Category: batting practice

6/13/13 at John Thurman Field

This was my last day of school! In the morning, my dad bought 2 tickets for us, and around 3:30, we left for the 7pm game!

We got to Modesto around 4:30pm, at which point the Nuts were starting to take BP. I got out of the car and headed over to the area behind the Center Field fence, and a ball flew over. I went and picked it up- ball 1 on the day. Moments later, another ball flew over the fence! On THE NEXT PITCH, whoever was hitting lined ANOTHER ball over the fence.

I had been there less than 90 seconds and I already had 3 balls on the day. I then decided to head over to the RF to try my luck, and as soon as I got there, ANOTHER ball flew over the fence. That was 4 balls in less than 5 minutes of being there. This was looking to be a GREAT way to start the summer! I stood out behind the Left-Center Field wall for a while, but nothing was coming over. Since I had no competition, I was not worried about having to run to get a ball, so I headed over to the Nuts bullpen, which is down the RF line. I stood behind the chain link fence behind the bullpen mound, where I could see the cage perfectly, whereas behind the outfield wall, you can’t see a thing, as it is pretty tall.

Up until the end of Modesto’s BP, nothing came close to clearing the fence.

As Nuts BP was winding down, a ball was lined off the foul ball. It *almost* cleared the wall, but it bounced right into the glove of Scott Oberg. Since I was standing close to him, wearing my Nuts hat, he tossed the ball over the fence for my 5th ball of the day.

Around this time, BP came to an end, at which point I decided to stick around, maybe to try and get another toss-up.

In order for Nuts players to get to the clubhouse, they have to walk past the bullpen. As they were leaving, something caught my eye.

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Can you tell what it is? Here is a closer look…

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I guess a bunch of the players had ganged up on one guy and tried to lock him in the bullpen. To make sure he didn’t get out on my end, they closed that door shut as well.

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He really was trying hard to get out.

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They just wouldn’t let him out!

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And yes, he eventually did get out.

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I headed back to the car to grab a bottle of water, because it was HOT out. I was exhausted, as I had been running all over the place!

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The day before, I had emailed the Nuts, asking them if I could have a Media Pass for this game, and shortly before my dad and I left for Modesto, they said yes!

Once Modesto BP had ended, my dad and I went over to pick up the tickets and Media Passes. Once we did, we headed back out to area behind the outfield wall. Almost immediately, another ball was bombed over the fence. I ran over and scooped it up for ball 6 on the day!

About 15 minutes later, another ball was hit over the Center Field fence, making it 7 balls for me!

I had bent down to count the balls in my bag and when I looked up, my dad was doing this…

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He had brought his monopod to this game and extended it as far as he could, then set a timer on the camer and raised it over the wall! He actually got a really good shot!

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How cool is that!?

After I got that 7th ball, the Blaze BP was DEAD. Nothing came close to going over. Once Batting Practice was over, it was 5:30 or so, and with the gates opening in 35 minutes, my dad and I decided to head over to the gates and take advantage of our press passes.

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We headed in, and I got this photo of the covered seating area down the LF line.

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Very practical for a sunny game.

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Not much was going on near the gates.

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I snapped this picture of the stadium map.

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And this one of the underbelly of the stands.

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Here are all of the concession stands.

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And the Nuts team store.

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It was very quiet…

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We started walking towards the west entrance, through this part of the concourse.

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If you can tell from the last 3 pictures, there is a large open grassy area behind the stadium. That would be a golf course. It isn’t very good for foul balls.

Here is the West concession area.

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They even had a bouncy slide!

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And a Speed Pitch.

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As well as a bounce house!

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We also walked past the Kids play area.

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I started to head over to check out the Nuts Bullpen when something caught my eye. Can you tell what it is?

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Here:

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I thought about picking it up and sticking it in my backpack, but there were ushers, security guards, other employees, and cameras all around, so I didn’t want to take a risk of losing my media pass over an easter egg baseball.

Just a couple minutes later, the ball ended up being thrown to the bullpen.

I thought it was cool that one of the bat boys was wearing the same shirt as me.

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I snapped a picture of the scoreboard.

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And the bullpen seating arrangement.

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The batting cages are right next to it.

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A few guys had been getting some work in.

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I then decided to take a “tour” of the stands. I noticed this sign. No surprise.

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And took note of this sign as well.

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I still love this sign.

