Category: Ballhawking

It all Started in 203…

So I’m sure you all have noticed the February, March, and April MLBlogs Latest Leaders, right?

February was an amazing month to say the least! Then came APRIL!

Towards the end of February, my math teacher decided it was his mission to get my blog to #1. He told EVERYONE in the school about it, telling everyone to check out 7000 Coliseum Way!

My view count EXPLODED when he did so!

In March, he did not do this, but in April, he picked back up again, making sure EVERYONE was reading EVERY post I put up!

After finding out that he was such a huge baseball fan, I talked with him a little bit.

Quick Intro:Room 203 is my math class. My math teacher is Mr. Hahn. And he is kind of a bad-ass.

Warning. This entry has nothing to do with Math and my performance in this entry does not have any affect on my grade in Math or any other classes.

First, his math classes have a Facebook and Twitter page. As readers of the 7000 Coliseum Way MLBlog, I request that you go follow him on Twitter and Like his page on Facebook. I know you guys don’t care about my math HW, but I think it will startle him enough to all of a sudden get a lot of followers!

Oh, and Hahn, WHY HAVE YOU NOT SUBSCRIBED OR COMMENTED YET???? 🙂

He’s also a baseball fan. Actually, he is a HUGE baseball fan determined to make it onto my blog! He has supported my blog so much this year, THANK YOU to him for supporting me and being VERY determined to get my blog to #1 at MLBlogs.

I talked with him a few days ago to understand just how much he is into baseball. He had some great stories to share and is a really interesting guy!

1) Growing up, who was your favorite baseball team and/or player(s)?
I had two teams I followed while growing up. One was the Montreal Expos(now the Washington Nationals) and the Oakland A’s. My favorite team by far was the A’s. My favorite baseball player was Rickey Henderson. I was VERY into baseball cards and I think I had over 400+ cards of just Rickey. I have them in a safe at my parents house still.
2) If I remember correctly, every summer, you go on a baseball road trip. Tell me about that.
Here is the whole story, so relax because this is going to take a while. One year my two cousins (Jacob and Greg) and my brother Brad all drove up to Sacramento to watch a Rivercats game. It was a great game and on the way home from Sacramento one of us said “Let’s stop in Stockton to see if they have a game tonight.” So we stopped and they had a game starting soon, so we bought tickets and we made our very own doubleheader. While watching that game, we made a pact that we would go on a baseball road trip every year as we all had the love of the game in common. A long story short- Trip #2 was a road trip all over California where we hit all MLB stadiums and MiLB stadiums in 13 days. A few of the days we saw two games and we were driving like crazy! Crazy road trip! After that trip my cousin became a minor league umpire and Greg and I decided that we were going to travel to see him work in whatever league he was in. So the next year, Trip #3, we went up to Yakima, WA to see him ump in the Northwestern League. On our trips, we at least saw every stadium around us, we try to go to as many games as possible both MLB and MiLB, and of course the typical touristy attractions. The next year, Trip #4, we followed Jacob to the South Atlantic League in Raleigh, North Carolina. Trip #5 was a trip to Cleveland, Ohio, which was the Midwest League. On that trip it was Greg, myself, my brother (who decided he wanted to do another road trip again, and my other cousin Jeff). Let’s just say Jeff and Brad couldn’t handle it and haven’t been on a baseball trip since! Trip #6 was to Washington D.C. and this was the last trip as Jacob being an umpire as he resigned after this trip to go to college. Trip #7 was a road trip to Phoenix to see Diamondbacks and some rookie ball, Vegas to see the 51s play and then to Fresno to see the Grizzlies play. Trip #8 was to Chicago. Great trip, as we saw the White Sox, Cubs, and Kane County among other minor league games. Trip #9, which is this year, we are going to go to Atlanta. There are a few minor league teams there along with the Braves. It should be a blast and actually tonight (**Interview Conducted on 2/23**) we have a “meeting” to discuss dates as we match up home games, etc. Our trips are nonstop and we barely every sleep. We just keep driving and experiencing the area for which we are in. It isn’t made for everyone! On a side note, my cousin Greg keeps a log of EVERYTHING we have done from miles we have driven to what we have seen. His roles within the trips are the itinerary and directions. He does a great job, but we have seen some funky stuff!
Here are a few pictures from his various trips that he shared with me.
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3) Are those the only games you make it to each year?
I love minor league baseball. I go to probably 5-10 Minor League games a year and maybe 5-ish MLB games a year.

4) What is your favorite stadium that you have visited?
My favorite MLB stadium is definitely PETCO. There are a lot of little nuances throughout the stadium that a casual fan wouldn’t even bother looking for. My favorite MiLB stadium would be Greensboro Grasshoppers (the ball boy is a dog named Babe…how can you not buy a tickets just to see that?!)

5) What stadiums would you still like to visit and what teams do you still want to see play?
I want to see Pittsburg’s stadium still. We have run into many people who are on their own baseball trip. The general talk is what stadiums we have all been to and which ones are the worst/best. The Pirates stadium ALWAYS comes up as one of the best stadiums! My National League team was the Expos, which would make me a Nationals fan too. I have seen them play in SF and have been to their stadium on a night when there wasn’t a game, but they are an exciting team to see now with all of the talent on their roster.

6) Of all the games you have been to, can you think of one MLB and/or one MILB game that stands out to you as a favorite game?
No question here. I was at the A’s streak game where they won, I think; it was their 20th in a row. Another game(s) that stuck out to me was the games we saw Mike (now Giancarlo) Stanton play in Greensboro. He was 18 and already a man amongst boys. He was HUGE and his numbers were ridiculous compared to others.

