Category: Jarrod Parker

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.

5/17/13 at the Oakland Coliseum- BACON FRIDAY!

This was a much different day than I’ve had in the past few years ballhawking-wise. It would be the first game since I went to Nationals Park in 2011 that I didn’t try to ballhawk at!

NICK!!!! HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND????

Yes.

No, but in all seriousness, I knew from the start I wouldn’t be able to ballhawk this game. My high school’s baseball team (Remember this game?) was 22-1 going into today, with a 4pm game against our cross-town rivals, so I couldn’t miss it!

I considered leaving around 5:30 to “beat” the traffic and get there at the end of BP, but it didn’t come close to happening. As much as I wanted to go to the A’s game, I really wanted to stay for this game!

I left around 6:30pm for the 7pm A’s game. Traffic was horrible! My dad and I listened to the pregame show on the radio on the drive up and pulled into the Coliseum parking lot just after the first pitch.

I ran in Gate MM and headed up to the 3rd deck? Why? I had purchased a Value Deck seat. Every Friday in the Value Deck in Oakland, they have a giveaway of some sort, this time it was a T-Shirt. Look for me to be wearing it in my next entry!

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I ran up, grabbed my shirt, and slid into my seat just in time in the bottom of the 1st inning. Everyone was wearing their Bacon Friday T-shirts!

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Wait? What is Bacon Friday, you might ask?

Watch this video…

Or this video…

That was just 2011. That was the first annual Bacon Tuesday.

In 2012, they brought it back for the 2nd Annual Bacon Tuesday. Read this article at Cut4 and this article at the Royals website.

It was back in 2013 and bigger and better than ever! How big? Jeff Francoeur AND Josh Reddick stopped by before the gates opened to tailgate with them!

I have to give MAJOR props to my mom! In the days leading up to Bacon Friday, she baked DOZENS upon DOZENS of Bacon Chocolate Chip cookies. I don’t know exactly how many she made, but they were AMAZING!!!!

Even the people running the scoreboard knew it was Bacon Friday!

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They even showed some action of Sizzlin’ Bacon! Everyone in RF chanted “Go Bacon Go! Go Bacon Go!

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They knew of the awesomeness that is Bacon Friday.

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When I slipped into my seat, Yoenis Cespedes was at the plate…

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But Brandon Moss grounded out to end the first, stranding Jed Lowrie at first.

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Jarrod Parker was on the mound for the A’s

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Daric Barton was playing first.

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FYI, I am a member of the Daric Barton Fan Club. WE GOT YOUR BACK BRO!

While Lorenzo Cain was batting in the 2nd inning, Eric Hosmer was picked off.

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After a short pickle, he was out at first.

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IMG_3532You could tell everyone on the field was happy about it!

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Cain ende up grounding out to first base to end the top of the 2nd.IMG_3536

Like I had mentioned earlier, everyone was wearing their Bacon Friday shirts.

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And yes, I did get one!

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I was 7 rows back or so, but I still had a great view!
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Will was not wearing a jersey like he usually does, but his Bacon Friday shirt!

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In the bottom of the 2nd, with 1 out and Josh Donaldson on first, Derek Norris walked.

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Then, Daric Barton stepped up to the plate.

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He ende up grounding into a fielder’s choice, Derek Norris was thrown out at 2nd base.

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With a runner on 2nd in the top of the 3rd and 1 out, Elliot Johnson was called out on strikes.

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Then, Parker allowed the first run of the game.

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David Lough doubled to Center, bringing in Salvatore Perez.

In the 3rd inning, I headed over to LF to go hang out with Rick Gold for an inning or so. He was in town for the homestand and planning on attending BallhawkFest the next day, so I thought I would stop by and chat for a little bit.

Right after I left, this happened…

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Yep. Omar, Anson, and a few other people did a live interview on the Royals TV broadcast.

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Everyone got pictures with him.

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This is a close-up shot of the back of the T-Shirt.

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Jarrod Parker pitched a scoreless 4th, despite a single and walk.

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I came back in the 4th inning, around the time that my mom and sister showed up!

Why were they so late? My sister had soccer tryouts that ended around 7. She went home, changed into her A’s gear, and she and my mom immediately took BART out to Oakland so they could catch at least part of the game.

FYI, here is Rick. He’s in the new BP hat with the green jacket- right in the middle of the picture.

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James Shields, who tossed me a ball last year when the Rays were in town, was on the mound for the Royals.

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On the 4th pitch of the bottom of the 4th, Brandon Moss singled to right field.

But he tried to stretch it into a double…

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Out or safe?

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He was called out trying to stretch his single into a double for the first out of the inning.IMG_3707

Everyone was pumped about the game!
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Throughout the game, they showed bacon facts on the scoreboard.

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Omar Gutierez’s son, known as The Champ took lots of pictures during the game!

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He’s one awesome kid!

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And he had BACON MINTS!!!

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The other Omar G, Omar Gonzalez was very excited!

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Coco Crispy Bacon!!!

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Jorge was getting into the action, despite his sleepiness.

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Daniel and Keith were chilling in the front row on the other side of the section.

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Ross was taking lots of pictures.

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As was everyone else.

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Can anyone guess what year bacon was invented?
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If you guessed 1500 BC, you are correct!

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The scoreboard routinely showed this for the entire game.

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Through the top of the 6th, the A’s had allowed only that 3rd inning run.

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Jorge was having a good day!IMG_3812

Ready for more bacon trivia? What percentage of men ranked bacon as their favorite smell?

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23%!

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More bacon facts and trivia. BACON CURES HANGOVERS!!!

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Omar had these three signs at this game.

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Everyone was getting into the spirit of Bacon Friday!

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Daric Barton stepped to the plate for the A’s in the 7th, but he was called out on strikes…

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But it wasn’t before Josh Donaldson hit a game-tying home run to left field!

Bob Melvin really wanted to score a few more runs.

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Sean Doolittle came in to pitch the 8th inning for Oakland.IMG_3900

Did you know there is a world record for bacon-eating?

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Doolittle pitched a scoreless 8th

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Adam Rosales stepped to the plate to lead off the A’s half of the 8th.

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On a 1-1 pitch, he hammered a ball to left field to put the A’s ahead 2-1!

Rosie did his usual sprint around the bases.

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RUN ROSIE RUN!

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This meant it was time for Grant Balfour to get loose in the bullpen.

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No more runs were scored in the 8th inning.IMG_3974

I don’t know what it is, but security hates sections 148 and 149 this year. They had a huge problem with a lot of people on Friday.

