Category: Coco Crsip

4/3/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Beyond what you see, that was it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I ended BP with 2 balls.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tommy Milone finished up his warm up tosses…

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… Josh Donaldson did some last-minute stretching …

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

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… And we were all ready to go!

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

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

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I just thought those were two cool pictures.

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

Chris Young was playing center in his Oakland debut

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With Josh Reddick playing right field

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

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

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

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Yoenis Cespedes was the A’s starting left fielder.

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Jed Lowrie was in the game at shortstop

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And Josh Donaldson was playing third

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

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

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Nate Freiman was hitting 8th in his MLB Debut

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

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

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

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I liked this shot of the Oakland sky at night.

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

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

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Jed Lowrie had a BIG day at the plate.

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Coco Crisp doubled in the 3rd inning.

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

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But Derek Norris struck out to end the inning…

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

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Ot this one of Chris Young.IMG_6748

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

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

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

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And this one…IMG_6784

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

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

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

LOOK AT THAT HAIR!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I got another picture with my 2 BP balls.

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And we said goodbye to the Coliseum.

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

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

Thanks everyone for reading!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

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

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

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4/1/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My dad then noticed this scaffolding… RANDOM!

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

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

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It was seriously a beautiful day for baseball.

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

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

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

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

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

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But like I said, the line was PACKED

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And LONG

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

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

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And Derek Norris was in the cages.

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

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

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… With this guy!

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I recognized this guy sitting near me during the game.

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

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

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And the Mariners began taking BP.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Third Base coach Jeff Datz was throwing BP.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I then noticed this in Left Field. Hm…

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

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

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

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

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

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What is so special?

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

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

Yoenis Cespedes was also stretching on the field.

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So were the Mariners!

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“King” Felix Hernandez was pitching for the Mariners.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Felix finished his warm-up tosses.

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And the boys in Green and Gold took the field!

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

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THAT BEARD!!!

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

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

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And the game was UNDERWAY!!

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

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He was pitching VERY well.

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

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

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

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

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Felix Hernandez was DEALING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Seriously. Those kids are REALLY awesome!

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

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

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

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Awesome!

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

Thanks for reading!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

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

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

2012 ALDS – Game 3

Postseason baseball in Oakland for the first time since 2006. Awesome!

My dad and I left the house just after 12:30, making a quick stop along the way to get lunch at Subway, and a sporting goods store to buy a cheap Tigers hat, then we are on our way.

We got there around 1:45, over 2 hours before the gates would open at 4:07.

I had been tweeting back and forth with ballhawks Wayne Peck and Spencer Sanborn for a while (you might remember them from this entry) and I knew that they were both going to be there, and was excited to meet Wayne for the 1st time.

This is what the line looked like when I got there

Yep. I was the only one in line at Gate B. And my dad had brought a camping chair to sit in in line. Yep. This was going to be a long day. I had a LOT of time to kill, so I walked around.

If you have read this blog for a while, then you know what the outside of the Coliseum looks like. First, I walked towards the BART ramp.

I got to the BART Plaza

I then headed towards A and D gate. Parking lot A was empty. It was ridiculous. I was expecting more people, but I guess not!

Gate A was empty as well.

Over by D Gate (Where there was nobody in line), the 95.7 The GAME booth was being set up

I stopped in at the D Gate team store, browsed around a little, and was on my way up towards the Arena plaza.

There were a lot of news vans parked outside. Let me see if I can list all of the stations. CSN Bay Area, CSN California, MLB Network, TBS, ESPN, KTVU Channel 2 News, NBC Bay Area News, KRON 4 News, CBS 5, ABC 7, and there were probably a few more.

I then noticed a very familiar face stepping out of a CSN California van. Do you have any clue as to who the guy is in the green shirt?

You probably don’t but I recognized him right away. That man is Brodie Brazil, who hosts A’s Pre and Post-game Live, and is the San Jose Sharks rink-side reporter, as well as a 95.7 insider. Huge Bay Area celebrity.

I was then stopped by a security guard, who asked to see my ticket, then did the Bernie.

I wandered around the Oracle Arena a little, found the player parking entrance, and just walked around. I then headed down to Gate C, where there was 1 person in line.

When I got back, my dad was happily relaxing in his chair, reading the paper. I was ready to go. But we still had just under 2 hours.

There was still nobody behind us in line. I was bored. So I talked with my dad. Time passed. More time passed. Then I walked around one the Coliseum more time to stretch my legs.

Ok, are you ready for a crazy story? So I was walking past Gate A, and after I had walked 50 or so feet past the gate, I heard a ball hit the pavement. I immediately turned around and ran back. Somebody scooped up the ball immediately. I headed over to take a look at the ball, and when I asked to take a quick look, I was shocked to see that it was a near perfect 2012 Postseason ball. WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???????

