Category: Intentional Talk

4/29/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

Boy oh boy! Today was a long day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_9717They tossed some Butterfinger candies onto the field for him.
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Which he enjoyed! He had a very long conversation with the 20-or-so folks out in RF;

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And they all loved it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hamilton was enjoying the Butterfingers.

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And he posed for photos.

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Alex got busy taking notes on what was happening.

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

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

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As you can see, Left Field was PACKED!

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

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

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

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

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As well of this photo of me taking pictures:

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

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

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

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This was my view. Not too bad!

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To  my right…

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And my left…

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

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Everyone was shuffling in.

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And Ross held his #ReddickRallyHair.

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Confused? Watch this video…

Now watch this video…

Now you are all caught up to speed!

Everyone was posing with their Butterfingers!!

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

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

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Vanessa got it from this angle:

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

Arlene got this photo of Vanessa and I

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

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

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Seriously. How amazing is that?

Satoshi and Keita were wearing these awesome hats.

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I had to pose wearing one as well.

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The ceremonial first pitch was quite entertaining.

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And Tony started distributing bags of the #ReddickRallyHair

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

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Here is Tony explaining everything

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Remember… You can watch the video here.

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The umpires met at home plate…

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And we were ready to go!!

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

Alex LOVED it!

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

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Tracey was flashing here sign and glove!

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You could tell Hamilton loved it all.

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

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He has a lot of pretty awesome signs!

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

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

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Shin was just in front of me.

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Ready for a story?

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

And the Sun Hole was born.

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

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

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

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

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The Umpire was clapping…

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ERIC SOGARD NERD POWER!!!

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

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

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

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

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Soon enough, I was back out in Right Field.

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Sam was holding up this AMAZING sign.

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

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

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And she seemed pretty excited about it!

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Here’s a slightly closer look…

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There was something written on the ball!

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More than just something!

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Every side of the ball had something written on it!

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Will seemed to be having a good day!

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Same with Tony!

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

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Of Eric Sogard…

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

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Seriously, it is fun to take pictures of him!

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Brandon Moss was at first base

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Josh Reddick in Right Field

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Coco Crisp in center.

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Yoenis Cespedes in left field.

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Jed Lowrie at shortstop

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Mike Gallego is the A’s third base coach.

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Mike Trout making a catch at the wall.

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Third Base…

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Josh Donaldson stepped to the plate.

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Derek Norris was due up after him.

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

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Grant Balfour was beginning to get loose in the bullpen.

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Along with Sean Doolittle.

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

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

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

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

Grant Balfour came in to pitch the 10th inning.

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Time to RAGE!!!

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Balfour shut the Angels down in the 10th.

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

Vanessa enjoyed playing with her!

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She was pretty excited about free baseball!

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

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

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Moss was still at first base.

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Everyone was enjoying the free baseball!

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

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

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

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Nobody likes that song in Oakland.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Omar was having some fun with his drum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The infielders chatted during the pitching change.

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IT WAS RIDICULOUSLY EMPTY!!

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

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Everyone was having a great time!

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It was 1:14. MIND BLOWN.

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

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

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The stadium was almost empty at this point.IMG_1008

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

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

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

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

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

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(Arlene took that photo)

Here is the Tweet I sent out on his phone…

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

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

Following a first pitch strike, this happened.

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

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EVERYONE was happy!

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

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

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

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

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And it was SO LONG from the Coliseum.

KEEP READING!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BALLHAWKING STATS:

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

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

2013 WBC Semifinal Game 1 at AT&T Park

Hell. Yes.

How much did you guys follow the World Baseball Classic? Who did you root for? Coming in, my two favorite teams were the US and Australia, but both teams were eliminated…

So the Championship round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic was at AT&T Park. Games 1 and 2 of the Semi Finals featuring Puerto Rico, Japan, the Dominican Republic, and of all teams, The Kingdom of the NETHERLANDS!!!

When I first found out that the WBC finals would be in San Francisco, of course I wanted to go! At the time, however, the idea seemed pretty unrealistic because I was expecting crazy prices for the games.

I soon found out that they would be using these commemorative baseballs for the classic. Of course, now I just wanted to go even more!

When ticket strips went on presale, I wanted to buy a 3-game strip, but my parents said no, as all three games would be school nights. After that, I didn’t really look at tickets until about the week before the game.

This was more just something I wanted to do, rather than something I honestly expected to be able to do. Despite my doubt, in the 3 days leading up to this game, I was constantly checking StubHub as well as the Giants website for a good deal.

When the US was eliminated, I would say at least 500 additional tickets went up for sale at very low prices.

A couple days before the game, I found some great seat options on StubHub, and my dad agreed to get them once I finished my weekend homework.