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Everyone was excited that the A’s had taken the lead!

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In the top of the 9th, it was time for Grant Balfour to come in to close the game out…

This meant it was time to RAGE!!!

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After getting 2 quick outs, Eric Hosmer stepped to the plate!

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And struck him out swinging! Everyone was happy!

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Slowly, we all filed out.

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We all met up in the concourse after the game, I handed out some more cookies, and Ralliney had someone take this picture of us.

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Wow! It was nice to to have any pressures of ballhawking, and for those like me who don’t care about streaks or such, I would highly recommend that you go to a game and purposely not ballhawk. Very relaxing!

Thanks for reading!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 9th Game this Year
  • 0 Balls at this Game
  • 8 balls in 7 MLB games this season = 1.14 Ball Per Game
  • 23 Balls in 9 Games this season = 2.55 Balls Per Game
  • 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.baco

4/27/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

On this particular day, I got out of bed late. I had set my alarm for 6am, with the hopes of being in Oakland around 8 or 8:30, but I woke up around 8am. For me, this reminded me of this game last year.

We left at 8:25, and arrived at the Coliseum around 9am. This was going to be my first Orioles game since Last September, and I was hoping that they would still be using commemorative balls.

Like my last game, I made a video with behind-the-scenes and vlogs, so check it out!

Once we had pulled into the parking lot, I headed to get in line at Gate MM.

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The line was LONG!

But, believe it or not, this was the shortest line!

I walked around the Coliseum a bit to check out the scene, but I decided to get in line at 9:15.

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Around 9:30, I decided to walk around the BART Plaza area and take some pictures.

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The line at Gate LL was getting pretty long!

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But I was in line at MM.

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The A’s have these ticket kiosks everywhere around the Coliseum.

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And of course, this banner! 4x > 2x (Just saying Giants fans)

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Lines were just getting LONGER and LONGER.
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I was chatting with a bunch of the bleacher folks, like Will.

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When Will runs in to the bleachers, he carries these flags and banners.

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I noticed these boxes… BOBBLEHEADS!

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Around 10:30, Arlene invited Pascale and I to jump in line with the bleacher folks. Thank You!

Once I joined them, I noticed Ross’s shirt, which I absolutely LOVED!

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Oaklandish is an Oakland-based clothing company. You can check out their website here.

Daniel, one of the bleacher guys had this little speaker.

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Great sound quality for a device that small!

Guess what it was playing…
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BERNIE LEAN!

At 11:07, the gates opened, and my sister and I sprinted inside, grabbing our bobbleheads along the way.

I was one of the first people in the bleachers, after of course, Will.

The run is actually somewhat tough, but it is MUCH harder for him, as he is carrying everyone’s flags and banners.

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I headed over to the A’s bullpen, where the most action was taking place.

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The players were all getting loose.

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Stretching and such. (S/O to my sister for taking those last two pictures)

IMG_7132I was over there because Jarrod Parker was throwing a bullpen session.
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Eventually, I decided to head over to the Orioles bullpen area, since the pitchers were arriving and the nearby stands were almost empty.

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They started off stretching.

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As the A’s players began to throw.

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Pictured below are Grant Balfour (Upper Left) and Jesse Chavez (Lower Right)

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Even though they were playing catch, it was getting a bit crowded.
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And the Orioles began to toss.

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I was all ready in my Orioles gear.

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A’s pitchers that were running interacted with Orioles players when they were in that area.

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Soon enough, it was 11:45 and there were only two guys playing catch, so I headed over there.

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My parents were soaking up the sun in the RF Bleachers.

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As the last two guys finished playing catch, I called out to Darren O’Day “Hit me here Darren!”

With that, he submarined me the ball!

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If you want to know why I am smirking, I have NO clue at all.

Here I am with my Reggie Jackson bobblehead.

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BTW, remember when I mentioned the RF bleacher shirt in my last game entry? That’s the one I’m wearing! Do you like it?

After grabbing a quick pizza lunch, I got back to notice Rollie Fingers in the bullpen. Oh yeah!

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There were lots of players from the 1973 A’s gathered around the dugout.

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Each current player or coach walked out with the player or coach that held the same position in 1973. Curt Young, the A’s pitching coach walked out with the pitching coach of the 1973 A’s.

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Nate Freiman,the A’s first baseman is HUGE! 6 foot 8 inches.

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Brandon Moss and the 1973 first baseman.

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I seriously got chills watching it all.

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Brett Andersosn
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John Jaso was out in the bullpen, warming up with AJ Griffin.

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Ray Fosse was on the field with Derek Norris.

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The 1973 team started to line up.

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Soon, Norris walked out with Ray Fosse and the Coliseum exploded!

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I could tell all of the current and past players were enjoying it!

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Eric Sogard walked out with Dick Green.

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Vida Blue and Blue Moon Odom were standing out by the pitching crown.

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Josh Donaldson walked out with then-3rd Baseman Sal Bando, along with manager Bob Melvin, who wears the number 6 in honor of Captain Sal.

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Jed Lowrie was going to walk out with Bert “Campy” Campaneris.

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Chris Young was out in LF with Joe Rudi.

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Coco Crisp was out in CF with Billy North.

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Do you recognize that name or face? Check out this photo. I got my picture with him, Sal Bando, and the 4 A’s World Series trophies at 2013 A’s FanFest.

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As this all was taking place, AJ Griffin and his golden locks of hair were warming up in the bullpen.

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There was a large group of photographers gathered on the field.
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Almost all of the players were on the field.

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Except for 1. Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, as presented by Josh Reddick.

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It gave me chills. I could yell Josh was soaking it all in.

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The field was now full with the 1973 World Series Champion Oakland A’s!
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Everyone was taking pictures.

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The coaches were gathered up behind home plate.

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It was crazy to see such a talented team on the field.
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There was a presentation of a check of some sort on the mound area.

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As this was all taking place, players were warming up and mingling.

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There was a group photo on the mound.

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Then, the National Anthem was performed.

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The people holding signs representing players that are no longer with us walked in the CF tunnel.

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They gathered for one last group picture.

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And then I took my focus to the players warming up.

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As usual, the LF Bleachers were rocking. (Not like Right Field, but still cool!)IMG_8058At 1:05, they all took the field!

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The home plate meeting look place.

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And we were ready to go!

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AJ Griffin was on the hill for Oakland.

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Adam Jones got to the plate in the top of the 1st.

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And flied out to right field.

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Coco Crisp led off for the A’s.