Where did this ball come from? Wha— uh??? I was at a loss for words.

I was headed back to Gate B when I noticed a familiar face. It was Wayne! Sorry, I didn’t get a picture of him right away. I chatted with him for a minute, before he headed to the team store to look around.

Sooner or later, a lady got in line behind us. We talked with her for a few minutes. I spend a lot of time on my phone, then decided to go put it in the car and walk around some more. The line at Gate D was getting decently long, and in the front of the line was Spencer Sanborn!

I got back to the line. It was just my dad and the other lady. There was 1 hour until the gates open. WTH???? There was almost NO ONE in line, and the gates would be opening soon.

A minute or two later, Wayne got in line with us. This is what he (and a lot of other people) thinks of the “O.co Coliseum”

That is definitely the best facial expression I have ever seen regarding a professional sports facility.

We talked for a long time about a variety of things. Ballhawking, the Coliseum, how much the Coliseum sucks, crazy ballhawking adventures. Wayne is a good guy. He wrote a great blog entry about this game that you can find here! He also went to the game the following day, which you can find here.

My dad got a picture of us before the gates opened.

Do you like my shirt?

Right before the gates opened at 4:07, (Nope, to 4pm or 4:05, but 4:07) the line was getting pretty long.

The gate was all set up and ready to go

And we were off!

Actually… we weren’t. They let us go get in line at the turnstiles at 4:00

Shorty, after 4:07, they let us in. My ticket scanned perfectly and I headed through the turnstile. But it wouldn’t budge. The arms were never unlocked. And the ticket taker couldn’t open it. So after a few minutes, I just walked around and received my bright yellow rally towel.

BP was underway and I was ready to go.

That’s a view from our seats in the bleachers. I headed there immediately, but quickly headed down to the RF line.

Do you see the guy in the Tigers had and shirt in the orange sleeves? That would be Spencer.

The A’s were taking BP, and the pitchers in Center Field were entertained by attempting to throw balls into the 2nd deck as well as the 3rd deck seats that are tarped off.

Adam Rosales took some hacks in the cage with Chris Carter watching on

The Coliseum wasn’t very full, but the energy was awesome, and everyone was pumped!

The A’s didn’t hit anything to the RF bleachers, or down the RF line, unfortunately. As they concluded BP and jogged off the field, they got a very solid round of applause from the crowd.

Tigers pitchers had been playing catch down the line, and despite my bright orange shirt and Tigers hat, I didn’t manage a ball.

Ask anyone that was there would agree that BP was a show. Miguel Cabrera was BOMBING ball after ball into the 2nd deck, and even a few balls onto the 2rd deck tarps.

One odd thing I noticed was the middle section of the 3 open 3rd deck sections.

I guess it would the overflow media and press area. Interesting.

Prince Fielder was launching some balls pretty far as well. But he wasn’t pulling the ball. He was hitting it 2nd deck in LF.

Those guys are STRONG.

Jhonny Peralta had some strong hacks as well

BP was frustrating. There were very few balls hit down the RF line, and those that were hit were fielded by the same guy who ignored fans.

There were a couple that spent a lot of time standing next to me that I guess are Tigers season ticket holders. The one ball that I came closest to during the 1st 45 minutes was a ball that was thrown to ME specifically, that they reached out in front of me and barehanded. Ok then…

During the regular season, the bleachers were General Admission, but since it was the PLAYOFFS, they had assigned seating. Because they didn’t have to worry about being the first ones in line, the RF Crew started to trickle in during the 1st hour of BP

For those of you who don’t know, that man is Will MacNeil, one of the Die-Hards in Section 149. He is an awesome guy and I have talked with/about him before in entires like this one and this one. He is the proud owner of a very cool item. A replica WWE wrestling belt. Josh Reddick sent it up there in the beginning of the season.

He is a great guy!

That’s Will on the right, and you can follow him on Twitter here. I am not 100% positive who the man on the left is.

All the guys out there are great. I strongly encourage you to sit out there some time. It’s awesome.

Back to BP…

Guys like Alex Avila

And Quintin Berry were not hitting anything to RF. It was frustrating

This guy had some awesome signs. That man would be Ian Sagerbaen, and was dubbed my MLB.com’s Cut4 as the Greatest Sign Maker in MLB History

It was frustrating be trapped behind A’s fan screaming for balls

And despite the fact that you can pick me out of a crowd of green and gold right away, I guess Tigers players couldn’t

I realized BP was ending soon, so I took off for the Tigers dugout.

Obviously, you can find me easily in this crowd

I got behind the dugout and was calling out to players for balls

The cages were taken in…

And I was shut out for BP…

Frustrating…

With this disappointing loss, I headed back to the bleachers, where I found this guy was handing out signs

I got two different ones that were both double-sided.

Here is the first

And the second

I then wandered around for a little bit. I walked around the concourse and the bleachers, when my dad noticed this thing being rolled onto the field.