When I got back from baseball practice on Saturday, I was discouraged to find that all but one set of the tickets I had been interested in had been purchased.

At this point, I decided to check the Giants website to see if I could find a good deal on tickets. I get to the ticket screen and I see that there are 3 ticket sections that have $8 SEATS!!!! Those sections were the Bleachers (Left Field seats), Lower Box Left Field (The 5 sections on the foul side of the foul pole in the lower level), and the View Reserve Right Field (The 3rd deck nosebleed seats on the first base side). I say my mom and I spent 15 minutes on 3 different computers, determined to find aisle seats in the bleachers. I then found 3 seats on the aisle, in the 6th row of section 137, and my dad bought the tickets then and there.

I think a lot fo you saw my Tweet shortly thereafter…Screen Shot 2013-03-17 at 12.43.32 AM

So my mom didn’t want to go and my sister didn’t want to go. We just had an extra seat. But that was fine with both me and my dad! Here is what my print-at-home ticket looked like.

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Not too bad, but I wish it was a real ticket…

At this point, I scoured Twitter, determined to get more information on the WBC balls. I then came accross a tweet from Andrew Miller, with this picture attached!
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This made me even more excited! Oh, you all should go follow him on Twitter here!

But anyway, at this point I was beyond ecstatic for the game!

The night before, I found out that Clarence Darrow, a Giants season ticket holder that I have gotten to know on Twitter, was going to be at the game! As soon as I bought the tickets, I bombarded him with questions about ballhawking, and he gladly gave me lots of helpful advice! So, thank you very much! Go follow him on Twitter!

After informing my Twitter followers of the WBC fire sale, I found out that Bay Area ballhawk Max has just purchased $8 bleacher seats as well! You can follow him on Twitter here!

In all this excitement, I realized that neither of the two teams I would see, in Puerto Rico and Japan were English-speaking countries. I realized that I would have to learn to ask for a ball in Spanish and Japanse. I already knew that Spanish is “Dahme La Bola/Pelota Por Favor”, but I knew that I would have to figure it out for Japanese. I tweeted Zack Hample, asking for help, but Milwaukee ballhawk Shawn Bosman volunteered to help me! He DM’d me on Twitter and was kind enough to give me lots of advice not only there, but in the comments of his most recent blog entry as well! Yes, Shawn has a blog called The Inherent Dangers of Watching Professional Baseball, which you can check out right here!

I didn’t honestly get much vlogging in. I got everything right up to the point that we got there. Enjoy what I was able to put together!

So I thought of inviting my friend Greg to the game to use the extra seat a few hours before we left, and around 1:15, we picked up Greg from his house and we were on our way!

We arrived at AT&T Park exactly at 2:00, but we didn’t get out of the parking lot until 2:15, as cars were packed up. Oh, and parking was *$30*. And I thought the $17 in Oakland was expensive…

This was our view from the parking lot. Hell. Yes.

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I couldn’t be more excited!

We walked from the parking lot to the bridge across McCovey Cove.

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First, we stopped at the O’Doul gate and I got my picture with the Juan Marichal statue! (If you can see in the background, there are 5 people in line).

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Holy leg kick!IMG_2246

And then we started to walk along the cove, past gates like these. The Giants open them up during games for people to get a free glimpse of the game. However, if I am not mistaken, you can only stay for a certain amount of time.

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We continued walking, and look who I saw in the Cove! It’s Dave Edlund, better know as McCovery Cove Dave! He is the one in the Blue Kayak. You should all go follow him on Twitter here!

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Past the other gates, I saw these inside the fenced area.

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Flags!

While we were walking along the cove, they tested the Water Cannons in right field that go off whenever a Giants player hits a home run!20130319-002107.jpg

We then approached the “Marina Gate,” where there was no line AT ALL. At the Marina, tere was this sign hanging on the fence. I guess it was on a boat.20130319-002115.jpg

We continued walking, past the left field side of ballhawk, which is lined with palm trees.20130319-002122.jpg

You can see the giant glove and Coke bottle from this point.20130318-235417.jpg

We then saw the main AT&T Park Sign.20130319-002141.jpg

There was this gate.20130319-002151.jpg

And we found the media entrance!20130319-002202.jpg

We then walked up to the “2nd Street Gate.”20130319-002208.jpg

Where I got my picture with the Orlando Cepeda statue.

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Along the entire ballpark, at various spots, there are commemorative bricks that people purchased, following the 2010 and 2012 World Series. Greg’s mom bought him a brick that was placed outside the 2nd Street Gate, so we stopped to look for it.

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And we found it!

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One thing that he had never noticed was the brick to the right of his.20130319-002215.jpg

For him as a huge Giants gan, how cool is that?

