9/20/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

3 regular season home games left for the A’s…

I had tickets to all 3!

As soon as school ended at 3:05, my dad and sister picked me up and we were off to Oakland!

The 3 of us got to the Coliseum around 3:45 for the 4:30 gate opening, where Ryan Dalton was already there, along with Carlos, a Die-Hard A’s fan who has a mini Season Ticket plan and comes down from ARIZONA to Oakland every so often to see the A’s play! He’s in the yellow jersey.

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I’m sure you notice the metal detectors and white tent. A few days prior, the A’s had announced that they would be implementing them, per MLB protocol. Turns out they were just getting a head start, as they will be mandatory for the postseason, but not the regular season.

By the way, I HAVE A POSTSEASON STRIP. So… Any and all postseason ames that the A’s play in, I will be enjoying from Section 149, Row 28 (2) Seat 7! How awesome is that!?

The gates opened at 4:35, as expected, where I headed to Left Field, It was around this time that the pitchers started jogging.

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At the time, Jed Lowrie was in the cage.

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Left Field was pretty much dead in terms of hit and thrown balls, so I headed back to right field.

Sean Doolittle was one of the players roaming the RF area.

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Grant Balfour tossed a couple of balls to the LF Bleachers, but I wasn’t able to get close, as he was only tossing to a packed corner near the foul pole.

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Jesse Chavez, Yoenis Cespedes, and Pedro Figueroa were some of the other players patrolling LF.

The force is strong in this one.

Like I mentioned earlier, LF was dead, so I spent most of BP in right field.

Soon after I got back to RF, a ball was hit to Michael Choice that I called out for, he turned around and tossed it to me. It fell inches short of my outstretched glove. AHHHH!!!

He then tried again a few moments later. SHORT AGAIN!!!

5 minutes after that, Sonny Gray tossed a ball to me. BUT HE THREW IT SHORT TOO.

I was literally reaching as far out as I could. But, no. 3 balls I should have gotten. 3 short throws…

Easily the best hitter of the day was Brandon Moss, who hit at least 5 balls into the RF seats. The first of those balls was caught by Ryan, and it was a HARD hit ball! Great snag on his part!

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Shortly after that, A.J. Griffin fielded a ball hit by Moss and tossed it to me for my first ball on the day!
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I then gave it away to a younger kid nearby.

In shallow center field, Bullpen Coach Darren Bush (right), Pitching Coach Curt Young (left), and Translator and Coach Ariel Prieto (center) were chatting and fielding balls hit near them.
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Sean Doolittle didn’t toss many balls into the stands, which surprised me.

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Like I mentioned, Brandon Moss was bombing them out!

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The last ball he hit was hit landed in the upper corner of section 150, which is the rightmost you can get in the right field bleachers. I scrambled over and picked it up and had 2 balls on the day!

Eric Sogard was making some solid contact as well.

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But Jemile Weeks spent a lot of time BUNTING

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And not hitting balls out of the infield…

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Around 5pm, the Twins players came out to stretch and throw.

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Meanwhile, the A’s were wrapping up BP.

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Sean Doolittle, A.J. Griffin, and Sonny Gray pretty much spent all of BP together.
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Most of the stadium was pretty empty.
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Soon, the Twins players grabbed balls and began throwing.

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But I chose not to head over, since A’s BP was still going on and they weren’t hitting much down the RF line.

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Stephen Vogt was in the last hitting group for the A’s.

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Along with John Jaso.

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On the last pitch of A’s BP, Sean Doolittle fielded the ball and launched it into the bleachers.
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Which Ryan was able to catch! I want to say he finished with 6 on the day…

Around 5:15 or 5:20, Twins BP got underway.

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Only a few of the Twins players were wearing their BP jerseys, so it was hard for me to identify players.
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Their hitting wasn’t exactly fun to watch either…

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Not many balls reached the seats.IMG_2039

I never noticed this, but my sister got this photo…

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I can’t tell who that is, but he is clearly climbing down onto the out-of-town scoreboard to get the balls that fell short of my glove. Uh… Yeah…

I couldn’t tell who this guy was, but he was tossing a lot of balls up, I think he tossed Ryan a ball.

