Category: balls

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.

Best Pictures of 2012- FanFest, April, and May

Wow. What a crazy season. My dad took a majority of the pictures featured on this blog, and all of them were excellent. I wanted to take some time to comprise a few entires with of all of the best photos that were taken at the 21 games I went to in 2012. At the end of each month and game, I will have a poll for you to choose your favorite picture of that month.

This entry features the 6 games I attended in April and May, as well as FanFest in January

***If you would ever like permission to use any of the photos on this blog for any reason, please send an email to nickbatters@gmail.com***

1/29/12 at FanFest

In line at for tickets early in the morning before FanFest

Posing with Eric Sogard

Posing with Tom Milone

Inside the A’s clubhouse

A sign showing times for BP according to game time


April:
4/5/12 at PETCO Park

Padres catcher Nick Hundley warming up before the Padres took on the Dodgers on opening day.

Padres catcher Members of the U.S. Navy holing the American flag on Opening Day at PETCO Park for the National Anthem.

Griffin Benedict, one of the Padres bullpen catchers in the bullpen.

Watching the game, sitting right next to the bullpen


4/13/12 at Banner Island Ballpark

Me at Banner Island Ballpark with the Ports Prize Pack that I won on Facebook

Having the water wiped off of our seats as we showed up with a rainbow in the background

A pre-game view of the home plate area from our seats

A.J. Cole throwing his last warm-up pitch in the top of the 1st inning

The tarp being put on the field during the rain delay

Sitting right next to the dugout for the final few outs of the game


4/22/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

MyGameBalls.com Scavenger Hunt Picture: Sitting in the seat I determined to be te farthest away from home plate

Tyson Ross pitching on his birthday. He tossed me a ball before the game.

Jordan Norberto tossing sunflower seeds to fans behind the bullpen

MyGameBalls Scavenger Hunt Picture: Bonus Photo- Posing with my 3 balls at the game in front of the O.co Coliseum sign


May:
5/11/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

A view of the Coliseum from the last row of the 3rd Deck

Tom Milone pitching. Photo taken from the 3rd deck.

Everything that I got at this game. Ball, Drawstring bag, Blanket, Hat


5/18/12 at John Thurman Field

Chad Oberkacker at the plate. He threw me a ball before the game.

Miles Head, who threw me my first ever Minor League Ball in Stockton in April

A.J. Cole Pitching. Look at his eyes.

A.J. Cole again. His eyes…

These signs are all over John Thurman Field


5/26/12 at Banner Island Ballpark

Batting Practice at Banner Island Ballpark

The Marina behind Banner Island Ballpark

Yordy Cabera at the Plate

A Ports pitcher pitching in the Top of the 9th


Ok. That’s it for this entry. I’ll try to have the entry for June and July up in 1 week. Make sure to vote in each poll, as I’ll be compiling an entry of the best pictures from 2012!

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 Season Stats

It’s frustrating that the A’s lost in the ALDS. It’s even more frustrating to see the Tigers whoop on the Yankees. Then, to see them get crushed by the Giants. Frustrating.

No, I didn’t go to Game 1 or 2 in San Francisco. Yes, I would have wanted to, even if I knew that I wash;t going to snag a ball, as long as I got to try.

That probably didn’t make sense… but away, I will not go to any more baseball games in 2012. I have a few things over the next few months that I will reveal as we get farther into the offseason.

Since the season is over, I’ve taken all of my stats, as listed on my MyGameballs.com pages, and posted them here for you all to see. I took screenshots from my pages and posted them below.

Major League Stats

There are two separate MyGameBalls.com sites. One for Major League ballhawking, and one for Minor League ballhawking. I have an account on each site. Above, I listed my MLB snagging stats. Below, I have listed my Minor League Snagging stats.

Minor League Stats:

Considering I snagged 5 balls in 2011, this was a great season. It was a fun season.

That’s it for this short entry. I’ll be posting various thing over the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more!

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.

September Latest Leaders, the Postseason, and Tarps…

First of all, I would like to start off by thanking everyone! I was checking the Latest Leaders for September, I jumped ELEVEN spots. If you remember, In August, I was ranked 42nd. This month, I was ranked 31st! It is amazing to me how much of a following my blog has grown in the past 3 months! I get home from school and have an email that leads me to this… #31!

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It’s crazy, thank you again to everyone who supports me in this all.

Now, how bout them A’S?

The A’s won on Wednesday to sweep the Rangers and win the Division! No, I was not there, I wish I had been, though! Down 5-1, and they come back to win 12-5? That’s pretty awesome! The A’s are you 2012 AL West Champions!

Honestly, how crazy is it? I never expected it! The playoffs will be AWESOME.

And, YES, I will be at a playoff game. Right now, I have tickets for Division series game 3 in Oakland, on Tuesday. I will be going with my mom, and meeting up with fellow ballhawks Wayne Peck, and Spencer Sanborn. Wayne has TWO MLBlogs himself, and you can go check them out here and here or check him out on Twitter here.