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This was my view from where I was standing.

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I then headed up the steps to get a couple of photos that I stitched together to make this:

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Not my best work by any means, but I still think it is almost/sorta/kina cool.

Here is the Nuts dugout.

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I then decided to head to the last row of seats behind home plate. Great view.

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I took multiple pictures up here and photoshopped another panorama.

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Then I took one with my iPhone.

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Gorgeous.

Modesto is the only stadium that I have been to that has bucket-style seats in any place in the stadium.

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I was pretty close to the press box here, and to the right of the press box was this area.

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No clue what it is for, but it looks pretty cool.

I then decided to check out the area behind the press box.

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Here’s the door.

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But I didn’t go in…

I then headed down to the seat that I had purchased a ticket for.

I took a peek inside the visiting dugout.

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And saw a couple of bases siting near the fence.

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From here, I went into the team store and took a look at their wall of hats.

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At this point, it was just after 6pm, probably around 6:10 or so, and it was still very warm, so I treated myself to a Slush Puppie. I sat behind home plate and enjoyed it.

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My dad and I then headed down to our actual seats and I got a picture with my 7 BP balls.

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I noticed some players making their way to the field, so I headed over here.

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Nuts players were starting to stretch and warm up.

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One of my favorite Nuts players is Niko Gallego, the son of A’s 3rd base coach Mike Gallego.
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Really cool guy!

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My other favorite Nuts player is Trevor Story, who hooked me up with a bat in my last game.

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While all of this was going on, the Nuts mascot Al was doing flips.

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And Ken Griffey Sr posed for a picture for my dad.

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I tried to get a toss up from the players playing catch, but they all kept their balls.

A few guys did some lats-minute stretching.

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And it was time for the National Anthem!
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And we were all ready for baseball in Modesto!

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Ben Alsup was on the mound for the Nuts.

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The Blaze scored 2 runs on 2 hits, 1 walk, and 1 error.

Brian Humphries was unable to get anything started in the top of the 1st.
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Shayne Dyer was on the mound for Bakersfield.
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He retired the first 7 Nuts batters that he faced.

Ben Alsup made quite a few pickoff attempts over the first few innings.
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It seemed like he didn’t have his best stuff this night.

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That being said, he has kind of struggled all year.

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The Blaze were unable to push across any runs in the 2nd, despite a single, stolen base, walk, and hit by pitch.

The Nuts went down 1-2-3 in the 2nd inning, just like they had in the 1st.

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The 3rd out of the inning was a Will Swanner pop out into foul territory to catcher Chris Berset. As he was jogging back into the dugout, he flipped be the ball for ball #8 on the day!

Alsup settled down in the 3rd, getting Kyle Waldrop to strike out swinging.
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One of my favorite things about the Nuts are all of their silly mid-inning games, which in my mind, are better than the Ports ones.
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Very entertaining!

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Harold Riggins got the Nuts first hit of the day, a 1-out single in the 3rd.

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As Tyler Massey was batting, Riggins advanced to 2nd on a balk.

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Much to the displeasure of Ken Griffey Sr.

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As Alsup went out to the mound in the 4th inning, he continued to struggle.
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The inning started off fine, with a groundout, but Juan Perez tripled, giving the Blaze a quick opportunity to tack on an insurance run.

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He got Yorman Rodriguez to ground out, holding Perez at 3rd, but he then loaded the bases after 2 walks.

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With the bases loaded, Steve Selesky was then hit by a pitch, brining in Modesto’s 3rd run of the game.

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In the 5th inning, this guy showed up next to me.

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Actually, it was both these guys.

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With 2 outs in the bottom of the 5th inning, Niko Gallego stepped to the plate. I can’t remember what the count was, but he fouled a ball back right at me. It hit the warning track and bounced straight into my glove for ball 9 on the day!

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This was my view for the next few innings.

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Chris Berset struck out in the top of the 8th.

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In the bottom of the 8th, the Nuts got things going with a 1-out single from Harold Riggins, which was followed by a Niko Gallego double. At this time, the Blaze decided to make a call to the bullpen.

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After a Tyler Massey strike out, Brian Humphries singled, brining in both runers, to make it a 3-2 game.

Nick Schnaitmann came back out to the mound to continue his work,  after pitching a flawless 8th inning.

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He got the job done, brining the Nuts to their final 3 outs.

