Category: Athletics

5/17/13 at the Oakland Coliseum- BACON FRIDAY!

This was a much different day than I’ve had in the past few years ballhawking-wise. It would be the first game since I went to Nationals Park in 2011 that I didn’t try to ballhawk at!

NICK!!!! HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND????

Yes.

No, but in all seriousness, I knew from the start I wouldn’t be able to ballhawk this game. My high school’s baseball team (Remember this game?) was 22-1 going into today, with a 4pm game against our cross-town rivals, so I couldn’t miss it!

I considered leaving around 5:30 to “beat” the traffic and get there at the end of BP, but it didn’t come close to happening. As much as I wanted to go to the A’s game, I really wanted to stay for this game!

I left around 6:30pm for the 7pm A’s game. Traffic was horrible! My dad and I listened to the pregame show on the radio on the drive up and pulled into the Coliseum parking lot just after the first pitch.

I ran in Gate MM and headed up to the 3rd deck? Why? I had purchased a Value Deck seat. Every Friday in the Value Deck in Oakland, they have a giveaway of some sort, this time it was a T-Shirt. Look for me to be wearing it in my next entry!

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I ran up, grabbed my shirt, and slid into my seat just in time in the bottom of the 1st inning. Everyone was wearing their Bacon Friday T-shirts!

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Wait? What is Bacon Friday, you might ask?

Watch this video…

Or this video…

That was just 2011. That was the first annual Bacon Tuesday.

In 2012, they brought it back for the 2nd Annual Bacon Tuesday. Read this article at Cut4 and this article at the Royals website.

It was back in 2013 and bigger and better than ever! How big? Jeff Francoeur AND Josh Reddick stopped by before the gates opened to tailgate with them!

I have to give MAJOR props to my mom! In the days leading up to Bacon Friday, she baked DOZENS upon DOZENS of Bacon Chocolate Chip cookies. I don’t know exactly how many she made, but they were AMAZING!!!!

Even the people running the scoreboard knew it was Bacon Friday!

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They even showed some action of Sizzlin’ Bacon! Everyone in RF chanted “Go Bacon Go! Go Bacon Go!

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They knew of the awesomeness that is Bacon Friday.

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When I slipped into my seat, Yoenis Cespedes was at the plate…

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But Brandon Moss grounded out to end the first, stranding Jed Lowrie at first.

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Jarrod Parker was on the mound for the A’s

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Daric Barton was playing first.

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FYI, I am a member of the Daric Barton Fan Club. WE GOT YOUR BACK BRO!

While Lorenzo Cain was batting in the 2nd inning, Eric Hosmer was picked off.

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After a short pickle, he was out at first.

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IMG_3532You could tell everyone on the field was happy about it!

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Cain ende up grounding out to first base to end the top of the 2nd.IMG_3536

Like I had mentioned earlier, everyone was wearing their Bacon Friday shirts.

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And yes, I did get one!

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I was 7 rows back or so, but I still had a great view!
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Will was not wearing a jersey like he usually does, but his Bacon Friday shirt!

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In the bottom of the 2nd, with 1 out and Josh Donaldson on first, Derek Norris walked.

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Then, Daric Barton stepped up to the plate.

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He ende up grounding into a fielder’s choice, Derek Norris was thrown out at 2nd base.

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With a runner on 2nd in the top of the 3rd and 1 out, Elliot Johnson was called out on strikes.

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Then, Parker allowed the first run of the game.

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David Lough doubled to Center, bringing in Salvatore Perez.

In the 3rd inning, I headed over to LF to go hang out with Rick Gold for an inning or so. He was in town for the homestand and planning on attending BallhawkFest the next day, so I thought I would stop by and chat for a little bit.

Right after I left, this happened…

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Yep. Omar, Anson, and a few other people did a live interview on the Royals TV broadcast.

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Everyone got pictures with him.

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This is a close-up shot of the back of the T-Shirt.

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Jarrod Parker pitched a scoreless 4th, despite a single and walk.

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I came back in the 4th inning, around the time that my mom and sister showed up!

Why were they so late? My sister had soccer tryouts that ended around 7. She went home, changed into her A’s gear, and she and my mom immediately took BART out to Oakland so they could catch at least part of the game.

FYI, here is Rick. He’s in the new BP hat with the green jacket- right in the middle of the picture.

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James Shields, who tossed me a ball last year when the Rays were in town, was on the mound for the Royals.

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On the 4th pitch of the bottom of the 4th, Brandon Moss singled to right field.

But he tried to stretch it into a double…

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Out or safe?

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He was called out trying to stretch his single into a double for the first out of the inning.IMG_3707

Everyone was pumped about the game!
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Throughout the game, they showed bacon facts on the scoreboard.

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Omar Gutierez’s son, known as The Champ took lots of pictures during the game!

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He’s one awesome kid!

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And he had BACON MINTS!!!

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The other Omar G, Omar Gonzalez was very excited!

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Coco Crispy Bacon!!!

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Jorge was getting into the action, despite his sleepiness.

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Daniel and Keith were chilling in the front row on the other side of the section.

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Ross was taking lots of pictures.

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As was everyone else.

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Can anyone guess what year bacon was invented?
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If you guessed 1500 BC, you are correct!

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The scoreboard routinely showed this for the entire game.

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Through the top of the 6th, the A’s had allowed only that 3rd inning run.

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Jorge was having a good day!IMG_3812

Ready for more bacon trivia? What percentage of men ranked bacon as their favorite smell?

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23%!

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More bacon facts and trivia. BACON CURES HANGOVERS!!!

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Omar had these three signs at this game.

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Everyone was getting into the spirit of Bacon Friday!

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Daric Barton stepped to the plate for the A’s in the 7th, but he was called out on strikes…

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But it wasn’t before Josh Donaldson hit a game-tying home run to left field!

Bob Melvin really wanted to score a few more runs.

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Sean Doolittle came in to pitch the 8th inning for Oakland.IMG_3900

Did you know there is a world record for bacon-eating?

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Doolittle pitched a scoreless 8th

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Adam Rosales stepped to the plate to lead off the A’s half of the 8th.

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On a 1-1 pitch, he hammered a ball to left field to put the A’s ahead 2-1!