They were set up all across the outfield.

As a helicopter flew overhead

Slowly, the Tigers began to come onto the field to warm up

I wasn’t able to get down close to the field on either the 1st or 3rd base side, so after multiple attempts, I headed back to our seats in time for Stomper and “The Herd” to come around the warning track.

The Color Gaurd marched onto the field.

It was time for the player introductions!

This was one of Ian’s signs that he gave to someone to hold up

When it came time for the A’s to be introduced, sparklers at the bottom of the firework carts were set off

Everyone with their yellow rally towels was pumped up!

Each time a player on the A’s was introduced, a firework shot off.

When all the players had been introduced, it was time for the National Anthem

More fireworks were shot off

Anibal Sanchez finished his bullpen tosses

Then, Bert “Campy” Campaneris, a longtime A’s legend came out onto the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Once the ceremonial first pitch had been thrown, it was 4:59, one minute untill TBS went live to the Coliseum. Dick Callahan, the PA announcer, told the crowd to get crazy, as we would be live on national television soon. The place quickly ERUPTED!!!!

I took a panoramic picture shortly before the game started

Brett Anderson was dealing in this game

Austin Jackson struck out to lead off the game

Steven Drew walked in the bottom of the 1st, sending Coco Crisp to 2nd

Crisp later scored on a single off the back of Yoenis Cespdes

Awesome hair:

Seth Smith homered to right-center field, just past the RF bleacher seats

Grant Balfour began to warm up in the 8th inning, ready to come in for the save

While Balfour was warming up there were some drunk guys sitting in front of a Tigers fan with a young son and wife that started to boo the guy because he was a Tiger fan.

The little boy started to cry at which point everyone started boing the drunk guy. His response? “I didn’t see the kid, okay guys?”

In the top of the 9th, it was time for BALFOUR RAGE!!!!

Just to show you how packed and pumped up the crowd was, I got another panoramic picture

Throughout the game, there was a drunk A’s fan walking up and down the stairs of the sections cheering his head off. He was half drunk and half really excited. I have to admit, he did make the game a little more fun.

In the top of the 9th, he pulled me out of my seat to cheer. It was kind of awkward.

After an Omar Infante strikeout, Miguel Cabrera singled to right field. On a 1-2 fastball, Prince Fielder grounded into a double play to end the game.

Cue Kool and the Gang!

After a few minutes of celebration, something occured to me. I hadn’t snagged a ball. Then, I thought about the home run, and wandered over to see if the ball was somehow still beyond the wall. Nope. IT wasn’t. Oh well.

You know, it was disapointing to not snag a ball, but still, I would count the night as a success.

1) I got to meet finally meet Wayne Peck, who is a great guy.
2) I was the first one in line at a postseaon game.
3) I got a yellow rally towel.
4) I was at a POSTSEASON GAME!
5) I got some pretty cool posters.
6) I WAS AT A POSTSEASON GAME!
7) I had a ton of fun
8) Did I mention it was my first POSTSEASON GAME?

Even though I did’t snag a ball, It was a LOT of fun! I attended my first ever postseason game, and it was more than I could ask for.

I got a final picture with the signs and rally towel

And one with that guy I mentioned earlier

Wow. That was a lot of fun!

Yep. It was my last game of 2012. I had a great season. A lot of fun!

So. Regarding offseason entires, I have a bunch of ideas in mind. I’ll share more throughout the World Series and offseason, so check back frequently more more updates!

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 0 ballS at this game 😦
• 23 balls in 15 Major League games this season = 1.53 balls per game.
• 38 balls in 21 baseball games this season = 1.81 balls per game.
• 28 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 43 total 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.

8/5/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

This was my 2nd game in the past 6 days. Let’s go!

We left the house at 8:40 for my dad to drop my mom and I off at BART. My sister had like a sleepover or something the night before, and she was going to come later with my dad.

My mom and I got to BART at about 9:00 and the Coliseum at about 10:30.

Once we exited the BART ramp, we headed towards Gate C, where I figured I would get in line. There was nobody in this line, or the 2 up at the BART ramp. (B and A were closed) Then, my mom reminded me that we needed to get tickets to another game, so we headed over to gate D to buy the tickets. I then remembered that the cast of Nitro Circus 3D was going to be greeting people at Gate D, so I jumped in line while my mom went ahead and purchased tickets for Scott Hatteberg bobblehead day.

Now, let me say right now, it will be hell for ballhwaking. Not only is there a bobblehead (With a sound chip) giveaway, but before the game, there is an on-field reunion 30 minutes before the game starts of the 2002 team that won 20 consecutive games. Then, after the game, if you pay an extra $12, you get to go on the field and watch the movie Moneyball on a huge screen above the center field fence.