You may remember Spencer from this game. He, too has a Twitter account, and you can follow him here.

Regarding the postseason, MLB will be bringing back postseason commemorative balls, that will look like this

Silver stamping. Postseason logo. Pretty cool!

I got this information from the website Big League Baseballs, you can find the article here and give them a follow on Twitter here. Their site basically talks about Major League baseballs. One of my favorite websites hands down.

The last thing I want to talk about are the tarps…

If you have ever seen the Coliseum during a baseball game in the past 6 years, you know about those tarps covering most of the 3rd deck seats.

The A’s have already sold out the first 2 possible home divisions series games. Yet, Lew Wolff refuses to take down the tarps and sell more tickets, making more money.

Crazy, ins’t it? The covered seats take up %37 of the Coliseum’s 56,000 seating capacity. People are being told not to come to the box office because they are sold out!

A smaller crowd, A’s managers said, would create a closer, more intimate environment. Here is their reasoning: “The fan experience is better without spreading fans out over more seats. The energy in the park and the fan experience over the last week (when the seats were tarped) was incredible.”

WHAT?? More intimate? That is the last thing you want for the playoffs!

What they A’s need to do is open up a section on each side of the view level, and sell those tickets. Then, when they sell out, open up the next two, so on, and so forth. That way, it can still sell out, but they an adjust the number.

Let me know what you guys think. I know what I think is best, and I want to hear from all of you readers.

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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.

8/26/12 at John Thurman Field

This was looking to be a very fun game! I had told my dad that I wanted to go to this game, and he was a little unsure of whether or not he wanted to go.

My sister really wanted to go an spend some time with me, so she convinced him into taking us to this game.

My dad is awesome! He was feeling a little under the weather, but was willing to take us anyway!

On our way to the game, I sent a tweet Theo Bowe, on the Blaze, telling him I would be sitting behind the dugout, asking if he could hook me up with a souvenir of some sort. 30 seconds later, he retweeted it, and 5 minutes later, a guy in the Royals Organization (random) replied, telling me that the player would be able to give me a bat and batting gloves after the game.

Pretty cool! I doubted he actually would, but hey, you never know!

Here is a cool green car I saw on the way there

We arrived in Modesto around 4

The gates were supposed to open at 5 and the game started at 6.

This is what the line looked like

I headed over to look inside

This is what it looked like inside

We picked up our tickets at the box office, and I wanted to just wander around and take some pictures.

First, my sister and I wandered around the outside of the stadium, then she headed back to hang out with my dad by the line.

I started off by going to the right of the box office and getting a picture of the banner outside of the box office

It turned out that I couldn’t go very far in that direction. I stood at the fence that cut me off and got a few quick shots

My dad and sister were sitting down near the gates, just talking and stuff.

I decided to head back in the opposite direction and looked through the fence again

I was on my way back to the outfield, and turned around to get another picture

And saw this gate

And saw this

Catch… the first thought that went through my mind was whether or not I could get a ball. But decided against staying there, and kept on my way. I then noticed an open gate…

I walked closer, and had noticed a ball to the right, maybe 10 feet, but I didn’t want to get in trouble, so I didn’t go in.

At this point, this is where I was

As I headed to the field beyond the wall, I noticed the batting cage in a encaged area

As well as a panel of the outfield wall open

I headed on, and saw the picnic area, I guess it is behind the wall

I wasn’t able to find any balls.

Then, randomly, I saw an airplane

It was time to head to the field.

You walk past that chain link fence, and it is ballhawking heaven

The wall is about 10 feet high, and the scoreboard is just over the LF wall

I stood about 100 feet from the wall, 1/3 of the way across the field, and took a picture behind myself

Freaking glory. So awesome. Just an empty field for lots of balls to fly into

I kept walking, and finally realized that the field was a recreational soccer field, and the main hint was the metal bleachers

My sister and I had already been here, and one thing she noticed was a hole in the bleachers. Dangerous much?

I then had to slip past the little gap between the outfield fence and chain link fence

And there was still nobody out there at all. If there was going to be any BP, which at this point, I highly doubted, it was for sure going to be epic.

I then decided to take an artsy picture of a light pole in right field, right behind the wall

And this one of the right field foul pole and a sign in the shape of a baseball that commemorates a player whose number they retired

I saw a gap in the fence, and looked inside

And I guess the visiting batting cage is right next to the home bullpen, and the Blaze were taking some cuts in the enclosed cage

I walked to the fence, as far as I could go, and this is basically what I saw

And then I noticed a kids play area over by the cage and bullpen

It is more or less an elementary school playground

At this point, it was 4:30, so I wasn’t expecting BP, and that somewhat disappointed me.

