School got out the day before. I was officially on summer vacation. And I was leaving for Boy Scout camp two days later. How else do I celebrate the start of summer other than going to a baseball game?
My dad got home from work a bit late, so he, Pascale, and myself didn’t get out of the house until 3:45 for the 4:30 gate openings. Eventually, we did get to the Coliseum. We got there at 4:23. My dad dropped my sister and I off at the entrance to the parking lot and the two of us ran over to Gate B, where we somehow managed to be first in line. How? There were 6 lines open, but only 2 of them had people in them. Win for us!
Once we got inside, I took note of the players in right field. The group of four consisted of Kyle Blanks, Stephen Vogt, Drew Pomeranz (below), and Craig Gentry.
The group that was hitting when we got inside did hit two balls out, but both were to the same guy, who was on the opposite side of the RF bleachers from where I was standing
The second group had quite a bit of power, including Yoenis Cespedes…
Thank goodness for Brandon Moss. A couple of weeks ago, I snagged 2 Brandon Moss home runs during A’s BP. Those were 2 of the 3 balls for me on the day. In his last round of hitting, Moss drilled another home run that I sprinted over a couple of sections and snagged. Ball #1 on the day.
About halfway though A’s BP, Derek Jeter ran across the field (presumably to go to the indoor cages beyond the center field wall) and the crowd erupted. When I say “crowd” I mean the mass of 150 people behind the Yankees dugout.
If you can’t tell, the button is part of the #BringerOfVotes campagin to get Josh Donaldson into the All Star Game.
This is a picture of a baseball that either my dad or Pascale took. I like it a lot. It’s simple and well-framed.
On to Yankees BP. There were A LOT of Yankees fans around. And of course, they all wanted balls from the players in right field that they were unable to identify. In the picture below, you will see two balls on the out-of-town scoreboard. One of them was dropped by a Yankees fan when it was tossed to him. The other was an Eric Sogard home run.
The guy that dropped it made an extreme effort to get the ball, but was unable to. These two Yankees players gave him A BUNCH of crap for it.
Ichiro was also patrolling right field alongside the two players above. He was making some pretty neat plays, showing off for the fans.
Halfway through Yankees BP, I decided to go to left field. Right field was just too crowded and things weren’t working out. I was still sitting on one ball on the day, so I figured that left field couldn’t be much worse. I was right!
Minutes after I got in, a ball was hit to Yankees pitcher Preston Claiborne. There were Yankees fans all around me screaming for the ball. I politely called out “Preston can I please have that ball.” He shot around, I asked again, he pointed at me and tossed the ball right at me. I just had to reach straight up a bit, but the ball was mine!
All the Yankees fans around me were complaining that the ball wasn’t intended for me, but I was the only one that asked politely.
After BP came to an end, I headed back to right field, where I met up with Tyler Burton, who usually sits near me in the front row with his flag. I was hoping to get one of the two balls on top of the scoreboard, so we taped our flags together and put some tape on the end of his. He lowered our flags down.
And it worked! He got the first ball (pictured above) and I got the second ball (pictured below).
Here it is.
This was the ball that the Yankees fan had dropped. I really didn’t want to give it to him, but since he had asked politely and had made a decent attempt to retrieve the ball, I figured that I would hook him up.
After BP ended, I kind of just chilled until first pitch. Pascale and I walked around the stadium a bit, then we slid into our seats around 6:45.
Coco was out on the field doing some stretches (or whatever you call this).
After this, there was a short video on DiamondVision that honored the late Bob Welch, who passed away just a few days prior.
Sonny Gray was on the mound for the A’s in this game. He has had a very good series, so I had high hopes for him. More on that in a bit.
With Josh Reddick on the Disabled List, Brandon Moss was playing right field for this game.
Now lets get to the game… Sonny Gray got off to a rough start. The inning started off with 3 straight singles, the second of which was off the bat of Derek Jeter. The third hit resulted in the first run of the game.
Sonny was able to get out of the first inning with minimal damage, only having allowed 2 runs. The second run came on a Mark Teixeira sacrifice fly.
After the A’s went down 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the first, Sonny continued to struggle. He allowed 3 more hits and walked a batter, which thankfully only resulted in one additional run being scored.
With Alberto Callaspo being placed on paternity leave prior to the game, the A’s called up Andy Parrino to fill his roster spot. Like a majority of the A’s lineup, Parrino went 0-3.
Not only did the A’s struggle, but so did Dennis Eckersley in the Hall of Fame Race. He got out to a commanding lead, but was passed up by Rickey in the final 20 yards. Moments later, Rollie came sprinting up behind him and once again, Eck finished dead last.
After his tough first two innings, Sonny Gray settled down, allowing just one hit over his final four innings of work. Fernando Abad came on to pitch the 7th and was able to get 3 quick outs for the A’s.
Then came the 8th… Jeff Francis was called upon to pitch the 8th inning for the A’s and that is when things fell apart. In one inning of work, Francis allowed five hits and four runs. The third and 4th runs on the game came on a missed catch by Derek Norris. Brandon Moss fired the ball to home plate, and as you can see, the ball just flew out of Norris’ mitt.
Towards the end of the game, I noticed this guy preparing the outfield wall to be taken down for the on-field fireworks after the game.
The 8th inning ended in a weird way, and I have pictures to prove it! On a 3-2 pitch, Dellin Betances threw a pitch at Coco Crisp’s feet. Coco had to lunge/jump/dive to get out of the way of the pitch.
In the process, he fell down.
The umpire ruled it a swinging strike, saying that the ball had been blocked and the inning was over. Everyone in the A’s dugout was visibly frustrated.
One of the reasons we decided to go to this game because the post-game fireworks were going to be to Super Mario Bros music. I thought that sounded cool (and new), but about halfway though the game, we decided that it wasn’t worth it. I figured that I would rather just get home early and avoid all of the traffic. We changed our minds as we were leaving the stadium, so we got in line here.
After 20 minutes, we were eventually let onto the field, which was PACKED!
After the fireworks, I figured that I would take a photo in front of the outfield wall. I like how it came out!
Thanks for reading! Unfortunately, this will be my last post for a while. I will be working at a Boy Scout camp through the end of July, which means I won’t get to go to many (if any) baseball games) until August. I am shooting for 1 game in July, but I don’t know when that will be. I’ll keep everyone updated though, don’t worry!
- 12th game this year (8th MLB Game)
- 3 balls at this game
- 10 balls in 8 MLB games this season = 1.25 Balls Per Game
- 30 baseballs this season
- 78 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
- 193 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.