I don’t expect to snag many if any at balls, but for me, this is such a great opportunity, that I can’t pass it up.

I was the only one is line

I started talking with this security guard at the gate

He thought I was about the coolest person ever. I talked about baseball, my blog, and stuff like that. He was kind enough to show me the schedule for the day, as I had told him that I snag baseballs. On it, it said that the A’s and Jays were supposed to take BP. If this was true, I was pumped!

He was under the impression that I was an All-Star baseball player. (Not close) This may have had something to do wit the fact that I had an 2 baseball glove, one being a catchers mitt. I also told him I am a 2nd baseman and short stop. That may have led him on to believe I was a leadoff hitter that will be drafted in the first round after high school. I guess his cousin was drafted 6th overall in the last NBA draft, which I think started the whole discussion. If you ever get in line at Gate D and see him, tell him Nicholas Badders sent you.

He ended up walking away when kids starting filing out of the coliseum from some class that A’s players were giving.

This lady was walking around, saying that Chevy was giving away free sun glasses. All you had to do was sign up for a chance to win a car. I sent my mom to investigate, and she ended up getting me some green A’s sunglasses.

Right after she got back, this pulled into the parking lot.

Nitro Circus! This is who got out…

If anybody can identify them for me, that would be great!

One of the things on the myGameBalls.com photo scavenger hunt involved getting a picture of you that had a celebrity in the shot. I complied this picture to submit that I hoped would be worth 6 points.

Those pictures were taken my dad. He arrived with my sister and joined us in line 15 minutes before the gates opened.

When the gates finally opened, I grabbed the giveaway of a Jemile Weeks drawstring backpack and headed to check if there was BP. The cages were up and the Blue Jays were on the field stretching! I ran up to the concourse, threw on my Blue Jays hat, and took off my A’s jersey to reveal my MLB Fan Cave shirt. I was running all over the place.

I ran down towards the Toronto dugout, where there were some players stretching. I called out for a ball, but had no luck. BP got under way, and knowing that the Jays don’t have a lot of lefty power, headed down behind their bullpen. I quickly got a toss-up from their bullpen catcher Alex Andreopoulos.

I am very glad that I didn’t go into the bleachers. There were 2. Yes, 2, balls hit into the bleachers in all of BP. They were both off the bat of Rajai Davis, the speedster that isn’t known at all for his power and jump-started his career with the A’s. The first one bounced into the bleachers from the steps between the foul pole and seats in LF, and the other was hit into the 2nd deck, bounced out, and into the bleachers. The same guy got both. Jose Bautista didn’t hit, and guys like Edwin Encarnacion hit balls out, but ones that didn’t go into the seats.

In total, I guess about 6 balls were hit clear over the wall by the Blue Jays.

There were a decent amount of other people with me down the right field line, and almost none of them had gloves.

This probably was the most I had ever moved around in BP. I was running up and down between the Jays’ dubout and bullpen the entire time. There were no balls that were hit foul into the seats, so I mostly followed balls that were weakly hit. There was one where I leaned over the railing, and even though the usher was holding my legs, I was unable to get it.

It also didn’t help that there were about 50 kids in a roped off area that were getting balls rolled, thrown, and hit to them. About 3 had gloves. Oh well.

It turns out, before BP had started, my dad took a bunch of pictures of A’s pitchers warming up. He also got a cool picture of Casey Chavez, the A’s bullpen catcher rubbing mud on the bullpen baseballs.

Lets start off with Sean Doolitle

Pedro Figueroa:

Casey Chavez (Again)

Travis Blackley (And his awesome glove)

He got some great shots of Blue Jays hitters during BP

The security guard’s sheet was wrong, but that was no big deal. The A’s didn’t hit, but the Blue Jays did. They did end pretty quickly, though. I would guess they hit for 25 minutes. Considering the fact that they had started at 11:15 and ended at 11:40, I was somewhat disappointed. I was also excited that this gave me time to get some more things of the scavenger hunt checklist.

The first picture that I checked off after the one before the gates opened was this hopefully 10-pointer. Todd, Tim, and Kellan Cook took a picutre of Tim sitting in the Orange seat at Camden Yards, holding up Todd’s phone with a picture of Cal Ripken Jr.

I took a photo imitating it. But, I was sitting in the seat, where David Ortiz’s 400th HR had landed.

Then, my dad decided to get this picture.

After this, we headed up to the 3rd deck, as I wanted to try out a cool new iPhone app I had found call 360. It is a 360 degree panoramic picture app. It free, and cool. If you have an IOS device, you should get it. I went to the last row and took this.

I also got this picture on my phone’s regular camera

Then, we headed to get another picture off the checklist. For 2 points, you need to get a picture with a statue in/at the stadium. Right by the Westside Club, I complied this picture

3 statues. From left to right, the 2008 Statue of Liberty All-Star Game A’s statue, the A’s giant piggy bank statue, and the 2010 Mickey Mouse All-Star Game A’s statue.