I was hoping that the players would stop stretching and play catch, so that I could potentially get a ball thrown over the wall

Christian Bergman walked out to the bullpen with someone who I assume is their bullpen catcher, and the team’s pitching coach, Darryl Scott. I talked with Scott for a few minutes, and then let him get back to focusing on the pitching

Finally, the Nuts pitcher grabbed their glove and started to toss the ball back and forth

This is what I was paying attention to:

While I was paying attention to the bullpen, a loose ball rolled to the wall to my right. I heard a player said “Here buddy” I looked and he tossed a ball up to me over the wall for my 1st ball of the day.

I decided that the player was Nick Schnaitmann, mostly because I heard someone call him Nick.

I just stayed there for the most part, hoping for another snagging opportunity. I waited for about another 15 minutes or so.

Pascale then called me on my phone, telling me that the line was getting long, and that I needed to get there soon. I looked at my watch, and realizing the gates opened in 5 minutes, I ran back to get in line with them. The line was pretty long for a minor league game with no giveaway.

A few minutes after I got there, the gates opened.

I got my ticket scanned, and received my game program and headed towards the field, where it was announced that we could play catch on the field for half and hour.

Knowing this, my sister had brought a ball with her, but I decided that Pascale and I would use the ball I had snagged earlier.

We were positioned on the field by the Nuts mascots, and we played catch for 20 minutes or so.

My dad got a lot of tremendous shots of Pascale and I playing catch.

So once we got onto the field, we were spaced out, right next to the infield, i left field

One thing that really stuck out in my mind was the ugly outfield grass. I thought it was impossible to get worse than the Coliseum in September, but I guess I was wrong

As we were playing catch, there was a groundskeeper watering the infield, and as we were right next to the infield, I got a little wet

After about 20 minutes of catch on the field, I noticed some Blaze players heading to the dugout. I decided that it was time to end catch and head over to the dugout.

Now the reason that I did this was because the last time I was at John Thurmond Field, I got my only ball of the day when I saw a ball on the ground as some players walked into the dugout, and got one of them to toss it to me.

There was some concert thing going on over by the Nuts bullpen or something like that, I wasn’t really paying attention

The players were all just sitting in the dugout, so I decided to go buy myself a Nuts hat and spend a little time with my dad and sister.

After purchasing my hat, I noticed players exiting the dugout, so I headed over to the bullpen area, where I was able to get an autograph from Kurtis Muller on the Blaze.

I was unable to get a ball from the players throwing, so I headed back to my seat in time for the first pitch. I them remembered about the shaved ice stand, so I go a shaved ice, sliding right into my seat in time for the exchanging of the line up cards

Do you recognize the Blaze manager? Here is a closer look at him

That is Ken Griffey Sr. The father of Ken Griffey Jr. Pretty awesome!

Time to play ball!

The seats we had purchased were row 2 aisle seats behind the visitor’s dugout, so I brought my Reds hat, as the Blaze are the High-A affiliate of the Reds.

This was our view for the start of the game

From our seats, my dad was able to get some amazing pictures, like he always does

Theo Bowe, the player I had tweeted, led off for the Blaze

I already had 1 ball, and my goal on the day was to get a foul ball and a few 3rd out balls or infield warm-up balls, as well as the line up cards after the game.

In the middle of the second inning, my dad accompanied my sister in her pursuit of cotton candy.

In the bottom of the 2nd, Juan Crousset stepped to the plate. I was sitting in the 1st row aisle seat, ready to jump out and chase a foul ball. He blooped a little foul pop up over my head. It knew it would land right behind me, but because I didn’t have time to get out of my seat to make a clean catch, I pushed my feet of the dugout wall, kind of jumping, and caught the ball right before it bounced off the table behind the 2nd row.

I got a nice round of applause from the 2,000+ people that were there, a few high-fives from people around me. Then, I snapped a quick photo of the ball.

When my dad and sister came back, with a shaved ice of her own (The cotton candy machine was broken), I showed them the foul ball, and they were pretty impressed. My dad then got a picture of me with the ball.

My sister loved her shaved ice

While I had been trying to get a ball when the Blaze were throwing, I heard a player talking to his mom. I got 2 things in their conversation. 1) All of the pitchers want their pitching coach fired. 2) Because they had won the 1st half in their division, they had a 1st round bye in the playoffs, so they were being lazing and not trying in the 2nd half. I wonder if that is why their pitcher didn’t pitch well.

In the bottom of the 4th, a Nuts player grounded out, and I got the first baseman, Dominic D’Anna to flip me the 3rd out ball.

One thing that I hadn’t noticed last time I was in Modesto was the Nuts bullpen. It is a raised bench in the concourse area.

I chased foul balls and 3rd out balls during the game, but was unable to come up with another ball during the game. One reason was because their was a girl who got most of the 3rd out balls, and got a head start on a lot of foul balls over me. Oh well. It was still a lot of fun!

In the top of the 9th, I got a seat right next to the dugout, so that right when the final out was recorded, I could try to get a ball, bat , or the line up card.

When the Nuts got the final out of the game, this was the scene.