We then stopped at the Willie Mays Gate, which I believe it the main entrance to AT&T Park.

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And of course, I had to get a picture with the Willie Mays Statue!

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We then stopped in the dugout store, where I picked up a WBC Program. I then of course had to get this picture!

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AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE! Oi Oi Oi! (Go to an A’s home game when Grant Balfour is pitching, and you’ll get that reference)

Remember that bridge we crossed to get from the Parking lot to the Stadium? Here it is!

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At the Lefty O’Doul gate, someone called my name, and it turned to to be one of my readers! I talked to him and his brother for about 20 minutes or so. Very cool guys!

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We then continued on our way back to the Marina Gate to get in line.

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This is that boat that the Pre-Game “Reception” was being held on.

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There were these really talented drummers performing. It was a lot of fun to watch them play!

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About 15 minutes or so before the gates were supposed to open, Greg and I headed over to the little fenced in area where fans can catch a glimpse of the game for free. I saw Japan was in full swing taking BP. I also saw this…

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A 3 diget number on a uniform? I had never seen that before!

This was the scene in line 5 minutes before the gates opened.

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Before the gates opened, since we were the first ones in line, they checked my bag before I ran in.

Then, before we could get our tickets scanned, we had to be “wanded” with a metal detector wand. YAY!!!

After my ticket was scanned, I was handed a little giveaway WBC pasport thing and I headed to the bleachers!

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Japan’s Batting Practice was in full swing!

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They were not hitting home runs and in fact, they weren’t hitting it even close to the fence. I was VERY bored. The front crossasile was filling up FAST with people/ballhawks, so it was almost impossible to move around.

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I was kind of surprised how empty it was!

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The Japanese media was SWARMING the Japan dugout.

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Then, I noticed that Puerto Rico was starting to play catch. Given the lack of bleacher activity, I headed across the arcade, or Levi’s Landing and made my way over to the RF corner

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Outside, the Marina was looking gorgeous.

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McCovey Cove was buzzing with Activity.

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And Dave Edlund was all ready to snag some home runs!

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Like I mentioned before, the bleachers were very empty, but there were no balls hit into the stands, making being there pointless.

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Note how a majority of the people are along the outfield fence. Almost all of them had a ball retrieval device of some sort. But I’ll get to that soon…

The Puerto Rican team was warming up, so that was where I headed.

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I then noticed that over by first base, Intentional Talk was set up and they were doing an interview. The funny thing was, the show wasn’t set to air live for almost 10 minutes. So to all of you that thought Intentional Talk was 100% live, sorry for crushing your hopes and dreams…

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But, more importantly, the Puerto Rican team was warming up and there were balls to be snagged!

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Before I get to Puerto Rico’s BP, there are a few things that I want to share.

I would say that this was one of the most effective ball retrieval devices at AT&T Park. It was always successful, and it was very bulky.

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Then… You know how Zack Hample has his big glove? Well shortly after I showed up in the RF Corner, I saw a familiar face. It was fellow MyGameBalls.com member Leiming Tang! This was his big glove…

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Yep. One of the players saw it, then a coach asked to borrow it, then before I knew it, all the players were taking turns playing catch with it. I think he got a ball out of it.

Lastly, how many of you guys watch Intentional Talk? How many of you were watching it on Sunday, March 17th? Well a short while into Puerto Rico’s BP, a guy on the field with a camera and a jacket that said MLB NETWORK CREW walked up to me, Greg, and a few other fans.

He then told us that we would be live in 30 seconds! WHAT???

He then gave us a countdown and told us to get loud, which we all did! It was “officially” my live debut on Intentional Talk, which is probably my favorite TV Show!

A few minutes later, I received this Tweet from Todd Cook, of Cook & Sons Baseball Adventures.

Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 4.56.38 AM

This photo was attached…

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YAY!!! Thank You very much Todd, for capturing this screenshot for me, so ya’ll better go follow him on Twitter, you hear?

Now…  Look at this grainy picture that I took on my phone. Specifically look at the Intentional Talk set. Do you see anything special?

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Look again…

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No? Chris Rose was doing push ups! I never got a chance to watch the show back, so if anyone can give me information surrounding this, that would be great!

But, Puerto Rico batting practice was in full swing and SF Giant Angel Pagan was the star of the show!

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There were very few home runs hit into the bleachers, and those that did were not worth going for, as it was a mad dash EVERY time.

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I won’t say a whole lot. However, I will share that it was very hard to get balls. There were a few line drives that were simply too far away and I couldn’t get there in time.

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It was also very hard to ask for toss-ups, as I was around almost all spanish-speaking people, who were having full conversations, and I could only ask for a ball in Spanish or say the very basic things I have learned in Spanish at school.