Rosie did his usual sprint around the bases.

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RUN ROSIE RUN!

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This meant it was time for Grant Balfour to get loose in the bullpen.

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No more runs were scored in the 8th inning.IMG_3974

I don’t know what it is, but security hates sections 148 and 149 this year. They had a huge problem with a lot of people on Friday.

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Everyone was excited that the A’s had taken the lead!

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In the top of the 9th, it was time for Grant Balfour to come in to close the game out…

This meant it was time to RAGE!!!

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After getting 2 quick outs, Eric Hosmer stepped to the plate!

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And struck him out swinging! Everyone was happy!

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Slowly, we all filed out.

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We all met up in the concourse after the game, I handed out some more cookies, and Ralliney had someone take this picture of us.

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Wow! It was nice to to have any pressures of ballhawking, and for those like me who don’t care about streaks or such, I would highly recommend that you go to a game and purposely not ballhawk. Very relaxing!

Thanks for reading!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 9th Game this Year
  • 0 Balls at this Game
  • 8 balls in 7 MLB games this season = 1.14 Ball Per Game
  • 23 Balls in 9 Games this season = 2.55 Balls Per Game
  • 36 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 66 Total Balls

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

4/29/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

Boy oh boy! Today was a long day!

First off, today was Josh Hamilton Appreciation night. Basically, Wes, out in RF (@RFWes on Twitter) came up with the idea of holding Josh Hamilton Appreciation night, in honor of Hamilton dropping the ball in game 162 to allow the A’s to pull ahead, winning the game and AL West division. Over the course of the next day, there were a lot of articles about the event. The Dallas Morning News, Sports Illustrated’s Swingin’ A’s blog, Fox 4 in Dallas, Fox Sports Southwest, NESN, ESPN Dallas, NBC’s Hardball Talk, the MLB Fan Cave, MLB.com’s Cut4, and NBC Dallas all covered the event! WOW!

When I got home from Reggie Jackson bobblehead day, Adam Olson, who designed this blog’s logo and is famous for his A’s Shirts, posted on Facebook that he couldn’t make it to Monday’s game, and he was offering his tickets for free to the first person that messaged him.  I took advantage, and he was more than willing to give me his 2 seats in Section 124 for the game.

Over the course of the day, I captured some pretty cool moments on video, which you can check out here:

Conveniently, on Monday, I had a doctor’s appointment nearby his place, so after school got out at 3:05, my entire family headed out to pick up the tickets. Once we had picked up the tickets at around 3:45, we made the quick drive to my doctor’s office, for the 4pm appointment.

It took a little longer than expected, as I was hoping to catch the 4:35 BART Train to Oakland, but the appointment ended around 3:35, so my dad dropped my mom and I off at 4:45, just in time to catch the 4:50 train to Oakland.

After getting off and transferring to a different station, we made it to the Coliseum BART station at 5:25, just 10 minutes before the gates opened. I ran from the station to the Coliseum, to find a VERY short line. Here is a bad shot of the line in front of me.

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I’d say that by 5:35, maybe 10 people were behind me.

There was only one person checking bags, and one person scanning tickets, but once I got inside, even though my ticket was not for the bleachers, I sprinted out to RF. It appeared as Pujols, Trumbo, Trout, and Hamilton had all finished taking their hacks, as I didn’t see any of them during Batting Practice.

I was on the board quickly. After getting to the bleacher around 5:40, I got my first ball almost immediately  As soon as I ran into the bleachers, I saw a ball hit the wall in Right-Center.  I ran over there, Michael Kohn walked over, picked the ball up, and tossed it up to me after I called out for it.

Ball #2 was the next pitch hit by the same batter, fielded by former Atheltic Joe Blanton. I called out to him, and I had two balls within 30 seconds, less than 6 minutes within the gates opening.

My 3rd ball of the day came 3 minutes later, it was hit to dead center field, Jerome Williams fielded it, and after noticing and identifying his pink glove thanks to my memory of Mateo Fischer’s blog entry, I called out to him, and he tossed it up!

3 balls within 10 minutes of the gates opening, all within 5 minutes of each other!

By this time, most of the players in RF and CF had seen me call out for balls, and considering nobody was hitting it to LF, BP was “dead.”

I focused my attention on this man:
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That would be Mr. Josh “Butterfingers” Hamilton!

Why? I noticed that he had struck up a conversation with the RF bleacher folks!

IMG_9717They tossed some Butterfinger candies onto the field for him.
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Which he enjoyed! He had a very long conversation with the 20-or-so folks out in RF;

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And they all loved it!

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I think he loved the fact that they were doing this!

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And they loved the fact he was so willing to participate!

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At this point, a majority of the balls being hit were hit down the RF line, so I headed to the RF corner, in the BBQ Terrace.
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This was the scene to the right.

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CJ Wilson (Right) and Ernesto Freiri (49) were patrolling the RF area.

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This camera was right below me.
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Then, I noticed this guy in RF.

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That would be Alex Espinosa, of MLB.com’s Cut4. Go ahead and follow him on Twitter here.

He was busy taking pictures and filming.
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Here is the video from the night that he got:

Hamilton was enjoying the Butterfingers.

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And he posed for photos.

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Alex got busy taking notes on what was happening.

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I got a chance to talk with him, along with Wes (Right) and Ralliney (Middle)

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I saw this coach on the Angels toss this ball up to a young fan in the first row.

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As you can see, Left Field was PACKED!

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Welp. There was nothing hit out there. Very few toss-ups.

While I was wandering around the BBQ Terrace in Right Field, I looked down to the stairs behind the Right Field wall.
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I ran back and forth between the Terrace and Bleachers A LOT.

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But the cages broke down…
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And I got a picture of Wes and “Dreamkiller” (Left) with their butterfingers.

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Ralliney got this shot of me with my 3 balls and my AMAZING shirt.

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As well of this photo of me taking pictures:

946653_10152790703280788_1018542732_nRoss was out in the Bleachers, as always, with a pretty awesome shirt!
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Everyone was having a great time!

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WITH THEIR BUTTERFINGERS!!!
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There were lots of All Star Ballots in the Bleachers. REMEMBER. VOTE GREEN AND GOLD IN 2013!!!