I asked for a ball, but had no luck. Then, I asked the bat boy for the line up cards. He was peeling them off for me, when he told me there was a player who wanted it because of the night before or something like that. I then noticed a broken bat on the dugout floor, and asked the bat boy for that. He told me that he wanted to, but wasn’t allowed to give away broken bats because I could injure myself.

It was a great game! I got the opportunity to play catch with my sister on the field, a lot of fantastic pictures, I got 3 balls (I forgot to grab my 1st ball for the picture below), a Nuts hat, and I got a chance to wear my new A’s sweatshirt!

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 3 balls at this game
• 12 balls in 5 Minor League games this season = 2.4 balls per game.
• 29 balls in 16 baseball games this season = 1.8125 balls per game.
• 12 Lifetime Minor League baseballs
• 34 total balls
• 5 consecutive Minor League Games with at least 1 ball
• 8 consecutive games with at least 1 ball
• 3 consecutive games with at least 2 balls

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.

8/20/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

My mom surprised me taking me to another game just 2 days after the bobblehead / movie night. My sister was at a friend’s house and I was days from starting high school. Considering that nobody at all wants to see the Twins play at night in Oakland, she decided that it would be the perfect game for us!

Friday night, I searched around on StubHub a little and found 2 amazing pairs of tickets that I had a very hard time choosing from. Before I tell you about them, I just want you to keep in mind that were you to purchase these from the A’s website, they would be $44. And in total, there are about $5-$10 extra fees for purchasing tickets on StubHub.

The fist pair of tickets that I found was in section 120, the rightmost section behind the A’s dugout. It was listed as row 13, which considering the fact that the first row of this section is row 5 means that theses seats are row 8. I always narrow my searches down, so it only shows aisle seats and these were aisle seats. Row 8 aisle seat behind the A’s dugout. $35 each. $44-$35 = $9 difference! This also was the same section I sat in at the very end of this game.

The other tickets we considered were in section 111. That is the section to the right of the visitors dugout. The seats were row 7, also aisle seats. They were $25 each. Mind. Blown.

I had a very hard time choosing. There was a $10 difference and many ballhawking opportunities.

I made a list of cases for both sides.

Section 120:
• Tye Waller rolls the infield warm-up ball up the dugout roof every time
• There is a very good chance for a 3rd out ball
• If there is a little foul pop up in the stands, I could have a good chance at getting it
• I could probably ask for a line up card or ball as soon as the game is over

Section 111:
• If a weak foul grounder is hit, I might be able to scoop it up
• If I am wearing my Twins hat, I might have a good chance at getting 3rd out and infield warm-up balls
• The seats are right next to the dugout, closer to the action
• They are cheaper

I couldn’t decide, so I let my mom choose, and she told me she always prefers the 3rd base side over the 1st base side, so we went with Section 120.

I wasn’t expecting this to be a very popular game, so I figured we could get there 45 or so minutes before the gates opened, and we would be in good shape.

So, for a 7:05 start time and 5:35 gate opening time, I would want to get to the Coliseum sometime between 4:30 and 4:45, which meant getting to BART around 4:00ish. I was looking forward to this nice, calm, relaxing game.

My mom and I left our house around 2:45. We walked to the bus stop from our house and got there around 3:20, getting to BART around 3:50.

We got to the Coliseum around 4:20.

My mom wanted us to walk around the stadium a little, so I started off by taking this picture of her

There was nobody in line at Gate LL or MM. We headed towards gates A and D, and I was hoping to show my mom the staircase Sal and I had gone up on Saturday, but it was closed, along with gate A. There was one person in line at Gate D, and he looked pretty bored.

We made a quick stop in the D Gate team store to browse, the continued on to our destination of Gate C. I got a few pictures along the way of things like the ramp up to Will Call

The Season Ticket Holder entrance

And the Employee Entrance (Gate EE)

This is what I saw when we headed down the hill towards Gate C

There were only a couple people in line. Sweet! We got in line and set out stuff down right next to them in the front. I was ready to get in.

Literally as soon as we set our stuff down, a kid was walking into line from the parking lot and because he had his glove on at the time, an employee tossed him a ball.

I headed to the C Gate store just to waste some time and ended up watching some soccer on the TV in there with about 10 other guys. I came out and had about 30 minutes before the gates opened at 5:35. So it was about 5.

More or less, I waited until the gates opened. Once we were allowed to go in, I ran through bag check, got my ticket scanned, and sprinted to the bleachers. I got there, and set my stuff down. The Twins were taking BP. I was ready! I spent a quick moment, talking to Will, one of the 149 guys, who had just asked a Twins player for a toss up. I guess he makes sure to get a ball every game to give one to a kid in line every day.

The only guy on the field with a uniform number in his back was Glen Perkins, who is number 15. I checked my roster. As soon as I looked up, a ball was hit to Perkins, so I called out to him for ball #1 on the day.

