2013 ALDS Game 1 at the Oakland Coliseum

PLAYOFF TIME!!

Before I start off this entry, I have to share with you something I saw on Twitter last night. It all started with this:

Sean Doolittle ‏@whatwouldDOOdo: ‘Twas the night before playoffs, From Dublin to San Rafael, O.co’s tarps have come off, A’s fans let’s get loud as hell.
Josh Hunsucker ‏@jphunsuckerThe hats and jerseys were hung in the lockers with care. In hopes that a World Series trophy would soon be there.
Kelly ‏@KellyLiz1321When the A’s took the field there arose such a clatter, The Tigers looked to see what was the matter.
Josh: Away to the mound Bartolo walked like a flash, 3 up and 3 down, now it’s our turn to mash.
KellyWhen, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but the swinging A’s – and the fans all cheer!
(Sean Doolittleguys, this is amazing)
Josh: Seeing the green, gold, and wedding dress white I knew in that moment the feeling was right.
Kelly: With intro music blaring the strolled to the plate, the announcer called each one by name.
Josh: On Coco, on Donaldson, on Lowrie on Moss, on Yo, on Reddick, on Smith, on Norris, on Sogard
Kelly: To the top of the fence, to just past the wall! No bash away! Bash away! Bash away all!
Josh: BoMel sprang from the dugout to give the pen a whistle and @WhatwouldDOOdo Cook, and Balfour started throwing missiles.
Kelly: And I heard the fans cheer… and banjo man, rocking O.co witH LET’S GO OAKLAND!!!!!!
How awesome is this? It’s things like this that make me love the A’s and their fans even more!
Anyway…

My dad and I left around 1:50pm, for the gates opening at 4:30, for the 6:37 game, getting to the Coliseum just before 2:30.

We drove to the game and when we got to the parking lot, we found that they were directing people to specific parking spots. It was a mess!

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We headed over to Gate B, where Ryan Dalton was waiting.
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When we got there, I saw this…

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Uh? So I guess one of the metal detectors fell over… Ryan said that is how it was when he got there. My guess on how it happened? The wind! It was CRAZY windy! Like- really, really, REALLY windy!

Ryan and I headed off to walk around a bit. I needed to pick up a shirt from Adam Olson. Meanwhile, my dad saw this.

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A guy was about to go INSIDE the scoreboard!

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One of the things that surprised me was that this stair case was no barricaded off. It usually is an leads up to Gate BB.
IMG_1827What’s so great about that? If you walk up, you can see things like this.

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Players on the field! Check out the view of the parking lot from up here!

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While Ryan and I were walking around, we spotted the set for CSN Pre and Post-Game Live.

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About a half hour before the gates opened, this was the scene in the parking lot.

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It was filling up FAST!

Right before the gates opened, this was the scene behind us.
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Not incredibly long.

Finally, the gates opened at 4:37, I was given my yellow sweat rag rally towel.

When I got inside, the A’s last BP group was hitting.

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It consisted of Alberto Callaspo, Nate Freiman, and Kurt Suzuki.

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Normally, I would head to LF, but none of the players were tossing anything up.

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Down the RF line, bullpen catcher Kunkle was playing catch with Rick Porcello.

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Towards the end of BP, most of the Tigers came out to stretch and throw.

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My first ball of the day was a toss-up from Dan Straily. A ball was hit over the CF fence, and when he went to retrieve it, I called out to him, and he tossed me my first ball on the day!

Moments later, Jarrod Parker fielded a ball. Like with Straily, I politely called out to him, he turned around and tossed me the ball. 2 on the day!

A couple minutes later, the A’s jogged off the field.
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I got in around 4:40. BP ended around 4:50. Not a lot of time, but 2 balls in 10 minutes it fine with me!

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I threw on my Tigers gear and headed over to the Tigers bullpen, where their pitchers were playing catch.

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Meanwhile, there were lots of media and important people by the Tigers dugout.

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Susan Slusser, the A’s Beat Writer for the SF Chronicle, spent some time talking with Miguel Cabrera.

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Meanwhile, I was over at the Tigers bullpen, like I mentioned. That being said, nobody tossed anything up…

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Tigers BP was okay.

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Not many guys where hitting the ball into the bleachers seats.

However, the pitchers throughout the outfield were fielding a lot of balls.
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Do you see anything special about that ball? Take a look at this photo.

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OHMYGAWD IT WAS A POSTSEASON COMMEMORATIVE BALL. I called out to Justin Verlander for a ball. He saw I was in Tigers gear, so he tossed the ball in his glove to me.

OHMYGOSH YES! I was going to get a postseason ball. Right before it smacked into my glove, some guy reached ACROSS MY BODY and caught the ball. REALLY???? AHHHHHHH!!!

I was beyond frustrated. It was a commemorative ball. Moments later, a ball was hit  deep into the bleachers. It took a weird ricochet and bounced back right above me. I jumped up as high as I could AND THE SAME FREAKING GUY GOT it. It was a postseason ball too. And every other ball that the tigers were using in BP was a postseason ball too. WOW…

Meanwhile, Miguel Cabrera was putting on a show. He was hitting the ball into the 2ND DECK in Center Field. Insane.

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Can anyone help me identify this guy? He wasn’t tossing up many balls, but I bet he’d toss me a ball if I knew his name.

IMG_2311 Leyland, the Tigers manager, was wandering around the outfield.

Jim

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As for the rest of BP. Very few balls made it to the RF seats. It was crowded. Why did I not go to LF? LF was even MORE crowded! Long story short? I didn’t get ANY balls in Tigers BP. I came inches away from 5 or 10, but let’s not talk about that.

