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!

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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.
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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.

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

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

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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…


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Let’s take a closer look at that logo…

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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.
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Josh Reddick was starting in right field today.
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Daric Barton was at first.

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

IMG_1955Former Oakland Athletic Nick Swisher was batting second and playing first base.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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At the time Doolittle entered, the score was tied 0-0, so it had been a tight game all night long.

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

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

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Josh Donaldson then singled to load the bases.
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However, Cody Allen was SOMEHOW able to get out of a one-out, bases loaded jam.

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

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

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He did the opposite of that.
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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.

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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!

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BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 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

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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 @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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