bit outside.
On top of his head!
Matt Tuiasosopo at the plate.
The Tigers bullpen.
The A’s bullpen and a unicorn.
All day, the umpire was making TERRIBLE calls behind the plate. See anything special here?
HIS EYES WERE CLOSED! I’ll have more proof, don’t worry.
Torii was enjoying chatting it up with RF.
Seth Smith swinging…
On 1st base, Verlander tried to pick him off a few times.
Josh Donaldson made GREAT contact with the ball today.
Well the umpire had his eyes closed more when Eric Sogard came up.
I know the ball has already made contact, but STILL.
As always, Right Field was lively.
Of course the umpire ALWAYS had his eyes open when the Tigers were up to bat.
I take that back…
Everyone was just chilling in the A’s dugout.
And Torii was all smiles!
And of course we have Josh Reddick…
As I was out of my seat using the restroom, Prince Fielder stepped to the plate.
Yep, He hit a homer. Dead center.
Curt Young paid Anderson a visit to the mound.
The A’s were hitting the ball hard and making great contact.
As displayed by Derek Norris.
I got this cool photo of Josh Reddick (and his beard) warming up in right field.
Derek Norris was performing his usual magic tricks behind home plate.
Then, Pat Neshek came on the mound. Boy oh BOY did I have fun taking pictures of him! Back to that soon…
The A’s bullpen was thoroughly entertained. So was the unicorn.
Back to Neshek. It continually amazes me with how accurate submariners and sidearmers are.
It also sometimes looks painful.
It is, however, AMAZING to watch.
All of these pictures were taken by me, and it was A LOT of fun!
It was a beautiful, sold out day at the Coliseum!
But, seriously! HOW DOES HE DO THIS?
I honestly don’t know.
Away from Neshek for a bit, here is Eric Sogard. #NerdPower
The Bill King broadcast booth was looking lively as always.
Rick Porcello began to warm up in the Tigers bullpen.
Along with Phil Coke.
The bleachers were rockin!
As Phil Coke took the mound for Detroit.
I swear, this is my last picture of Pat Neshek.
Josh Reddick was very nonchalant about his warmup tosses with Coco Crisp in the outfield.
In the middle of the 8th, as always, the A’s played Call me Maybe. Will was not impressed.
Oh, and Bob Melvin was ejected.
Why? Andy Fletcher had his head up his a** all game long.
Here is a very short video my dad got of the incident.
Joaquin Benoit took the mound for the Tigers in the late innings.
Eric Sogard was taking some mighty swings.
Like I mentioned, you CANNOT umpire a game with your eyes closed. It is UNACCEPTABLE.
Believe you me, I have about 50 more pictures where Andy Fletcher has his eyes closed. But I have chosen not to not bore you to death.
Evan Scribner took the hill for the A’s at the end of the game.
A majority of the crowd was still on hand, despite the score that had the A’s behind.
HIS EYES ARE CLOSED AGAIN
Thanks for reading!
- 5th Game of the Year
- 1 ball at this game
- 4 balls in 4 MLB games this season = 1 Ball Per Game
- 14 Balls in 5 Games this season = 2.8 Balls Per Game
- 4 Consecutive Games with at least 1 Ball
- 3 Consecutive MLB Games/Games in Oakland with at least 1 Ball
- 32 Lifetime Major League baseballs
- 57 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.