Then, we headed into the Westside Club, which I believe I have never mentioned before on this blog. It is basically a restaurant/bar in the Coliseum. They even have a custum sandwhich place called Deli 215.

From the Westside Club, we headed back to our seats. I there realized that we didn’t have aisle seat. Other than catching a foul ball, my goal for the game was to find an aisle seat a few rows up.

Shortly after I got back, I went with my sister to get an ice cream helmet, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

When we got back, I grabbed my glove and headed over to where Derek Norris was playing catch with bench coach Chip Hale

When Norris was done, I called out to him for a ball, but it turns out Chip Hale had all of them, and he tossed all 3 of the balls that he had to deserving little kids with gloves.

At this point, Tommy Milone was just about done playing catch with Casey Chavez, and was headed to warm up in the bullpen.

halfway through his warm up tosses, Stomper in his “Smiling Chevron Car” and his “herd” ran around the warm-up track with all of their “goodies.” They had the usual bead necklaces and Ryan Sweeney jerseys that were giveaways in 2010 or something like that.

I got a yellow necklace and gave it to a kid who was sad because he hadn’t gotten anything.

As the A’s relievers started to walk in from the clubhouse, everyone (Minus Pat Neshek) was signing for fans down the line. I got my ticket signed by Pedro Figueroa and then Jerry Blevins.

My family always seems disappointed when I sit by myself at games and go for balls, so at this game, I made a point to make sure to sit with my sister, who utterly hates me ballhawking. This my view for the game.

As usual, my dad got some amazing pictures. Like, really good pictures. As usual, I am going to share them with you.

Anthony Gose bunting in the top of the first inning

Coco Crisp fouling off a pitch

Josh Reddick at bat in the bottom of the first inning

Tom Milone pitching

Derek Norris at this dish

Brandon Inge rounding the base on Norris’s double

Coco Crisp swinging

Yoenis Cespedes swinging

Somebody on the Blue Jays hitting

Evan Scribner in the bullpen

Tom Milone releasing a pitch

Coco Crisp at the plate

Birds on the tarps on the 3rd deck

Rajai Davis swinging

Sean Doolittle in the bullpen

Pedro Figueroa warming in the bullpen

So I bet you are all wondering about foul balls during the game. There were 2 into the seats within 10 yards of me. There were 5 or so that the ball boy could have handed to me, but didn’t. So the two that landed in the seats… 1 bounced on the field and into the second row in the section to my left.

The other I should have caught. I am hitting myself over this. The ball was hit right at me. I lost it in the sky, but I eventually found it. It bounced softly 2 rows behind me and iI ran back and stuck my glove on the ball, which was in a cup holder. I held it there for a few seconds, then pulled it off. I grabbed it with my hand, but some lady yanked it out of my hand. Good going lady. An usher came over and asked if everyone was ok, so I told him that I was emotionally wounded. He chuckled and asked why. I explained. The lady offered the ball to me, but I told here to find a little kid to give it to.

I tried to stay happy, but I was just frustrated about the ball. I should have been able to hold onto it, but it left my hand. There isn’t anything I can do about it at this point.

Tommy Milone just wasn’t on his game, and allowed 6 runs over the course of his 6 innings. Going into the bottom of the 9th, the A’s had RBI doubles from Derek Norris and Coco Crisp, and a 3-run home run from Josh Reddick.

Norris stepped to the plate in the 9th, hoping to extend the game.

Just foul! By just a few feet too! He fouled off 2-3 pitches barely foul, eventually striking out. The A’s would lose 6-5. No Pie. No Kool and the Gang. But overall, it was a fun day!

Before we left, there was one more thing I wanted to do. I had seen a ball under the advertisement board by the bullpen, and something came to my mind. One more thing on the photo scavenger hunt list was to retrieve a ball from the field using items strictly from concession stands. I found a cardboard tray, and after a little modifying, tried to retrieve the ball. This is the photo I submitted.

And on our way out, I saw this sign, which the A’s took down the next day. I miss Kurt Suzuki. I hope he does well in our nation’s capitol.

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 1 ball at this game
• 9 balls in 9 Major League games this season = 1 ball per game.
• 18 balls in 12 baseball games this season = 1.5 balls per game.
• 14 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 23 total balls
• 3 consecutive games in Oakland with at least 1 ball
• 4 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.

A’s Split Series with Rangers!

The A’s are for real.

On Monday, I was asked by many people if the A’s are for real. Now, the answer is yes!

They started the series on Tuesday, with a matchup of Bartolo Colon and Roy Oswalt. Both pitchers threw 2 scoreless innings to start the game. In the 3rd, Elvis Andrus had an RBI Single to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Adrian Beltre led off the 4th with a solo shot, followed by a 1-out RBI single from Mike Napoli. Craig Gentry followed with a run-scoring bunt, giving Texas a 4-0 lead.