My 2nd ball of the day was meant to be thrown to the guy in the white shirt pictured below

I reached out for the ball and caught it. After realizing he had been trying to catch it, I asked if he wanted it, and gave it to him. A minute later, he caught another ball, and offered it to me. I told him to keep it, because he had caught it.

There were a few balls I probably could have asked for, ones that went over the fence and people went to get. But I didn’t ask for them. It was 10 minutes in and I had 2 balls. I decided to take off my A’s jersey, hoping I would have a better chance at a ball.

5 or so minutes later, a ball was crushed into the tunnel between sections 149 and 148. I was about 4 sections over.

Unfortunately the Coliseum doesn’t have cross-aisles in the bleachers, just wheelchair seating areas that block potential cross-aisle.

So back to that ball. Ross, one of the guys from 149 took off for the ball. I did as well. I was running through the rows, and since I was running much faster than him, I caught up with him. The ball rolled through the concourse and into the woman’s restroom. An usher got the ball, and Ross told her to give the ball to a kid. She handed it to me, and as soon as she gave it to me, I put it in the glove of a little boy, smiled, and headed back to the bleachers. BP was ending as I got back in.

I grabbed my sharpie and headed over to the Twins bullpen, where I saw somebody signing. He was talking with his family, but I was still able to get him to sign my hat, which I was excited about.

I decided to head to my ticketed seat to check out the view and talk to my mom. She was surprised and pleased with my 3 balls in BP and the signature on my hat.

I then headed over to the A’s bullpen, in hopes of getting my 4th ball on the day. I saw a ball lying on the ground, and hoped that someone would be able to toss it to me. I waited for about 10 minutes, and right when I was about to head back, the security guard down the LF line came over. I asked him for the ball, and he told me that he isn’t allowed to.

I headed back to my seat, where my mom and I headed up to the Deli in the West Side club. There was no line, so my mom and quickly ordered sandwiches and fruit and headed back to our seats. There, I ate my fruit and talked with my mom.

I then noticed Kate Longworth, from ComcastSportsNet talking to Chip Hale, the A’s bench coach while he signed autographs. I had found a ticket on the ground, so I was hoping he would sign it, but he had to do an interview with Kate, so he headed back.

I then headed back to the bullpen. Derek Norris came out to warm-up shortly thereafter. I got him to sign the random ticket. I was hoping to get a ball from Chip Hale when he concluded warming up.

I looked over into the dugout, and saw Chip interviewing and demonstrating something. I hoped that he would be over soon, so that I could have a chance at a ball.

Once Norris was done prepping himself, Chip Hale came out of the dugout and grabbed a few balls from the ball bag.

He then went over all of the drills with Derek Norris, that I have seen him do before.

Derek missed one of the balls, and when he did, I moved over in that direction. As soon as they were done, I asked Chip Hale for the ball on the ground. As soon as I had said “Chip”, he tossed me the ball in his hand.

It was a pearl! Perfect ball, the one he hadn’t used. Beautiful.

I then ran over to where the Twins’ starting pitcher for the day was throwing. I took off my A’s jersey and threw on my Twins hat, where an usher approached me, to tell me that if I wanted to catch a ball, I have to have a ticket for that section. Even thought my ticket was right behind the dugout, I couldn’t get there. I headed back to the A’s dugout, where I saw a few guys stretching.

My mom got some great pictures

Note the ball bag right there. That is where Chip Hale had gotten the balls from earlier, and I was hoping to get one when the guys finished throwing.

I noticed Brandon McCarthy throwing with Casey Chavez, so I went over to the bullpen.

After I left for the bullpen, he finished his warm-up tosses, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get down there, so I focused on getting a ball from the A’s infielders playing catch. Adam Rosales was the lone one working on his swing.

Jemile Weeks all of a sudden ran out of the dugout, in his warm-up fleece. Just a little late I guess…

Once McCarthy was done throwing in the bullpen with Derek Norris, he tossed the ball he used to a kid in the front row and players started to come into the dugout.

I got Jonny Gomes to sign my ticket, quickly followed by Coco Crisp and Tommy Milone.

It was very weird to look out into the RF bleachers and see almost nobody there, except for the 149 regulars.

My mom got a picture of the guys in the broadcast booth. It almost seems like Glen Kuiper is looking right at the Camera.

The meeting at home plate took place

This was our view for most of the game

To the left

And the right

We were all ready to go! I was looking forward to Brandon McCarthy’s start, as I had never seen him pitch in person before.

He looked pretty goo overall

But I do have to say, it wasn’t his best start. He allowed 2 runs in the first inning, on 27 pitches.

I swear Adam Rosales adjusted his socks at least 5 times in the first 3 minutes.

I have to say my mom took some amazing pictures.

