Category: Dan Ortero

6/29/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

Coco Lean bobblehead day! I knew it was going to be crowded. For this reason, I chose to not put much effort into ballhawking at this game, so that I wouldn’t be disappointed if I didn’t snag a ball.

This would be a game featuring myself, my mom, and my sister, Pascale.

The game was a 1:05 start time. The gates opened at 11:05. What time did I get there? 7:45 of course! The BART Ramp gate was set to open up at 8. A few minutes after we got in that line, this was the scene behind us.

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You think that’s crazy? Check this out:
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Yeah… It was over 5 hours before game time and there were that many people in line to get into the Coliseum grounds!

Guess who was near the front of the line?

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That’s Ross and Wiggi!

I went over there and joined them, hoping to be able to get to the front of the line at MM.

The BART Ramp gate opened at 8:15. As soon as it opened, everyone started running towards LL and D, to the right side. Since I was near the front, I broke off towards MM. I jumped over the short fences keeping the line in place, and was first in line. All of the right field bleacher people started throwing their backpacks at me! A few people threw flags and such, but more importantly, we were first in this line.

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Around 8:30, Will joined in on the party.

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When I say party, I truly mean it. The line just kept growing.

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Pascale and I took off around 8:40 to take a lap around the stadium and scope out the other lines. Here is the Gate C line.

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As we walked past the gate, I saw something that caught my eye.

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It was WIDE OPEN. Yeah…

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I considered for a split second going inside, but decided against it for obvious reasons.

We kept walking, up towards the season ticket holder entrance, where there was already a decent line.

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The A’s were preparing very well. They had the line set up to snake towards the Oracle Arena.

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And do this…

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Yeah… WOW!

As we were walking towards Gate D, we took a quick peak at the player parking lot. Nothing fancy.

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The line at Gate D was HUGE!

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When I say huge, I mean HUGE! That picture does not do justice.

We ended up getting back in line around 9:15 or 9:20. Around 10:15, the bobbleheads started coming in.

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Here is a quick peak at the line at this time.
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Everyone was having a “great” time at the front of the line. It was very hot and there were a lot of us. Pascale spent some time playing with Cara Miller’s son Ian.

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I was clearly very excited.

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We were all “enjoying ourselves.”
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At 10:40, just 25 minutes before the gates were supposed to open, I got this picture of Will.

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That picture pretty much sums it all up.

This was the scene. Pure CHAOS!

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This was the line from MM. I was standing in the parking lot when I took this picture.

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The line extended INTO the parking lot.

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I’m  not even at the back of the line here.

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The sea of cars amazed me.

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It was nuts.

Sure enough, at 11:05, the gates opened, and I dashed inside.

Nothing was going on for the first 15 or so minutes.

Slowly, a few A’s began to stretch.

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They eventually started throwing, but by the time they were done, the Cardinals had all left the field. I had many many attempts for a tossup from an A’s player, but failed. I left the LF corner to head elsewhere.

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This all happened in a span of 25 minutes at most, so I was all but positive that I was going to be shutout.

I went over to the A’s Kids Club table with my sister, then headed back to the bleachers. At this point, I met up with Taylor Fernandez and her brother. We talked for a while, then walked around the concourse. I got back to the bleachers about 20 minutes before first pitch.

Matt Holiday, former Athletic was in the starting lineup.
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He was among the Cardinals players stretching along the RF line.

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Jarrod Parker, meanwhile, was warming up in the A’s bullpen.

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He was being caught by Derek Norris.

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As the players were finishing up warming up, IMD and ATM, the guys behind the song Bernie Lean had a short performance on the field, ending it with Bernie Lean. I videoed the performance, but now I can’t find the video. Sorry! I’ll update this entry if I do find it.

This was my view just before the national anthem.

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Right as the national anthem began, this began to fly over.

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On the bright side, it is providing arial coverage!

Again, like I mentioned, Jarrod Parker was on the mound for the green and gold.

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Oh, and one thing that the A’s have been doing for the past few weeks  is displaying fans’ tweets on DiamondVision. If you remember, my tweet was displayed back on Tuesday. Look what I came across this Saturday afternoon.

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Yay! I think I got a couple of new followers.

In the 4th inning, there was a scare on the mound.

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Jarrod Parker threw a 1-0 pitch to Allen Craig with 2 outs. Craig doubled on the 1-0 pitch to centerfield. However, on the pitch, Parker fell to the ground.