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And popped out to the catcher…

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John Jaso was due up after Coco…

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And singled to right field.

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Seth Smith was hitting in the 3-hole for the Green and Gold.

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With a runner on first, the bleachers were getting pumped up.

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After Jaso advanced to 2nd base on an error, Agent Smith flied out, bringing Jed Lowrie to the plate.
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I can’t tell who this hitter is, but I LOVE his face!

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This person had a ticket from the 1973 WS in Oakland.

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In the bottom of the 2nd, Josh Donaldson doubled in Brandon Moss, giving the A’s a 1-0 lead.

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Josh Reddick walked in his at bat in the 2nd inning.

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Everyone was feeling good!

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Coco Crisp then grounded out to end the inning.

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Griffin took the mound in the top of the 3rd and he was dealing!

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The bullpen was enjoying the game.

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Around the time, my dad gave me the camera, and I had some fun taking pictures.

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Here is the ball smacking into Brandon Moss’s glove on a foul popup.

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Donaldson had another RBI hit, bringing the score to 2-0, before Reddick popped out to end the inning.

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In the 4th inning, Chris Young doubled. But, it wasn’t before the Orioles scored 4 runs in the top of the inning.

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Like I mentioned earlier, I had a blast taking pictures.

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Jed Lowrie flied out in the 5th inning.

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Josh Donaldson singled in the 6th for his 3rd hit of the game.

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Even though the A’s were down, everyone was still confident.

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This row of fans did a mid-inning trivia contest, where everyone got shirts.

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Ross was drumming it out.

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In the 7th inning, Ryan Flaherty grounded out first baseman Brandon Moss to pitcher AJ Griffin.

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Sean Doolittle started to get loose in the bullpen. Note the balls above and below the bullpen phone on the left side of the picture.

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Brian Matusz came into the game for the Orioles in the bottom of the 7th.

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Josh Donaldson and Chris Young were sitting at the top step of the dugout.
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Throughout the day, both the A’s TV and Radio booths brought in players and coaches from the 1973 A’s team to talk.

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For those of you who don’t know… Josh Reddick makes a LARGE mess of seeds in RF. This photo doesn’t do it justice.

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Jerry Blevins came on to pitch in the top of the 8th.

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This is where things got interesting…

If you didn’t click the link, Nate McClouth hit a home run to Right Field. Shin, one of the bleacher folks caught the ball. He then tossed it to Jorge.
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Guess what he did? He threw it back!

Believe it or not, that did not go over well with security. He got up on his seat and the ENTIRE stadium started chanting “LET HIM STAY! LET HIM STAY!”

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He was getting everyone riled up, everyone was on his side.

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Except for security…
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Ross (Left) and Anson (Green Shirt) were pleading their case to security to let Jorge stay.

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Then the cops showed up and more or less led him out of the bleachers.

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He DID NOT want to leave.
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But this guy meant business.

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You could tell everyone was pretty pissed about the whole situation.

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Like I said, the police officer “led” Jorge out of the bleachers.

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Everyone was entranced.

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I could tell the players were kind of confused.

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Oh… And there was a game going on. The solo home run made the score 5-2. Then, a Chris Davis sac fly made it 6-2.

Jed Lowrie came up in the bottom of the 8th.

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Then guess what happened?

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Jorge was led back!

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That made everyone pretty happy!

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I think he was pretty happy.

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Spencer got a picture with him.

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You have to give the man props though.

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Oh, and it was a ROCKET throw! He threw it from 3 rows back in the RF bleachers, in the middle of the row, to 2nd BASE! It was like I was watching the movie Rookie of the Year!

Everyone was cheering for him.

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In the 8th, Josh Donaldson doubled for his 4th hit of the game.

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Josh Reddick stepped to the plate.

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He then flied out center field, but Brandon Moss came in to score, making it 6-3.
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Not many people were paying attention to the game though.
IMG_9136Then Chris Young stepped to the dish.
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Where he struck out…

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Jorge was getting into it. Everyone had a good feeling about the game!

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Omar Gonzalez was spending quality time with his young daughter Rhema.

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Chris Resop took the mound for the A’s in the 9th.

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Rodrigo was enjoying the game.

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So was Anson!

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The Orioles scored another run in the 9th, brining the score to 7-3.

Adam Rosales stepped into the box to lead off the 9th for Oakland.

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And on the 6th pitch of the at bat, the pitch was thrown inside.

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Hitting him in the head, causing him to dive to the ground.

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Wow. Look at the reactions of the people sitting right behind home plate, on the right side of the picture!

The training staff and Bob Melvin came out to check on him.

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He was walked to first base.
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But… He stayed in the game!

This brought Coco Crisp to the plate, where…

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Pedro Strop threw a wild pitch juuuuuust a bit inside.
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Coco Crisp showed off his sweet dance moves.
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Adam Rosales advanced to 2nd on the pitch.
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Then, Coco walked.

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This put runners on first and second, with no outs, putting the tying run in the on deck circle. The stadium went nuts!

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The Orioles brought in closer Jim Johnson as John Jason stepped to the plate.
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After 5 pitches, he slapped the 6th pitch of the at bat to left field to load the bases.
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Rosales was on 3rd, Crisp on 2nd.

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Seth “Agent” Smith stepped to the plate with no outs and the bases loaded.

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Where he flied out to right.

With one out, Jed Lowrie came up, representing the tying run.
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He found a pitch he liked…

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Made contact with it…

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Ran the ball out…IMG_9613

But he grounded into a game ending double play.

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And that was the ballgame. 7-3 L to Baltimore.

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Ah frustrations…
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I got a picture with the 1 ball and my bobblehead.

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And then Spencer photobombed me!!’

W

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We gathered everything up.

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And everyone started to file out.IMG_9662

Drew, one of the right field bleacher guys has an AWESOME mustache. Appropriate facial hair and shirt for the day.

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After gathering our stuff, everyone filed out of the bleachers and gathered out in the concourse.
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I was planning on attending the A’s game on Friday, May 17th, which is the 3rd Annual BACON FRIDAY, and I was planning on ordering a shirt, so I needed to give Omar Gonzalez, one of the RF Bleacher folks, my money for the shirt.

While I was talking with him, Rhema was being awfully cute!

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I got one last picture of the field before we left the stadium.
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We exited the stadium.IMG_9709

And we headed back to our car.

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Overall, it was a great day!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 7th Game this Year
  • 1 Ball at this Game
  • 5 balls in 5 MLB games this season = 1 Ball Per Game
  • 20 Balls in 7 Games this season = 2.86 Balls Per Game
  • 6 Consecutive Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 4 Consecutive MLB Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 33 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 63 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.

