3/31/14 at the Oakland Coliseum

Sorry Guys… I’ve been so busy, I haven’t gotten around to writing any blog entries. The next few blog entries will be REALLY short. Once I get back into the swing of things, I’ll start having longer entries. I’ll have a new blog entry every day for the rest of April, okay?

Opening Day… Is supposed to be a beautiful, sunny, perfect day, correct? WRONG!



Well it rained. A lot (For Bay Area standards). However, that didn’t stop us, or for that matter a lot of A’s fans for coming out!

My mom, sister and I got to the Coliseum shortly after 3pm, when we got in line at Gate B with a few other people. Nothing exciting happened. The rain stopped for a bit, then picked up right when it was time for the gates to open…

Even though they were supposed to open at 5:05, it was closer to 5:10 when I finally got inside. I ran straight for the bleachers and set my stuff down with everyone else.

The first picture of the entry was taken shortly after we got in. After 10 minutes, I saw the A’s pitchers playing catch down the left field line, so I decided to go take a look.


Meanwhile, the grounds crew was sweeping water off the tarp and preparing the field for the game.



After pitchers had finished warming up, they all did some running.



I’m sure you are wondering if I snagged a ball while the pitchers were throwing. I did! After all of them had finished playing catch, I tried to get a ball, but had no luck. I decided to head over to the bullpen to try my luck with one of the pitchers when they were done throwing there. No luck.

After they all left, I saw bullpen coach Darren Bush walking towards me. I saw that he had a couple of balls in his hand with the 2014 OPENING DAY LOGO on them. I knew I had to get one. But, when I asked him for one, he said he had to save them and couldn’t give them away. I asked him if he could keep an eye out for one of the special logo balls, and he said he would try.

Anyway… I then spotted bullpen catcher Casey Chavez with a few balls in his hand. Given that it appeared that all of the pitchers had been using these balls, I hoped he had a few. If you remember, at A’s FanFest, I purchased a Casey Chavez gold jersey. I was wearing it at this game. So, I called out to him, telling him that he would like my jersey. He turned to me and I pointed to my back. He smiled and flipped me a ball. Here I am with it…


Let’s take a closer look at that logo…


SUCCESS! Even though the logo is worn out a bit, a commemorative ball is still a commemorative ball. I was VERY happy!

Eventually, players started coming out onto the field. John Jaso was back in the catchers gear after missing a large part of last season due to a concussion.

Josh Reddick was starting in right field today.

Daric Barton was at first.


Josh Donaldson (4th-place MVP finisher) was at 3rd base.

IMG_1955Former Oakland Athletic Nick Swisher was batting second and playing first base.

He was getting a lot of boos, but given that he was my first ever favorite player, I couldn’t do so.

On the mound for the A’s was Sonny Gray.

In the top of the 6th inning, we got to see some “history.” Terry Francona asked for the umpires to use a challenge on a play at the plate. First time a call like that had been challenged in an MLB game. EVER.

IMG_2148The call stood and the runner was out.

It felt good to be back out at the yard taking pictures like this.

Or this, for example, when Sean Doolittle came into the game in the 8th. Sonny Gray pitched the first 6, Luke Gregerson pitched the 7th, and he pitched the 8th.

At the time Doolittle entered, the score was tied 0-0, so it had been a tight game all night long.


I thought this was a particularly cool picture that my dad took.


The A’s made some noise in the bottom of the 8th. Daric Barton singled to lead off, then advanced to second on a wild pitch.

Coco Crisp then walked, and the A’s had runners on first and second with one out.


Josh Donaldson then singled to load the bases.

However, Cody Allen was SOMEHOW able to get out of a one-out, bases loaded jam.


Jed Lowrie struck out swinging and Brandon Moss grounded out to Swisher at first.


8 innings. No runs scored. The A’s called upon newly acquired closer Jim Johnson to keep the game scoreless.


He did the opposite of that.

The first three batters of the inning all got on base, thanks to a walk, single, and hit batsman. With the bases loaded, Fernando Abad started to get hot in the bullpen.

IMG_2445Johnson ended up allowing two runs. Abad came in after those two runs were allowed and did not pitch a bad (HAHA GET IT?) 2/3 of an inning. He retired both batters he faced.

After this, I headed down behind home plate in hopes of getting an Opening Day commemorative umpire ball as soon as the game was over.

Long story short- it didn’t happen. The A’s lost on Opening Day for the zillionth time in a row. This time, it was a 2-0 shutout. Hey… At least I’d be back out at the game the next day? Or would I…

The next day, I was skimming through the game archive on MLB.tv and I saw this.


Hey! That’s my flag! For those of you who didn’t already know, during the offseason, I purchased a custom flag to wave in the right field bleachers. And… on the first game of the season, I got some TV time! Cool stuff!



  • 1st game this year (1st MLB Game)
  • 1 ball at this game
  • 1 ball in 1 MLB games this season = 1 Ball Per Game
  • 1 baseball this season
  • 69 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 164 Lifetime Baseballs


Nick Badders is a blogger for MLB.com. He writes the blog, 7000 Coliseum Way, and you can follow him on Twitter @RFNick149. 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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