Jamie Walczak was on to close the game out.
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The Nuts, however were not going to make it easy for him.

Jared Simon led off with a single, however it was followed by back-to-back strikeouts. However, on a wild pitch, Simon did advance to 2nd base, putting the tying run in scoring position.

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Trevor Story then stepped to the plate. While he was hitting, Walczak threw another wild pitch, putting Jared Simon at 3rd, just 90 feet away from sending the game into extra innings.

Everyone was on the edge of their seat.

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With a 3-2 count, Trevor walked, which meant the potential winning run was now on base. This brought Harrold Riggins to the plate.

While Riggins was at the plate, Trevor Story stole 2nd base, putting the winning run in scoring position.

However, Harold struck out to finish off a win for the Blaze.

As soon as Harold Riggins struck out to end the game, I darted over to the dugout to try and get one of the 3 broken bats from the game, but the dugout was cleared pretty quickly.

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There was a broken bat laying on the ground, so I asked the bat boy, but he explained how he isn’t allowed to give anything away.

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I asked him for the lineup card as well, he said no to that- however, I wasn’t going to give up.

I had been standing there for a little while and was about to head out, when I was approached by Taylor Fernandez, a semi-regular in the right field bleachers.

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I told her that the bat boy wouldn’t give me anything, but the lineup card was in reach, so I was tempted to just peel the lineup card off the wall myself. She encouraged me to do it, so I did.

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We were the only ones left in the stadium, even the bat boys had left. Go follow Taylor on Twitter since she encouraged me to get my 3rd Nuts lineup card of the year, ok? Click here.

When I got home, I realized something pretty cool.

  • In my first Nuts game of the season, I was able to get the lineup card after the game, a game pitched by Ben Alsup.
  • In my second Nuts game of the season, I was able to not only get a bat, but the Nuts lineup card after the game. That also was a game pitched by Ben Alsup.
  • Now this time… Who was the Nuts starting pitcher? Ben Alsup. Who got the Nuts lineup card? Me.

Every time I have gone to a Nuts game, I have not only gotten a lineup card, but Ben Alsup has been the Nuts starting pitcher on that lineup card. How cool is that?

On my way out, I stopped for a picture with the Nuts In-Game dude, Mike On the Mic.

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And it was time to head home!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 15th Game of the Year… 5th MiLB Game of the Year
  • 9 balls at this game
  • 36 MiLB Balls in 5 MiLB Games = 7.2 MiLB Balls Per Game
  • 11 Consecutive MiLB Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 5 Consecutive MiLB Games with at least 5 Balls
  • 51 Lifetime Minor League baseballs
  • 91 total balls

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

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4/29/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

Boy oh boy! Today was a long day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Which he enjoyed! He had a very long conversation with the 20-or-so folks out in RF;

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And they all loved it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hamilton was enjoying the Butterfingers.

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And he posed for photos.

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Alex got busy taking notes on what was happening.

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

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

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As you can see, Left Field was PACKED!

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

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

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

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

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As well of this photo of me taking pictures:

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

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

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

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This was my view. Not too bad!

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To  my right…

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And my left…

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

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Everyone was shuffling in.

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And Ross held his #ReddickRallyHair.

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Confused? Watch this video…

Now watch this video…

Now you are all caught up to speed!

Everyone was posing with their Butterfingers!!

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

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

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Vanessa got it from this angle:

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

Arlene got this photo of Vanessa and I

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

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

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Seriously. How amazing is that?

Satoshi and Keita were wearing these awesome hats.

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I had to pose wearing one as well.

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The ceremonial first pitch was quite entertaining.

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And Tony started distributing bags of the #ReddickRallyHair

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

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Here is Tony explaining everything

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Remember… You can watch the video here.

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The umpires met at home plate…

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And we were ready to go!!

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

Alex LOVED it!

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

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Tracey was flashing here sign and glove!

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You could tell Hamilton loved it all.

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

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He has a lot of pretty awesome signs!

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

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

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Shin was just in front of me.

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Ready for a story?

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

And the Sun Hole was born.

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

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

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

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

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The Umpire was clapping…

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ERIC SOGARD NERD POWER!!!

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

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

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

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

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Soon enough, I was back out in Right Field.

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Sam was holding up this AMAZING sign.

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

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

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And she seemed pretty excited about it!

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Here’s a slightly closer look…

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There was something written on the ball!