In the bottom of the 7th, Josh Reddick led off, blasting his 21st home run of the year, a solo home run to right field. That would end up being the only run the A’s scored in this game.

The Rangers scored 2 more runs, when Josh Hamilton homered in the 8th inning, and when he hit a sac fly in the 9th to make the final score 6-1.

The A’s looked for a series split in game two, with Travis Blackley on the mound, opposing former Athletic Colby Lewis.

The first four innings of the game were scoreless, but Craig Gentry doubled in Brandon Snyder ti make the score 1-0. It wouldn’t stay like that for long, as Brandon Inge led off the A’s half of the 5th with a line-drive home run to center field.

The whole game then started to fall apart for the A’s in the top of the 6th. Elvis Andrus singled to open up the 6th. He then advanced to 2nd base on a bad balk, called on Travis Blackley by the first base umpire, Paul Nauert. Blackley has used the same move all year. Sigh. Micheal Young then singled to left, making the score 2-1 A’s. Blackley was then pulled for Grant Balfour, who allowed a Nelson Cruz single to make the score 3-1.

In the bottom of the 7th, Brandon Inge doubled to lead off, followed by a Chris Carter pinch-hit walk, who was then pinch-run for with Brandon Hicks. After 2 quick outs, Josh Reddick stepped to the plate. He launched a deep, deep drive to right field, which I was positive would leave the yard. It bounced off the top of the wall, about a foot above Nelson Cruz’s glove to tie the game at 3.

In the top of the 9th, Ryan Cook came in to pitch, and got out of a jam. Brandon Hicks lead off the bottom of the 9th inning. Right when Hicks was called up in June, he almost had a walk-off grand slam against the Giants, but the ball bounced over the wall. He has had multiple hits that have almost gone out, and was still without a major league home run.

He launched a solo home run to the deep part of right-center, his first career home run to win the game for the A’s 4-3!

So, the A’s have lost 2 games in July. They are 10-2 in July, and have 4 walk-off wins in their last 7 games and 9 walk-off wins this year!

Now, the Bronx Bombers come to town, for a four-game series. I hope of be at the game on Saturday. Now, the Yankees are 5-1 in their last 6 games, but so are the A’s. The A’s have a 10-2 record in July. The Yankees are 10-4. I expect this series to be evenly matched, power for power, strikeout for strikeout, and win for win. I expect them to split the 4 game series.

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.

6/24/12 at Oakland Coliseum

Time for another game! This game would feature the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. Great, you would think, right? Yes and no. If you are a ballhawk, it is miserable. The Coliseum is already bad enough for ballhawking and then you give it a sold out crowd. Yeah. But overall, I was looking forward to it. I had never been to an A’s/Giants game and I figured it would be a fun challenge. Let’s do this.

Originally, I wanted to get to the Coliseum around 9am for the 11am gate opening and 1:05 start time. Well my dad didn’t exactly enjoy getting there an hour early on Thursday and my mom and sister didn’t enjoy a waiting in line for an hour and a half on Wednesday. So my mom proposed that she and I take BART to the Coliseum to get there at the time I wanted. Then he and my sister would show up around noon. That was fine with me.

So my mom and I got to BART around 9:50 and the Coliseum at 10:30.

We got in line at gate C and were the first ones in line. Again. It was awesome.

I didn’t think there’d be batting practice. The game the day before had been at 4:15, so I was overjoyed when I ran into the stadium and saw this

The cages were up and I was excited! I was feeling so good. I figured since there was nobody on the field only the Giants would be hitting. They took the field at 11:30ish and I was excited to say the least.

Wow. BP was boring. Very boring. Only ONE ball was hit to the right field bleachers and that was in the very front corner of the bleachers. I talked with multiple ballhawks, including one that I met on Wednesday. I talked with a Giants fan that makes it out to this game every year. He is the guy in the Orange afro in this picture…

The only toss-up that I saw during batting practice was from Sergio Romo to some lady that had screamed at the top of her lungs. Sigh. It was very frustrating. I put on my catcher’s mitt, with no hope of catching a home run, and focused on toss-ups. I had no luck.

And before I knew it, BP was over, and I was without a single ball. I am starting to wonder if the RF line would be a better for BP than the bleachers.

I went straight to our seats between the Giants bullpen and foul pole to meet up with my family. I stayed there until the game started.

After Matt Cain finished warming up with bullpen catcher Bill Hayes, I asked Bill for the ball. He flat out said no and tossed it to someone to the dugout side of the bullpen. That was the last chance I had for a ball before the game started, because ushers start to check tickets right after batting practice is over, and it is almost impossible to get into another section.