7) When you do go to a Major or Minor League game, at what time to you try to get there?
It kind of depends on who I am with. If I am with my cousins we always get there early especially to MiLB games because you can actually talk to players and coaches. If I am with my family it is usually an hour before the games starts.

8) I know a lot of Minor League teams always have some pretty cool giveaways and promotions. Have you ever gotten any cool giveaways or seen any cool promotions at games before?
We have been to tons of minor league games and there are the normal giveaways(bobbleheads, cards, balls, running around bases, beer batters, etc.) that we are accustomed to. The one giveaway that sticks out was in Rancho Cucamonga. They gave away a loaf of bread to every fan. It was great because we were on a road trip during Trip#2 and we left with around 8 loaves of bread for sandwiches for the rest of the trip. It was classic! I know one thing we try to do every trip is to get at a Minor League game first and try to find the person who is running the games in between innings on the field. We have done tons of those and they are a blast. We have thrown out the first pitch in North Carolina, ran around dressed up as fish (rather than the dot race like at the Coliseum), played the dress-up game, thrown discs into a garbage can, hit a tennis ball off of a tee, etc. It is a lot of fun and one of the things we do.

9) Now tell me about these two balls that you were VERY KIND in giving me.

20130514-182449.jpgMy cousin was a minor league umpire and he umped in the Southern Atlantic League and the Northwest League. Two of our baseball trips was out the see him work and I caught both of those at games. I have a few others from those leagues so I could spare a few to give to an avid fan.

10) How many balls have you snagged in your life?
Combining both MLB and MiLB balls I probably have close to 50. I have caught a ball at Safeco Field, AT&T Park, the Oakland Coliseum, PETCO Park, Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, and also Bank One Ballpark in Arizona. It is easy to get balls at the MiLB games and now I leave that to my sons who love to interact with the players before, during, and after the games. And of course they have come home with their share of their own balls.

11) Do you remember the first ball you caught?
I can’t specifically remember my first ball, but one of the first is when I was a beginning teacher and I saw a few of my students in the front row behind the visitors dugout at the A’s game. I went down there to say hi and I was there for about an inning. The last out we were there a right-handed batter with a very late swing hit a ball very fast at us. I stood up and caught it with one hand and sat down very quick. I was in amazement I caught it and kind of embarrassed by all the cheering afterwards. I was with a few of my buddies and they didn’t believe I caught it, so I had to drag my students up there to tell them the story HAHA

12) I have an account at MyGameBalls.com and MyGameBalls.com Minors, where I have logged all 68 baseballs that I have snagged. Now that I have told you about these websites, you could see yourself creating an account?
I am definitely going to look into it.

13) Have you ever caught a home run during a game?
Two stories here: the first story is a FAILURE! I think it was ’99 I went to a dodger game against the cardinals in LA. We were in the bleachers and a homerun was coming our way. The problem was that I was eating nachos and couldn’t decide, through all the excitement, where to put them. The grand slam, the second in the inning by Fernando Tatis, hit off of my hand and landed in the guys seat behind me. I was so pissed and my buddies gave me so much crap because of it!! 🙂 The other is a success is off of a homerun by lance Berkman during BP at PETCO. It was coming to the sandy part of PETCO when I and this old gentleman dove after it after it hit the sand. I came up with it. yep yep!

14) Of the close to 50 balls that you have caught, would you say that more of them have been BP Home Runs, Player Toss-Ups, Easter Eggs (Random Balls in the seats), or In-Game balls?
I would estimate about 8-10 of them being foul balls or batting practice balls and the rest are player toss ups. I get a lot of player toss-ups!! I have seen the A’s in a few stadiums so it is always good when you are wearing an A’s hat and player walks by 🙂

15) Do you try to get autographs at games?
When I was younger I would always try to get autographs. My Papa would go to Spring Training and collect autographs for all of his grandsons. That was always something I looked forward to when he came back. At my age, I do not try to get autographs as I just enjoy the game, the atmosphere, and the happiness the game brings to all types of families.

16) Can you share with me some of your most memorable moments from going to baseball games?
My most memorable times were times when I was with family. Going to games with my uncle, dad, brother, grandpas, and now my family and sons is great. It is a game that just keeps on giving 🙂

17) I shared with you on the first day of class that I write a top MLBlog. What was your first thought when you heard that?
My first reaction was “we have something in common and I will definitely connect with that student.”

18) A few days ago in class, you were having people go to my blog for a majority of the period, and throughout the day. What was your motivation for this and if my blog did get to #1, what would you do?
I am very competitive. SO if there was a way that I can help someone get up the “ranks” I will do it. Having kids go to your blog is just one of those ways. If you got to be #1, it would be great!!!

19) What would you think of starting your own MLBlog. I know my readers would read it, and I’m sure other people would as well!
I have talked to my cousin about starting a MLB blog about our past baseball trips and what we do on them because it is definitely an adventure. I want to talk to you a bit more about how to start one. I think there would be people out there that would be interested in hearing about our trips.
20) Thank You for all of your support of my blog! I appreciate it all very much!
Keep up the good work!

Wow! I am constantly amazed with the support that I have been given! Thank You very much to Mr Hahn for giving me endless support and Thank You to everyone in my 1st Block Class in Trimester 2 and 4th Block Class in Trimester 3!

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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.

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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.

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And the Mariners began taking BP.

Kendrys Morales was hitting the ball pretty far, but he wasn’t hitting it out. Lots of balls off the wall.

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I decided it was best not to be in the bleachers for BP. Why?

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It was crowded. And there were at least a few people in every row, making moving around VERY hard. It was like that in every section of the Bleachers in LF AND RF.

It was a shame how packed the bleachers because Michael Morse was hitting BOMBS!