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More than just something!

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Every side of the ball had something written on it!

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Will seemed to be having a good day!

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Same with Tony!

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

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Of Eric Sogard…

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

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Seriously, it is fun to take pictures of him!

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Brandon Moss was at first base

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Josh Reddick in Right Field

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Coco Crisp in center.

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Yoenis Cespedes in left field.

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Jed Lowrie at shortstop

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Mike Gallego is the A’s third base coach.

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Mike Trout making a catch at the wall.

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Third Base…

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Josh Donaldson stepped to the plate.

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Derek Norris was due up after him.

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

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Grant Balfour was beginning to get loose in the bullpen.

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Along with Sean Doolittle.

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

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

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

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

Grant Balfour came in to pitch the 10th inning.

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Time to RAGE!!!

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Balfour shut the Angels down in the 10th.

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

Vanessa enjoyed playing with her!

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She was pretty excited about free baseball!

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

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

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Moss was still at first base.

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Everyone was enjoying the free baseball!

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

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

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

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Nobody likes that song in Oakland.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Omar was having some fun with his drum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The infielders chatted during the pitching change.

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IT WAS RIDICULOUSLY EMPTY!!

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

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Everyone was having a great time!

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It was 1:14. MIND BLOWN.

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

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

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The stadium was almost empty at this point.IMG_1008

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

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

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

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

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

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(Arlene took that photo)

Here is the Tweet I sent out on his phone…

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

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

Following a first pitch strike, this happened.

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

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EVERYONE was happy!

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

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

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

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

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And it was SO LONG from the Coliseum.

KEEP READING!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BALLHAWKING STATS:

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

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

4/21/13 at Banner Island Ballpark

This game was going to be me, my dad, and Uncle Seth, who I have mentioned before.

We left our house around 10:50, so we got to Stockton around 11:45.

Throughout the course of the day, before the gates opened, I made another vlog, similar to what I did for this game.

As soon as we got there, we found that nobody was collecting money for parking. FREE PARKING!

I then immediately headed out back for BP.

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As you can see from my tilted picture, there was little action, but the cages WERE set up.

The first batter to step into the cage for the Ports was Addison Russell.

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About 5 minutes after I arrived, look what I had!

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Yeah!

Only the Ports took BP, there were no Nuts players anywhere to be found.

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And believe it or not, the Addison Russell ball was the ONLY one that cleared the bullpen area, despite strong swings.

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Believe it or not, none of the bunts left the yard!

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BP was VERY boring all-told.
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Around 12:20, right when batting practice was coming to a close, the song Milkshake came on over the PA in the stadium. Wade Kirkland was patrolling left field. You know the app called Vine? Well watch this. He was kind of bored. Dance moves were not to bad.

BP came to a close around 12:25 or so, so I decided to walk around the Marina area and ballpark exterior.

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Seriously, how awesome is this?

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As I’m sure most of you know by now, the Stockton Arena sits right next door.
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Basically, I wandered along the waterfront as far as I could go, before I reached the fence of the parking lot.

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At this point, I decided to turn back. On my way back, I saw this…

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I decided to wander around over towards the Pro Shop area.

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In the windows, they have every Ports giveaway since 2005. I noticed these two bobbleheads…IMG_3278

Those will both be giveaways later on this year!

I headed over to the Suite Holder gate to get a better view of inside, where I saw this.

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That lady was writing in the lineups for both teams on the whiteboard in the concourse.

I then decided to head back and get in line.

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I seriously couldn’t wait to get inside!

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There was a table being set up that had a turtle in a cage next to it…IMG_3271

I decided to get a picture with my uncle and the ball I got during BP.

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Then, I got a picture of myself with the ball

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The gates opened at 1:07, and after getting my ticket scanned, I headed over to where a few Nuts players were playing catch and stretching.

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Just out of the frame was the glove of William Rankin. As he finished running, he tossed me his ball.

After I got that ball, I headed over to section 117. Why? It was on-field player photo and autograph day! When I got there, I met up with Will and Ross. At 1:15, we were all led into a roped off area. Players then lined up along the rope, with pens in hand. Remember the logo ball I got in my last Stockton game? I was ready to get some signatures!

The first player I got an autograph from was infielder Max Muncy, who tossed me a ball and hit me a foul ball in my last Stockton game. My dad and uncle were wandering around the stadium, so I was left to use my phone’s camera to get a photo with him.