Now for those of you that have ever been to an A’s game on a Sunday, you know that before the first pitch, Stomper will drive around the warning track in the “Smiling Chevron Car,” followed by some girls and a guy that have bags filled with things like bead necklaces and logo baseballs. For this game, I ended up with this

I guess this time, they had necklaces, Bay Bridge Series baseballs, and t-shirts, when I opened it up, this is what I saw..

MLB Fan Cave! I was surprised that they had t-shirts, and I was figuring it would just be a Chevron shirt or something like that. Cool!

A.J. Griffin had been called up from AAA Sacramento to make the start, in place of Brandon McCarthy, who was placed on the DL. This game would be Griffin’s debut. In the last game I went to, I saw Derek Norris make his MLB debut, and he would do the catching in this game. A.J. struck out the first batter of the game on 3 pitches, which was really great to see.

I only came close to two foul balls during the game. The first one was hit right to the other end of my row, but because it was so crowded, even though I tried my hardest to get to it, I was unable to get the ball. The second time came in the bottom of the 3rd inning, when Cliff Pennington fouled a ball in my direction. I had a hard time tracking the ball, but when I realized it was going to go a little over the rail, I reached over to position myself. I heard an usher yell “No!” very loudly, so I backed away as he ran down the steps. Gregor Blanco caught it and came crashing against the wall right in front of me. When I was watching the game over on my TV, you can see me behind the Comcast SportsNet logo.

There were some very obnoxious Giants Fans sitting right in front of us

There was only one other ball in the entire game that I cam relatively close to, I wouldn’t have had any chance of getting it, but it was very controversial. In the bottom of the 6th inning, Seth Smith came up with runners on first and second. He drew the count full and he fouled a ball down the line. It hit the line and rolled into the corner. Gregor Blanco pointed to foul territory, as if to say the ball was foul. And guess what? Todd Tichenor, the first base umpire, called it foul. Josh Reddick, the runner on second had already scored, and the hit would have given the A’s a 3-2 lead. But no. He called the ball foul and the count remained full.

In the replay, you can clearly see chalk fly up, so the ball is fair. But I guess the umpires didn’t see it that way.

They zoomed in on me looking down the line to see Bob Melvin arguing with first base umpire Todd Tichenor

Here, you can see Blanco running after the ball. I circled my mom and I in red.

In this shot, you can see me about to ask Gregor Blanco for the ball

Here, there are two things you can see, and I have labeled them for your convince
1) Nicholas Badders (Meeeee!)
2) The ball bouncing off of the line and chalk flying up

So I asked Gregor Blanco for the ball, and he said “Yeah, sure.” I was relieved not to get shut out for the third game in a row! Right when he went to toss it to me, I heard a loud “NO!” from the Giants bullpen, so he rolled the ball to Sergio Romo. Great. I had a feeling that they were worried that there was paint that you could see on the ball, and they didn’t want me to have it.

A.J. Griffin did allow 2 runs in the first on a home run by Buster Posey, but at the end of the inning, when he came in the dugout, he said he wasn’t going to allow any more runs for the rest of the game. Fro the next 5 innings, he matched Matt Cain pitch for pitch. Bob Melvin put in Sean Doolittle to pitch after A.J. walked Buster Posey to open up the 7th.

Doolittle, a former first baseman, pitched a solid 7th and got the first two out of the 8th.

Jim Miller got the last out of the 8th and pitched a 1-2-3 top of the 9th.

I forget when in the game it was, but Jeremy Affeldt came right in front of my seat and on his way back to the bullpen, I gave him a fist bump. It was pretty cool.

Going into the bottom of the 9th, Yoenis Cespedes, Seth Smith, and Brandon Inge were due up. Cespedes singled to left and Jonny Gomes came on to pinch run for him.

Seth Smith struck out swinging and Brandon Inge singled and there were runners on first and second with Brandon Moss, one of the A’s hottest hitters at the plate. He struck out.

Now due up was rookie Derek Norris. Keep in mind that he was without an extra-base hit, home run, walk-off hit, or walk-off home run in his career.

He brought the count full. There were runners on first

And second.

With 2 outs, the runners would be going. And the pitch…

A’s Win!

Here are some pictures from the home run and celebration

The Swing…

Watching the ball…

Jonny Gomes jumping on his way to the plate…

Players running in from the dugout…

Derek Norris running home…

Look how high Derek Norris is jumping…

Derek is somewhere in there…

They did end up ripping his shirt off…

This is his post-game interview with Comcast SportsNet California. I felt bad for him because he got a shaving cream pie to the face along with tubs of Gatorade and water dumped on him. I think he may have had contacts on too

Josh Reddick came to his rescue with some towels

That he promptly used

And his interview with MLB Network

After all of the celebration had died down, I began to wander the stadium for any loose balls while the kids run the bases thing was set up

So if you guys don’t already know, on Monday, July 2nd, Zack Hample is going to be doing something pretty cool. He is going to attempt to set a world record. And it has nothing to do with video games. He is going to attempt to catch a baseball dropped from a helicopter 1000 feet in the air. This is the entry he wrote on his blog about it. This is an entry on his blog about practicing for it. Ballpark Digest wrote an article about what Zack is doing. And finally, the Lowell Spinners wrote an article about it, because their ballpark is where the whole event is taking place.