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Then, I decided to head off to my ticketed seat, where my mom got this photo of me with my 3 BP balls.

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This was my view. Not too bad!

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To  my right…

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And my left…

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Around 6:40, I headed back to the bleachers.

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Everyone was shuffling in.

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And Ross held his #ReddickRallyHair.

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Confused? Watch this video…

Now watch this video…

Now you are all caught up to speed!

Everyone was posing with their Butterfingers!!

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You know how I was wearing my “He Dropped It” shirt, designed by Adam Olson? Well… He updated the design, and many people in the bleachers were wearing it!

Alex got this photo of the two of us. Alex actually writes a blog as well called BayMode, and he has an entry up about this game, including lots of pictures from the bleachers! You can check out his blog here and his entry about this game here.

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Vanessa got it from this angle:

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In the words of Will MacNeil, “CURSE YOU PAPARAZZI!!!”

Arlene got this photo of Vanessa and I

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Don’t ask me about my eyes. I don’t know.

Anson (one of the RF Die-hards that I haven’t mentioned much on this blog) showed up shortly after I did.
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This may be the best prop I saw all night.

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Seriously. How amazing is that?

Satoshi and Keita were wearing these awesome hats.

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I had to pose wearing one as well.

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The ceremonial first pitch was quite entertaining.

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And Tony started distributing bags of the #ReddickRallyHair

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Remember that video of Alex Interviewing Tony? Here he is doing so. Cool camera, huh?

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Here is Tony explaining everything

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Remember… You can watch the video here.

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The umpires met at home plate…

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And we were ready to go!!

Right before the first pitch, my camera battery died. Of course, the second battery was in my backpack on the COMPLETE opposite side of the stadium… So I *SPRINTED* to my seat, grabbed the battery along with another spare, and sprinted back. I got to the bleachers just in time to see Josh Hamilton’s first plate appearance.

Alex LOVED it!

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When Josh came out in the bottom of the first, you could tell he did too!

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Tracey was flashing here sign and glove!

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You could tell Hamilton loved it all.

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After the first inning, I went over and spent the 2nd inning with my mom by the dugout before heading out to the bleachers again. I grabbed a seat on the left side of section 149, right behind Omar Gonzalez and his daughter Rhema.

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He has a lot of pretty awesome signs!

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Meanwhile, Tommy Hanson was on the mound for the Halos.

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Okay, okay. I know you all just want pictures of everyone in right field.

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Shin was just in front of me.

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Ready for a story?

Every night, the sun sets in Oakland. Every night game, the sun sets right behind the 3rd base dugout. Eventually, it is directly behind one of the staircases int he 3rd deck.

And the Sun Hole was born.

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I still can’t get over how amazing Tracey’s glove was!

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Like I went back and forth during BP between the Terrace and Bleachers, I went back and forth between 124 and the Bleachers during the game.
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While I was sitting with my mom, she got a lot of awesome pictures!

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It was weird to be on the other end of the stadium, watching the bleachers.
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But like I said, my mom got some AWESOME shots.

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Early into the game, there was a fielder’s interference of some sort… It was quite frustrating to the Angels…

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The Umpire was clapping…

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ERIC SOGARD NERD POWER!!!

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Strikeout machine Dan Straily was on the mound for the A’s.

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Jed Lowrie also got hit by not just one pitch….

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But two. Can you find the ball? FYI, I took this picture 🙂

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While I was sitting over there, you know what I was thinking? It must be awesome to be the A’s bat boy down the LF line. You get to warm up Yoenis Cespedes every inning.

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Soon enough, I was back out in Right Field.

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Sam was holding up this AMAZING sign.

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Like… Amazing!
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Omar was enjoying the game with his daughter Rhema.

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When Hamilton came out to Right Field, he tossed up a ball. Everyone was taking pictures of it…
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The ball had been tossed to Wiggi…

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And she seemed pretty excited about it!

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Here’s a slightly closer look…

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There was something written on the ball!

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More than just something!

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Every side of the ball had something written on it!

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Will seemed to be having a good day!

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Same with Tony!

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After spending another inning or so in the bleachers, I headed back to my mom so that I could take some more pictures.

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Of Eric Sogard…

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Then I handed the camera to my mom so that she could take some pictures of Pat Neshek.

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Seriously, it is fun to take pictures of him!

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Brandon Moss was at first base

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Josh Reddick in Right Field

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Coco Crisp in center.

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Yoenis Cespedes in left field.

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Jed Lowrie at shortstop

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Mike Gallego is the A’s third base coach.

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Mike Trout making a catch at the wall.

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Third Base…

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Josh Donaldson stepped to the plate.

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Derek Norris was due up after him.

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At this point, I headed out to right field again.

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Grant Balfour was beginning to get loose in the bullpen.

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Along with Sean Doolittle.

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In the top of the 9th, Sean Doolittle came into pitch. At this point, my mom joined me in right field, as I was hoping to catch a walk-off home run.

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The A’s had a 4-run 8th inning, so they were down by one run coming into the bottom of the 9th.

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With two outs, Yoenis Cespedes singled to center field, bringing in Coco Crisp to tie it all up at 7!

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You could tell Omar was pretty excited!
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The 9th inning ended in a tie, and we were ready to go into extra innings!

Grant Balfour came in to pitch the 10th inning.

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Time to RAGE!!!

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Balfour shut the Angels down in the 10th.

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At this point, I was amazed that Omar and his wife had stuck along with Rhema.

Vanessa enjoyed playing with her!

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She was pretty excited about free baseball!

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Picture-taking-ception!
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Nobody had any clue what was so special about this game.

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Rhema was getting very tired!
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Grant Balfour pitched the 11th inning as well.

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Moss was still at first base.

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Everyone was enjoying the free baseball!

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I took a lot fo random pictures like this one…
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As you can see, the crowd was starting to thin out.

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Omar was rocking the Coco sign.
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In the 12th, Ryan Cook came in to pitch.

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Then, in the middle of the 12th, they played Call Me Maybe

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Nobody likes that song in Oakland.

Around 11pm, this message was shown on the scoreboard.
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My mom and I had taken BART…. CRAP!!!!