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Next in line was outfielder Dusty Robinson.

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After getting a picture and autograph from Dusty, I moved on to pitcher Seth Frankoff.

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After Frankoff was pitcher Jose Macias.

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After Macias, I moved on to get an autograph and picture with pitcher Jonathan Joseph.

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Then, I got to talk with Blake Hassebrock.

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After Hassebrock was outfielder Bobby Crocker

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Then, came infielder B.A. Vollmuth (One of the coolest names EVER if you ask me).

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The next guy I got a photo with was outfielder Josh Whitaker.

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The 10th person I got a photo with was the starting pitcher that day, Deyvi Jimenez.

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Then, my dad came down to get a few shots, including this one of me with SS Addison Russell.

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I had an absoluste blast with all of this.

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It was a small space with LOTS of people.

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I couldn’t get pictures with or autographs from all of the guys, so I spent a few minutes talking with Will and Ross, who got lots of photos themselves.

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I also go to talking with Eric and Bridget, who are A’s fans that I believe made the trip with Vanessa.

As you can see in the picture above, Vanessa joined us on the field. Remember her from my last game in Stockton?

She, Will, and I then got a picture with Max Muncy and Ryan Delgado.

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Do you see the phone in the picture above taking a picture of us? That is Vanessa’s, and here is the picture she later posted on Instagram.

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About halfway through the event, I took this panorama of the event, which hopefully captures the chaos of it all.

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Around 1:45, they started wrapping things up, at which point Will had a short conversation with Ports manager Webster Garrison.

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He and Vanessa then got a quick picture with Webby.

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Around 2, I headed over to watch the Ports starting pitcher for the day

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Once he was done warming up, I got this panoramic shot from the LF foul pole.

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Then I headed over to RF to get the same.

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The Ports let a Little Leaguers run on the field with players in this game, for the National Anthem, and it was a very cool sight!

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The National Anthem, as always, was great!

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The Ports sent Deyvi Jimenez to the mound.

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While the Nuts countered with Ben Alsup.

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For the Top of the first, I headed over to behind the Ports dugout in hopes of getting a third out ball.

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I was unsuccessful, and on my way back, I snapped this panoramic.

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For most of the game, I sat down with Will, Ross, Vanessa, Bridget, and Eric, near the first row, chatting.

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In the front row, you have Will, Ross, Eric, Vanessa, and Bridget.

I did, however, spend some time sitting up with my Uncle and Dad, where I was able to get shots of people like this one.

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And of Will…

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With 2 outs at every half inning, I would head behind the dugout of the team on the field and try to get a ball. I was unsuccessful ALL DAY.

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As always, my dad got AMAZING pictures.

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The Ports scored their first run in the bottom of the 2nd.

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Every time Webster Garrison, the Ports manager, walks past the visitng dugout to go coach 3rd Base, Will and a few other fans stand up and yell “WEBBYYYYY!”

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Here he is coaching third base.

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The Nuts manager is Lenn Sakata.

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 As I mentioned earlier, I was very unsuccessful with 3rd out balls, so I enjoyed getting to relax and take lots of pictures!

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I then took these two pictures…

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When I got home, I went into Photoshop and created my first “real,” (And poorly done) panoramic photo.

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One memorable play was when Dusty Robinson came to the plate…

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And there was an interesting play at first…
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Here is Josh Whitaker.

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For me, it was awesome to just sit back, relax, and take pictures.

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In the 8th inning, Bernie Lean came on…

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Can YOU Bernie Lean?

Also in the 8th inning, Juan Crouset stepped to the plate for the Nuts.

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He popped a ball foul a few rows behind me. I misjudged it, but immediately picked it up off the ground. Ball #4! It was my 5th lifetime foul ball, 4th at a MiLB game, and 2nd MiLB game in a row with a foul ball!

Right after I picked it up, I heard a young girl (7 years old maybe) quietly say “Dangit.” Without thinking, I handed the ball to her.

Yes, of course, I would have loved to have kept the ball, and I got PLENTY of backlash for it on Twitter, but it was all worth it to see her so happy with it.

When the Ports came to bat in the bottom of the 8th, Nelson Gonzalez went into his second inning of work out of the bullpen.

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But, he blew the lead…

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Ryan Ortiz had hit a go-ahead home run!

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And it was high fives all around!

