Boy oh boy! Today was a long day!
First off, today was Josh Hamilton Appreciation night. Basically, Wes, out in RF (@RFWes on Twitter) came up with the idea of holding Josh Hamilton Appreciation night, in honor of Hamilton dropping the ball in game 162 to allow the A’s to pull ahead, winning the game and AL West division. Over the course of the next day, there were a lot of articles about the event. The Dallas Morning News, Sports Illustrated’s Swingin’ A’s blog, Fox 4 in Dallas, Fox Sports Southwest, NESN, ESPN Dallas, NBC’s Hardball Talk, the MLB Fan Cave, MLB.com’s Cut4, and NBC Dallas all covered the event! WOW!
When I got home from Reggie Jackson bobblehead day, Adam Olson, who designed this blog’s logo and is famous for his A’s Shirts, posted on Facebook that he couldn’t make it to Monday’s game, and he was offering his tickets for free to the first person that messaged him. I took advantage, and he was more than willing to give me his 2 seats in Section 124 for the game.
Over the course of the day, I captured some pretty cool moments on video, which you can check out here:
Conveniently, on Monday, I had a doctor’s appointment nearby his place, so after school got out at 3:05, my entire family headed out to pick up the tickets. Once we had picked up the tickets at around 3:45, we made the quick drive to my doctor’s office, for the 4pm appointment.
It took a little longer than expected, as I was hoping to catch the 4:35 BART Train to Oakland, but the appointment ended around 3:35, so my dad dropped my mom and I off at 4:45, just in time to catch the 4:50 train to Oakland.
After getting off and transferring to a different station, we made it to the Coliseum BART station at 5:25, just 10 minutes before the gates opened. I ran from the station to the Coliseum, to find a VERY short line. Here is a bad shot of the line in front of me.
I’d say that by 5:35, maybe 10 people were behind me.
There was only one person checking bags, and one person scanning tickets, but once I got inside, even though my ticket was not for the bleachers, I sprinted out to RF. It appeared as Pujols, Trumbo, Trout, and Hamilton had all finished taking their hacks, as I didn’t see any of them during Batting Practice.
I was on the board quickly. After getting to the bleacher around 5:40, I got my first ball almost immediately As soon as I ran into the bleachers, I saw a ball hit the wall in Right-Center. I ran over there, Michael Kohn walked over, picked the ball up, and tossed it up to me after I called out for it.
Ball #2 was the next pitch hit by the same batter, fielded by former Atheltic Joe Blanton. I called out to him, and I had two balls within 30 seconds, less than 6 minutes within the gates opening.
My 3rd ball of the day came 3 minutes later, it was hit to dead center field, Jerome Williams fielded it, and after noticing and identifying his pink glove thanks to my memory of Mateo Fischer’s blog entry, I called out to him, and he tossed it up!
3 balls within 10 minutes of the gates opening, all within 5 minutes of each other!
By this time, most of the players in RF and CF had seen me call out for balls, and considering nobody was hitting it to LF, BP was “dead.”
That would be Mr. Josh “Butterfingers” Hamilton!
Why? I noticed that he had struck up a conversation with the RF bleacher folks!
Which he enjoyed! He had a very long conversation with the 20-or-so folks out in RF;
And they all loved it!
I think he loved the fact that they were doing this!
And they loved the fact he was so willing to participate!
This was the scene to the right.
CJ Wilson (Right) and Ernesto Freiri (49) were patrolling the RF area.
Then, I noticed this guy in RF.
That would be Alex Espinosa, of MLB.com’s Cut4. Go ahead and follow him on Twitter here.
Here is the video from the night that he got:
Hamilton was enjoying the Butterfingers.
And he posed for photos.
Alex got busy taking notes on what was happening.
I got a chance to talk with him, along with Wes (Right) and Ralliney (Middle)
I saw this coach on the Angels toss this ball up to a young fan in the first row.
As you can see, Left Field was PACKED!
Welp. There was nothing hit out there. Very few toss-ups.
I ran back and forth between the Terrace and Bleachers A LOT.
And I got a picture of Wes and “Dreamkiller” (Left) with their butterfingers.
Ralliney got this shot of me with my 3 balls and my AMAZING shirt.
As well of this photo of me taking pictures:
Everyone was having a great time!
There were lots of All Star Ballots in the Bleachers. REMEMBER. VOTE GREEN AND GOLD IN 2013!!!
Then, I decided to head off to my ticketed seat, where my mom got this photo of me with my 3 BP balls.
This was my view. Not too bad!
To my right…
And my left…
Around 6:40, I headed back to the bleachers.
Everyone was shuffling in.
And Ross held his #ReddickRallyHair.
Confused? Watch this video…
Now watch this video…
Now you are all caught up to speed!