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He hit a few 2nd Deckers in Center Field. He hit A LOT of home runs into the LF Bleachers as well. Nothing to RF. But, like I said, it was way too crowded to even have a chance.

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You see those 3 guys? They must have thrown at least 10 balls into the bleachers if not more. Every time they threw a ball, it was a mad scrum to get it. Ridiculous.

Third Base coach Jeff Datz was throwing BP.

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Around 5:40, there was a batter who I couldn’t identify that hit 5 or 6 balls in a row on the ground that were all right in front of me. Bullpen catcher Jaime Navarro walked over and without me asking, seeing as that I was wearing Mariners gear, he tossed me a ball!IMG_6080

My dad wandered around for BP, taking a lot of cool photos. It honestly felt like there were easily 15,000 people in the stadium taking in BP.

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And for those of you that have wondered, this is what it looks like from above, looking into the Diamond Level seats in Oakland.

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But, like I said, he got a lot of cool photos during BP like this one:

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All told, BP was pretty calm. Other than Morse, there were few home runs hit. There were lot a lot of pull lefties either. Balls that were hit near me on the field were all tossed in. There was a ball that I called out for, but right before it was tossed to me, I noticed a little boy standing behind me and I moved out of the way so he could get it.

Once BP was over,I headed back to the Bleachers.

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Where they were setting these things. That meant one thing… FIREWORKS!!!!

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I then noticed this in Left Field. Hm…

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My dad then headed off to get some food for my sister and I.

Helpful Hint: If you are ever in need of good-tasting (However EXTREMELY overpriced food), go to the Westside Club. They have THE BEST Pizza-By-The-Slice! There is also a Sandwich bar that I mentioned in entries like this one.

The A’s started coming onto the field and I pulled out my dad’s camera when I noticed this…

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Do you know what is so special? For 5 points on the 2013 MyGameBalls.com Photo Scavenger Hunt list, you need a picture of… “At least three players standing in a group whose jersey numbers are visible and satisfy this mathematical formula: one player’s number equals the sum of the other players’ numbers.”

YES! 5 points checked off! 7 Points so far on the day! The I noticed this…

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What is so special?

For 6 points on the 2013 MyGameBalls.com Photo Scavenger Hunt list is of… “Two players standing together whose jersey numbers are visible and satisfy this mathematical formula: one player’s number equals the square root of the other player’s number.”

2+5+6 = 13 Points on the Day!

Yoenis Cespedes was also stretching on the field.

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So were the Mariners!

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“King” Felix Hernandez was pitching for the Mariners.

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Around 6:40, the pregame ceremonies got underway! The Bleachers were PACKED and READY TO GOOOOOOO!

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The Mariners were introduced and stuff, then the A’s were introduced! The A’s were really focused on the fan interaction this day, so they chose 10-15 of their longest season ticket holders to greet the players on their way onto the field!

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Remember that photo of the tarp over the outfield wall? Well they chose two more season ticket holders to pull it off and reveal this!

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It was so cool to see the entire team lined up along the field!

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The use of Pyro was really great in the pre-game ceremonies!

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RF Drummer, Andy, was gettting into it! (His Twitter is here)

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Felix finished his warm-up tosses.

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And the boys in Green and Gold took the field!

Josh Reddick, of course was the A’s starting pitcher.

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THAT BEARD!!!

I really like this next picture of him. I think it just looks really cool!

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Coco Crisp, of course, was the A’s starting Center Fielder.

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And the game was UNDERWAY!!

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Like Game 3 of the ALDS, the starting pitcher was Brett Anderson.

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He was pitching VERY well.

One of my favorite A’s players, Eric Sogard, was the A’s starting second baseman. If you remember, I got my picture with him at 2012 FanFest! NERD POWER!!!!

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John Jaso, the A’s starting catcher doubled for the A’s first hit of the game, which game with 1 out in the 4th inning.

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Michael Saunders was the Mariners starting right fielder. Poor guy. If you don’t know why I say that, I’ll leave it at the fact that visiting right fielders WILL get heckled in Oakland.

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The TV Booth was popping as always, with Ray Fosse and Glen Kuiper.

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Felix Hernandez was DEALING

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He allowed 3 hits all game. No Walks. 8 Strikeouts. Yikes…

I got this picture in the 7th inning. No real reason. Just thought it was cool.

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Then, in the 8th inning, guess who stopped by?

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It’s Oakland mayor Jean Quan! If you have heard anything about Occupy: Oakland, then I’m sure you know about her. IF not, just click her name right ^^here^^ to read about her on Wikipedia.

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In the bottom of the 9th, the A’s were down 2-0. But the stadium WOULD NOT stay quiet.

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But, with Jed Lowrie in scoring position at 2nd, Brandon Moss popped out to Michael Saunders to end the game. Awesome…

Before we left, I got this picture with my sister and my 1 ball on the day.

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After that picture right before we left, I spent a few minutes taling with 149 Die-Hard Omar G. He is one of the many A’s fans that has given me ENDLESS suport with my blog, so as a small thank you- can you all go follow follow him on Twitter HERE. Everyone go follow him. NOW.

He has two AWESOME sons, nicknamed Super J and the Champ. I HAD TO get a picture with the two of them! I posed with them and the foam Josh Reddick Wrestling Belt that my sister purchased before the gates opened.

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Seriously. Those kids are REALLY awesome!

The lights then started to turn off, so we all slowly filed out. Even though the A’s lost, it was a good day!

Once we got outside, I remembered that I need this picture…

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Why?  “BONUS 1: You with a stadium name sign in the background with you holding a baseball snagged that day at that stadium (1 point per stadium for a max of 30 points)” on the MGB Photo Scavenger Hunt list. 14 Points in the scavenger hunt on the day! That and the photo of me on Intentional Talk from this game, the next morning, this is what I saw at the scavenger hunt page:

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Awesome!