1/29/12 at A’s FanFest

Wow. I was looking through my post library and noticed I never uploaded this. I got all the way through and just forgot to publish it. Wow. I apologize. I still think you all would enjoy reading it, so here it is!

Boy oh boy oh boy. Where do I begin?
So my family left our house around 7:45ish and arrived at the Coliseum at 8:20ish. From there, my dad and I went to go stand in line for single-game tickets. The tickets went on sale at 9. When we got there, I figured that the line wasn’t too bad.

Well we stood in line at D-Gate Box office for a while. A long while.

I waited, rocking my A’s DownFlap hat like a boss.

I had figured that the line would move pretty fast, but wow was I wrong. We waited in line for a while. FanFest started at 10am and right before Oracle Arena opened, I was about here in line.

Yeah… the line was moving slowly. Very slowly. I spent most of the time in line on my phone, tweeting, and playing Angry Birds. (No, not Temple Run because I don’t have an iPhone.) We reached the front of the lne at about 10:30. My dad and I decided on tickets to two games. Like I said an entry or two ago, we were planning on buying tickets to a Giants and Dodgers game. For the Giants game, we got seats right behind the Giants bullpen, like row 6. For the Dodgers game, we got like row 5 tickets, behind the A’s bullpen. I swear there was one guy who was the first person in line for tickets, and he was still there buying tickets when we left. Dang.

After we bought those tickets, we headed to the car to get our stuff then headed to the Arena. Time for FanFest! We went from the car to the Arena, were we stood in line for a minute or two to get in. Once in, we got programs, and took it all in. There was a huge crowd at the entrance, because there were players mingling with fans. Chris Carter, Tom Milone, and Eric Sogard were there, taking pictures and interacting with fans. Some guy mistook Chris Carter for Brandon Allen. It was so funny. But anyways, I got a picture with Tom Milone (Now one of my favorite A’s pitchers)

and Eric Sogard

Eric is a great guy and I am glad he is getting such a great opportunity with the A’s.

After all the players were rushed away, I decided that the best option would be to walk around once and see what all was going on. We headed to the left, and the first thing we saw was a booth where you could take a picture with 2 current or former A’s players. There was a schedule for players or something, and as we walked by, Scott Hatteberg and David Justice from the A’s historic 2002 team were the ones taking pictures. As we walked farther around the concourse, we realized how huge the line really was. There must have been a 30 minute wait at least.

Shorty after we got to the point where the line wrapped around, we noticed another new line. I looked at my program and I saw it was the line for autographs. There were 4 of them around the stadium and all equally long. I quickly peeked in and saw Dallas Braden signing.

Then, we passed the 95.7 The GAME and KFOX radio station booths. 95.7 The Game is the A’s radio station, and KFOX is their sister station. There were also a few food stands and an A’s merchandise stand behind the two booths.

As I kept walking, I saw another line and after taking a quick look inside, I saw Tyson Ross, Vida Blue, and Joey Devine.

As we kept walking, we passed the Fantasy Camp booth, which was followed by the Mathletics booth. Mathletics is basically an A’s math program, for those of you who don’t know.

My mom picked up a few Mathletics books for my sister and I, because once you complete them, you send it in and get 2 free A’s tickets. I completed it as soon as we got home and sent it in the mail the next day.

Then, we passed a memorabilia sale, with game-used items and the A’s Kids Club Sign-up booth. The Stockton Ports also had a booth a little ways down, and they had hundreds and hundreds of Ports silly bands and stuff tat all of the little kids throughout the day were wearing.

Once we passed the Ports booth, I saw the 3rd autograph line, and we just kept walking, until we got to the 4th autograph line, and the place where there was supposed ti be a player meet and greet, which had since been abandoned. I guess that was what they had been doing at the entrance.

At this point it was about 11:00, and my dad and I went into the seating area to watch the Q&A session on the court. They had just finished up with Bob Melvin, David Forst, Jarrod Parker, and Josh Reddick. We waited in our seats for about 15 minutes, as my mom and sister explored a little more. They found us just in time for the 2nd session to start.

Dick Callahan, the A’s P.A. announcer at the Coliseum and Kara, the A’s in-game host introduced the next set of A’s players.

This panel featured new bench coach Chip Hale, catcher Kurt Suzuki, and infielders Cliff Pennington, Jemile Weeks, and Adam Rosales.

Right before the panel started, I got a text from my friend Michael, who was also at FanFest, saying he was going to ask the first question. He, like me is a 2nd baseman, and he asked Jemile Weeks a question about how to get better at playing 2nd base.

The who thing was very interesting, and I really enjoyed it.

Once it was noon, the panel was over, so I decided to find some lunch. I ended up getting an overpriced slice of pizza, and eating it in my seat, waiting for the next session to start.

The next Question & Answer featured Ray Fosse, Vida Blue, Joe Rudi, and Gene Tennace from the A’s 70’s dynasty teams.

As well as Scott Hatteberg, who talked about hitting the walk-off grand slam, the 2002 season, and his time with the A’s.

The 6th person in the group was David Justice, who answered questions about being given a chance to play in 2002, and talked about the 20 game win streak, and stuff like that.

It was great to hear from all 6 of those guys, and it was especially interesting to hear from all of the guys who played in the 70’s and their stories.

Once this panel was over, I realized that there was only 1 hour left, and still a lot of stuff that I wanted to do. I was still hoping to get a photo with the 4 World Series trophies, do the Comcast SportsNet SportsCaster Experience, and tour the clubhouse, all of which are located in the same general area.

I deiced that we should go ahead and do the clubhouse tour, and see what we have time for after that, considering how long the lines would be for the other 2 things.

My dad did get a picture of the World Series trophies, however.

The line was pretty long, but I figured that in the end, it would all be worth it, as the other two lines looked long enough that I wouldn’t get to do anything else.

On the way to the Coliseum, we walked past the Warriors’ player entrance

There were also some signs about how you shouldn’t impersonate people in the NBA and stuff like that

After we passed this, we to into the open air, and walked a little ways to the Coliseum. Then, we entered a green and gold and grey and black striped tunnel, which I assumed led to the clubhouse.

Then, we went down some stairs.

After more walking, I saw this sign, which I figured meant we were heading in the right direction.

We also passed the A’s weight room.

Then, we turned a corner, and I saw the A’s clubhouse. Before we got into the clubhouse, we had to walk a little ways. We passed the office of A’s equipment manager, Steve Vucinich.