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Jordan Ribera and Taylor Featherston watched as a new pitcher took his warm up tosses.

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Modesto called upon Kenneth Roberts to get the final two outs of the inning.

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Thankfully for the Nuts, he was able to escape the inning, but not before allowing another run!

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In the top of the 9th inning, the Ports were ahead 4-2, so I headed over to my ticketed seat for the first time all game, located right next to the Nuts dugout. At that point, I was hoping to get the lineup card after the game, so I put on my Nuts hat. Will was VERY disappointed in me. He then took this picture of me.

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That is my “I know I’m a Ports fan but I have to do this” face.

Jonathan Joseph came on for the Ports to lock down the save.

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And the Ports had won!

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Some people were getting pictures…
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… But I was sticking my head into the dugout to try and get the lineup card.

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As soon as I got there, I asked the Nuts manager for the lineup card, but he ignored me and left. Then, Brian Humphries walked over, saw a pile of balls on top of the bat rack and tossed one to me without saying a word. He then tossed out 6 more to other kids that were crowding around the dugout.

Soon, I saw a clubhouse attendant in a rockies hat, shirt, and shorts (The Nuts are a Rockies affiliate) walk over. I asked him for the lineup card, and look!

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I thanked him and headed up the stairs, where everyone else was standing. Vanessa snapped this picture of me on her phone of me with the lineup card.BIbR5i_CQAA-tAO

We then got a group picture. From left to right… Bridgett, Will, Vanessa, MEEEEE, Ross, Eric, and my Uncle Seth.IMG_4270

As we were heading out, I noticed it was “Kids Run the Bases” day.IMG_4273

Once we left, I headed to Ross’s car to pick up my 2013 RF Bleacher shirt (To debut in my next game entry) and then headed back to meet up with my dad and uncle.

Cool stuff. Great game.

Thanks for reading!

BALLHAWKING STATS:
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  • 6th Game of the Year… 2nd MiLB Game of the Year
  • 5 balls at this game
  • 19 balls in 6 games this season = 3.16 Balls Per Game
  • 15 MiLB Balls in 2 MiLB Games = 7.5 MiLB Balls Per Game
  • 4 MiLB Foul Balls
  • 5 Lifetime Foul Balls
  • 5 Consecutive Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 8 Consecutive MiLB Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 5 Consecutive MiLB Games with at least 3 Balls
  • 2 Consecutive MiLB Games with 1 Foul Bal
  • 30 Lifetime Minor League baseballs
  • 62 total balls

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

4/5/13 at Banner Island Ballpark

On April 2nd, I wrote a short email to the Ports, asking for a Press Pass for the game on Friday, April 5th, and I got a quick reply back saying yes! I emailed them back, asking for one for my dad, since he would be accompanying me to the game, and they agreed to that as well! Thank You very much to the Ports organization for giving me this opportunity!

After the game, on the drive home, I got a quick photo of the pass.

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This was going to me my first MiLB game of the 2013 season, and my first one since last September in Modesto. It was my first Ports game since May 2012.

We arrived at Banner Island Ballpark around 4:45, just under and hour and a half before the gates were supposed to open.

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As soon as we parked, I ran out to the area behind left field. On my way, I peeked in to make sure there was BP, a what do you know? The Ports were taking batting practice!

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I immediately sprinted out to the area behind left field. Here is an ariel view of Banner Island Ballpark. I’ll let you guess where I headed.

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LOOK at that area behind LF.

As I was running, I heard someone yell “GO! NOW!” I looked up to see a ball heading towards me. I tracked it into my glove, and I already had my first ball on the day.

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Ports BP was pretty boring…

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I mean, as a fan, it was lots of fun to watch!

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If you go back up a few pictures, do you see that kid holding on to the fence? Well he was there with his dad and 3 brothers and I felt bad for him and his brothers. Every time a ball was even hit remotely close, the dad would yell “Go! Now!” and his kids would groan and take off running.

I could tell none of them wanted to be there, or for that matter enjoyed baseball. They not only retrieved hit balls for their dad, but after being told what to say and who the player was, would call out to players on the field for toss-ups…

Yep…

The Blaze players were beginning to stretch and warm up along the LF line.

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As I continued ballhawking, my dad began to walk around the stadium to get some pictures.

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The Stockton Marina was looking gorgeous

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Absolutely amazing.

