This game was going to be me, my dad, and Uncle Seth, who I have mentioned before.
We left our house around 10:50, so we got to Stockton around 11:45.
Throughout the course of the day, before the gates opened, I made another vlog, similar to what I did for this game.
As soon as we got there, we found that nobody was collecting money for parking. FREE PARKING!
I then immediately headed out back for BP.
As you can see from my tilted picture, there was little action, but the cages WERE set up.
The first batter to step into the cage for the Ports was Addison Russell.
About 5 minutes after I arrived, look what I had!
Only the Ports took BP, there were no Nuts players anywhere to be found.
And believe it or not, the Addison Russell ball was the ONLY one that cleared the bullpen area, despite strong swings.
Believe it or not, none of the bunts left the yard!
Around 12:20, right when batting practice was coming to a close, the song Milkshake came on over the PA in the stadium. Wade Kirkland was patrolling left field. You know the app called Vine? Well watch this. He was kind of bored. Dance moves were not to bad.
BP came to a close around 12:25 or so, so I decided to walk around the Marina area and ballpark exterior.
Seriously, how awesome is this?
Basically, I wandered along the waterfront as far as I could go, before I reached the fence of the parking lot.
At this point, I decided to turn back. On my way back, I saw this…
I decided to wander around over towards the Pro Shop area.
Those will both be giveaways later on this year!
I headed over to the Suite Holder gate to get a better view of inside, where I saw this.
That lady was writing in the lineups for both teams on the whiteboard in the concourse.
I then decided to head back and get in line.
I seriously couldn’t wait to get inside!
I decided to get a picture with my uncle and the ball I got during BP.
Then, I got a picture of myself with the ball
The gates opened at 1:07, and after getting my ticket scanned, I headed over to where a few Nuts players were playing catch and stretching.
Just out of the frame was the glove of William Rankin. As he finished running, he tossed me his ball.
After I got that ball, I headed over to section 117. Why? It was on-field player photo and autograph day! When I got there, I met up with Will and Ross. At 1:15, we were all led into a roped off area. Players then lined up along the rope, with pens in hand. Remember the logo ball I got in my last Stockton game? I was ready to get some signatures!
The first player I got an autograph from was infielder Max Muncy, who tossed me a ball and hit me a foul ball in my last Stockton game. My dad and uncle were wandering around the stadium, so I was left to use my phone’s camera to get a photo with him.
Next in line was outfielder Dusty Robinson.
After getting a picture and autograph from Dusty, I moved on to pitcher Seth Frankoff.
After Frankoff was pitcher Jose Macias.
After Macias, I moved on to get an autograph and picture with pitcher Jonathan Joseph.
Then, I got to talk with Blake Hassebrock.
After Hassebrock was outfielder Bobby Crocker
Then, came infielder B.A. Vollmuth (One of the coolest names EVER if you ask me).
The next guy I got a photo with was outfielder Josh Whitaker.
The 10th person I got a photo with was the starting pitcher that day, Deyvi Jimenez.
Then, my dad came down to get a few shots, including this one of me with SS Addison Russell.
I had an absoluste blast with all of this.
It was a small space with LOTS of people.
I couldn’t get pictures with or autographs from all of the guys, so I spent a few minutes talking with Will and Ross, who got lots of photos themselves.
I also go to talking with Eric and Bridget, who are A’s fans that I believe made the trip with Vanessa.
She, Will, and I then got a picture with Max Muncy and Ryan Delgado.
Do you see the phone in the picture above taking a picture of us? That is Vanessa’s, and here is the picture she later posted on Instagram.
About halfway through the event, I took this panorama of the event, which hopefully captures the chaos of it all.
Around 1:45, they started wrapping things up, at which point Will had a short conversation with Ports manager Webster Garrison.
He and Vanessa then got a quick picture with Webby.
Around 2, I headed over to watch the Ports starting pitcher for the day
Once he was done warming up, I got this panoramic shot from the LF foul pole.
Then I headed over to RF to get the same.
The Ports let a Little Leaguers run on the field with players in this game, for the National Anthem, and it was a very cool sight!
The National Anthem, as always, was great!
The Ports sent Deyvi Jimenez to the mound.
While the Nuts countered with Ben Alsup.
For the Top of the first, I headed over to behind the Ports dugout in hopes of getting a third out ball.
