We left the house just before 8am and got there around 8:25. This was the scene when we arrived…
The PARKING LOT hadn’t even opened yet. I was almost positive I would be one of the first in line at this rate.
That ended up not being the case. There were already 30 or so people in line when we got there, so we jumped in line right away. It was Yoenis Cespedes Jersey day. That’s why I was there so early.
When we stopped at the D Gate team store, my sister could not resist purchasing this:
It was pretty boring before the gates opened. My sister and I played catch in the parking lot. I picked up a new t-shirt (I ended up wearing it at this game- You’ll see it soon). That was about it.
When we stopped in the C-Gate team store, we saw this:
Jersey boxes were being opened!
Shortly before the gates opened- I spotted a familiar face. It was the man that goes by @CS_Darrow on Twitter. We had met up during the World Baseball Classic, and when he saw me this time around, he pulled out two things.
1) A ticket stub from a Rangers/White Sox game in Arlington.
How cool is that? He thanked me for “spreading the ‘ballhawking’ word” and explained how he and I appreciate your efforts. Thank you again, very much!
The gates opened at 11:05, and I got in fairly quickly. I grabbed a jersey and ran down to my usual seat, but someone was sitting there, so I decided to go sit over where I had been sitting for most of the 19-inning game.
When I first entered the seating bowl, 1 things shocked me. THE CAGES WERE UP!!!
It was a DAY GAME AFTER A NIGHT GAME and the Sox were going to take BP. SWEEEEEET!
The A’s pitchers were the only players on the field at the time, so I headed over there.
Grant Balfour was playing catch with Pat Neshek. Something caused Grant to yell out “F**K!” At this point, this came to my mind…
What did I do? I yelled out “That’s 50 cents to the Aussie Swear Jar, Grant!”
He hear this, turned around, started laughing, and tossed me the ball!
The A’s players started leaving the field. White Sox players came on.
I put on my White Sox gear and headed down near the bullpen, as the bleachers were crowding up FAST.
Adam Dunn put on a hell of a show in BP, he was hitting the ball HARD and HIGH!
The Coliseum was filling up fast.
The bleachers were packed with Yoenis Cespedes gold replica jerseys.
Omar and his adorable daughter Rhema were there.
Oh, right. BP. BORING. Dunn and Alex Rios were the only ones that had any power- they hit every ball to CF. Nothing to the LF or RF bleachers as far as I can remember. My 2nd ball of the day was a toss-up. I had been standing a few rows behind a few little kids for most of BP.
There were a lot of balls hit down the line that stayed on the field. Every time, Matt Lindstrom would jog over and throw it in. There was a ball hit right to the wall that one of the kids called for, Lindstrom tossed it up, but it went right to me. I hadn’t even asked for it. I immediately handed it to the 7-8 year old boy that the ball could have been meant for. After all, he was in White Sox gear.
That was it for BP. It was BORING. And long. It was around 55-60 minutes, which was INSANE.
BP ended around 12:20. Yeah..
The grounds crew began prepping the field.
Darren Bush and Derrek Norris headed out to the bullpen to get ready.
They played some 2-ball to get loose.
The day’s starting pitcher, Dan Straily, began to get loose.
While this was all happening, I noticed this sign. Why is it important? That picture is from THIS blog entry!
Thursday night, Ian Sagabaen, the guy holding up the sign, and the MLB-proclaimed Greatest Sign-Maker in MLB History contacted me, asking if he could use the picture. Of course I said yes!
Jose Quintana, the White Sox starting pitcher began to get loose with Hector Gimenez, the starting catcher that day.
The National Anthem was performed.
The meeting took place at home plate.
And we were ready to go!
Dan Straily was on the mound for the A’s. Last year, he was a strikeout MACHINE in the minors.
This was my view for the game. Actually, I was sitting 2 sections over to the left. This was my dad’s view.
The White Sox were unable to score in the 1st inning.
The A’s scored a run in the first.
The bleachers were lively. (Not that that is a surprise to anyone)
Oh, and that run was doubled in my Yoenis Cespedes.