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He ended up laying on the ground for a little while, trying to stretch out. It was later determined to be a hamstring injury.

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He was then replaced with Jesse Chavez.

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At the time, it was a scoreless game.

The infielders gathered in front of 2nd base and talked with Jim Joyce while Chavez warmed up.

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The outfielders talked as well.

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I got this really cool picture of Yoenis Cespedes spitting.

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After a number of pitches, Jesse Chavez was ready.

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I then noticed that ATM and IMD were in 149.

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Meanwhile… Adam Wainright was dominating the A’s.

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Dan Ortero came in with 2 outs in the top of the 8th, when the Cardinals were ahead 7-0, with 4 of those runs being charged to Jesse Chavez, 2 of them charged to Jerry Blevins, 1 to Pat Neshek.

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I really like this picture of Brandon Moss. Not sure why- I just like it!

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Josh Reddick feeding himself sunflower seeds.

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Oh… and he was wearing these awesome stirrups!

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Nate Freiman stepped up to lead off the bottom of the 9th, with a 7-1 Cardinal lead.

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He grounded out, then Yoenis lined out, for the 2nd out of the inning.

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We were all hoping for some 2-out magic!

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Adam Wainwright walked Brandon Moss, then looked to finish off the CG when Adam Rosales stepped to the plate.

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Rosales popped out to 2nd Baseman Matt Carpenter to end the game, and that was it!

Sure the A’s lost, but it was certainly a fun day! Waiting in line, roasting in the sun, you can’t complain!

After the final out, ATM and IMD were posing for pictures with people in the concourse. Here they are with Will.

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This was my last game for 2 weeks, as my next game was going to be July 14th against the Red Sox.

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 18th Game this Year (13th MLB Game)
  • 0 Balls at this Game
  • 14 balls in 13 MLB games this season = 1.08 Balls Per Game
  • 42 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 93 Lifetime Baseballs

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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.

6/25/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

This was the first of a two-game series between the A’s and Reds. It would also be my first of 3 games in 5 days.

It was a 7:05 game, with the gates opening at 5:35. My dad and I arrived around 4:15 where we got in line at gate MM. At the time, were the only fans in line.

It was pretty boring for the next hour. It was pretty cold and it was raining off and on. Nobody was in line behind us for about 45 minutes. 30 minutes before the gates opened, Will MacNeil got in line with us.

5 minutes before the gates opened, the line looked like this…

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Yeah. I could tell it would feel pretty empty for the game. The gates opened at 5:35, where my dad and I grabbed two front row seats in Section 149, on the aisle.  It was pretty empty.

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 Things were looking up, as the Reds have a lot of power in their lineup. With few fans, lots of balls being hit into the outfield, I was confident that BP would be a lot of fun!

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Boy oh boy was I wrong…  It felt like the Reds hitters were trained to hit the ball to opposite field during BP. When the first few groups were up, I was going to RF for lefties, then LF for righties. Once I realized what was going on, I adjusted, going to RF for righties, LF for lefties.  Nobody was hitting anything near where I was positioning myself.

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There were a lot of people in the outfield. LOTS of pitchers were standing in the right-centerfield area, but none of them were tossing anything up. It was awful.

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Johnny Cueto was manning the Right Field warning track.

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He wasn’t tossing anything up either.

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Things were turning from bad to worse.  I had no clue what to expect from here on out.

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Over by the A’s dugout, Kate Longworth was getting ready for the A’s pregame show.

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Cueto was signing autographs by the Reds bullpen.

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And for the most part, the Reds hitters were making great contact with the ball. They just were not hitting it anywhere near me.

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I was positioning myself wherever I thought I had the best chance of snagging a ball. The Reds just kept hitting it where I least expected it. I tried to adjust, but things just didn’t work out.

IMG_7206 To add to my frustration, none of the pitchers were tossing anything up. It was one of those situations where I wished I was a little kid or young female.

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And before I knew it, Batting Practice was over. Just like that. Wow.

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I was in utter shock. Everything went wrong. I got there early, the stadium was very empty, things looked great. All of a sudden, things turned for the worst. Nobody was tossing anything up,  plus the Reds hitters were not hitting balls into either bleachers section. I would say at most, 5 balls landed in the bleachers over the course of BP.

I really don’t know exactly how to put it all into words…

This was the last game all season I expected to get shutout at.  It was all hard to swallow. At least there was a great game ahead!