In the bottom of the 12th, this message was shown on the scoreboard. A starter was in the bullpen!
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This was about the time my phone’s battery died…

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Everyone in the right field bleachers was still here.
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Will was moving around with his flag.

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Brandon Moss moved to right field in the 14th inning.

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Around this time, it was about midnight. At 11:50, my mom told me it was time to go, but I did not want to leave!

We called my dad and he offered to come pick us up! WE WERE STAYING TILL THE END!!
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Omar was pretty excited to be there!

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This is what the back of Wes’s head looks like…

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I spent a lot of the extra innings talking with him and Vanessa.

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Omar was having some fun with his drum.

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Around the 14th or 15th inning, my dad showed up!

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Anson was getting his moves on.
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Around this time, it was the 17TH INNING!!!IMG_0957

It was the 17th inning. I was pretty happy!

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Thanks to Arlene, we can all see our RALLY FACES!!!!

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It was EMPTY
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We were having FUN FUN FUN in Right Field.

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I got to try some of this delicious green and gold Lemon Bar

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In the top of the 18th, Brett Anderson left the game with an injury.

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The infielders chatted during the pitching change.

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IT WAS RIDICULOUSLY EMPTY!!

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The person that runs the out-of-town scoreboard in right field was watching the game.

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Everyone was having a great time!

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It was 1:14. MIND BLOWN.

IMG_1001Earlier in the game, the A’s starting DH for the game, Seth Smith had to move to Left Field, after Coco Crisp Cape out, Chris Young replaced him and subsequently was injured, so Yoenis Cespedes had to move from LF to CF, and with Brandon Moss already having replaced Josh Reddick in RF, Smith had to leave the DM spot, meaning a pitcher would have to be in the lineup.

Jerry Blevins stepped to the plate. This gave me 3 points in the MyGameBalls.com Photo Scavenger Hunt!
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He actually made contact. FOUL BALL!!!!

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The stadium was almost empty at this point.IMG_1008

Vanessa got this picture of Her, me, and Wes. We were DELERIOUS!!

321470_10102455181762880_1085466090_nThe A’s couldn’t come up with anything in the 18th inning.
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Right field was loud, as usual.
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Blevins pitched the 19th inning as well.

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We were all having lots of fun! It got to the point where I think most of us just wanted the game to be over.
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We were all chanting the names of the broadcasters, from what I hear, they enjoyed very much!

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Basically, just like “Ray Fosse!” *Clap Clap ClapClapClap* “Glen Kuiper!” *Clap Clap ClapClapClap* “Ken Korach!” *Clap Clap ClapClapClap* “Vince Catroneo!” *Clap Clap ClapClapClap*

Remember how I mentioned that my phone’s battery had died? Never to fear! My dad has a smart phone too!

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(Arlene took that photo)

Here is the Tweet I sent out on his phone…

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Then… after a Seth Smith walk, Jed Lowrie grounded into a fielder’s choice, with Seth Smith out at 2nd base.

After that, Yoenis Cespedes struck out swinging, bringing Brandon Moss to the plate with 2 outs.

Following a first pitch strike, this happened.

After 6 Hours and 32 minutes, we were finally going home!

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EVERYONE was happy!

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After we had all been mulling around, someone suggested that we get a group picture of everyone in Right Field that had stayed all 19 innings. Given the fact that my dad was the only one there who hadn’t been at all 19 innings, plus he had his camera, he took the picture.

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Later that night, I tweeted the picture out, posted it on Instagram and Facebook, and over the course of the next 24 hours, it received 80 retweets and 55 favorites on Twitter;  268 Facebook likes, 33 Instagram likes, AND it was featured on Intentional Talk!

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Thanks to Alex Espinosa for tweeting that to me! I probably wouldn’t have seen it without your help!

Then, I got a photo of me with the 3 balls and an empty stadium.

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And it was SO LONG from the Coliseum.

KEEP READING!

Around 10:30am on Monday, I got this Tweet.

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Then, later that evening, I went on with 89.3 KPCC in Southern California to talk about the game. It was my first radio interview! I talked about what it was like to be at the game, how I managed to be there for the entire time, and some of my memories from the day. Go check out their website here. Thank You very much to Rob for inviting me on!

Finally, you know how Adam Olson hooked me up with the tickets to this game? (Thank You again very much Adam!) Well later Tuesday afternoon, he tweeted out this picture…

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He is going to make those shirts available, and YES, I did purchase one! Remember to check out his A’s shirt store here , his Around the League store here, and website here.

There is one more topic that I would like to address  I thought about it long and hard. With so few people left in the stadium, I probably could have snagged A LOT of foul balls, third out balls, and infield warm-up balls. Why did I not?

1) I wanted to enjoy the 19-inning game, rather than run around and be dissapointed every time I didn’t snag a ball.

2) The idea of catching a walk-off home run or a late-inning home run was just too much. I would trade in 10 3rd out balls for a walk-off homer in the 19th inning any day.

Lastly, there was a lot of coverage of the 19-Inning Game, Josh Hamilton Appreciation Night, and a few other RF Bleacher-related things on MLB Network’s Intentional Talk. I compiled it all into this video…

That is all for this entry. WOW! What an incredible day!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 8th Game this Year
  • 3 Balls at this Game
  • 8 balls in 6 MLB games this season = 1.33 Ball Per Game
  • 23 Balls in 8 Games this season = 2.875 Balls Per Game
  • 7 Consecutive Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 5 Consecutive MLB Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 36 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 66 Total Balls

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

4/27/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

On this particular day, I got out of bed late. I had set my alarm for 6am, with the hopes of being in Oakland around 8 or 8:30, but I woke up around 8am. For me, this reminded me of this game last year.

We left at 8:25, and arrived at the Coliseum around 9am. This was going to be my first Orioles game since Last September, and I was hoping that they would still be using commemorative balls.

Like my last game, I made a video with behind-the-scenes and vlogs, so check it out!

Once we had pulled into the parking lot, I headed to get in line at Gate MM.

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The line was LONG!

But, believe it or not, this was the shortest line!

I walked around the Coliseum a bit to check out the scene, but I decided to get in line at 9:15.

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Around 9:30, I decided to walk around the BART Plaza area and take some pictures.

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The line at Gate LL was getting pretty long!