Josh Reddick and Jemile Weeks

Yoenis Cespedes

But like I said, Brandon McCarthy really struggled, which I found very disappointing

It not a good thing when the pitching coach has to come to the mound with 2 outs in the 1st inning

A bright spot in the top of the 1st was this picture that I got of section 149

Stomper, the A’s elephant mascot spent the 1st inning in our section, trying to buy food from vendors, who seemed to be very amused. My mom got this fantastic picture of me with Stomp in the background.

Josh Reddick popped up to end the A’s half of the first

Here I am with 2 of my first 4 balls on my day.

So in the bottom of the 2nd, I walked up to look at the price of the sweatshirt, and as I was walking back to the seat, I saw the boy who I had given the home run ball to earlier in BP. He had the biggest smile on his face and looked so happy, clutching the ball close to his chest.

I went over to say hi to him, and his mother told me that he hadn’t let go of the ball since I had given it to him. I gave him a high five and headed back to my seat.

1 out into the 3rd inning, Brandon had allowed 10 hits and 5 runs. Travis Blackley, the A’s long man came in. And wow! he did a great job! He allowed 1 run and 5 hits over the final 5 and 2/3 of the game.

At the top of every inning, the A’s first baseman (This game featured Chris Carter) tosses the ball to Tye Waller, the A’s 1st base coach, who will roll the ball up the dugout roof to a kid or elderly season ticket holder. A’s players always toe 3rd out balls into the stands. 2 different ball chances x 9 innings = 18 chances for balls + foul balls.

I didn’t get a ball for the first 5 innings. The closest I came was a warm-up ball, were when Tye Waller rolled the ball up, the usher for the section PUSHED fans out of the way to ensure a gloveless kid got the ball.

I got the infield warm-up ball in the top of the 6th, my 5th on the day.

After I got back to my seat with that ball, the usher approached me, telling me to stay in my seat for the rest of the game. He told me not to get any more balls and just to watch the game.

I grabbed my dad’s camera, and headed down to row 3, where I got some pictures. This was my view for the rest of the game.

I didn’t really try for any more balls, so that I wouldn’t get kicked out for pissing the usher off or anything like that.

I kind of just sat in my seat, and when someone went to toss a ball into the stands, I would just kind of hold up my glove in hopes of a ball coming near me. There was one time where I tried for a 3rd out ball from Chris Carter and the usher pointed to the 3rd row seat, telling me to go back.

Due to the fact that the A’s bullpen is not connected to the clubhouse, a lot of times, the relievers are walking back and forth from the dugout and the bullpen.

It was a lot of fun actually not to go for balls, because I got to take some pictures, and a few of them actually turned out ok!

Whenever I watch A’s game at home, one thing I notice is how tense Jonny Gomes looks at the plate

But like I said, it was so much fun just to relax in the 3rd row, taking pictures and enjoying the game.

To give you a perspective of how close the first row is, I snapped this picture of Chris Carter emerging from the dugout. I barely zoomed in at all.

Josh Reddick stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 8th, hoping to lower the Twins lead to 4 runs, but he was unable to, as he struck out on a foul tip.

After Reddick stuck out, Yoenis Cespedes stepped to the plate.

And on the 8th pitch of the at-bat, Cespedes took a huge hack at a slider and…

Flied out to left fielder and former Athletic Josh Willingham.

And just to let you know, this is the usher for the section in case you ever sit in section 121 or 120.

The A’s were unable to do anything in the bottom of the 9th, and the final score was 7-2. As Tye Waller walked in from the 1st base coach’s box, and as he started to walk down into the dugout, I called out to him, asking for the line up card, but he shook his head no.

I had already broken my record for most balls at an MLB game with 5, and was hoping to tie my record for most balls at a game of 6, which I set on July 14th at a San Jose Giants game.

I saw the A’s relievers coming in from the bullpen, and quickly scanned their hands, in hopes of getting my 6th ball on the day. I spotted a ball in Grant Balfour’s hand, and after making eye contact with him, I pounded my glove, holding it up, and had my 6th and final ball of the day.

Wow. It was a great day. I had a great time spending time with my wonderful mom and it was awesome getting 6 balls and having great seats while doing it.

The announced attendance was just under 10,000, and I decided that I need to make it to more game like that. Great day!

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 6 balls at this game (4 pictured because I gave 2 away)
• 17 balls in 11 Major League games this season = 1.55 ball per game.
• 26 balls in 15 baseball games this season = 1.733 balls per game.
• 22 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 31 total balls
• 5 consecutive games in Oakland with at least 1 ball
• 6 consecutive games with at least 1 ball

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.

7/21/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

I was pumped for this game beyond belief. The A’s had just walked off against the Yankees the night before, putting them 5 games over .500 for the first time in forever, and ready for the series win the next day.

This game was just going to be my mom and I, which I was really looking forward to. We got to BART around 2:00 and the Coliseum at about 2:30.