Everyone was posing with their Butterfingers!!
You know how I was wearing my “He Dropped It” shirt, designed by Adam Olson? Well… He updated the design, and many people in the bleachers were wearing it!
Alex got this photo of the two of us. Alex actually writes a blog as well called BayMode, and he has an entry up about this game, including lots of pictures from the bleachers! You can check out his blog here and his entry about this game here.
Vanessa got it from this angle:
In the words of Will MacNeil, “CURSE YOU PAPARAZZI!!!”
Arlene got this photo of Vanessa and I
Don’t ask me about my eyes. I don’t know.
This may be the best prop I saw all night.
Seriously. How amazing is that?
Satoshi and Keita were wearing these awesome hats.
I had to pose wearing one as well.
The ceremonial first pitch was quite entertaining.
And Tony started distributing bags of the #ReddickRallyHair
Remember that video of Alex Interviewing Tony? Here he is doing so. Cool camera, huh?
Here is Tony explaining everything
Remember… You can watch the video here.
The umpires met at home plate…
And we were ready to go!!
Right before the first pitch, my camera battery died. Of course, the second battery was in my backpack on the COMPLETE opposite side of the stadium… So I *SPRINTED* to my seat, grabbed the battery along with another spare, and sprinted back. I got to the bleachers just in time to see Josh Hamilton’s first plate appearance.
Alex LOVED it!
When Josh came out in the bottom of the first, you could tell he did too!
Tracey was flashing here sign and glove!
You could tell Hamilton loved it all.
After the first inning, I went over and spent the 2nd inning with my mom by the dugout before heading out to the bleachers again. I grabbed a seat on the left side of section 149, right behind Omar Gonzalez and his daughter Rhema.
He has a lot of pretty awesome signs!
Meanwhile, Tommy Hanson was on the mound for the Halos.
Okay, okay. I know you all just want pictures of everyone in right field.
Shin was just in front of me.
Ready for a story?
Every night, the sun sets in Oakland. Every night game, the sun sets right behind the 3rd base dugout. Eventually, it is directly behind one of the staircases int he 3rd deck.
And the Sun Hole was born.
I still can’t get over how amazing Tracey’s glove was!
While I was sitting with my mom, she got a lot of awesome pictures!
But like I said, my mom got some AWESOME shots.
Early into the game, there was a fielder’s interference of some sort… It was quite frustrating to the Angels…
The Umpire was clapping…
ERIC SOGARD NERD POWER!!!
Strikeout machine Dan Straily was on the mound for the A’s.
Jed Lowrie also got hit by not just one pitch….
But two. Can you find the ball? FYI, I took this picture 🙂
While I was sitting over there, you know what I was thinking? It must be awesome to be the A’s bat boy down the LF line. You get to warm up Yoenis Cespedes every inning.
Soon enough, I was back out in Right Field.
Sam was holding up this AMAZING sign.
Omar was enjoying the game with his daughter Rhema.
The ball had been tossed to Wiggi…
And she seemed pretty excited about it!
Here’s a slightly closer look…
There was something written on the ball!
More than just something!
Every side of the ball had something written on it!
Will seemed to be having a good day!
Same with Tony!
After spending another inning or so in the bleachers, I headed back to my mom so that I could take some more pictures.
Of Eric Sogard…
Then I handed the camera to my mom so that she could take some pictures of Pat Neshek.
Seriously, it is fun to take pictures of him!
Brandon Moss was at first base
Josh Reddick in Right Field
Coco Crisp in center.
Yoenis Cespedes in left field.
Jed Lowrie at shortstop
Mike Gallego is the A’s third base coach.
Mike Trout making a catch at the wall.
Josh Donaldson stepped to the plate.
Derek Norris was due up after him.
At this point, I headed out to right field again.
Grant Balfour was beginning to get loose in the bullpen.
Along with Sean Doolittle.
In the top of the 9th, Sean Doolittle came into pitch. At this point, my mom joined me in right field, as I was hoping to catch a walk-off home run.
The A’s had a 4-run 8th inning, so they were down by one run coming into the bottom of the 9th.
With two outs, Yoenis Cespedes singled to center field, bringing in Coco Crisp to tie it all up at 7!
The 9th inning ended in a tie, and we were ready to go into extra innings!
Grant Balfour came in to pitch the 10th inning.
Time to RAGE!!!
Balfour shut the Angels down in the 10th.
At this point, I was amazed that Omar and his wife had stuck along with Rhema.
Vanessa enjoyed playing with her!
She was pretty excited about free baseball!
Nobody had any clue what was so special about this game.
Grant Balfour pitched the 11th inning as well.
Moss was still at first base.
Everyone was enjoying the free baseball!
As you can see, the crowd was starting to thin out.
In the 12th, Ryan Cook came in to pitch.
