5/30/14 at the Oakland Coliseum

The night before, I expressed interest in attending this game with one of my parents. Neither of them were up for it, however my mom told me that I could go on my own if I wanted to. AWESOME!

This was the first time that I had ever gone to a game by myself and I was excited!

My dad picked me up from school at 3:05 and after grabbing some food and changing clothes at home, he dropped me off at BART, which got me to the Coliseum just after 4:10, 20 minutes before the scheduled gate opening time.

Eventually, they did open the gates, and they opened them 5 MINUTES EARLY, at 4:25. Shortly after getting into the right field bleachers, I called out to newly acquired first baseman Kyle Blanks for a ball, however he tossed it to Adam.

After the first group finished, I had no balls, however lefties Josh Reddick and power hitting Brandon Moss were in the next group. On one of Moss’ first pitches, he drove a ball deep into the right field seats. I didn’t think it would land in the seats at first, so I got there a bit late, but when I did, I grabbed the ball perfectly off the carom for ball #1 on the day. It did come at an expense, though, as I slipped a little bit when I caught the ball, scraping up both knees.

When Brandon stepped into the cage the next time around, he drilled a ball right at me that rather than catching on the fly, I let drop in the seat right in front of me, where I picked it up for ball #2. Not sure what I was thinking there.
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Moments later, Josh Reddick drilled a ball right at me, but I misjudged it and it flew 2 feet over my outstretched glove and bounced back onto the field, which was a bit frustrating. Now here comes the story as to how I got ball #3…

I was wearing my Casey Chavez jersey at this game. For those that don’t know, Casey is the brother of former Athletic Eric Chavez and the A’s bullpen catcher. I purchased the jersey at FanFest this past year and wore it on Opening Day. He jogged out to right field at around 5:00, so BP was just over halfway done. I turned around my jersey and called out to him, and he pointed up to me and nodded.

About 10 minutes later, I called out to Dan Ortero for a ball. He saw my jersey and called Casey over. Dan then proceeded to toss me the ball. I don’t quite know what happened next. The ball was falling a bit short, so I had to lean over a bit more than normal to try and make the catch. I am not sure if the ball hit off the palm, heel, or tip of my glove, but to put it simply, I dropped the ball. It was in an awkward position to catch from the beginning, but it was a ball that I should have caught, and I will make no excuses about it.

The look Dan Ortero had on his face was that of sheer disappointment. He and Casey both started yelling at me, then Casey told me to give him 10 good pushups. I was confused at this point and I thought he was joking, but it turned out he was dead serious. His reasoning? When he drops or misses a ball, he has to do 10 pushups, and I was wearing his jersey, so why shouldn’t I have to, since I was technically him.

I caved in and did 10 quick pushups and he tossed me the ball, but first, he made me promise to never drop a ball again. Well it certainly made a good story for this blog, right?

Here are the three balls I got during A’s BP…

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The A’s took a bit of extended batting practice this time, finishing up around 5:30. I spent about 15 minutes in right field before moving to left field. Nothing was being into into the right field seats and all of the Angels players and coaches that were in the outfield did not toss anything up.

I went to left field because Albert Pujols had hit a couple of balls out there, but as soon as I got to left field, things went dead. Nobody considered tossing anything up and nobody hit anything out. Angels BP ended around 6:20 and I headed back to right field with the three balls pictured above.

I really enjoyed being by myself for a change. It felt nice to not have to worry about anyone except for yourself at a game and to be able to focus on doing my own thing.

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There was a giveaway for this game! A Josh Donaldson head-on-a-stick… I had to take a selfie with it.

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Since I don’t have any photos of the game, I’ll spare you the details of the game, however I’ll show you this picture I took at the start of the game.

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When Sean Doolittle came into the game in the 9th inning, it was time to do the Doo! Metalica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” came on and everyone started headbanging! Satoshi brought this mask with him and wore it while he was headbanging. He was kind enough to let me take a photo with it on!

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For the ninth inning, I stuck my hat on the mask and propped it up with three flags, in a tripod sort of method. I had to take anther selfie… I know, I know!20140601-002846-1726873.jpg

The A’s won 9-5… It was a good game and I had a good time. Thanks for reading!

Remember, I’m publishing a new blog entry every day!  If you click on the game title, it will take you to a link that WILL NOT GO LIVE UNTIL THE ENTRY IS PUBLISHED. If you click on the game title before it is published, you will be given a page that says “The page you were looking for was not found.” You’ll be able to check out the game entry once it is published. Check out the list to find out when my next game entry will be!

  • Sunday, June 22nd: 6/13/14 at the Oakland Coliseum

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 11th game this year (7th MLB Game)
  • 3 balls at this game
  • 7 balls in 7 MLB games this season = 1 Ball Per Game
  • 27 baseball this season
  • 75 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 190 Lifetime Baseballs

Note that I have 190 MLB Balls… My goal was to get 10 at the next game I went to to have an even 200. Stay tuned to find how how that went!

2013top100

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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