From the BART ramp, we headed to the C gate ticket office, where we planned on purchasing 2 bleacher seats. The C gate office was closed, so we walked around to the D gate ticket office, which is where I bought tickets at FanFest in January. There, we got our tickets, then we headed to the team store, where we got some good air conditioning, as it was almost 90 degrees, and I picked up an All Star game program with the A’s lone representative, Ryan Cook on the cover. We then proceeded to get in line at gate B. It was the first time I had ever gotten in line there, because it is usually closed, but sine it was all set up for people to enter at, in addition to the fact that it is closer to the RF bleachers, we figured it was the best option, despite the limited shade.

I sat and looked through my All Star game program for a few minutes, before I was approached by a family asking me what gate to get in for the RF bleachers. I suggested that they get in line at Gate B with me, because it is the closest to where they wanted to sit.

Anyone that has been to an A’s home game knows that the RF bleacher crew is awesome. They have the drums, cowbells, and the awesome signs. Over the course of the hour leading up to the gate opening, various season ticket holders that always sit in section 149 dropped off their various signs and flags with a guy that is there for almost every game. As soon as he got there, he gave the little girl that was with the family who had gotten in line with me a baseball that I guess he had gotten the night before, which I thought was great.

When the gates finally opened at 4:05, I ran through bag check, got my ticket scanned, and I ran right to the RF bleachers, where I was told to get a yellow wristband while I ran in. As soon as I got to the seats, I set my stuff down in section 148, right next to where the drummer sits. I quickly grabbed the first row aisle seat, and took my glove out and got ready. This was the sight when I looked up

I got ready, because I had a good feeling about snagging something, with the A’s recent power outburst. A minute or two after I got in, Derek Norris hit a ball to my right.

I sprinted in the direction that it was headed. I clanked in the seats above the wheelchair ramp on the leftmost side of the bleachers, and about 10 people scrambled over to go get it. They were all looking in the first two rows, and eventually gave up. After they all had left, I slowly and calmly walked over to where I had remembered it landing, while very one else scrambled to the section to the right. I walked up the steps, and sure enough, in the 5th row, the ball was just sitting there! My 10th lifetime MLB ball!

After this, I went over to hand it to my mom to put in my backpack. About 10 minutes later, Brandon Moss hit a ball in the section to my left. I went to catch the ball, but I realized it was going to land over my head. Nobody was paying attention, and the one or two that were didn’t have glove. It bounced 10 rows back, hit the 4th row, and I snagged it on its way down. My 20th lifetime baseball!

Soon enough, the A’s portion of BP was over, and I was pleased with 2 balls. It was the first time I had gotten to watch the A’s take BP, so I was happy.

After this, I got my wristband in time to get back and see the Yankees stretching before BP.

They stretched for about 5 minutes, before their portion of batting practice began. In that time, I took off my A’s jersey, hoping to have a better chance of getting a ball, to reveal my MLB Fan Cave shirt from my last game in Oakland. It felt very long, I think that is the best word to describe it. Left field was jam packed because of Alex Rodriguez, so I didn’t want to bother heading over there, so I just stayed in right field the entire time.

The Yankees hit many, many home runs to the RF bleachers. But there were so many people sitting down, it made it impossible to move around and have a chance at getting a ball. There was one kid tat I need to mention here. He was about 12 or so and came very close to getting a ball about 10 times, and whenever he didn’t get it, he cried his eyes out. And he wasn’t wearing a glove. Every time the ball was hit close to the wall, he would scream the player’s last name, in hopes of getting the ball.

Some guy did end up giving him the ball, which I think David Robertson tossed up. He then approached me, asking if I wanted to trade, my first home run ball for his toss up. Obviously, my answer was no, but I asked to see the ball, just to see if it had any special logo or anything. Nope. It was just a simple practice ball.

I decided to stand close to where I had gotten my first ball, in the aisle to the section over to the left. A lot of balls were hit just below us, and every time, Tony Pena, the Yankees bench coach would go and retrieve it. I asked him for it the first few times, and just gave up asking him after that. The only other ball I came relatively close to during the Yankee’s portion of BP, I probably should have had, but them again, someone else should have too. The ball was hit right at him. He had a beer in both hands. He set one down, to try to make a one handed grab, and of course, he dropped it. But as I went to grab it, he yelled “STOP HIM” and like 4 other people went to grab it, as he kicked it to his girlfriend, spilling about 1/4 of his beer on me. Another guy grabbed it, and gave it back, after the 20-something year old guy threw a fit about how it should be his and how he deserves it, and a bunch of other random crap. Overall, BP was very exciting.

Once the cages were pulled away, I went and got myself a soda, which I rarely have. Actually, I only ever drink soda at baseball games. But after I got my soda, I sat in my seat and talked with my mom for about 20 minutes, as there was ZERO action on the field.

Then, I saw Derek Norris warming up with Chip Hale, the A’s bench coach down by the A’s bullpen. I put my jersey back on, grabbed my catcher’s mitt and headed down there, hoping that I wouldn’t have to get my ticket checked, like the A’s ushers usually do half an hour before game time. I got down right next to the foul pole and BBQ Terrace, and there was no usher for the section at all! Sweet!

