4/13/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

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.

Who was at the front of the line? Will is on the left, Ross is on the middle, and Daniel is on the right.

IMG_8597

Why were they doing the Bernie? The guy on the right had one of those mini portable speakers and it was playing Bernie Lean.

IMG_8598

Once my dad got back, he got in line and I decided to walk around a little bit, as I always do.

IMG_8621

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…

IMG_8630

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.

I stopped by and talked with some of them up until 10:30 or so, at which point they headed inside for a sound check, and I headed back to get in line…
IMG_8637

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…

IMG_8638

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.
IMG_8639

Make a turn into that tunnel, and you’ll be at the entrance to the bleachers!

Obviously, I was already there as my dad was heading down.
IMG_8642

The A’s were stretching when we got inside.

IMG_8643

Doug Fister was throwing a bullpen.

IMG_8646

IMG_8648

IMG_8653

And Tigers players were playing catch.

IMG_8659

IMG_8669

Like I said, the A’s were stretching.

IMG_8680

Without looking at the next picture, can you tell me wh- HEY! I SAID DON’T LOOK AT THE PICTURE.

IMG_8695

Awesome. You looked at the picture. But, yes, I headed over to where the Tigers were playing catch.

As the A’s continued to stretch.
IMG_8717

AJ Griffin and his luscious hair were jogging along the warning track.

IMG_8721

I would have headed over to the A’s bullpen area, but as I mentioned, they were just stretching.

IMG_8743

IMG_8752

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.

IMG_8753

The seats were pretty empty.

IMG_8760Miguel Cabrera was showing lots of love for the RF Bleacher crew.

IMG_8792

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!

IMG_8799

Here I am talking with him. Yes, he did take this picture.

IMG_8801

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.

IMG_8823

Sean Doolittle used to be a power-hitting first baseman, Now he is a pitcher.

IMG_8830

Here is Tommy Milone.

IMG_8844

Jerry Blevins.

IMG_8860

Running drills…

IMG_8873

Sidewinder Pat Neshek and pitching coach Curt Young.

IMG_8884

Neshek running.

IMG_8927

Evan Scribner running

IMG_8943

Blevins, Scribner, and Chris Resop running

IMG_8967

A’s bullpen catcher Casey Chavez

IMG_8982

Hiro Nakajima is still rehabbing, he played a bit of catch with a team assistant.

IMG_9023

IMG_9026

Here was my view for the game.

IMG_9033

This is the 1 ball I snagged during pregame.

IMG_9050

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.

IMG_9061

IMG_9062

Octavio Dotel was one of the few players left on the field.

IMG_9068

He was playing catch with this guy.

IMG_9099

I have no clue what is going on here.

IMG_9118

Players were still walking in from the indoor cages.

IMG_9143

Eventually, uniformed players and coaches started coming out to stretch and get loose.
IMG_9161

Derek Norris usually does some drills near the bullpen.

IMG_9167

Justin Verlander was taking the bump for the Tigers.

IMG_9177

IMG_9187

Brett Anderson was going to counter him for the Green and Gold.
IMG_9203

The grounds crew worked on Watering the field.

IMG_9207

This guy was catching for the Tigers.

IMG_9210

Then, these people walked onto the field.

IMG_9214

My school’s Jazz band was playing the national anthem for the game!

IMG_9234

Here they all are!

IMG_9238

It was pretty cool to see!

IMG_9240

My dad got a video of the performance.

How awesome is that?

The Tigers bullpen catcher, Scott Pickens, warmed up Verlander.

IMG_9249

IMG_9250

Derek Norris warmed up Anderson.

IMG_9272

How cool is this photo?

IMG_9278

Jeff Kunkel is the Tigers 2nd bullpen catcher.

IMG_9284

While my dad was out and about wandering around, I got this really cool picture of Verlander.

IMG_9295

Chris Young was rocking the stirrups.

IMG_9297

Most of the position players began to filter onto the field.

IMG_9308

Verlander took the bullpen to get warm.IMG_9325

IMG_9326

Here are 3rd Base Coach Mike Gallego, middle infielder Jed Lowrie, Manager Bob Melvin, and 1st Baseman Brandon Moss sitting in the dugout.
IMG_9341

Anderson took to the bullpen mound to warm up.
IMG_9370

IMG_9371

Tigers position players got loose on the field.

IMG_9392

Chris Young seemed pretty entertained by it all.

IMG_9396

Verlander finished up in the bullpen.

IMG_9410

The A’s took the field.

IMG_9414

And Brett Anderson took the hill.

IMG_9422

Brandon Moss was starting at first base.

IMG_9440

I know this isn’t anything new, but my dad took AMAZING pictures.
IMG_9466

IMG_9479

The BIG MAN, Prince Fielder.
IMG_9526

V-Mar looking at a pitch.

IMG_9532

Swinging…

IMG_9569

And making contact!