It looked like he had a nice office…

That you aren’t allowed to snivel in

Once you pass his office, the wall on the left his covered with every issue of Sports Illustrated every printed with the A’s on the cover

On the right wall, there is a huge case of A’s memorabilia. Stuff like hats and jerseys.

There were a lot of issue of Sports Illustrated


And some of the A’s memorabilia was really cool! There was a bobblehead that was the only one of its kind made.

There was also a long line of A’s game-used hats and helmets

Hands down, my favorite hat is the Turn-Ahead-the-Clock hat, which they wore in the 90’s for Turn-Ahead-the-Clock day in MLB, which is the one on the top left

After all of the cool stuff, we entered the clubhouse

This is what it looks like

I looked at all of the lockers thoughout the clubhouse. Some of them had nameplates, some of them didn’t. Some had things in them, some didn’t. Here are Michael Taylor and Brandon McCarthy’s lockers.

Brett Anderson

Andrew Carigan and Dallas Braden

I had noticed that there were players shaking hands with people and the first person I saw was Brandon Allen

The first guy in the line of players was Eric Sogard, who recognized me immediately, and seemed very happy about it, too.

Then, there was Tommy Milone, who also recognized me.

Then Mike Gallego. Everyone is my family was amazed at how short he is. At BaseballReference.com, he is listed at 5’8″. Then, you take away 3 inches, and that is how tall Mike Gallego is.

Then, there was Brandon allen. Overall, it was a really, really, cool experience.

On our way out of the clubhouse, we passed the kitchen, which I immediately recognized from the Moneyball scene featuring Scott Hatteberg and David Justice talking.

Then I saw this sign that caught my eye.

After zooming in, this is what the sign says.

For me, or any ballhawk, I find this sign huge. It lists the times that the A’s are supposed to finish hitting for each game time, as well as the infield times.

We exited back though the way we came, and after a family discussion, decided it was time to go.

I wanted to take one last peek into the arena to see what was going on and this is what I saw.

Dallas Braden and Brett Anderson were signing autographs. My dad told me that I could head down there, and try to get my copy of Sports Illustrated with Dallas Braden on the cover signed.

I didn’t get any autographs, as they had to leave, but it was still cool!

Wow! It was a crazy insane day. I waited in line for a long time, got tickets for games far in advance, and had an amazing time at FanFest!

Now, I apologize for taking so long to get this up. I thought I had uploaded it, but I guess I had not. I hope you enjoy it! Comment, letting me know what you think, and have a great day!

8/1/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

This game came out of nowhere. Literally. The day before, the A’s ticket services staff posted a question on Twitter, with the 1st person to answer correctly won 2 tickets to that night’s game. The question was “Last night the A’s clinched their best July record in team history (19-4). When was last time the A’s had a record that good in a one month?” I knew the answer was August of 2002, when the A’s had their 20 game win streak.

I tweeted them the answer, and then got a DM that I had won. After remembering it was my parent’s anniversary, I told them that I couldn’t make it. Then, they offered me 2 tickets to the A’s game the next day, a 12:35 game against the Rays. After telling them that my sister had to come, and offering to buy an extra ticket, they told me to pick up 4 tickets at the box office.

The A’s ticket services staff are the best in baseball!

On Wednesday, I left the house, along with my mom and sister around 8:20. We were going to walk to the bus stop, as my dad had to leave for work, from there take the bus to BART, and take BART to the Coliseum. We got to the bus stop at 9:00 and BART at 9:40.

Once we got on BART, we got to the Coliseum at 10ish, the same time Will Call opened, so that we could pick up the tickets.

Once we walked halfway around the stadium to Will Call, we picked up our tickets. The lady at Will Call thought it was cool that we had won and said they were really good.

Honestly, I was expecting 4 generic A’s tickets in the 2nd deck. But, no. These seats were between the Rays dugout and home plate. In the first seating level!

And to top it all, they were the commemorative tickets that only season ticket holders get. Awesome!

At That point, it was 10:30; we got in line at Gate C, where there were only 2 people in line. Gate B, where I had entered before, was closed.

My sister wanted to play catch with me, so once she was done playing a quick card game with my mom, we played catch in the parking lot for 15 minutes.

After that, I pretty much waited until the gates opened.

It was pretty boring. Once it was 10:05 and the security guard said we could go, I rushed through the bag check, got my ticket scanned, and went to see if there was BP. Nope. Not a huge surprise.

I took off my A’s jersey, to reveal my Ryan Cook American League All-Star Game shirt. I stuck my jersey in my bag, pulled out my catcher’s mitt, and headed over to where the Rays were throwing, as there were no fans there.

As soon as started to run down the steps, a security guard threw a ball up towards the 2nd deck that some pitchers had been using to warm up. It bounced off and came down and started trickling through the seats. I couldn’t find it anywhere, and a minute later, the same security guard found it on the field, I guess it had rolled all the way down, and tossed it to me. As soon as I put it in my bag, it trickled out back onto the field. I didn’t realize it at first, because there was a little girl, maybe 4 or 5 crying because she had thought the ball had been tossed to her. The security guard had tossed it pretty high, and I guess she had been right behind me.

The guard, who I have known for a long time now, asked me if I wanted it back, and I said I was going to give it to the girl who was crying. He told me that he thought it was a good idea, and handed it to me.

This was the first ball I had ever given away, so I deiced that I WILL count balls that I give away as ones that I snagged.

I wanted to try to get a ball from one of the 2 guys throwing bullpen sessions, in Jeremy Hellickson, and Wade Davis. The bullpen catcher missed a pitch from Davis, and the ball rolled over to where Sam Fuld and James Shields were throwing. I headed over there, calling out to James, asking for the ball. He said no. I asked if there was any possible way on the face of the planet that he would be able to toss me one baseball. He chuckled and said that he wasn’t allowed to. I said OK, and no problem and headed to where Fernando Rodney was throwing.

James Shields called me back, saying that he had been joking with me. I laughed and said ok, as he tossed me the ball. He then came over and I told him how teams like the Dodgers rarely throw balls up during BP, and how their pitchers specifically are not allowed to give balls away, which sucks, because the Dodgers use commemorative balls. He seemed really surprised at that, at which point he started to get yelled at by some coaches.