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20 minutes into Twins BP, Chris Herrmann smashed a ball a section to my left, which I ran over and grabbed for my 3rd ball on the day.

Almost immediately after, I ran over to the right-center field corner and got Cole De Vries to toss my my 4th ball on the day.

Towards the end of BP, another ball was hit to Cole that I called out for. He pointed to the girl next to me and I moved out of the way so she could catch it. BUT HIS TOSS TO HER FELL SHORT. So, he tossed another ball to her THAT SHE FLAT OUT DROPPED. I then asked Cole if he wanted me to catch it for her, and after asking her if that was ok, he tossed the ball right at me BUT IT TOO FELL SHORT.

Holy Toledo. I was at a loss for words. That was the 4TH time a player had tried to toss me a ball and it had fallen short. REALLY??

She ended up getting a ball, and that was pretty much it for BP…
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Here I am with the 3 balls that I kept from BP.

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At some point during BP, my dad noticed Scott Ostler, from the San Francisco Chronicle, interviewing people from the RF bleachers.

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At the time, I was elsewhere, so my dad gave him my contact card and told him where I would be sitting during the game.

Satoshi, who I’ve mentioned many times before (and you’ll see in the picture below) had an awesome mask in honor of Star Wars Night.
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Check it out.

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Isn’t it awesome?

Around 6:20, the sun began setting, which made for some excellent pictures.

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The grounds crew began prepping the field.

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And Derek Norris came to warm up with Darren Bush.

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Meanwhile, since it was Star Wars Night, there were a bunch of Star Wars characters there…

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Soon, most of the Twins players came out to start stretching and warming up.

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A college band was playing the national anthem.

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It was cool to see the entire team lined up along the dugout, with a green jersey or jacket on.

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The Twins starting pitchers finished his final warm up tosses in the pen.
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And we were all set to go! Bartolo Colon was pitching for the A’s.

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And he pitched phenomenally.
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The Twins offense was pretty much kept quiet all game long.IMG_3283

The A’s started the scoring in the 2nd inning. After a Cespedes homer and a Derek Norris double, Josh Reddick singled in Norris.

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This was followed up by a Daric Barton single, putting the A’s ahead 3-0.
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Coco ended up flying out to end the inning.
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Around the 4th inning, Scott Ostler stopped by and asked me some questions. An SF Chronicle photographer was at my side soon thereafter!
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Derek Norris singled to open up the 4th inning for Oakland, where he later scored on an Alberto Callaspo single.
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The A’s then exploded, scoring 5 runs in the 5th inning, on 3 hits, a walk, an error, a wild pitch, and a hit-by-pitch.

A few innings later, the wave started up. I don’t like the wave. It think the wave should go away for ever and ever and ever. I’m not the only one… Here is Left Field Dan, with his MAGNIFICENT sign!

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The A’s Hall of Fame race also happened!

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Rickey ended up winning!

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My sister and I got a picture together. AWWWWW!

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In the top of the 9th, 2nd baseman Jemile Weeks entered the game in Center Field, because why not? Actually, he played a lot of CF in AAA this season.

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And yes, a ball was hit to him.

Evan Scribner came in to relieve Tommy Milone, and after allowing a double, he settled down, retiring the next 3 men he faced, giving the A’s an 11-0 win!

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This was a huge win for the green and gold!

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Why? It put their magic number at 2, with 2 home games left to play!
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James was pretty excited!

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As soon as the game came to a close, they began setting up for the Star Wars fireworks.

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Since I don’t like Star Wars and my sister and dad didn’t care about the fireworks, we headed out. It ended up being a good decision, as getting out of the parking lot was E-Z!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 35th Game this Year (22nd MLB Game)
  • 4 Balls at this Game
  • 38 balls in 22 MLB games this season = 1.72 Balls Per Game
  • 118 Baseballs this season
  • 66 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 161 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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One comment

  1. Ácbéam (@Acbeam)

    Very nice blog! Way to rock that throwback cap, too! Interesting to see Griffin throwing left-handed. I guess he was giving his troublesome pitching arm a rest. (You may recall that he was inactive during the ALDS.)

    Like

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