Well that’s about all I have from this game. My next game was April 3rd, so I should have that post up tomorrow or the day after that, then a few after my post about the April 3rd game, I should have up and entry about the game I’m going to today (April 5th) at Banner Island Ballpark!

Thanks for reading!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 2nd Game of the Year
  • 1 Ball at this Game
  • 1 Ball in 2 Games this season = 0.5 Balls Per Game
  • 29 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 44 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.

20 Goals for 2013

In this New Year’s day entry, I will explain my 15 ballhawking, baseball, and blogging goals for 2013 is no particular order.

1) Snag 57 Baseballs combined between MLB and MILB: Why 57? Right now, I have snagged 15 MILB and 28 MLB baseballs, for a total of 43. Breaking 100 total baseballs would be huge for me.

2) Snag 7 game balls: In 2012, I snagged 3 foul balls, which for me was awesome. In 2013, I will focus more on game balls during games, rather than just watching the game, which I am looking forward to.

3) Don’t get shut out: In 2012, I got shut out 5 times. That is 5 times too many. If I can avoid getting shut out, I think the 2 above goals should come easier than if I do get shut out.

4) Snag at least one of each 2013 Commemorative ball: I don’t know which teams will use a ball with a special logo, but for those that do, I want to try to snag at least one of each.

5) Catch a home run: Plain and Simple. I want to snag a game home run at some point in 2013. Wether I am in the bleachers in Oakland or behind the fence in Modesto, it is important to me that I snag at least 1 game home run in 2013.

6) Average 3.5 Balls per game: In 2012, my average was 1.53 balls per game for MLB Games, and 2.5 balls per game for MILB Games. I want to increase both of those numbers in 2013!

7) Have a double-digit game: The most balls I have snagged in a game is 6. I’ve done that twice. Ideally, I would like to have at least one game in 2012 where I snag 10 or more balls. I would have to have a very successful BP, which I really haven’t had yet.

8) Attend 25 Games: In 2012, I went to 21 games, so I would like to increase that number in 2013. My family is getting a ticket plan with the A’s, so that should allow us to go to more games, since we are saving money with the plan.

9) Vist 10 Different MLB and MILB Stadiums: I will be honest, I don’t know how realistic this one is, but it is always good to set goals! This past year, I visited 3 MILB stadiums, and 2 MLB stadiums. I have a few different ideas for trips in my mind, so I still am keeping this goal in mind.

10) See 5 teams play that I have never seen play before: The only 2 AL Teams that I have not seen play are the White Sox and Astros, both teams that I want to watch at some point in 2013. I also plan on seeing a few new Minor League Teams play throughout 2013.

11) Have a hat for all 29 MLB Teams (I will NEVER buy or wear a Yankees hat, so they don’t count): Right now, I am 5 NL teams away from making this reality, so I would hope I can do this by the end of 2013.

12) Have a shirt for all 29 MLB Teams (Same thing as above- I will NEVER buy or wear a Yankees shirt, so they don’t count): I have a shirt for 19 different teams, so it would be nice for me to have shirts for every team before the end of 2013.

13) Collect 10 Different Giveaway Items: The A’s have a lot of fun giveaways scheduled, and Minor League Teams always keep it interesting, so this goal should be a lot of fun!

14) Get 30 Autographs: Whenever I have a chance for an autograph, I’ll take it, unless it means loosing out on a baseball. This past year, I managed 15 autographs on tickets and 1 on a hat, so I would love to increase that number in 2013!

15) Win the MyGameBalls.com Scavenger Hunt: This one will be hard. At MyGameBalls.com, since 2010, they have had a Photo Scavenger hunt, with a list of baseball photos to take, each photo being worth a certain amount of points. In 2010 and 2011, I did not participate. Todd Cook, along with his sons Tim and Kellan, won the contest both years. This past year, I chose to participate, and came in second place, to Cook and Sons. I feel that this could be my year, if I go to enough games and I always have a camera ready, I feel that I could potentially win in 2013!

16) Finish in the top 3 for the MyGameBalls.com Junior Ballhawk of the Year Award: In 2012, the top 5 finishers were: 1- Mateo Fischer (223 Balls); 2- Irish (106 Balls); 3- Cook and Sons (155 Balls; 4- Tom Mikita (0 Balls); 5- Paul K (39 Balls). Considering the fact that Mateo is no longer a “Junior Ballhawk,” I feel that if I am able to not get shut out as much as I did this past year, go to more games, snag more hit balls, and call out to players more, then I should have a very good shot with this goal.

17) Finish in the top 20 in the MLBlogs Latest Leaders: I have done really well these last few months, and the 2012 Top 100 should be out soon, but in 2013 I would love to break the top 20!

18) Get a Media Pass for a team: I won’t get into this too much, as I don’t want to hinder my chances, but ideally, I would like to get a Media Pass for at least one team in 2013, whether it is a Major or Minor League team.

19) Get all of my game entries up within 5 days of the game: In 2012, I kind of followed this, but not really. I want to focus on getting game entries up quickly and well done this year.

20) Meet many new people and have lots of unforeseen adventures and fun!: For me, the most important thing in all of this is having fun! I plan on spending many games out in Section 149 in Oakland, and I count on meeting many new people along the way.

Do you remember Paul K and Mateo fromyesterday’s entry? Well they wrote entries like this too! You can click here to read Mateo’s entry, and here to read Paul’s goal entry.

There you have it! My 2013 goals. On December 30th, 2013, I will follow up with a follow up entry to this one, looking back on these goals.

Do you have any ideas for goals for me? What are your goals? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

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.

