7/29/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

This entry will have a total of *11* pictures, 0 of which include any game action from the 2-Hour, 38-Minute game between the Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays. Why? Good question.

This was a day of forgetfulness. This would be a game featuring myself, my mom, and my sister, so my dad wouldn’t be there. This meant that there would be fewer pictures to begin with. We were going to walk to the bus stop, take the bus to BART, and BART to the game.

We were not even a block from my house when I realized we had left our cooler of ice-cold water at home. I ran back to go get it, costing us about 10 minutes. As we got to the corner to cross the street to get to the bus stop across the street, the bus pulled away from the stop, meaning we had to wait 20 more minutes for another one. This would be we would miss the train we had been aiming for. Great start, huh? The bus was running late, so we had to sprint to buy our train tickets, then sprint to the platform.

My mom and sister sat down as the doors closed shut. Right before we got off the train, I asked my mom if she had the camera. Her answer was no. Cool… We got to the Coliseum about 30 minutes before the gates were going to open.

There were at most, 5 people in line. My sister and I played catch for 10 minutes, before I decided to take my usual lap around the stadium. One thing I noticed was that nobody was in line at Gate LL.   20130731-014027.jpg Nobody… Well the gates opened at 5:35, where I ran and grabbed my seat in RF. Once my mom and sister were there, I headed over to the LF Bleachers, since the Blue Jays have a lot of right handed power.In the 3 minutes I had been in RF, a few balls had already been hit to Left, so it made my decision easy.

Somebody lined a ball off the center field fence a few minutes after I got to Left Field, so I called out to Josh Johnson, who hooked me up with Ball #1 on the day. 20130731-014033.jpg There were a lot of balls hit into the bleachers, I saw at least 5 people get 3 hit balls apiece, it was crazy. I did a lot of running back and forth among the LF seats, trying to best position myself.

I found that it was best to just stay in one spot and go for Toss-ups and HRs in that area. My decision payed off. Jose Bautista had just hit 3 balls to the same kid, who had been standing in the same spot, so when he came up, I stood near where that kid had been, and Bautista lined a ball right at me, and I made a perfect catch on the fly! 20130731-014038.jpg BP started to quiet down right after this. There were 4 or 5 balls that fell just short of the railing that I probably could have gotten if I had an extra foot of reach. I was satisfied with two balls, but I was disappointed that I didn’t already have more, considering how many balls and flown into the stands.

After I caught the Bautista ball, I struck up a conversation with a gentleman that started asking me about ballhawking. He had all sorts of questions, including What do I do with all these balls?” I told him that I like to collect them, I have racks in my bedroom displaying them, and if I see a worthy kid, I try to give them a ball. I noticed that he had two kids with them, and I asked who was a bigger baseball fan. He told me stories about his son, so I decided that I would hook his son up with a ball once BP ended.

Over the course of the next 10 minutes, it was discovered by everyone in Left Field that this man’s daughter was at her first baseball game. Whenever a ball was hit near the wall, a bunch of people would scream and yell, demanding that the player or coach toss her a ball. Evidently, the screaming didn’t work.

On the last pitch of BP, Rajai David hit a towering ball (I’m not kidding) that hit off a seat just behind me, as I had misjudged it, not having time to move back. I ran over a picked it up for my 3rd ball on the day. 20130731-014043.jpg This *large* man then approached me, trying to act all tough, and he told me: “You see that little girl ova’ there? It’s ‘er first game. You’re gonna’ be givin’ ‘er that ball, ‘ight?” I had been planing on giving both of the kids balls anyway, so I was a little taken aback by the man. I pulled out the Josh Johnson ball and gave that to the girl, the boy the Davis ball. The father then thanked me, asking if he could get a picture with me and his kids. 20130731-014047.jpg   They both seemed pretty happy with their balls, and right as I was about to walk back to RF, he asked me how much it was going to cost for my troubles. He pulled out $40 and tried to hand it to me. It took him about 5 minutes to accept that I wasn’t going to take the money, and I headed back to the bleachers.

There, Cara Miller took this photo for me of my mom, sister, and I , all in our Oakland RF Bleacher shirts. (Yes, I did change shirts). 20130731-014058.jpg Great picture! Now, since I didn’t have the camera with me, I wouldn’t be able to get any pictures of game action with my iPhone, but I did get a few photos over the course of the game. This was my view for the game, in my regular first row spot in Section 148.

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Eric Sogard had been very hot coming into this game, so he was bumped up to 2nd in the batting order. When he came up to the plate, this graphic was shown on DiamondVision.

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I thought that was pretty neat! The whole NerdPower thing is a long story, so I don’t have time to explain it. However, there is an article over at ComcastSportsNet.com that you can check out, it has a pretty good explanation, so go check it out!

The game itself was pretty fun. Jose Bautista has a thing with the RF Bleacher people in Oakland. He hates them. This gives people like Tony and Anson even more reason to taunt and tease him. Last year, Cut 4 did an article, where it was explained: “Bautista hates us,’ Two Tone said. “He knows me and Anson by face. He’ll point at us before the first pitch and say, ‘You two, shut up! Shut up right now!’”

Tony was on fire. His material was brilliant, and it seemed like he had an endless supply of it. Awesome night!

I got this panoramic shot in the 7th inning…
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Then, in the 8th inning, Sean Doolittle came in, so it was time to get headbanging!

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HEADBANGING!!!

20130731-014155.jpgThe A’s won 9-4, so it was a good game! I had a lot of fun, and the 3 balls was nice as well! I was going to be back out at the Coliseum in 2 days for the finale of the series, for the 12:35 game that Wednesday!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 21st Game this Year (15th MLB Game)
  • 3 Balls at this Game
  • 17 balls in 15 MLB games this season = 1.13 Balls Per Game
  • 45 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 107 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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