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Ryan Delgado and Sean Murphy were talking it up in the outfield

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Everyone gives Stockton a bad rep, but it is an amazing city.

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This is the walkway between the ballpark and water.

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There is this outdoor seating area right behind the stadium.IMG_7208There was this ball just sitting under the table…

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Once the Ports BP had ended, I only had one ball, but an employee walked by and tossed me that ball for ball #2 on the day.

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Yep! It was a Major League Baseball!

Once Ports BP came to a close, that dad and son that I had mentioned earlier ended up walking away, giving me Blaze BP all to myself!

On their way out, I noticed this ball in the employee parking lot for the Stockton Arena.

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I never found a way to get that ball…

In between the next few pictures, I will explain how I got the rest of my BP balls, during Blaze BP.

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Ball #3 was a sharp line drive that hit the concrete and slowly rolled out of the stadium, right into my glove.

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This guy hit a ball that cleared the bullpen, bounced in the seats behind the bullpen, and out of the stadium, right into my glove for ball #4 on the day!

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One of these guys, I can’t remember who, tossed me my 5th ball on the day.

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If I am not mistaken, it was Sean Buckley, a first baseman on the Blaze who I tweeted earlier in the day!

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He just turned around, asked me if I wanted a ball, and tossed it to me!

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Pretty awesome that he actually kept up on his word! Go check him out on Twitter @seanbuckley08!

The Blaze had a lot of lefty power, so they were pulling a lot of pitches out to RF, where it is almost impossible to get a ball outside of the stadium.

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At 6, BP was still going strong, despite the gates opening at any moment.

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Since the gates were going to be opening at any moment, I ran over to get in line with my dad. He had already gotten in line, so there were not to many people in front of us. That gave me 5 balls in Batting Practice alone. My previous MLB and MiLB high for a single game was 6, which I did in July 2012 in San Jose and August 2012 in Oakland!.

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I looked inside to see the cages all the way down and the Blaze taking infield.

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The giveaway for the game was a ball with the Ports new alternate logo on it.
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At 6:09, when the gate finally opened, this was the scene behind us.

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I immediately sprinted down to our seats, where I ran down to check out our seats.

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Do you see the person walking towards the dugout, from home plate? He had a few balls in his glove and tossed me one for ball 6 of the day, which I failed to photograph.

I then decided to do a little ballpark exploring…

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I started out in the LF corner…
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And moved on to Left Field

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Where I walked past the bullpens and seating area.

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I walked around the rest of the outfield before making it to the RF corner.

In the right field corner, there is a small set of stairs that go up and then over and down this utility tunnel that is where the cages, etc.. are kept.

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This is the RF corner

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And then I made it to the Ports dugout, on the first base side.

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My dad got this really cool picture of a member of the grounds crew adding extra dirt to the base lines.

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They were also raking the lines.

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Up behind the Ports dugout is the indoor batting cage. The Ports were all suited up in their new Friday alternate unis, never before worn!

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In order to decide the hitting order, some guys were playing rock, paper, scissors.

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On my way back to my seat, I saw this little baseball-card dispenser, that I thought was really cool! I WILL be bringing quarters to my next Ports game!

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Once we got back to our seats, I posed with my 6 balls so far, right next to our seats.

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Yep. That’s how short the fence is. You can see I was standing right next to the dugout. Our seats were in the first row, the one that my glove was sitting next to, and the seat next to it. Isn’t that awesome!

Here is a quick peak into the dugout.

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Here is a panoramic shot from our seats

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Here was my ticket from the day.
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Soon enough, after a bit of relaxing, both teams started to take the field to warm up.

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I immediately headed over to where the Ports were warming up, with one goal in mind: Get Addison Russell‘s autograph!

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SUCCESS! I got him to sign my ticket! (Which I forgot to photograph)

*Note that the Ports wear WHITE belts with these uniforms*

Once I was finished up there, I put on my Reds hat and Blaze shirt and headed over to where the Blaze were warming up.

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My dad headed over to where the Ports were beginning to play catch.
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Even when I was on the opposite side of the stadium, I had an eye on 19-year-old Addison Russell.

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There was lots of autograph signing taking place.

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Then my dad headed over to where the Blaze were playing catch.

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I didn’t get any balls during warm-ups. That’s all.

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Look who was sitting just to our right…

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It’s Will! For those of you who don’t know (WHY DON’T YOU KNOW HIM BY NOW?), that is bleacher regular Will MacNeil, the man behind the Balfour Rage!

