6/26/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

Today was root beer float day! My mom, sister, and I attended Root Beer Float day last year, and we were at it again this year!

We decided to get to the Coliseum around 8:30am. The gates were to open at 10:35 am, with a 12:35 pm start time.

We caught the 8am BART train, getting to the Coliseum just before 8:30. We were the first ones in line. For the next hour, there was not much going on. We saw the root beer being delivered to the Eastside Club, just like last year.

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We were in line at MM, however we were not going to be sitting in the RF Bleachers. We would be in Section 127 for this game.

Everyone had all of their stuff in a pile before the gates opened.

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The bag check was all ready to go.

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And the Root Beer Float mug stand was set up.

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Last year, I rushed through Root Beer float day, because I wanted to get out and ballhawk, so this time, I was planning on soaking up Root Beer Float day, then ballhawking if time allowed.

As soon the gates opened, I ran in and purchased my mug, then walked into the Eastside club.

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There were LOADS of tables and booths set up, with celebrities from all over the Bay Area serving root beer floats.

The A’s players’ wives and girlfriends had their own table.

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It got packed quickly!

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My first stop was the Comcast SportsNet table. There, I got to talk with Casey Pratt and Kate Longworth, from CSN. As I enjoyed my float, I headed over to the table, where this sign was located.

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I got a Yoga Mat last year at this event, I have no need for a kids club kid, and I was at the game that the Scott Hatteberg bobblehead was given away. I picked up a Jason Giambi bobblehead, along with 2 Roy Steele bobbleheads. Roy Steele was the A’s PA announcer for over 30 years.

Within half an hour, the area was PACKED!

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Remember how I had mentioned a table with the A’s players and wives? My next float was served by Angie Balfour, wife of Grant Balfour. EXTREMELY nice lady!

It all just got more and more crowded.
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At this point, I decided to try and get a panoramic picture from the Plaza Reserved seats. As soon as I took a look, I saw that the cage was set up. Not only that, but the Reds were on the field stretching!

I let my mom know where I was going, and I headed off to the RF foul line.
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Curtis Partch was just wrapping up playing catch when I got there. I called out to him, and I had ball #1 on the day!

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The Reds started to hit, and they were hitting A LOT of balls down the RF line. Curtis Partch was fielding them all and throwing EVERY SINGLE ONE into the crowd. I would say at least 20 balls were hit to him. Every single ball hit to him, he would toss up. However, we recognized me, so I wasn’t able to get another toss-up from him.

About 10 minutes before BP ended, he jogged in. Aroldis Chapman started patrolling the RF corner, where he didn’t throw a single ball into the crowd.

Then, 5 minutes later, he jogged in as well. The last group of hitter was pulling a lot of balls down the RF line, with nobody to get them. As BP wrapped up, 5 or so balls were sitting on the warning track, in front of the foul pole. Mark, the security guard by the visiting bullpen, walked over. He picked up all of the balls, tossing each into the crowd. I was lucky enough to come up with one of them.

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I then handed it to a kid next to me who hadn’t been lucky enough to get one.

I wandered around a bit before heading back to my seat, joining my sister and mom.

Players slowly began to come out onto the field to stretch.

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A.J. Griffin finished up his warm-up tosses in the bullpen.

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And we were ready to go! The ballboy down the LF line always warms up the A’s left fielder, which I think would be an awesome job.

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Like I mentioned, A.J. Griffin was the A’s starter in this game.

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This was the view from my seat.

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It was weird, as it always has been this year, to see the RF bleachers from a different perspective.

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Yoenis Cespedes made a few adjustments to his cup throughout the game.

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Before the gates had opened, I had been tweeting back with Ryan Dalton, who you might remember from a few of my entries. He said he would be out in LF for the game, and sure enough, there he was.
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I’m not sure about the guy behind him in the picture. No clue…

After 6 1/2 innings, the A’s were leading the Reds 4-0, with the Reds only having 2 hits off of A.J. Griffin. Tony Cingrani came in to relieve Homer Bailey in the bottom of the 7th.

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In case you are wondering… the A’s 4 runs came on a Brandon Moss double and Josh Donaldson home run in the 4th inning.

I spent a lot of time taking random photos like these…

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Cingrani struggled a bit, allowing a double to Eric Sogard, then a pinch-hit double to Nate Freiman.

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The A’s took the field in the 8th with a 5-0 lead.

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Grant Balfour was warming up Yoenis this inning.

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Everyone was going nuts every time Cespedes threw the warmup ball into the crowd.

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In the 8th inning, Griffin was only at 90 pitches after 1 out.

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He finished the day with a complete-game, two-hit shutout, on 108 pitches.

Great day! Root Beer Float Day was great as usual! I was surprised with Reds BP. I snagged 2 balls. The A’s won. You Can NOT complain! I was going to be back out at the yard just a few days later for Coco Lean bobblehead day!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 17th Game this Year (12th MLB Game)
  • 2 Balls at this Game
  • 14 balls in 12 MLB games this season = 1.16 Balls Per Game
  • 42 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 93 Lifetime Baseballs

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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.

 

 

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