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But I was in line at MM.

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The A’s have these ticket kiosks everywhere around the Coliseum.

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And of course, this banner! 4x > 2x (Just saying Giants fans)

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Lines were just getting LONGER and LONGER.
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I was chatting with a bunch of the bleacher folks, like Will.

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When Will runs in to the bleachers, he carries these flags and banners.

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I noticed these boxes… BOBBLEHEADS!

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Around 10:30, Arlene invited Pascale and I to jump in line with the bleacher folks. Thank You!

Once I joined them, I noticed Ross’s shirt, which I absolutely LOVED!

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Oaklandish is an Oakland-based clothing company. You can check out their website here.

Daniel, one of the bleacher guys had this little speaker.

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Great sound quality for a device that small!

Guess what it was playing…
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BERNIE LEAN!

At 11:07, the gates opened, and my sister and I sprinted inside, grabbing our bobbleheads along the way.

I was one of the first people in the bleachers, after of course, Will.

The run is actually somewhat tough, but it is MUCH harder for him, as he is carrying everyone’s flags and banners.

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I headed over to the A’s bullpen, where the most action was taking place.

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The players were all getting loose.

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Stretching and such. (S/O to my sister for taking those last two pictures)

IMG_7132I was over there because Jarrod Parker was throwing a bullpen session.
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Eventually, I decided to head over to the Orioles bullpen area, since the pitchers were arriving and the nearby stands were almost empty.

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They started off stretching.

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As the A’s players began to throw.

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Pictured below are Grant Balfour (Upper Left) and Jesse Chavez (Lower Right)

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Even though they were playing catch, it was getting a bit crowded.
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And the Orioles began to toss.

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I was all ready in my Orioles gear.

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A’s pitchers that were running interacted with Orioles players when they were in that area.

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Soon enough, it was 11:45 and there were only two guys playing catch, so I headed over there.

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My parents were soaking up the sun in the RF Bleachers.

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As the last two guys finished playing catch, I called out to Darren O’Day “Hit me here Darren!”

With that, he submarined me the ball!

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If you want to know why I am smirking, I have NO clue at all.

Here I am with my Reggie Jackson bobblehead.

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BTW, remember when I mentioned the RF bleacher shirt in my last game entry? That’s the one I’m wearing! Do you like it?

After grabbing a quick pizza lunch, I got back to notice Rollie Fingers in the bullpen. Oh yeah!

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There were lots of players from the 1973 A’s gathered around the dugout.

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Each current player or coach walked out with the player or coach that held the same position in 1973. Curt Young, the A’s pitching coach walked out with the pitching coach of the 1973 A’s.

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Nate Freiman,the A’s first baseman is HUGE! 6 foot 8 inches.

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Brandon Moss and the 1973 first baseman.

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I seriously got chills watching it all.

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Brett Andersosn
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John Jaso was out in the bullpen, warming up with AJ Griffin.

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Ray Fosse was on the field with Derek Norris.

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The 1973 team started to line up.

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Soon, Norris walked out with Ray Fosse and the Coliseum exploded!

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I could tell all of the current and past players were enjoying it!

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Eric Sogard walked out with Dick Green.

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Vida Blue and Blue Moon Odom were standing out by the pitching crown.

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Josh Donaldson walked out with then-3rd Baseman Sal Bando, along with manager Bob Melvin, who wears the number 6 in honor of Captain Sal.

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Jed Lowrie was going to walk out with Bert “Campy” Campaneris.

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Chris Young was out in LF with Joe Rudi.

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Coco Crisp was out in CF with Billy North.

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Do you recognize that name or face? Check out this photo. I got my picture with him, Sal Bando, and the 4 A’s World Series trophies at 2013 A’s FanFest.

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As this all was taking place, AJ Griffin and his golden locks of hair were warming up in the bullpen.

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There was a large group of photographers gathered on the field.
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Almost all of the players were on the field.

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Except for 1. Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, as presented by Josh Reddick.

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It gave me chills. I could yell Josh was soaking it all in.

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The field was now full with the 1973 World Series Champion Oakland A’s!
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Everyone was taking pictures.

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The coaches were gathered up behind home plate.

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It was crazy to see such a talented team on the field.
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There was a presentation of a check of some sort on the mound area.

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As this was all taking place, players were warming up and mingling.

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There was a group photo on the mound.

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Then, the National Anthem was performed.

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The people holding signs representing players that are no longer with us walked in the CF tunnel.

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They gathered for one last group picture.

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And then I took my focus to the players warming up.

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As usual, the LF Bleachers were rocking. (Not like Right Field, but still cool!)IMG_8058At 1:05, they all took the field!

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The home plate meeting look place.

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And we were ready to go!

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AJ Griffin was on the hill for Oakland.

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Adam Jones got to the plate in the top of the 1st.

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And flied out to right field.

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Coco Crisp led off for the A’s.

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And popped out to the catcher…

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John Jaso was due up after Coco…

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And singled to right field.

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Seth Smith was hitting in the 3-hole for the Green and Gold.

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With a runner on first, the bleachers were getting pumped up.

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After Jaso advanced to 2nd base on an error, Agent Smith flied out, bringing Jed Lowrie to the plate.
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I can’t tell who this hitter is, but I LOVE his face!

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This person had a ticket from the 1973 WS in Oakland.

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In the bottom of the 2nd, Josh Donaldson doubled in Brandon Moss, giving the A’s a 1-0 lead.

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Josh Reddick walked in his at bat in the 2nd inning.

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Everyone was feeling good!

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Coco Crisp then grounded out to end the inning.

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Griffin took the mound in the top of the 3rd and he was dealing!

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The bullpen was enjoying the game.

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Around the time, my dad gave me the camera, and I had some fun taking pictures.

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Here is the ball smacking into Brandon Moss’s glove on a foul popup.

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Donaldson had another RBI hit, bringing the score to 2-0, before Reddick popped out to end the inning.

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In the 4th inning, Chris Young doubled. But, it wasn’t before the Orioles scored 4 runs in the top of the inning.

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Like I mentioned earlier, I had a blast taking pictures.

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Jed Lowrie flied out in the 5th inning.

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Josh Donaldson singled in the 6th for his 3rd hit of the game.