He asked me if I would be in Tampa this year, and he seemed somewhat disappointed when I said no. I knew this was the Rays’ only trip to Oakland this year, so I half-jokingly suggested that he collect some commemorative balls for me and give them to me, when the Rays are in Oakland in 2013. He actually liked the idea, and said next time the Rays were in Oakland, or if I was in Tampa, he would hook me up with a few balls.

Pretty Cool!

After that, I got no more balls before the game started. One thing that I noticed while the pitchers were throwing was that one guy was wearing a David Price #14 jersey that looked nothing like David Price. It turns out, it was Josh Lueke, who tossed me balls in Oakland, last September, when the Mariners were in town. He was called up on in the morning, and when he got to the clubhouse in the morning, he found out that he was short a BP jersey. He ended up borrowing a David Price jersey. I found an article on Cut4, which explains it. Had I known who it was, I think I would have gotten a ball.

Shorty after, I got Sam Fuld to sign one of my tickets, followed by James Shields. I came close to a ball a few times, when guys like David Price and Matt More missed throws and they bounced into the crow. They would just get a new ball, or toss the old ball into the stands. Most of the time before the game, I competed with Greg Barasch, a very accomplished New York ballhawk, who snagged 10 balls in this game, and after this game, had snagged 1,287 MLB balls. I didn’t know how much I would run into him throughout the game.

I was curious where our seats were, so I searched the seats a little, and found my sister 20 or so rows back playing on her phone.

Shortly before the Rays left the field, I got Matt Moore to sign my ticket as well, and James Shields talked to me for a moment longer, and told me that he would be waiting in Tampa for me. I promised to get

Once everybody had left the field, I headed to our seats and my mom took this picture of me with the one ball I had kept

Then, my sister got this picture

A few minutes later, I noticed Rays’ broadcaster/reporter Todd Kalas getting ready for the Rays Pre-game show, I believe. He was right in front of the Rays dugout, so I headed over there to see if I could watch a little and get some pictures.

A few minutes later, an usher told us all to leave, because batting practice was over. Uh? There was no BP. But I knew what she meant.

At this point, it was about 12:00. I saw Kurt Suzuki warming up down the left field line, so I threw on my A’s jersey and headed over there. I had to weave a little to avoid ushers, but I ended up where I had been in the last game, right next to the foul pole, where Zuk was playing catch with Chip Hale.

I looked around, and saw this guy to my left.

Yep, the tall guy in the A’s hat. That is Greg Barasch.

A few minutes later, an usher approached me, asking if I had a ticket to this section. I said that my ticket was right behind the dugout and that I was over here just to try to catch a ball, and as soon as they were done, I would head back to my seat. Nope. No can do. I had to head back. But first, I texted my mom to let here know. I saw Greg talking to the usher, who let him stay. I think I will have to start thinking of ways to talk ushers to going wherever I want.

I headed back to my seat where Josh Feinberg, from A’s ticket services stopped by our seats introduced himself, and asked what we thought of the tickets. We thanked him for them and after he asked if we were enjoying ourselves, I mentioned the 2 balls and conversation with Shields.

Soon enough, it was 12:20, which meant all of the pre game stuff. My sister and I stood in the cross aisle, hoping to get a shirt that was tossed into the crowd, and an usher told us to go down right behind the dugout. After we didn’t get anything, he told me that we could sit right behind the dugout in the empty seats, because there were very few people there, at the time, close to only 10,000.

This is where I sat for the first inning or so.

Then I moved down here for most of the game.

My mom got some really good pictures in the game, including this one of Jarrod Parker

And these of B.J. Upton, Kurt Suzuki, and the home plate umpire, Chris Conroy

During the game, I tried for the infield warm-up balls and 3rd-out balls from the Rays, and unfortunately I didn’t get one, and I don’t believe Greg did either. Now I feel very frustrated on a certain level because there were about 5 foul balls tat I probably should have gotten, which, trust me was very frustrating. But, hey, at this point, there is nothing I can do about it.

Greg, at least, got one of the foul balls. 2 of the balls I came close to were ones that landed in my section while I WAS USING THE BATHROOM. I really had to go. It’s not my fault. Ok, from now on, I will not leave the seating bowl during the game.

I also picked up a popcorn helmet, mostly because it was a different design than the green one that I already have. If you know me, you know I love souvenirs like that.

The A’s lost 4-1, and after the final out of the game, I tried to get a ball from the dugout, but nobody could hook me up. Then, I asked Joe Maddon for the lineup card, but he just ignored me. I asked Jeff Keppinger for a souvenir of some sort, and he tossed an open pack of sunflower seeds that spilled over the dugout roof, and some kid got them. Whatever.

Carlos Pena, who had hit a home run and had had an RBI single did an interview

I got a final picture with my one ball on the day, and the popcorn helmet on my head.

Overall, it was a pretty good game!

On our way out, I fooled around with the camera, taking a picture of the near-empty Coliseum.

And my mom and sister up the stairs, on the way to the concourse to head out

And a BART sign

I also took this picture of our BART train pulling into the station

And this sign at the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 2 balls at this game (1 pictured because I gave one away)
• 8 balls in 8 Major League games this season = 1 ball per game.
• 17 balls in 11 baseball games this season = 1.545 balls per game.
• 13 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 22 total balls
• 3 consecutive games in Oakland with at least 2 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.

7/21/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

I was pumped for this game beyond belief. The A’s had just walked off against the Yankees the night before, putting them 5 games over .500 for the first time in forever, and ready for the series win the next day.

This game was just going to be my mom and I, which I was really looking forward to. We got to BART around 2:00 and the Coliseum at about 2:30.

From the BART ramp, we headed to the C gate ticket office, where we planned on purchasing 2 bleacher seats. The C gate office was closed, so we walked around to the D gate ticket office, which is where I bought tickets at FanFest in January. There, we got our tickets, then we headed to the team store, where we got some good air conditioning, as it was almost 90 degrees, and I picked up an All Star game program with the A’s lone representative, Ryan Cook on the cover. We then proceeded to get in line at gate B. It was the first time I had ever gotten in line there, because it is usually closed, but sine it was all set up for people to enter at, in addition to the fact that it is closer to the RF bleachers, we figured it was the best option, despite the limited shade.

I sat and looked through my All Star game program for a few minutes, before I was approached by a family asking me what gate to get in for the RF bleachers. I suggested that they get in line at Gate B with me, because it is the closest to where they wanted to sit.

Anyone that has been to an A’s home game knows that the RF bleacher crew is awesome. They have the drums, cowbells, and the awesome signs. Over the course of the hour leading up to the gate opening, various season ticket holders that always sit in section 149 dropped off their various signs and flags with a guy that is there for almost every game. As soon as he got there, he gave the little girl that was with the family who had gotten in line with me a baseball that I guess he had gotten the night before, which I thought was great.