Norris and Hale were going over some catcher’s drills at the wall.

Once they were done, Derek started warming up with Jarrod Parker, the starting pitcher that evening. Once they were done playing long toss, Parker went to throw the ball to Casey Chavez, the brother of former A Eric Chavez, and the A’s bullpen catcher, when I called out to him. He threw the ball to me, and despite my jump, the ball sailed 10 feet over my head.

Believe it or not, he didn’t do that during the game at all! all of this, I pretty much headed back to my seat, with not much more to do.

This was my view when the game started

And this was the view to my left.

Yep, I’m crazy. Sitting right next to the drummer that you hear at very A’s game.

This was the sight whenever Josh Reddick came up to bat

So, If you don’t know, last year, a bunch of A’s fans gathered in RF for the first ever Bacon Tuesday. This game happened to be against the Royals, and Jeff Francoeur happened to be the right fielder. He wrapped $100 on a ball and tossed it to them. The money was for bacon. So this year, when the Royals came to the Coliseum in April, they held the 2nd annual Bacon Tuesday, and this time gave Fancoeur a Bacon Tuesday Shirt.

After hearing about Jeff Francoeur’s Bacon Tuesday at the Coliseum, Josh Reddick, a huge wrestling fan sent a replica WWE title belt to the fans in Oakland’s right-field bleachers and declared Thursdays Title Thursdays. Well whenever Josh Reddick comes to the plate, they have the wrestling belt in right field. Here is a quick article on Cut4.

This is what it looks like when Brandon Inge steps to the dish.

MORE BACKSTORY TIME!!! So, Brandon Inge’s walkup song is Moving Like Bernie. The video on MLB.com is not accessible, but that is what the RF bleacher crew do when Brandon Inge comes up to the song. A’s broadcasters quickly took notice, and the next day on the A’s pre game show, host Brodie Brazil and CSN Insider Casey Pratt were Movin’ Like Bernie. Later, after the A’s walked off AGIAN, Brodie did it agin, this time with his co-host Fernando Viña. Later that night, I found this video, which I think everyone needs to see.

And yes, I was Moving Like Bernie too.

The next story I would like to get to has to do with the song Call Me Maybe, by Carly Rae Jepsen. In May of this year, somebody posted a video to YouTube of the Harvard baseball team dancing to the song in a van.

They played Call Me Maybe sometime during the game, I think it was the 8th inning, and when it played, the ENTIRE A’s bullpen started doing the dance. All 3 1/2 minutes of the song. I guess they do it every time the song is played. They had tons and tons of footage of the bullpen doing it, and I was not able to get a picture of them in action, or on the board, but I did get tis picture, which is of Jordan Noberto laughing after finishing the routine at another game.

Quick break from story time. The only one ball that I came close to during the game was a home run in the 8th.

If you watched the video, then you know that the one guy who had a play on it botched it. I got out of my seat right away. But, because the bleachers were sold out, I had a hard time getting to the ball. Had the bleachers been less packed, I might have been able to get it. But after the ball bounced back on to the field, Dwayne Wise picked it up. I called out to him for it, and he faked a throw to me an rolled it into the bullpen.

Later in the 8th inning, I saw a lot of yellow security shirts all together in the Lf bleachers. I zoomed in and took a picture. My guess is, that somebody was benign ejected.

In the 9th inning, with closer Ryan Cook unavailable to close out the game, as he had worked the previous 3 games, Sean Doolittle, a first baseman the year prior, now a converted relief pitcher, came in to get the save. They played Grant Balfour’s entrance song, which I think is by Metalica. Whenever the song is played during a game, the right field bleacher people have a little routine that they like to perform. Here is a link to another article on Cut4.

Yep, I was doing it too.

Ok, last story. I promise. By this time, everyone knows how awesome the A’s are doing. At the end of the Yankees series, they were 14-2 in July. That is insane. Including the 4th game of the series, in which they walked off, 6 of the previous home games had been in walk-off fashion. It has been so much fun! One thing that Josh Reddick has been doing, is throwing a whipped cream pie in the face of the person who got the walk-off his, while they were doing an interview. Along with that, usually all of the tubs of water and Gatorade are dumped too. For the most recent walk-off win, Jonny Gomes added candy, gum, and sunflower seeds. I found a behind-the-scenes look of Reddick and Inge preparing to hit Coco Crisp with a pie, after the A’s 11th walk-off this year. Check it out, once again at Cut4.

That is about it for the game. It was a whole lot of fun and it was a great game too! I ended the day with 2 balls, which, is fine with me, considering how crowded it was!

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 2 balls at this game
• 6 balls in 7 Major League games this season = 0.857 ball per game.
• 15 balls in 10 baseball games this season = 1.5 balls per game.
• 11 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 20 total balls

And on my way home, this is how crowded the BART train was. But, it was more crowded for Root Beer Float day, which really says a lot!

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.