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Even though the A’s were down, everyone was still confident.

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This row of fans did a mid-inning trivia contest, where everyone got shirts.

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Ross was drumming it out.

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In the 7th inning, Ryan Flaherty grounded out first baseman Brandon Moss to pitcher AJ Griffin.

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Sean Doolittle started to get loose in the bullpen. Note the balls above and below the bullpen phone on the left side of the picture.

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Brian Matusz came into the game for the Orioles in the bottom of the 7th.

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Josh Donaldson and Chris Young were sitting at the top step of the dugout.
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Throughout the day, both the A’s TV and Radio booths brought in players and coaches from the 1973 A’s team to talk.

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For those of you who don’t know… Josh Reddick makes a LARGE mess of seeds in RF. This photo doesn’t do it justice.

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Jerry Blevins came on to pitch in the top of the 8th.

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This is where things got interesting…

If you didn’t click the link, Nate McClouth hit a home run to Right Field. Shin, one of the bleacher folks caught the ball. He then tossed it to Jorge.
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Guess what he did? He threw it back!

Believe it or not, that did not go over well with security. He got up on his seat and the ENTIRE stadium started chanting “LET HIM STAY! LET HIM STAY!”

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He was getting everyone riled up, everyone was on his side.

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Except for security…
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Ross (Left) and Anson (Green Shirt) were pleading their case to security to let Jorge stay.

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Then the cops showed up and more or less led him out of the bleachers.

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He DID NOT want to leave.
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But this guy meant business.

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You could tell everyone was pretty pissed about the whole situation.

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Like I said, the police officer “led” Jorge out of the bleachers.

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Everyone was entranced.

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I could tell the players were kind of confused.

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Oh… And there was a game going on. The solo home run made the score 5-2. Then, a Chris Davis sac fly made it 6-2.

Jed Lowrie came up in the bottom of the 8th.

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Then guess what happened?

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Jorge was led back!

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That made everyone pretty happy!

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I think he was pretty happy.

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Spencer got a picture with him.

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You have to give the man props though.

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Oh, and it was a ROCKET throw! He threw it from 3 rows back in the RF bleachers, in the middle of the row, to 2nd BASE! It was like I was watching the movie Rookie of the Year!

Everyone was cheering for him.

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In the 8th, Josh Donaldson doubled for his 4th hit of the game.

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Josh Reddick stepped to the plate.

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He then flied out center field, but Brandon Moss came in to score, making it 6-3.
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Not many people were paying attention to the game though.
IMG_9136Then Chris Young stepped to the dish.
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Where he struck out…

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Jorge was getting into it. Everyone had a good feeling about the game!

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Omar Gonzalez was spending quality time with his young daughter Rhema.

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Chris Resop took the mound for the A’s in the 9th.

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Rodrigo was enjoying the game.

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So was Anson!

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The Orioles scored another run in the 9th, brining the score to 7-3.

Adam Rosales stepped into the box to lead off the 9th for Oakland.

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And on the 6th pitch of the at bat, the pitch was thrown inside.

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Hitting him in the head, causing him to dive to the ground.

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Wow. Look at the reactions of the people sitting right behind home plate, on the right side of the picture!

The training staff and Bob Melvin came out to check on him.

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He was walked to first base.
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But… He stayed in the game!

This brought Coco Crisp to the plate, where…

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Pedro Strop threw a wild pitch juuuuuust a bit inside.
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Coco Crisp showed off his sweet dance moves.
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Adam Rosales advanced to 2nd on the pitch.
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Then, Coco walked.

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This put runners on first and second, with no outs, putting the tying run in the on deck circle. The stadium went nuts!

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The Orioles brought in closer Jim Johnson as John Jason stepped to the plate.
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After 5 pitches, he slapped the 6th pitch of the at bat to left field to load the bases.
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Rosales was on 3rd, Crisp on 2nd.

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Seth “Agent” Smith stepped to the plate with no outs and the bases loaded.

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Where he flied out to right.

With one out, Jed Lowrie came up, representing the tying run.
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He found a pitch he liked…

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Made contact with it…

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Ran the ball out…IMG_9613

But he grounded into a game ending double play.

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And that was the ballgame. 7-3 L to Baltimore.

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Ah frustrations…
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I got a picture with the 1 ball and my bobblehead.

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And then Spencer photobombed me!!’

W

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We gathered everything up.

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And everyone started to file out.IMG_9662

Drew, one of the right field bleacher guys has an AWESOME mustache. Appropriate facial hair and shirt for the day.

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After gathering our stuff, everyone filed out of the bleachers and gathered out in the concourse.
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I was planning on attending the A’s game on Friday, May 17th, which is the 3rd Annual BACON FRIDAY, and I was planning on ordering a shirt, so I needed to give Omar Gonzalez, one of the RF Bleacher folks, my money for the shirt.

While I was talking with him, Rhema was being awfully cute!

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I got one last picture of the field before we left the stadium.
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We exited the stadium.IMG_9709

And we headed back to our car.

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Overall, it was a great day!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 7th Game this Year
  • 1 Ball at this Game
  • 5 balls in 5 MLB games this season = 1 Ball Per Game
  • 20 Balls in 7 Games this season = 2.86 Balls Per Game
  • 6 Consecutive Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 4 Consecutive MLB Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 33 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 63 Total Balls

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

4/3/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

More Baseball! This was my 2nd A’s game in 3 days, and this was going to be just me and my mom! If you can remember, the last time it was just the two of us, I snagged a Fenway Park 100th Anniversary Commemorative Ball. The time before that, I snagged 6 balls. This was looking to be a very positive day!

Fromt the time that we left our house to the time we got to the Coliseum, to my lap around the ballpark, I filmed nonstop. I also filmed us getting out of the Coliseum. It was an ADVENTURE! I compiled it all into an 11 and 1/2 minute video for you to enjoy! After watching it, you can continue with your regularly scheduled blog entry.

My dad took my mom and I to the BART Station, and we left the house at 3:40, getting there at 3:54, catching the 3:58 train to Oakland.

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Once we got to the Coliseum at around 4:25, we set our stuff down at gate MM, which is the quickest route to the bleachers.
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Towards the BART Plaza, this was the scene.