This brings me to the fact that I will be off next week because I will be at Boy Scout camp. I get back July 7th, and am hoping to go to the A’s game July 8th. I guess we will have to wait and see because I have no games written in stone for the month of July.

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 0 balls at this game
• 4 balls in 6 Major League games this season = 0.667 ball per game.
• 7 balls in 9 baseball games this season = 0.778 ball per game.
• 9 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 12 total 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.

6/21/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

For this game, my friend Ryan would be joining my dad and I. You might remember Ryan from this game. Or this game. I picked Ryan up from his house around 9:20 and from there, we headed to the Coliseum.

Today was a throwback Thursday, so every fan got a fee bag of peanuts and a scorecard. The A’s are amazing! (Sarcasm maybe?) We got to the Coliseum at got in line at gate C. My dad stayed in line while Ryan and I walked over to gate D to see how long the line was there. There was nobody there! We got in line and waited for my dad.

The gates opened at 11:05 and Ryan and I ran for the Dodgers bullpen, where the some players were warming up. I changed into my Dodgers gear and headed down. I had many interesting experiences there. I was told by 4 Dodgers pitchers that they are not allowed to give out balls from the bullpen, and all 4 of them tossed someone else a ball within 5 minutes of me asking.

It started with Aaron Harang, who was signing autographs. I got him to sign my ticket and after, I asked him if he would be able to toss me one of the cool commemorative balls. He said he would love to, but the bullpen balls have to stay in the bullpen. I got to talking to him about commemorative balls while everyone was screaming for his autograph.

Then he eventually walked away and said he would try to get one from the dugout from me. Then Tony Gwynn Jr. came over and I asked him for a Dodgers 50th anniversary ball, which I saw under the bullpen roof. I figured that since he was a position player, he wouldn’t know. But he said he wasn’t allowed to “hand them out.” I didn’t even get his autograph.

Then Chris Capuano came along and I asked him for a ball and with a laugh said “What is thrown in the bullpen stays in the bullpen.” So I asked him for the softball in his hand. I guess not.

My last hope was their catching coach Steve Yeager. He had the same answer as everyone else. Great.

With almost no chance of getting a commemorative ball, we headed over to our seats behind the A’s bullpen. While we had been gone, my dad had taken some great pictures of A’s players warming up.

Jerry Blevins:

Ryan Cook:

Brian Fuentes:

And when we got back, some more great pictures

Derek Norris:

Travis Blackley:

I was unable to get a ball from any player warming up, so I settled in my seat to see Derek Norris making his MLB debut. He joins Andrew Carigan, Bret Anderson, and Aaron Cunningham as the only players I have seen make their MLB debut in person.

Travis Blackley was dealing in this game, only allowing one run and three hits over eight innings- arguably the best start of his Major League career.

The A’s scored their first run when Jonny Gomes scored on a sac fly from Brandon Inge in the 2nd inning. The Dodgers scored their lone run in the 5th on a single from Juan Rivera. In the 6th inning, I went and got an ice cream helmet, which I finished in ten minutes.

We had a great view of Ryan Cook warming up in the 8th inning to go in the game in the 9th

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Coco Crisp walked and advanced to second on a passed ball. Jemile Weeks went to bunt Coco to third, but got to first on a miscommunication by Juan Uribe and Josh Lindblom.

Kurt Suzuki and Casey Chavez watched on from the bullpen

Now there were runners on first

And third

And Yoenis Cespedes came to the plate

He was still without a walk off hit in his career and before the start of his at bat, I predicted a walk-off home run down the LF line. Hmmmm…

Boom!

Had I been standing in the cross aisle and sprinted to my left on the crack of the bat, I would have had it. Whatever. Celebration! I was happy!

I saw a ball in the bullpen and I was trying to find someone to toss it to me, but the usher lady kicked us out. I was shutout.

As I walked up the steps, I turned around to see the security guard on the field pick up the ball and toss it into the seats. I raced down to grab the ball, but someone grabbed it before me. Dangit! The A’s still won!

Keep scrolling for pictures of Cespedes’ Walk-off celebration
BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 0 balls at this game
• 4 balls in 5 Major League games this season = 0.8 ball per game.
• 7 balls in 8 baseball games this season = 0.875 ball per game.
• 9 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 12 total balls

Home Run Trot:

Celebration at home plate:

On way to Dugout:

My next game is tomorrow (Sunday) at the Coliseum against the Giants… wish me luck!

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.