All told, I did not have any balls when Batting Practice came to a close.

I was kind of glad that it was all just over with. Greg and I decided to go hit up the MLB Tonight set and see what was going on over there.

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This was my angle:

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While we were over there, look who was signing autographs!

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I have a few things to point out…

  1. He CAN grow facial hair.
  2. That is MY pen.
  3. His Facial Expression

Look what I walked away with!

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Yep. He signed my WBC Program. How cool is that?

While he was signing autographs, there were a few things he said that I loved.

  • “I’m not going to sign that ball. It will just de-value it!”

There was a dad who told him that his son watches Intentional Talk everyday…

  • “You know what we call that here at the Network? Bad Parenting.”

Great guy! I have to say Intentional Talk is one of my favorite shows! So go hit up Chris on Twitter and send him a link to this blog entry! Ok? ALL OF YOU go tweet him a link to this entry. Spam the crap out of him!

Hey and Chris Rose, if you happen to be reading this

  1. Sorry for the Spam!
  2. Thanks for the follow a while back!
  3. Please DM me on Twitter, I have a question for you.
  4. You should comment down below in the comment section.

After I was lucky enough to get his autograph, I met up with Conner, who reads this blog! He’s a cool guy, so go check him out on Twitter!

The three of us walked around for a bit, where we saw this line to get into the stadium at one of the gates…

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Greg wandered off and Connor and I got into a discussion about the likelyhood of me getting a ball from the Japanese team that was TAKING INFIELD PRACTICE!!!!

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That’s just too cool.

After a short while, I met back up with Greg, then we parted ways once we got to our seats, and I went to go meet up with Max, who also reads this blog. You can all go follow him on Twitter here! We talked for a while about various things, such as ballhawking, baseball, and other such items!

I have to say, it was great getting to connect with so many of my readers at this game!

This was what the scene was like right before the pre-game ceremonies

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The Giants mascot, Lou Seal was wearing a green Giants jersey in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

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The pre-game ceremony was really nice! They announced each member of the Puerto Rican team in Spanish and their lineup in Spanish and English.

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And each of the countries represented in the classic had someone carry out there flag onto the field.

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Japan’s pitcher and catcher were getting loose, but after hearing about strict ushers, I decided not to try and head down there.

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Then, Sadaharu Oh, the all time Japanese home run king (868 Home Runs) and Orlando Cepeda each threw out a ceremonial first pitch.

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It was so cool to see it in person!

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The game finally got underway, and this was my view for the game!

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I am only partly kidding. This lady was sitting behind us for the introductions and such but moved in front of us for the actually game. She was REALLY into it!

The game moved along pretty fast, with neither team scoring much. As expected, Angel Pagan got a large ovation at the plate.

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Carlos Beltran- not so much!

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The Puerto Rican team did score one run early.

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Then, in the 7th or 8th inning, Alex Rios hit a home run a few sections to my left.

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As soon as the ball and bat made contact, I took off running to my left, but it was hard to go fast in a crowded row. I didn’t come as close as I would have liked, so no, I did not snag the ball.

The seats behind us were pretty packed!

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Shortly before the game ended, Greg and I walked around a little bit. We saw the Fan Cave trolly car.

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And I got a few panoramic photos from the Arcade

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And one of the Cove

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This was our view for the final out

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And, as all of you know, Puerto Rico won 3-1, overtaking powerhouse Japan.

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As soon as the final out was recorded, Greg and I headed down to the fence.

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I got this picture down there.

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My dad got this picture of me.

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And then the seagulls took over!

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We then decided to head over to the MLB Tonight set to watch their post-game show.

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They had a few interviews taking place.

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Harold Reynolds and John Smoltz were the analysts at the table.

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Greg Amsinger was the host for the show.

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Harold has always been one of my favorite guys at the network.

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On the main camera, there were two monitors mounted.

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That top one shows the desk, while the bottom one shows what is live.

Eventually, my dad decided we needed to head out, as we had a long drive ahead of us!
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Goodnight from San Francisco!

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It certainly was a fun day. Even though I didn’t snag any balls, it was a memorable experience. The cultural difference was amazing  and it will be IMPOSSIBLE to ever forget it all.

My next game is Monday (4/1) at the Oakland Coliseum, otherwise known as OPENING DAY!!!!

Tomorrow, I will post an entry about a game I attended in Stockton last weekend, then  hopefully I can get my Opening Day post up within the next week! I have 3 games hopefully planned over the next week, so stay tuned!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 1st Game of the Year
  • 0 Balls at this Game
  • 0 Balls in 1 Game this season = o Balls Per Game
  • 28 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 43 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.