Then, in the middle of the 12th, they played Call Me Maybe
Nobody likes that song in Oakland.
My mom and I had taken BART…. CRAP!!!!
This was about the time my phone’s battery died…
Will was moving around with his flag.
Brandon Moss moved to right field in the 14th inning.
Around this time, it was about midnight. At 11:50, my mom told me it was time to go, but I did not want to leave!
Omar was pretty excited to be there!
This is what the back of Wes’s head looks like…
I spent a lot of the extra innings talking with him and Vanessa.
Omar was having some fun with his drum.
Around the 14th or 15th inning, my dad showed up!
It was the 17th inning. I was pretty happy!
Thanks to Arlene, we can all see our RALLY FACES!!!!
We were having FUN FUN FUN in Right Field.
I got to try some of this delicious green and gold Lemon Bar
In the top of the 18th, Brett Anderson left the game with an injury.
The infielders chatted during the pitching change.
IT WAS RIDICULOUSLY EMPTY!!
The person that runs the out-of-town scoreboard in right field was watching the game.
Everyone was having a great time!
It was 1:14. MIND BLOWN.
Earlier in the game, the A’s starting DH for the game, Seth Smith had to move to Left Field, after Coco Crisp Cape out, Chris Young replaced him and subsequently was injured, so Yoenis Cespedes had to move from LF to CF, and with Brandon Moss already having replaced Josh Reddick in RF, Smith had to leave the DM spot, meaning a pitcher would have to be in the lineup.
He actually made contact. FOUL BALL!!!!
Vanessa got this picture of Her, me, and Wes. We were DELERIOUS!!
Blevins pitched the 19th inning as well.
We were all chanting the names of the broadcasters, from what I hear, they enjoyed very much!
Basically, just like “Ray Fosse!” *Clap Clap ClapClapClap* “Glen Kuiper!” *Clap Clap ClapClapClap* “Ken Korach!” *Clap Clap ClapClapClap* “Vince Catroneo!” *Clap Clap ClapClapClap*
Remember how I mentioned that my phone’s battery had died? Never to fear! My dad has a smart phone too!
(Arlene took that photo)
Here is the Tweet I sent out on his phone…
Then… after a Seth Smith walk, Jed Lowrie grounded into a fielder’s choice, with Seth Smith out at 2nd base.
After that, Yoenis Cespedes struck out swinging, bringing Brandon Moss to the plate with 2 outs.
Following a first pitch strike, this happened.
After 6 Hours and 32 minutes, we were finally going home!
EVERYONE was happy!
After we had all been mulling around, someone suggested that we get a group picture of everyone in Right Field that had stayed all 19 innings. Given the fact that my dad was the only one there who hadn’t been at all 19 innings, plus he had his camera, he took the picture.
Later that night, I tweeted the picture out, posted it on Instagram and Facebook, and over the course of the next 24 hours, it received 80 retweets and 55 favorites on Twitter; 268 Facebook likes, 33 Instagram likes, AND it was featured on Intentional Talk!
Thanks to Alex Espinosa for tweeting that to me! I probably wouldn’t have seen it without your help!
Then, I got a photo of me with the 3 balls and an empty stadium.
And it was SO LONG from the Coliseum.
Around 10:30am on Monday, I got this Tweet.
Then, later that evening, I went on with 89.3 KPCC in Southern California to talk about the game. It was my first radio interview! I talked about what it was like to be at the game, how I managed to be there for the entire time, and some of my memories from the day. Go check out their website here. Thank You very much to Rob for inviting me on!
Finally, you know how Adam Olson hooked me up with the tickets to this game? (Thank You again very much Adam!) Well later Tuesday afternoon, he tweeted out this picture…
There is one more topic that I would like to address I thought about it long and hard. With so few people left in the stadium, I probably could have snagged A LOT of foul balls, third out balls, and infield warm-up balls. Why did I not?
1) I wanted to enjoy the 19-inning game, rather than run around and be dissapointed every time I didn’t snag a ball.
2) The idea of catching a walk-off home run or a late-inning home run was just too much. I would trade in 10 3rd out balls for a walk-off homer in the 19th inning any day.
Lastly, there was a lot of coverage of the 19-Inning Game, Josh Hamilton Appreciation Night, and a few other RF Bleacher-related things on MLB Network’s Intentional Talk. I compiled it all into this video…
That is all for this entry. WOW! What an incredible day!
- 8th Game this Year
- 3 Balls at this Game
- 8 balls in 6 MLB games this season = 1.33 Ball Per Game
- 23 Balls in 8 Games this season = 2.875 Balls Per Game
- 7 Consecutive Games with at least 1 Ball
- 5 Consecutive MLB Games with at least 1 Ball
- 36 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
- 66 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.