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It was very quiet, calm, and peaceful. I LOVED it!

At this point, I took the camera and documented my fifteen-minute trip around the Coliseum. Again, just watch the video to check it all out!

About 10 minutes before the gates were supposed to open at 5:35, the line wasn’t very long.

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Beyond what you see, that was it!

Around 5:33, they checked our bags, which made the process SOOOO much easier. This gave me time to zip up my backpack and put it pack on. Otherwise, I would have to do this in a rush between running and scanning my ticket.

Usually, Will MacNeil (click his name to follow him on Twitter) will run in with all of the bleacher crew’s flags and banners. I actually sprinted ahead of him, but then let him lead the way, as this was my first time going this way.

Once in the bleachers (Where I WAS NOT wrist banded, which made everything so much simpler), I set my stuff down, put on my glove, and was ready to go. Less than 10 minutes into BP, a ball was hit to Mariner reliever Tom Wilhelmsen. He turned around and just tossed it to me. I didn’t even ask. Cool!

10 or so minutes later, a ball was hit off the wall that Mariner pitcher Stephen Pryor fielded and tossed up to me after I ask him for it.

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After that, BP was more or less dead. Wilhelmsen and Pryor were fielding almost every ball hit to RF, so I didn’t bother asking either of them again, knowing that it was very unlikely I would get another toss-up from either of them.

Why did I not go to Left Field might you ask? Not a single ball was hit into the left field seats during BP. NOT EVEN WHEN MICHAEL MORSE WAS HITTING. There were not toss-ups into the LF bleachers either.

Around 6:10 or so, there still had not been a single ball hit into the outfield stands, however there had been many hit over the fence.

At 6:15, BP picked up, when Kendrys Morales stepped to the cage. The second pitch he saw was a bomb to RF, but I was on the opposite side, as he had almost just hit it out. As I was on my way in that direction, Morales hit another bomb in the same area, caught by the SAME guy. However, it was this guy.

Then, while I was over there, expecting him to hit another, on the LAST pitch of BP, he hit it around where I had just been standing. AWESOME…

I ended BP with 2 balls.

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After BP came to a close, I went off in search of food and decided on a sandwich from the Westside Club.

When I got back to my seat, it was around 6:30, and players had started to take the field to warm up.

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I looked into the dugout and saw Yoenis Cespedes with his hat backwards just walking around in the dugout.

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Tommy Milone was tossing in the bullpen. I considered going down there to try and get a ball, but considering the fact that there were at least 5 ushers within 50 feet of him, I decided against it.

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There was this group of people behind home plate, who looked like they would be singing the national anthem.

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Scott Sizemore would be playing in his first game since 2011. If you remember, on the FIRST day of spring training in 2012 he tore his ACL.

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The Mariners would have offseason acquisition Joe Saunders on the mound.

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Newly acquired first baseman Nate Freiman was making his major league debut in this game.

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About 10 minutes before the A’s took the field, Yoenis Cespedes had a nice, long conversation with Kendrys Morales, in the middle of the outfield. My guess is that they were debating who can hit the ball farther. My money would be on Yoenis.

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The bleachers were quite crowded for this game, more than I had expected.

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Tommy Milone finished up his warm up tosses…

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… Josh Donaldson did some last-minute stretching …

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… Stomper rode around the warning track in the Smiling Chevron Car…

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… And we were all ready to go!

Offseason acquisition Chris Young was in the lineup, playing center field, making his debut in the green and gold!
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Right before the first pitch, I went to the last row of the bleachers and took this picture
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Then I took a panoramic shot on my phone. GORGEOUS.20130403-225021.jpg

As they announced the A’s line up, the right field guys all wave their flags.

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I just thought those were two cool pictures.

Well you know how the bleachers were crowded? Guess what wasn’t?
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Yep! How nuts is that? I would have tried to go down there, but the ushers in that area specifically have always been very strict about checking tickets.

Chris Young was playing center in his Oakland debut

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With Josh Reddick playing right field

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And Tommy Milone on the bump for the A’s.

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Since both pitchers were lefties, both lineups were packed with righty hitters, which meant fewer balls to right field. Since I knew there was a slimmer chance of snagging a home run, I focused on taking some pictures, as did my mom. Pictures like this one.

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And this one of Nate Freiman making his MLB Debut at first base.

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Yoenis Cespedes was the A’s starting left fielder.

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Jed Lowrie was in the game at shortstop

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And Josh Donaldson was playing third

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Tye Waller, who has tossed me two balls before, is the A’s first base coach.

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Coco Crisp had been hitting the ball far so far, and he showed that, with a deep fly to center that unfortunately stayed in the yard.

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Nate Freiman was hitting 8th in his MLB Debut

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And on the 5th pitch of the at bat from Joe Saunders,

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He singled into center for not only his first MLB hit, but his first MLB run batted in as well!

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Since Josh Reddick was playing closest to me, and the lighting was just right, I tried taking some “artsy photos” like these.

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I liked this shot of the Oakland sky at night.

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During the inning break, I took a look up to the CSN booth to see that Scott Hatteberg was in the booth instead of Ray Fosse. I love Scott as a player and person, but he is not cut out for TV…

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Mike Morse, the Mariners RF, was heckled plenty throughout the game.

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Jed Lowrie had a BIG day at the plate.

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Coco Crisp doubled in the 3rd inning.

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Then after Jed Lowrie and Chris Young walks, Yoenis Cespedes flied out, however Coco Crisp came home to score, giving Yoenis a sac fly.

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But Derek Norris struck out to end the inning…

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I was enjoying taking pictures, so I got a few like this one of Josh Reddick
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Or this one of Yoenis Cespedes.

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Ot this one of Chris Young.IMG_6748

Around the 4th inning or so, I decided to try my luck with foul balls and headed up to sections 223 and 222. No foul balls for Nick.

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I then headed over to 224, where I got this amazing panoramic shot!20130403-225028.jpgI decided to head back to the bleachers in the 5th or 6th inning, as I was having no luck whatsoever with foul balls.

Tommy Milone was pitching a great game!
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I enjoyed taking pictures like this one.