IMG_9571

Popped up…
IMG_9576

Torii Hunter was in RF for the Tigers. More on that soon.

IMG_9589

John Jaso, the A’s catcher was LEADING OFF.
IMG_9600

As expected, Verlander was dealing.

IMG_9610

IMG_9611

IMG_9615

Jaso rounding first base.

IMG_9618

Chris Young running with the bat in his hand.

IMG_9650

Now he is running down the line.

IMG_9657

Josh Reddick stepping to the plate.

IMG_9661

Looking at a few pitches…

IMG_9666

Just a bit outside.

IMG_9670

Foul Ball

IMG_9686

On top of his head!

IMG_9689

Matt Tuiasosopo at the plate.

IMG_9704

Sogard and Reddick running into the dugout.
IMG_9724

The Tigers bullpen.

IMG_9731

The A’s bullpen and a unicorn.

IMG_9734

Back to Torii. Remember this last year when he was on the Angels? He delivered Popeye’s Chicken to the RF Bleachers. As one might expect, he now has a great relationship with them.

IMG_9745

All day, the umpire was making TERRIBLE calls behind the plate. See anything special here?

IMG_9750

Look again.

Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 2.18.05 PM

HIS EYES WERE CLOSED! I’ll have more proof, don’t worry.

Torii was enjoying chatting it up with RF.

IMG_9767

Seth Smith swinging…

IMG_9775

IMG_9782

And running.

IMG_9797

On 1st base, Verlander tried to pick him off a few times.

IMG_9814

IMG_9824

Josh Donaldson made GREAT contact with the ball today.

IMG_9840

Well the umpire had his eyes closed more when Eric Sogard came up.

IMG_9858

See?

Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 2.22.39 PM

I know the ball has already made contact, but STILL.

IMG_9865

As always, Right Field was lively.

IMG_9897

Of course the umpire ALWAYS had his eyes open when the Tigers were up to bat.

IMG_9945

I take that back…

IMG_0003

Everyone was just chilling in the A’s dugout.

IMG_0025

And Torii was all smiles!

IMG_0037

Chris Young had some great swingsIMG_0080

IMG_0089

And of course we have Josh Reddick…

IMG_0103

Here we had Josh Donaldson (#20) and Andy Parino (#12)
IMG_0152

As I was out of my seat using the restroom, Prince Fielder stepped to the plate.

IMG_0161

Guess what da BIG MAN did?
IMG_0166

Yep, He hit a homer. Dead center.

IMG_0171

Curt Young paid Anderson a visit to the mound.

IMG_0249

The A’s were hitting the ball hard and making great contact.

IMG_0321

As displayed by Derek Norris.

IMG_0388

I got this cool photo of Josh Reddick (and his beard) warming up in right field.

IMG_0424

Derek Norris was performing his usual magic tricks behind home plate.

IMG_0443

Then, Pat Neshek came on the mound. Boy oh BOY did I have fun taking pictures of him! Back to that soon…

IMG_0529

The A’s bullpen was thoroughly entertained. So was the unicorn.

IMG_0582

Back to Neshek. It continually amazes me with how accurate submariners and sidearmers are.

IMG_0630

It also sometimes looks painful.

IMG_0631

It is, however, AMAZING to watch.

IMG_0643

All of these pictures were taken by me, and it was A LOT of fun!

IMG_0661

It was a beautiful, sold out day at the Coliseum!

IMG_0662

But, seriously! HOW DOES HE DO THIS?

IMG_0665

I honestly don’t know.

IMG_0676

Away from Neshek for a bit, here is Eric Sogard. #NerdPower

IMG_0683

The Bill King broadcast booth was looking lively as always.

IMG_0721

Rick Porcello began to warm up in the Tigers bullpen.

IMG_0753

Along with Phil Coke.

IMG_0765

The bleachers were rockin!

IMG_0807

As Phil Coke took the mound for Detroit.

IMG_0868

I swear, this is my last picture of Pat Neshek.

IMG_0903

Josh Reddick was very nonchalant about his warmup tosses with Coco Crisp in the outfield.

IMG_0913

In the middle of the 8th, as always, the A’s played Call me Maybe. Will was not impressed.

IMG_0940

Oh, and Bob Melvin was ejected.

IMG_0984

IMG_0988

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.

IMG_1065

Eric Sogard was taking some mighty swings.

IMG_1110

Like I mentioned, you CANNOT umpire a game with your eyes closed. It is UNACCEPTABLE.

Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 6.14.53 PM

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.

IMG_1194

A majority of the crowd was still on hand, despite the score that had  the A’s behind.

IMG_1301

HIS EYES ARE CLOSED AGAIN

IMG_1337

That’s all. The A’s lost. Here I am with my 1 ball and the fleece blanket. The end.IMG_1365

Thanks for reading!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 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

300x50_mlblogs_top100

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.

4 comments

  1. Pingback: 2013 in Review « 7000 Coliseum Way

Comment Please! Yeah Down There!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s