2012 in Review

Wow. 2012 was an crazy year for me, with so many fun experiences!

I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read my blog, and for all of the support that everyone has given me.

I would like to start of by saying that this is my 100th post at 7000 Coliseum Way!!!! Expect many more to come in 2013!

This entry will be complied of many things. IT IS VERY LONG: 3,659 Words to be exact.

I first want to present to you the 7000 Coliseum Way 2012 Annual report, as created by WordPress.com:

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 14 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank you to my top 5 commenters in 2012!
1) Max- Max commented 64 times this year! He was very supportive with Fan Packs, giving me tips, and always was ready to comment! You can follow him on Twitter here. Thanks Max!

2) Connor- He commented 32 times! Like Max, Connor always commented on the Fan Pack entries, giving me tips, and too has been very supportive all year! Thanks Connor!

3) Quinn Quinn was the first person to subscribe to this blog, and he always was commenting, supporting my ballhawking, as well as giving me tips for fan packs. You can follow him on Twitter here. Thanks Quinn!

4) Chris Chris is a fellow ballhawk, living in New York. He commented 27 times in 2012, and was very supporite with my ballhawking, as well as my Mail Time! posts, giving me tips for fan packs. You can follow him on Twitter here. Thanks Chris!

5) SpencerS- Spencer is a fellow Bay Area ballhawk. He commented 7 times in 2012! I’ve gotten the chance to meet him, and he is a great guy! He, too has given me lots of support with ballhawking in 2012. You can follow him on Twitter here. Thank You Spencer!

If you read this blog, then chance are, you know who Mateo Fischer is. He writes the MLBlog called Observing Baseball, and even thought he was not one of the top commementers, he was one of my greatest supporters in 2012 with the growing popularity of this blog. He wrote a review entry as well, and you can check it out by clicking here. You can click here to follow him on Twitter or here to LIKE Observing Baseball.

I would also like to thank Zack Hample, Zachary Weiss, Wayne Peck, Todd Cook, Shawn Bosman, Rick Gold, Malcolm MacMillan, Paul K, and McCovey Cove Dave for all of their support this year. Click on any of their names above to give them a follow on Twitter.

*Zack was the one that first got me into ballhawking, which I have to thank him for.

*Zachary Weiss has also been one of the most supportive people, giving me advice and support with ballhawking as well as blogging.

*Wayne writes the MLBlogs Collection of Baseball and A View From the Bullpen, and I was fortunate enough to meet him this past October. He has encouraged me trough my ballhawking and been a great friend to me this past year.

*Todd Cook writes a fantastic blog, called Cook and Sons Baseball Adventures. He gave me constant competition with the myGameBalls.com Photo Scavenger Hunt, which I appreciate. He also wrote a book called the Baseball Log, which I own. I highly recommend that you go give it a look!

*Shawn Bosman was my first co-host on The Nick Badders Show, and I thank him for doing that with me, as well as giving me the encouragement to continue my ballhawking.

*Rick Gold is a ballhawk who is also an editor for MLB.com. I met him in May, and he too, as given me an encouragement in my ballhawking. As a teen, he ballhawked at the Coliseum, which is a great connection!

*Malcolm, too has given me great advice and encouragement with my blog, as well as ballhawking, and given me some ideas for things to do at Minor League Stadiums.

*I haven’t know Paul for very long, but in the time I have known him, he has helped me tremendously. He was the first person to ever call in to The Nick Badders Show, which gave me extreme confidence. He has been one of the main supporters with my radio gig, which I am thankful for. He listens to every broadcast, and is always ready to give me feedback. He writes the MLBLog called A Piece of The Game, and wrote an entry reviewing his 2012 season as well. Click here to check it out.

*McCovey Cove Dave has also supported me in my ballhawking and been a great friend to me on Twitter. I’ll be trying my best to spend a game out in McCovey Cove sometime in 2013.

Most imporatntly, I need to thank my Dad (Dan), my Mom (Anne), and my Sister (Pascale). Without these three people, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do today. They are the ones who give me the support to continue my work at home. They are the ones that take me to the games, go to games with me, and allow me to ballhawk, even though I am not spending time with them. They are the reason that I am able to succeed, I cannot thank them enough.

From here, I will go over my entire year at 7000 Coliseum Way. I’ll share my month-by-month memories from blogging, to ballhawking, and mail!

I’ve gone back and read each post, and it amazes me how far my writing has come. In December of 2011, 1,000 words was a lot for me for one entry! Reaching July and August, some of my entries managed 3000 words!

In the month of January, I have a feeling a lot of you were not reading this blog. I had 75 views total in the month of January, that is an average of about 2 views each day.

On January 17th, I posted an entry about SOPA. I’ll be honest, I don’t know what I was thinking when I was writing that entry. If you want to check it out, you can right here.sopa12_hp

Shortly after that, on January 19th, I posted an entry with pictures of me, one at each of the 5 stadiums I had been to in my life. If you want to take a brief glance over that entry, it is here.pict2764

About a week later, on January 25th, I published an entry with LOTS of pictures that I had found from baseball games from 2005-2010, which you can read right here.
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On January 27th, I published an entry about my expectations for the games I would go to in 2012, along with some information about A’s FanFest, an entry you can read here.649_hdr_fanfest

The following day, On January 28th, I posted a quick poll asking what A’s gear I should wear to FanFest, an entry that can be found here.

The very next day, on January 29th, my family and I were off to FanFest! We purchased some tickets, and had a complete blast! Check out that exciting entry here.
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1 Month. 75 views. 5 posts.

Moving on to February. I had 45 views, which is about 1 view a day.

I had only 1 post in February, on February 13th, I posted an entry with my projected A’s roster, which you can read here.