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And this one…IMG_6784

Jorge, one of the members of the bleacher crew had brought balloons to the game. Here he is with one of them…

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Everyone was having fun with them, including Tom Bentley, who put one in his King Felix foam crown.IMG_6793

The 7th inning was a very interesting inning for me personally. Here is Josh Reddick jogging off the field after the top of the 7th.IMG_6800

LOOK AT THAT HAIR!!!

Ready for the exciting story? Here it is… I was sitting on the end of  the row, on the asile, giving me more mobility in the event of a home run. Well in this case, sitting ont the asile hurt me. In the bottom of the 7th, on the 3rd pitch of the At Bat, Jed Lowrie smashed the ball to right field. At first, I didn’t think it would end up in the bleachers. I was expecting it to clank off the bleacher railing or the tip of the out-of-town scoreboard and get back onto the field. I would then politely call out to Michael Morse for the ball. Click HERE to watch the home run.

So I first figured that nobody in my row had a glove, so it would make it harder for them to catch the home run. Keep in mind that my row was completely full, no room for me to move. Take a look at this screenshot that I drew on…

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As you can see, I was on the end of the row, on the asile, while the guy that caught the ball (With His Glove, might I add) was smack dab in the middle of the row. He also reached over the railing a good 2 feet to make the catch.

Oh the frustrations. I couldn’t really beat myself up about this, as I am NOT about to push past a row of people, including my own mother to make the catch. It’s just one of those things that frustrates you…

Here is A’s bullpen coach Darren Bush answering the bullpen phone.IMG_6801

If you remember, I was the ONLY person that recognized him in the clubhouse at A’s FanFest.

In the middle of the 8th inning las year, the A’s played Call Me Maybe. Everyone hated it. Guess what song they played this year? I will give you four hints…

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Yep. Call Me Maybe. And don’t worry, Ross is not the only one who hates it. Everyone to his left was doing the same thing, but I couldn’t get a good picture of any of them.

Oh, hey look who was back! It was @Shakabrodie! AKA, Benjamin Christensen.

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In the 8th inning, Josh Reddick was hit by a pitch.

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But the A’s didn’t score. Then, in the top of the 9th, Chris Resop came in and had a 1-2-3 inning to seal the win for the Green and Gold!

I got another picture with my 2 BP balls.

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And we said goodbye to the Coliseum.

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Like I’ve said before, I made a video that showed not only what it was like to get from BART to the Coliseum and to walk around the Coliseum, but in that video, I showed what it was like to get from our seats to BART. Check it out here and skip ahead to the 7:37 mark and that will put you right where you need to be!

In a day or two, I should have up an entry about the Stockton Ports game I attended a few days ago at Banner Island Ballpark. In the mean time, Check out my entries about the World Baseball Classic game I attended, the High School Game Baseball game I attended at Banner Island Ballpark, or you can read the entry I wrote up about Opening Day in Oakland. Enjoy!

Thanks everyone for reading!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 3rd Game of the Year
  • 2 Balls at this Game
  • 3 balls in 3 Games this season = 1 Ball Per Game
  • 2 Consecutive Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 31 Lifetime Major League baseballs
  • 46 total balls

300x50_mlblogs_top100 Nick Badders is a unofficial reporter for MLB.com. He writes the blog, 7000 Coliseum Way, and you can follow him on Twitter @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay. You can also LIKE his blog on Facebook or follow him @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay on Instagram. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

4/1/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

This was shaping up to be a VERY fun day! Everyone in my family got Opening Day tickets on Christmas, and we were sitting in the bleachers and I COULD NOT be more excited! The four of us left our house around 1:45 and got to Oakland close to 2:20.

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It was a beautiful day and there were LOTS of fans already there!

When we were parked, I first walked around the perimeter to see if I could find someone with information about whether or not Gate B would be open. Eventually, I found someone, and he confirmed that indeed, Gate B would be open.

I then went back to our car, grabbed my sister, and we walked around the Coliseum again, where she snapped this picture of me.

We stopped in the team store for a bit before heading back to the car. At this point, it was 2:40 and I wanted to start prepping for my BlogTalkRadio show at 3:00. Unfortunately  I decided at the last minute to do it, and due to a lack of WiFi at the Coliseum, I was unable to publicize it, but thanks to Quinn for doing so! If you didn’t listen to the show, just click here.

At 3:25, I wrapped the show up and jumped back in line, where I found bleacher friends Ross (RF Bleacher Shirt) and Ralliney (Just out of the frame on the right)!

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My dad then noticed this scaffolding… RANDOM!

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But the four of us waiting in line got a quick picture together.

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Then we got a quick picture of me, my dad, and my sister. AWWWWWWW!

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It was seriously a beautiful day for baseball.

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I then remembered that I needed to get a photo checked off the 2013 MyGameBalls.com Photo Scavenger Hunt list. Attempting to juggle 3 baseballs while in line waiting for the gates to open. Check!

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No I can’t juggle. At least I made te effort!

More and more people started gathering in line and got pictures together.

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Fast forward to 5 minutes before the gates open. This is the scene. It was INSANELY PACKED. Everyone was all ready to go in.

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Then look who showed up! It’s Benjamin Christensen! He was one of the 9 Cave Dwellers for the MLB Fan Cave last year. Go hit him up on Twitter or check out his hat of the day blog. Good stuff!

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But like I said, the line was PACKED

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And LONG

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When they let us in at 5:07, I was running in and slipped on a gatorade wrapper on the ground on my first step. GREAT!!!!

Then, when I was the 3rd person in at the turnstile, the person ahead of me wouldn’t take his ticket out of his ticket lanyard, so that resulted in being held up. Once I finally got past that and the giveaways, there was a line to get WRISTBANDED going into the bleachers. Wristbands suck. You have to get a wristband when entering the bleachers if they are sold out. Well I finally got in!

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And Derek Norris was in the cages.

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He wasn’t hitting anything to right field. After him, Nate Freiman was hitting in the cage.

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A’s BP was going nowhere fast, so I headed down to where the Mariners were playing catch. Oliver Perez was throwing…

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… With this guy!

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I recognized this guy sitting near me during the game.

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That is Tommy Bentley, who was one of the Top 52 MLB Fan Cave Dwellers. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Towards the end of his time throwing, Perez began throwing submarine.