And scored by Jed Lowrie.
Josh Donaldson struck out.
Josh Reddick grounded out to end the first inning. 1-0 A’s.
The A’s scored a run in the 2nd inning as well. It started with a Derek Norris double.
Adam Rosales grounded out.
Chris Young singled, brining in the run.
That run was Derek Norris.
It’s 2-0 A’s!
Banjo Man showed up… Ew…
The broadcasters seemed to be doing well.
The White Sox scored a run in the 3rd on an Adam Dunn single.
The A’s went 1-2-3 in the 3rd.
The White Sox were the same in the top of the 4th.
Adam Rosales singled in the 4th inning.
But the A’s were unable to capitalize, sending the game to the 5th…
The White Sox went 1-2-3 again, in the 5th inning.
Then, the A’s came up in the bottom half.
Josh Donaldson singled…
Everyone was happy!
But it was a pain to watch him run! Watch for yourself. Oof.
The A’s were unable to do anything more in the 5th.
This made it 3-1 A’s after 5 innings in the books.
The White Sox were unable to do anything in the 6th.
Josh Reddick tossed up the 3rd out ball…
But I was cooling off in the concourse. Wiggi was the lucky recipient of the ball!
The A’s went quietly in their half of the 6th, despite a double from Jed Lowrie.
Sean Doolittle came on to pitch the 7th. Dan Straily went 6 innings with 8 strikeouts and 1 run allowed.
This is when things began to unravel.
The White Sox scored 2 runs on a single off the bat of Alejandro De Aza. This prompted a mound visit.
Sean Doolittle then quickly got out of the jam.
The A’s were unable to put anything together in their half of the 7th.
Ryan Cook got loose in the A’s bullpen.
As he was going to pitch the 8th inning, with the score knotted up at 3-3.
Oh, and check out Josh Reddick’s AWESOME socks.
Cookie set all 3 White Sox batters down in the 8th.
Jesse Crain, who was a very stingy pitcher during BP pitched the bottom of the 8th.
The A’s were not able to piece much together.
Daniel was visibly frustrated by them.
Grant Balfour came in to pitch the 9th inning. Time to RAAAAAAAAGE!
He concluded his warm-up tosses.
And he proceeded to pitch a stellar 9th inning.
In fact, Balfour only needed 12 pitches to do so.
It was time for the A’s up’s in the bottom of the 9th!
Josh Donaldson led off with a single.
Then, the White Sox changed pitchers.
Josh Reddick then laid down a textbook bunt with 0 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd.
And he was SAFE at first. Bases loaded, no outs!
Everyone was on their feet, ready for some walk-off pie!
But Derek Norris grounded into a 6-2-3 double play, getting the outs at home and 1st.
Eric Sogard struck out with the bases loaded to send us to extras…
Pat Neshek came in…
And got two quick outs, at which point Jerry Blevins came in.
Adam Dunn promptly flied out to right field to end the inning.
Mostly everyone had stayed and was still into the game!
Jed Lowrie lined out to Alex Rios to start the bottom of the 10th.
Chris Young then doubled for his 3rd hit of the game and Yoenis Cespedes was intentionally walked.
This prompted another Sox pitching change.
Josh Donaldson then walked as well, loading the bases AGAIN with 1 out.
Brandon Moss then lined out for the 2nd out.
This brought in Josh Reddick.
He took 5 straight pitches, only the first one being a strike.
You know what this means?
WALK OFF VICTORY!!!
Everyone was excited!!!
And yes, Coco delivered the PIE!!
Look closely in the bottom righthand corner.
It was my Twitter handle!!!
Free jersey, 2 balls, my Twitter handle on a sign, and walk-off pie. You CANNOT complain about that!
My next game was going to be the next afternoon. Oh boy!
- 12th Game this Year (9th MLB Game)
- 2 Balls at this Game
- 12 balls in 9 MLB games this season = 1.33 Ball Per Game
- 34 Balls in 12 Games this season = 2.5 Balls Per Game
- 40 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
- 77 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.