The cages were taken in around 5:45.

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After BP, Ross proudly showed off the new Sean Doolittle sign. Why the bell? Doolittle’s entrance song is For Whom the Bell Tolls.
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My dad an dI then decided to head up and check out the 3rd deck. Why is it so special? BECAUSE IT NORMALLY HAS TARPS ON IT. Check out the photo that my dad got from the 2nd deck, in section 200.

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I then made my way to the top corner, as high up as you can go.

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This is where my dad got this photo of me with my 2 BP balls.

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How high up were we? Here is the scoreboard…

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And here is the parking lot!

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By the cross aisle, here is what it looks like to the left. I don’t know if you can tell in the picture, but the 300 level is STEEP!
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Now I’m sure you are wondering about the view of the view.

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Here’s a panoramic shot that I got on my phone.

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Cool stuff!

At this point, my dad and I parted ways. He wanted to walk around and get some pictures, while I headed back to the bleachers.

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He somehow snuck behind the Tigers dugout and got pictures of the pre-game introductions.
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The Tigers lined up along the 1st base line, having had their staff, bench, bullpen, and starters introduced.

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The A’s then lined up along the 3rd base line for the same thing.

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What was so great about this?

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Check out this challenge in the MyGameBalls.com Scavenger Hunt:

“A group of players standing together whose names are visible on their jerseys and when combined contain every letter in the English language excluding X, Z, and Q. 20 point bonus for a photo with all 26 letters – 8 points”

So, I took the above photo and photoshopped it:

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25 of the 26 letters. HOW COOL IS THAT? If only the Tigers or A’s had someone on the team with an X in their last name! I will go ahead and throw this out now. I don’t know if an MLB player has ever had an X in their last name. I sure couldn’t find one! Let me know if there is someone!

Meanwhile, we were kind of cramped in the bleachers. Look right above my head. That’s a TBS camera!

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Also, you can see a TBS reporter on the right side of the picture. That is David Aldridge, of TBS and TNT!

He was in the bleachers for about 15-20 minutes before the game started. I don’t know if he did anything during the pre-game, but it definitely looked like it! In the last picture, you saw the cameraman. He was 2 or 3 seats to my left. David was standing right next to me. In order to make sure that I was not in his shot, the cameraman told me to lean back. I was pretty much forced up against my chair for a while. Then, right before the first pitch, he did a short bit on the RF bleachers. Here is a picture my mom sent me.

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I don’t know how easy it is for you to tell, but he was making things pretty tight! You can see my right behind him, with my dad right next to me.

The environment was awesome. For the national anthem, they had sparklers in the outfield.

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Along with other fireworks.

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And former Athletic great Dave Henderson threw out the first pitch!

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The 2 seats my family had for the entire postseason are the two seats right behind Will and Ross!

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On the mound for Oakland was Bartolo Colon.

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He struggled in the 1st inning, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits.

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As always, Tori Hunter was glad to see the RF Bleacher folks.

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Max Scherzer was on the bump for Detroit.

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Oh. Remember how I mentioned the 3rd deck was open. Check out the stadium when the 3rd deck was full!

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It was nuts!
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Once again, it was time for the legends race!

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Guess who won?

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The Greatest. Of All Time.

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Dan Ortero pitched the  7th inning for the A’s, relieving Bartolo Colon.

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In the middle of the 7th inning, after Gold Bless America and the 7th inning stretch, guess what song was played?

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Indeed, it was Call me Maybe….

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So throughout the game, they showed a decibel reader on the scoreboard. This wasn’t the highest it got!

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I think I saw it reach 111.

In the bottom of the 7th, Brandon Moss singled to lead off the inning, and Yoenis Cespedes followed up with a home run! Everyone went nuts!

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At this point, everyone was getting into it!
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After Dan Ortero got the first out, Sean Doolittle came in to get the final 2 outs of the 8th.
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I know I’ve mentioned it at lot, and I’ll say it again. I LOVED sitting in 149 for this game!

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Even though the A’s didn’t have a lead at any point in the game, it was still FUN!

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Unfortunately, after the Yo homer, the A’s were unable to score any more runs.

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After the game, somebody threw this ball onto the field.
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Just a little league ball…

Slowly, we all cleared out of the bleachers.

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I didn’t hang around long, as my dad and I were both pretty tired!

It was a long day, but I was ready to go back out and do it all over again on Saturday!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 38th Game this Year (25th MLB Game)
  • 2 Balls at this Game
  • 40 balls in 25 MLB games this season = 1.6 Balls Per Game
  • 2 Balls in 2 Lifetime Postseason Games = 1 Ball Per Game
  • 120 Baseballs this season
  • 68 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 163 Lifetime Baseballs

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Nick Badders is a blogger for MLB.com. He writes the blog, 7000 Coliseum Way, and you can follow him on Twitter @nickbatters. You can also LIKE his blog on Facebook. This blog entry was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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13 comments

  1. BIG RIG (149)

    NICK! a.k.a. Big Nicky B a.k.a. Pepperoni (“Pepps”) a.k.a. THA SHITTAH!!! Gr8 to see ur blog! We had a great time didn’t we? What a great addition to the right field FAMILY u r. LETS DO IT AGAIN NEXT YEAR LIL MAN! LETS GO OAKLAND!

    Ur friend in Section 149,
    “BIG RIG” RIGOBERTO

    Like

  2. Pingback: 2013 in Review « 7000 Coliseum Way

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