When the gates finally opened at 4:05, I ran through bag check, got my ticket scanned, and I ran right to the RF bleachers, where I was told to get a yellow wristband while I ran in. As soon as I got to the seats, I set my stuff down in section 148, right next to where the drummer sits. I quickly grabbed the first row aisle seat, and took my glove out and got ready. This was the sight when I looked up

I got ready, because I had a good feeling about snagging something, with the A’s recent power outburst. A minute or two after I got in, Derek Norris hit a ball to my right.

I sprinted in the direction that it was headed. I clanked in the seats above the wheelchair ramp on the leftmost side of the bleachers, and about 10 people scrambled over to go get it. They were all looking in the first two rows, and eventually gave up. After they all had left, I slowly and calmly walked over to where I had remembered it landing, while very one else scrambled to the section to the right. I walked up the steps, and sure enough, in the 5th row, the ball was just sitting there! My 10th lifetime MLB ball!

After this, I went over to hand it to my mom to put in my backpack. About 10 minutes later, Brandon Moss hit a ball in the section to my left. I went to catch the ball, but I realized it was going to land over my head. Nobody was paying attention, and the one or two that were didn’t have glove. It bounced 10 rows back, hit the 4th row, and I snagged it on its way down. My 20th lifetime baseball!

Soon enough, the A’s portion of BP was over, and I was pleased with 2 balls. It was the first time I had gotten to watch the A’s take BP, so I was happy.

After this, I got my wristband in time to get back and see the Yankees stretching before BP.

They stretched for about 5 minutes, before their portion of batting practice began. In that time, I took off my A’s jersey, hoping to have a better chance of getting a ball, to reveal my MLB Fan Cave shirt from my last game in Oakland. It felt very long, I think that is the best word to describe it. Left field was jam packed because of Alex Rodriguez, so I didn’t want to bother heading over there, so I just stayed in right field the entire time.

The Yankees hit many, many home runs to the RF bleachers. But there were so many people sitting down, it made it impossible to move around and have a chance at getting a ball. There was one kid tat I need to mention here. He was about 12 or so and came very close to getting a ball about 10 times, and whenever he didn’t get it, he cried his eyes out. And he wasn’t wearing a glove. Every time the ball was hit close to the wall, he would scream the player’s last name, in hopes of getting the ball.

Some guy did end up giving him the ball, which I think David Robertson tossed up. He then approached me, asking if I wanted to trade, my first home run ball for his toss up. Obviously, my answer was no, but I asked to see the ball, just to see if it had any special logo or anything. Nope. It was just a simple practice ball.

I decided to stand close to where I had gotten my first ball, in the aisle to the section over to the left. A lot of balls were hit just below us, and every time, Tony Pena, the Yankees bench coach would go and retrieve it. I asked him for it the first few times, and just gave up asking him after that. The only other ball I came relatively close to during the Yankee’s portion of BP, I probably should have had, but them again, someone else should have too. The ball was hit right at him. He had a beer in both hands. He set one down, to try to make a one handed grab, and of course, he dropped it. But as I went to grab it, he yelled “STOP HIM” and like 4 other people went to grab it, as he kicked it to his girlfriend, spilling about 1/4 of his beer on me. Another guy grabbed it, and gave it back, after the 20-something year old guy threw a fit about how it should be his and how he deserves it, and a bunch of other random crap. Overall, BP was very exciting.

Once the cages were pulled away, I went and got myself a soda, which I rarely have. Actually, I only ever drink soda at baseball games. But after I got my soda, I sat in my seat and talked with my mom for about 20 minutes, as there was ZERO action on the field.

Then, I saw Derek Norris warming up with Chip Hale, the A’s bench coach down by the A’s bullpen. I put my jersey back on, grabbed my catcher’s mitt and headed down there, hoping that I wouldn’t have to get my ticket checked, like the A’s ushers usually do half an hour before game time. I got down right next to the foul pole and BBQ Terrace, and there was no usher for the section at all! Sweet!

Norris and Hale were going over some catcher’s drills at the wall.

Once they were done, Derek started warming up with Jarrod Parker, the starting pitcher that evening. Once they were done playing long toss, Parker went to throw the ball to Casey Chavez, the brother of former A Eric Chavez, and the A’s bullpen catcher, when I called out to him. He threw the ball to me, and despite my jump, the ball sailed 10 feet over my head.

Believe it or not, he didn’t do that during the game at all! all of this, I pretty much headed back to my seat, with not much more to do.

This was my view when the game started

And this was the view to my left.

Yep, I’m crazy. Sitting right next to the drummer that you hear at very A’s game.

This was the sight whenever Josh Reddick came up to bat

So, If you don’t know, last year, a bunch of A’s fans gathered in RF for the first ever Bacon Tuesday. This game happened to be against the Royals, and Jeff Francoeur happened to be the right fielder. He wrapped $100 on a ball and tossed it to them. The money was for bacon. So this year, when the Royals came to the Coliseum in April, they held the 2nd annual Bacon Tuesday, and this time gave Fancoeur a Bacon Tuesday Shirt.

After hearing about Jeff Francoeur’s Bacon Tuesday at the Coliseum, Josh Reddick, a huge wrestling fan sent a replica WWE title belt to the fans in Oakland’s right-field bleachers and declared Thursdays Title Thursdays. Well whenever Josh Reddick comes to the plate, they have the wrestling belt in right field. Here is a quick article on Cut4.

This is what it looks like when Brandon Inge steps to the dish.

MORE BACKSTORY TIME!!! So, Brandon Inge’s walkup song is Moving Like Bernie. The video on MLB.com is not accessible, but that is what the RF bleacher crew do when Brandon Inge comes up to the song. A’s broadcasters quickly took notice, and the next day on the A’s pre game show, host Brodie Brazil and CSN Insider Casey Pratt were Movin’ Like Bernie. Later, after the A’s walked off AGIAN, Brodie did it agin, this time with his co-host Fernando Viña. Later that night, I found this video, which I think everyone needs to see.

And yes, I was Moving Like Bernie too.

The next story I would like to get to has to do with the song Call Me Maybe, by Carly Rae Jepsen. In May of this year, somebody posted a video to YouTube of the Harvard baseball team dancing to the song in a van.