Around the bottom of the 1st inning, Benjamin Christensen (Who I saw on Opening Day and April 3rd in Oakland and was one of the 9 MLB Fan Cave Dwellers in 2012) and Vanessa Demske (Who was a Top-30 MLB Fan Cave contestant in 2013) arrived!

I probably spent 2/3 of the game sitting and talking with the 3 of them. Great people!

Since we were sitting so close to the field, my dad was able to get some really cool close-ups of players, like this one..

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And this one…

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And this one…

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And this one…

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The game was just about to get underway…

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The National Anthem was performed…

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And we were ready to go!

Blake Hassebrock was on the mound for Stockton.

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And he escaped the first inning relatively unharmed.

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With two outs in the top of the first, I jogged over to the Ports dugout, where I was tossed the 3rd out ball by Maxwell Muncy. It was my 7th on the day.

I had officially broken my record for not only most balls snagged at a MiLB game, but most balls ever snagged at a baseball game.

Addison Russel lead off for the Ports

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There was a pitch thrown high and tight to him…

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I liked this picture a lot.

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Carlos Contreras was on the bump for the Blaze.

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Josh Whitaker was batting in the three hole for Stockton.

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This is Maxwell Muncy, who tossed me the ball in the top of the 1st.

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The bottom of the 1st ended with a strikeout, and catcher Chris Berset tossed the ball to me on his walk in to the dugout. Ball 8 on the day!

This is the umpire…

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Here are the infielders standing around in the infield during a pitching change…IMG_8010

In the top of the 7th, I headed back over to the Ports dugout once again to try and snag a third out ball. 2nd Baseman Wade Kirkland had recorded the final out of the inning, and tossed me a ball that I had to jump pretty high for, but caught it. (There was nobody near me) Ball 9 on the day!

Then, in the bottom of the 7th, Wade Kirkland fouled off a ball that skipped over the railing right next to the dugout, straight into my glove for ball 10 on the day!

Once the game came to a close, I rushed over to the Blaze dugout in attempts to get the lineup card, but I was shoved out of my way by a 30-year old man who yelled out “Ken! Can I get dat lineup card pleazz?” Griffey Sr. smiled, pulled the tape off the card, and walked towards the clubhouse, lineup card in hand.

From there, I headed over to where Ben, Will, and Vanessa were, where I snapped a picture of the three of them.

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Then, I got a picture with them, each of them holding two of the balls I snagged.

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It was a great game! If you remember from my Opening Day entry, Ben has a blog of his own, called Hats and Tats: A Lifestyle.

You can click on the name of Will, Ben, and Vanessa to follow them each on Twitter.

Thanks for reading!

BALLHAWKING STATS:IMG_8057

  • 4th Game of the Year… 1st MiLB Game of the Year
  • 3 MiLB Foul Balls
  • 10 balls at this game
  • 13 balls in 4 games this season = 3.25 Balls Per Game
  • 10 MiLB Balls in 1 MiLB Game = 10 MiLB Balls Per Game
  • 3 Consecutive Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 7 Consecutive MiLB Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 4 Consecutive MiLB Games with at least 3 Balls
  • 25 Lifetime Minor League baseballs
  • 56 total balls

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

4/3/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Beyond what you see, that was it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I ended BP with 2 balls.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tommy Milone finished up his warm up tosses…

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… Josh Donaldson did some last-minute stretching …

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

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… And we were all ready to go!

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

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

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I just thought those were two cool pictures.

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

Chris Young was playing center in his Oakland debut

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With Josh Reddick playing right field

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

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

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

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Yoenis Cespedes was the A’s starting left fielder.

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Jed Lowrie was in the game at shortstop

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And Josh Donaldson was playing third

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

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

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Nate Freiman was hitting 8th in his MLB Debut

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

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

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

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I liked this shot of the Oakland sky at night.

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

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

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Jed Lowrie had a BIG day at the plate.

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Coco Crisp doubled in the 3rd inning.

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

IMG_6725Like I just mentioned, Jed Lowrie was on second…

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But Derek Norris struck out to end the inning…

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

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Ot this one of Chris Young.IMG_6748

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

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

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

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And this one…IMG_6784

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

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

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

LOOK AT THAT HAIR!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I got another picture with my 2 BP balls.