 Batting Practice ended around 6:20, so I had time to go grab food. As I was walking through the concourse, I bumped into Vanessa Demske and Wes Mills, among a few other people (If you have read almost any of my Coliseum posts, you know who they are). We all grabbed some food and headed back to the bleachers. Stephen Vogt was already well into warming up for his A’s debut.

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 Tommy Milone, the A’s starter was also warming up.

IMG_7516 Bronson Arroyo, the Reds starting pitcher came out to warm up as well.

IMG_7561 He started to play long toss with Ryan Hanigan.

IMG_7545 Tommy Milone was playing catch as well with Stephen Vogt.

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The grounds crew was putting the final touches on the field.

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Most Reds players went into their last stretches.

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 Same with the A’s.

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Right before the first pitch, the A’s had a ceremony honoring a few people. I can’t remember exactly what they were being honored for…

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To the game…

Pat Neshek is hands down my favorite player to take photos of, due to his funky delivery. Coming in a close second is Bronson Arroyo. The leg kick says it all.

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In the bottom of the 2nd, after a Brandon Moss double and Josh Donaldson single, Josh Reddick laced a line drive to center field that was fielded by Shin-Soo Choo.

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Reddick stood at 2n with a double, starting the scoring off to make it 2-0.

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Everyone was excited!

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Stephen Vogt then followed up with a Sac fly, driving in Donaldson, advancing Reddick to 3rd.

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Everyone in Right Field was into the game, as expected!
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In the A’s half of the 3rd, Yoenis Cespedes started the scoring off in the inning by driving in Coco Crisp, advancing Jed Lowrie to 3rd base.

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Brandon Moss brought in Lowrie with a Sac Fly, making the score 4-0 A’s.

Josh Donaldson then stepped to the plate and on the first pitch of the at bat, made contact with the ball.

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He BOMBED it out to left field!

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This made the score 6-0 A’s after 3 innings.

Joey Votto led off the 4th with a homer, brining Todd Frazier to the plate.

He singled to left field, but got greedy, trying to stretch it into a double. Yoenis threw the ball into Eric Sogard at 2nd Base, who threw it to Brandon Moss at 1st, to Jed Lowrie, who was covering 2nd, to make it a 7-4-3-6 putout.IMG_8359

Jerry Blevins came on in the 6th inning, relieving Tommy Milone

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He loaded the bases after hitting Shin-Soo Choo, but managed to get out of the 6th inning unharmed.

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In the top of the 8th, Sean Doolittle came on to replace Ryan Cook, who had pitched a 1-2-3 7th inning. What did that mean? It was time for some Doolittle headbanging!

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I looked over to 148, where Wes and Vanessa were headbanging it out!

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In the bottom of the 8th inning, Vanessa came over from 148 to join my dad and I in 149. She had something pretty cool to show us…

 This was the box she handed me.

IMG_8818 That would be a Coco Lean bobblehead! It was the giveaway for the game 4 days later! From what I understand, Vanessa won an essay contest for the blog Big League Stew, where the prize was that bobblehead! She was taking it on “tour,” where her goal was to get as many people to take a picture with it as possible. My reaction pretty much sums it up.

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I admired the leaning bobblehead a bit.

IMG_8829 Actually, bobble-torso, or bobble-waist would be more appropriate.

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Anyway…

Jay Bruce was at the plate with 2 outs in the top of the 9th, with the A’s ahead 7-3.

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Dan Ortero was on the mound to finish the game off.

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And it was an A’s win! The stadium cleared out rather quickly.

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But the bleachers were not emptying yet. There was a group of Irish soccer fans who were visiting the US and had decided to visit an A’s game. They were sitting and cheering their heads off in Section 148. It was awesome to see! Well they got a group picture, along with Wes, who is pretty much one of the Kings of 148.

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Everyone was happy about the A’s victory!

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Vanessa got this picture with Yuichiro, holding up “Sogard Specs”

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And we all celebrated in the concourse, as the lights and ushers kicked us out of the bleachers, because apparently, they want to get home or something like that.

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 It was a good game!

Sure I didn’t snag a ball, but it was a great day. I was ready to be back out at the yard the next day, for the last game of the two game series between the A’s and Reds.

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 16th Game this Year (11th MLB Game)
  • 0 Balls at this Game
  • 12 balls in 11 MLB games this season = 1.09 Balls Per Game
  • 40 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 91 Lifetime Baseballs

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.