They played Call Me Maybe sometime during the game, I think it was the 8th inning, and when it played, the ENTIRE A’s bullpen started doing the dance. All 3 1/2 minutes of the song. I guess they do it every time the song is played. They had tons and tons of footage of the bullpen doing it, and I was not able to get a picture of them in action, or on the board, but I did get tis picture, which is of Jordan Noberto laughing after finishing the routine at another game.

Quick break from story time. The only one ball that I came close to during the game was a home run in the 8th.

If you watched the video, then you know that the one guy who had a play on it botched it. I got out of my seat right away. But, because the bleachers were sold out, I had a hard time getting to the ball. Had the bleachers been less packed, I might have been able to get it. But after the ball bounced back on to the field, Dwayne Wise picked it up. I called out to him for it, and he faked a throw to me an rolled it into the bullpen.

Later in the 8th inning, I saw a lot of yellow security shirts all together in the Lf bleachers. I zoomed in and took a picture. My guess is, that somebody was benign ejected.

In the 9th inning, with closer Ryan Cook unavailable to close out the game, as he had worked the previous 3 games, Sean Doolittle, a first baseman the year prior, now a converted relief pitcher, came in to get the save. They played Grant Balfour’s entrance song, which I think is by Metalica. Whenever the song is played during a game, the right field bleacher people have a little routine that they like to perform. Here is a link to another article on Cut4.

Yep, I was doing it too.

Ok, last story. I promise. By this time, everyone knows how awesome the A’s are doing. At the end of the Yankees series, they were 14-2 in July. That is insane. Including the 4th game of the series, in which they walked off, 6 of the previous home games had been in walk-off fashion. It has been so much fun! One thing that Josh Reddick has been doing, is throwing a whipped cream pie in the face of the person who got the walk-off his, while they were doing an interview. Along with that, usually all of the tubs of water and Gatorade are dumped too. For the most recent walk-off win, Jonny Gomes added candy, gum, and sunflower seeds. I found a behind-the-scenes look of Reddick and Inge preparing to hit Coco Crisp with a pie, after the A’s 11th walk-off this year. Check it out, once again at Cut4.

That is about it for the game. It was a whole lot of fun and it was a great game too! I ended the day with 2 balls, which, is fine with me, considering how crowded it was!

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 2 balls at this game
• 6 balls in 7 Major League games this season = 0.857 ball per game.
• 15 balls in 10 baseball games this season = 1.5 balls per game.
• 11 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 20 total balls

And on my way home, this is how crowded the BART train was. But, it was more crowded for Root Beer Float day, which really says a lot!

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 Sweep Twins!

Sweet! Or should I say, sweep! I’m back again interweb, and I will do my best to write something every day for all of your minds to enjoy.

Yes, the A’s just completed their 4th sweep this year. All of last year, the A’s had 3 sweeps. Pretty awesome. And to add to the sweep, they had 9 home runs!

On Friday, A.J. Griffin notched his first career win, in a 6-3 victory at Target Field. I am very pleased that he finally got that first win, although he should have gotten it when I was at the Giants game! In every game Griffin has pitched in 2012, he has allowed 8 or less hits, allowed less than 4 earned runs, pitched 6 innings, and only had 1 or two walks each game, with at least 3 strikeouts.

In this game, the big offensive boost for the A’s was a grand slam off the bat of Jonny Gomes.

In the 4th inning, Gomes clubbed his 9th home run of the year, and also had an RBI single in the 9th, allowing All-Star Ryan Cook to close the game out in the 9th for a 6-3 victory in game 1 of the 3 game series, putting the A’s 1 game above .500 for the first time since May.

In game two of the 3 game set, the A’s looked to continue their hot streak. They exploded for a 4-run first inning with an RBI double from Yoenis Cespedes, and a 3-run homer from Chris Carter, his 4th home run in 8 games with the Athletics this season.

In the 3rd, Cespedes hit a 2-run opposite-field shot to make the score 6-0.

Seth Smith hit a solo shot in the 5th and an RBI triple in the 9th, along with Brandon Moss’s 11th home run of the year, a solo home run in the 6th inning.

Smith’s 9th home run on the year and his late-inning three-bagger allowed the A’s to take game two an ensure a series win, pushing them 2 games above .500 and giving southpaw Tommy Milone his club-leading 9th win in 2012.

In the series finale, the A’s looked to start the 2nd half off on a high note with a sweep. Before the game, Jonny Gomes said in an interview that because he was batting 2nd, when Josh Reddick came up as the 3rd batter of the game, the score would be 2-0. Keep that in mind. Yoenis Cespedes singled in Jemile Weeks in the 1st to make it a 1-0 A’s lead, followed by a bases loaded walk from Derek Norris. In the 2nd inning, Jemile Weeks singled as the 2nd batter of the inning, which was followed by a 2-run shot off the bat of Jonny Gomes. 1 inning too late! Gomes became the 4th player on the A’s in 2011 to have at least 10 home runs. Last year, there were 5 in the entire season!

After Josh Reddick grounded out, Yoenis Cespedes stepped up to the plate, and hit the 2nd home run of the inning, this one his 11th on the 2012 campaign to center field.

4 pitches later, Chris Carter hit the third home run in the inning- an opposite field solo shot to make the score 6-1.

Fast forward to the 6th inning. Seth Smith leads off the inning with his 10th home run of the year, and the club’s 4th home run of the game. That is 2 consecutive days with 4 home runs, both times, Smith, Carter, and Cespedes contributing to the cause.

Later in the inning, Yoenis Cespedes singles in Jemile Weeks and Jonny Gomes scores on a wild pitch. Make the final score A’s 9 Twins 4, giving Jarrod Parker his 6th win this year.

This was arguably the A’s best series in the 2012 season. As a team, they hit 9 home runs, 2 from each Gomes, Carter, Smith, and Cespedes, with Brandon Moss adding one as well. The A’s also had multiple players reach double-digit home runs this series, bringing their season total to 5. Last year, the A’s had 5 in the ENTIRE season. With the likes of Brandon Inge and Chris Carter on the team, expect a few more before the season ends. In the last game the A’s hit 3 home runs over the course of 4 batters, cominded to see 16 pitches. Insane. The A’s have really sparked the offensive output over the past few games, and if they continue to drive in runs and have stellar pitching, I expect them to be contending all the way through the end. Keep in mind that they are only 8 games out in the West and HALF A GAME out in the wild card chase!

And to top all of this, Yoenis Cespedes was named the AL player of the week for the week after the All-Star break! He is the second A’s player to be named a player of the week, as Brandon Moss received the award on June 18th.

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.