2 Months. 120 views. 6 Posts.

In March, I had 36 views for the month, which is barely an average of 1 view a day.

My first entry of the month was on March 25th. That is 40 days without an entry! I wrote a short bit on a few random things, an entry you can find here.413811_355468544497094_166699563373994_1020769_609678918_o

The very next day, on the 26th of the Month, I had another entry up, this one, I called “Pictures of the Day.” I simply shared a few pictures that I had found and enjoyed that were baseball-related. Check them out here.429283_349335911777024_166699563373994_1004959_1334377103_n

Then for my 3rd post in a row, and of the month, I shared some baseball videos that I had found and liked, titling it “Videos of the Day.” Check them out here.l

3 Months. 156 Views. 9 Posts.

Coming into April, we were already a quarter of the way through the year. In April, I had 227 views, which is about 8 views a day.

On April 5th, I attended Opening Day at PETCO Park in San Diego with my dad and unfortunately did not snag any balls. You can read all about that experience here.untitled-3

On April 6th, I posted an entry about the first 3 days of my Spring break, which I spent in Southern California with my leadership class from school. I was attending a conference about leadership in Costa Mesa, and it was a LOT of fun. You can read about it all here.wpid-2012-03-30_11-58-45_4622

Then, on April 13th, I went to Stockton to see the Ports take on the Modesto Nuts. There, I snagged my first ever MILB ball, and you can read the entry here.img_3089

On April 18th, I found a funny video that I wrote a QUICK entry about. You can see it here.

Finally, on April 22nd, I went to my first A’s game of the season, a game in which I snagged 3 balls, including my first lifetime foul ball. You can read all about that day here.img_1115

4 Months. 383 Views. 14 Posts.

In May, the views dipped a little, with 146 views, or about 5 views per day.

My first post of the month was on May 10th. I shared a quick meme that I made, then talked about my next game. You can find it here.575577_155853527874454_100003494239722_198277_947k452416_n

On May 11th, I saw the Tigers come in to Oakland, on Fleece blanket night. I snagged one ball and got the chance to meet Rick Gold. You can follow him on Twitter here and check out the entry about the game here. img_29321

Then, a week later, on May 18th, I attended my first game at John Thurman Field in Modesto. There, I got my 2nd lifetime Minor League ball. You can read about it all here. img_3833

Finally, 8 Days after that game, my family joined me for Michael Choice bobblehead night, for my second game of the year in Stockton, where I snagged my 3rd lifetime Minor League ball. You can read about it here.img_41501

5 Months. 529 Views. 18 Posts.

In June, the views picked up again with 286. That averages about 10 views a day.

My first post of the month was on June 13th, where I talked a little about Matt Cain’s perfect game. I think more of me was just writing it because the A’s had just played one of the best games of their season, plus R.A. Dickey one-hit the Rays, and MLB Network was focusing on the Giants. Don’t get me wrong, a perfect game is amazing, I just wish that other stories had been covered that night as well. Check it out here.595x416_mattcain_nohitter_9apjsvx5_a07rcbnj

Then, on June 20th, I went to MUG Root Beer Float Day at the Coliseum with my mom and sister. The A’s were playing the Dodgers, who I wanted to see, as they were using commemorative balls. However, I was unable to snag a ball that night. That being said, it was still an awesome day. Read about it here.img_0049

The very next day, on June 21st, I set out with my dad and friend Ryan for another A’s and Dodgers game, with hopes of getting a commemorative ball. Derek Norris was making his MLB Debut in this game. Even though I was shut out for the second day in a row, the game ended with a bang! Check it out here.img_0194

Finally, 3 days later, on June 24th, I was back at the Coliseum again, for more interleague baseball, this time between the A’s and Giants. I got shut out for the 3rd game in a row, however I did snag something cool, and the game once again ended with a bang! Read it all again here.img_0217

6 Months. 815 Views. 22 Posts.

July was when things started to take off for me. This blog had 667 in the month, which is 22 views a day.

After a week of Boy Scout Camp to start off the month, my first post was on July 12th, titled “How was Josh Reddick not an All Star?” In it, I talked about Reddick, the 2012 All Star Game, Kurt Suzuki, as well as BallhawkFest 2012, which I didn’t end up going to. If you want to check it out, click here.reddick

Then, on July 14th, my dad and I headed out to Municipal Stadium in San Jose to see the San Jose Giants take on the Visalia Rawhide. It was our first game in San Jose, and I snagged 6 balls at this game, which is the most I’ve ever snagged at a minor league game! Read all about that exciting day here.img_0516

On July 16th, I posted about the A’s recent success, with their magnificent sweep of the Twins. Read it here.20120716-131355

On July 20th, the A’s were 12-2 in July. I wrote a post about their incredible month, along with all of their Walk-Offs. Remember, there is an A in wAlk off! Check out that entry right here.563532_498776816802392_1320022965_n

The very next day, on July 21st, my mom and I were off to Oakland again, this time to see the A’s take on the Yankees. I got two balls in this game, and it was a lot of fun to sit in Section 149 for the first time! Read about that game here.20120721-222344

7 Months. 1,482 Views. 28 Posts.

August was a special month. There were 868 views, which is an average of 28 per day.

In the month of August, 7000 Coliseum Way was the 42nd most viewed MLBlogs Fan Blog! I wrote an entry all about it here.