I was unsuccessful, and on my way back, I snapped this panoramic.
For most of the game, I sat down with Will, Ross, Vanessa, Bridget, and Eric, near the first row, chatting.
In the front row, you have Will, Ross, Eric, Vanessa, and Bridget.
I did, however, spend some time sitting up with my Uncle and Dad, where I was able to get shots of people like this one.
And of Will…
With 2 outs at every half inning, I would head behind the dugout of the team on the field and try to get a ball. I was unsuccessful ALL DAY.
As always, my dad got AMAZING pictures.
The Ports scored their first run in the bottom of the 2nd.
Every time Webster Garrison, the Ports manager, walks past the visitng dugout to go coach 3rd Base, Will and a few other fans stand up and yell “WEBBYYYYY!”
Here he is coaching third base.
The Nuts manager is Lenn Sakata.
As I mentioned earlier, I was very unsuccessful with 3rd out balls, so I enjoyed getting to relax and take lots of pictures!
I then took these two pictures…
When I got home, I went into Photoshop and created my first “real,” (And poorly done) panoramic photo.
One memorable play was when Dusty Robinson came to the plate…
Here is Josh Whitaker.
For me, it was awesome to just sit back, relax, and take pictures.
In the 8th inning, Bernie Lean came on…
Can YOU Bernie Lean?
Also in the 8th inning, Juan Crouset stepped to the plate for the Nuts.
He popped a ball foul a few rows behind me. I misjudged it, but immediately picked it up off the ground. Ball #4! It was my 5th lifetime foul ball, 4th at a MiLB game, and 2nd MiLB game in a row with a foul ball!
Right after I picked it up, I heard a young girl (7 years old maybe) quietly say “Dangit.” Without thinking, I handed the ball to her.
Yes, of course, I would have loved to have kept the ball, and I got PLENTY of backlash for it on Twitter, but it was all worth it to see her so happy with it.
When the Ports came to bat in the bottom of the 8th, Nelson Gonzalez went into his second inning of work out of the bullpen.
But, he blew the lead…
Ryan Ortiz had hit a go-ahead home run!
And it was high fives all around!
Jordan Ribera and Taylor Featherston watched as a new pitcher took his warm up tosses.
Modesto called upon Kenneth Roberts to get the final two outs of the inning.
Thankfully for the Nuts, he was able to escape the inning, but not before allowing another run!
In the top of the 9th inning, the Ports were ahead 4-2, so I headed over to my ticketed seat for the first time all game, located right next to the Nuts dugout. At that point, I was hoping to get the lineup card after the game, so I put on my Nuts hat. Will was VERY disappointed in me. He then took this picture of me.
That is my “I know I’m a Ports fan but I have to do this” face.
Jonathan Joseph came on for the Ports to lock down the save.
And the Ports had won!
… But I was sticking my head into the dugout to try and get the lineup card.
As soon as I got there, I asked the Nuts manager for the lineup card, but he ignored me and left. Then, Brian Humphries walked over, saw a pile of balls on top of the bat rack and tossed one to me without saying a word. He then tossed out 6 more to other kids that were crowding around the dugout.
Soon, I saw a clubhouse attendant in a rockies hat, shirt, and shorts (The Nuts are a Rockies affiliate) walk over. I asked him for the lineup card, and look!
I thanked him and headed up the stairs, where everyone else was standing. Vanessa snapped this picture of me on her phone of me with the lineup card.
Once we left, I headed to Ross’s car to pick up my 2013 RF Bleacher shirt (To debut in my next game entry) and then headed back to meet up with my dad and uncle.
Cool stuff. Great game.
Thanks for reading!
- 6th Game of the Year… 2nd MiLB Game of the Year
- 5 balls at this game
- 19 balls in 6 games this season = 3.16 Balls Per Game
- 15 MiLB Balls in 2 MiLB Games = 7.5 MiLB Balls Per Game
- 4 MiLB Foul Balls
- 5 Lifetime Foul Balls
- 5 Consecutive Games with at least 1 Ball
- 8 Consecutive MiLB Games with at least 1 Ball
- 5 Consecutive MiLB Games with at least 3 Balls
- 2 Consecutive MiLB Games with 1 Foul Bal
- 30 Lifetime Minor League baseballs
- 62 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.