On August 1st, my mom, sister and I headed out to the Coliseum for some weekday baseball between the A’s and Rays. I had won tickets on Twitter two days prior, so we got the tickets for free! I snagged 2 balls at this game, giving away one. If you want to read about that game, click here.
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Then, 4 days later, on August 5th, my whole family went to see the Blue Jays take on the A’s, with a Jemile Weeks drawstring backpack giveaway. I snagged one ball at this game, and you can click here to read about it.
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About 2 weeks later, on August 18th, my family joined my friend Sal and I for Scott Hatteberg bobblehead and Moneyball Movie night. It was a whole lot of fun, and I snagged 2 balls. Click here to read about it.
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2 days later, on August 20th, my mom and I got seats right behind the A’s dugout to see them take on the Twins. There were barely 10,000 people there, and I snagged 6 balls, giving away 2 of them. It was a lot of fun and I recommend that you click here to read all about it.
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Then, on August 26th, my dad, sister, and I were in Modesto for some more California League action. I snagged 3 balls, including my 3rd foul ball for the year, and got to play catch with my sister on the field! Read all about it right hereimg_6420
8 Months. 2,350 Views. 33 Posts.

The views just kept increasing. In September, 7000 Coliseum Way was viewed 1,124 times, averaging to 37 views each day.

On September 1st, my mom and I headed out to the Coliseum to see the Red Sox in town. I snagged 2 balls, one of them being a Fenway Park 100th anniversary ball! That entry can be read here.img_6690

I was getting a little behind on entries, so I published a quick post with a list of upcoming posts. If you want to, click here to read it.

The next day, on September 2nd, my Grandma and Uncle accompanied the rest of my family to the Coliseum for Breast Cancer Awareness Day against the Red Sox. I snagged 3 balls, including a toss-up from Yoenis Cespedes! Read about that day right here.img_7539

Later that week, on September 7th, my dad and I took a final trip to Modesto to see the San Jose Giants battle it out with the Nuts to move onto the next round of the California League playoffs. I snagged 3 balls in this game, it was a lot of fun, and you can click here to read it! img_8235

Then, a week later, on September 14th, my family was out to Oakland again, this time for sold out Star Wars fireworks night against the Orioles, where I snagged one ball. Click here to read it.img_0402

9 Months. 3,474 Views. 39 Posts.

Then, come October, the views shot up once again, with a total of 1,581 for the month. That is an average of 51 per day!

In the month of September, with 1,124 views, this blog was the 31st ranked blog, on the Latest Leaders list for the second month in a row! At the beginning of October, I wrote about that and a few other things. Check out that entry here.
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On October 1st, the A’s clinched a spot in the playoffs, and I wrote a quick entry about it here.246568_10151257433126873_1856080895_n

On October 10th, I was fortunate enough to attend the 3rd game of the ALDS, in Oakland, where I met Wayne Peck. You can check out his blog here and read the entry about the day here or check out his post on it here. Unfortuantely, I didn’t snag a ball, thought I had a great time!img_5630

On October 30th, I put together a post with all of my ballhawking stats for the 2012 season. Check all that out here.
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Finally, on October 31st, I published a quick entry about Josh Reddick winning the AL Gold Glove for RF and the pumpkin that my mom carved with the A’s AL West Champs logo. Check out that entry here.
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10 Months. 5,055 Views. 45 Posts.

November was more or less the same, with 1,528 views, I once again averaged 51 views each day, however I started to post more frequently.

My first post of the month was on November 7th. I gave my favorite pictures from FanFest as well as April and May. Check it all out here.
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I then took a poll on November 14th as to what kind of entries you guys were interested in me writing. Feel free to look at it here.

I then started receiving Fan Packs from teams. On November 16th and 17, I got Fan Packs from the Indians and White Sox, as well as the Diamondbacks and Rangers.
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I then left for a 5 day trip with my family, from November 19th-November 23rd to visit family in Omaha. You can read about days 1, 2, 3 ,4, or 5. I got the chance to catch up with family, visit Werner Park and TD Ameritrade Park, and hold my baby cousin for the first time!img_0234

When I got back, I continued to receive mail. I got packages from the Reds, Red Sox, and Astros.
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I also received packs from the Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, Baltimore Orioles, and Philadelphia 76ers. 20121129-191421

11 Months. 6,583 Views. 58 Posts.

In December, this blog 1,833 views, a new record, with an average of 59 views per day!

On December 1st, I got a fan pack from the Buffalo Bills and Frederick Keys.20121201-152608

Then, on Decmeber 4th, the MLBLogs Latest Leaders came out for October and November, and I was still in the top 50! 4 months in a row! You can check out my entry about it all here.20121204-131723

Over the next week, I got fan packs from the El Paso Diablos, Detroit Tigers, and Detroit Pistons.
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On the 8th of December, I posted an entry about my bobblehead collection, which you can check out here.20121208-122000

The next day, on December 9th, I blogged about my new radio show, The Nick Badders Show, on BlogTalkRadio, an entry you can find here.blogtalkradio_02

On December 11th, I wrote about the very cool envelope that I got from the Harrisburg Senators.20121211-073719

The next day, December 12th, I talked about the packages I received from the Vermont Lake Monsters and Atlanta Falcons.20121212-150822

On December 14th, I wrote about the packages I got from the Houston Rockets, Round Rock Express, and New York Yankees.20121214-020526

December 18th was the day I wrote about my best ever mail day! I received 5 envelopes, from the Benoit Snappers, Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, and Richmond Flying Squirrels.20121217-191134

December 22nd was the date of my last Mail Time! post in 2012. I got an envelope from the Minnesota Twins and talked about my BlogTalkRadio shows, an entry that you can find here.20121222-194004

Finally, on December 29th, I went to a Stockton Thunder ECHL hockey game with my dad and had a blast! You can read all about that fun day here.
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That brings us to this entry. Entry #100 at 7000 Coliseum Way. It’s crazy to think how far I’ve come this year, with my blogging and ballhawking skills. In January, I never would have expected to be where I am today. I never would have thought I would have 27 envelopes stacked up in my bedroom from sports teams.

I NEVER in a million years would have expected to have the following that I do now. 43 Facebook Likes. 103 Twitter followers. 195 more Twitter followers. I want to again thank you all for your support with this blog, I could never do it without you.

AGAIN, Most imporatntly, I need to thank my Dad (Dan), my Mom (Anne), and my Sister (Pascale). Without these three people, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do today. They are the ones who give me the support to continue my work at home. They are the ones that take me to the games, go to games with me, and allow me to ballhawk, even though I am not spending time with them. They are the reason that I am able to succeed, I cannot thank them enough.

I think I have covered everything. If you think I have left something out, let me know in the comment section down below.

Thank You for having the patience to read this LONG entry, and stay tuned for many more entries in the new year.

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12 Months. 8,416 Views. 72 Posts.

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.

5/26/12 at Banner Island Ballpark

I had been looking forward to this game for a while even though I had gotten the tickets the night before. It was Michael Choice bobble head night.

My family and I left around 4:30 and got to Stockton around 4:20. The line was much longer than I had expected. We got in line, and then I walked around to try and take some pictures.

Then, I headed behind the stadium, where I had never been before. It turned out that the Rawhide were taking BP. I got my glove on and got ready for some action. Then, I saw some little kid walk by with AT LEAST TEN BASEBALLS IN HIS GLOVE. I guess there were a lot of balls hit out there.

Shortly before BP, a man approached me, and came up to me, asked me if I was Nick Badders, and shook my hand. He told me we had met at this game, where I met Zack Hample. I guess his daughter and I had gotten a picture with Zack. Bam! I remembered him.

Now I apologize because I never got his name, so if you are reading this, please let me know in the comments what your name is. Thanks!

I got to talking with him about ballhawking and stuff, and before I knew it, BP was over. No balls were hit out of the stadium while I was out there. Oh well.

At this point, I started walking towards the RF side of the stadium, where I took a picture with my phone of the Downtown Stockton Marina, where fans can dock their boats for the Ports game.
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I then walked around the stadium to join my parents in line, with about 15 minutes before the gates opened at 6:05. Here, I formulated a plan with my dad to exit the stadium as soon as we got in and get back in line to get 2 more bobble heads with the two extra tickets I bought. One of those tickets was on the right side of the Ports dugout; the other was down the LF line.

Soon enough, the gates opened, at which point my dad and I gave my mom our bobble heads and programs and we looked for an exit, which we couldn’t find. After wandering around for a while, and past the cages where some Ports players were getting a little last-minute BP in, we exited out the Season Ticket Holder gate, and got back in the then very short line. We got our bobble heads, and we went to our seats, where my mom and sister were basking in the awesomeness, as they were not with us last month in Stockton.

I then headed over to the Ports team store to get myself a Ports hat, which I did not have yet, and came out with a Ports home cap.

I then headed over to where players were coming onto the field and where Ian Krol, the Ports starter was staring to warm up. I got one of my tickets autographed by some Rawhide player who I was unable to identify.

After Ian had finished warming up with Max Stassi, I called out to both of them for the ball, but I guess they had to use it in the bullpen, because that’s what Craig Lefferts, the pitching coach said.

I then tried for a ball from Nino Leyja, who was finishing up with catch, but it was a no. I went back to my seat, just in time for the line ups and first pitch. The closet I came to a foul ball was when Yordy Cabrera shot a line drive right over my head. Had I jumped straight up, I would have gotten it for sure. But considering how fast off the bat it was coming, I didn’t have enough reaction time to get it.

When there were 2 outs at the top of each inning, I would go behind the dugout in the section to my right, because that was where Ports players were entering my dugout. For the most part, I had no luck.

In the bottom of the 8th, I sprinted out of my seat and got right in the cross aisle, where I called out to Tony Thompson, the first baseman, and he tossed it just a little to my right. The guy I had been talking to before the gates opened jumped up, and it tipped off his glove, and bounced off the rail, onto the ground, where I fumbled it and picked it up. Finally!

In the top of the 9th, I stayed in my seat and when Zach Thornton got a strike out to end the inning, Max Stassi headed over to my side if the dugout. I shouted out his name, pointed to him, punched the pocket of my glove and held it up. He pointed back to me and tossed it to some guy next to the dugout. This prompted the man sitting in the section to my left to ask me if 1 wasn’t enough and how “kids these days are so selfish” and a bunch of other stuff. I could have explained my blog, but I didn’t bother.

The game went into the bottom of the 9th, tied 2-2, with Miles Head due up to lead off. Miles was the one that tossed me a ball in my game last month in Stockton. He fouled off a lot of pitches and then bombed it out to center field. Cue Celebration!

I ran over to the dugout, where there were a lot of other people, as Miles started a post-game interview with “Hot Rod”, the Ports in-game entertainer guy. I asked Webster Garrison, the Ports manager for the lineup card, he was like “yeah, sure, hold on’” and handed it to some guy closer to the front of the dugout.

After that, everyone started to clear away from the dugout and I spotted a ball on the floor of the dugout. I called out to multiple people for the ball, but no one answered.

I stayed around for a while, hoping to ask someone else, but I left at 10:00. It was a good game. I mean, 3 bobble heads, new hat, and a ball, it’s hard to complain! my next scheduled game is June 20th at the Coliseum, but I figure to go to another game before then.

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 1 ball at this game
• 3 balls in 3 Minor League games this season = 1 ball per game
• 7 balls in 6 baseball games this season = 1.16 balls per game
• 3 consecutive Minor League games with at least one ball
• 5 consecutive baseball games with at least one ball
• 12 total baseballs
• 3 total Minor League baseballs

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.