Category: Josh Reddick

7/14/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

Well…

This was my first game in about 2 weeks, and I was excited to be back!

It was MLB Network backpack day (joy) and my mom and I got there at 9:45, for the 11am gate opening, 1pm game time.

My dad would be showing up later with my grandmother and uncle, as they had seats behind the A’s bullpen.

It was the final game before the All Star Break, so we were hoping to hear Grant Balfour announced as Bartolo Colon’s replacement.

I decided to take a lap around the stadium first, as I usually do.

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As I walked past Gate B, I noticed the stairs to BB were not closed off, so I walked up.

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This was the scene from the top.
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My right.

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My left.

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This was the best view I could get of inside. Nothing that I could see going on.

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I kept walking and headed past Gate C.

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This was sitting just outside Gate D.

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I continued on past Gate A.

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Where the stairs were also not yet closed off.

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Nothing fancy inside.

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I walked back up to MM.

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We were 2 of the 7 people in line…

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About 30 minutes before the Gates opened, this truck drove into the Eastside Club.

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This is what was on it. Table cloth or something?

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This was just after Will, Ross, and Wiggi showed up. There was a small pile of flags and banners.

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This was also the time that the backpacks arrived in boxes.

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This is what it said on the side.

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Since there were only 4 boxes, that meant there were 800 jerseys at this gate. That’s only 5% of them. Clearly, MM is not very popular.

The gates opened at 11:05, where I ran inside to the Red Sox bullpen.

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It was packed, I had no way to move from where I was standing. It was very empty when I got there, I was too busy focusing on the players to notice. Even when I called out to players, nothing worked. I got shut out from the Red Sox. That’s all.

I then went over to the A’s bullpen, where Ross, Will, and Drew were standing.

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They were over there so Drew could get his flag signed.

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Meanwhile, A’s pitchers were stretching.

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It was even more crowded. Nothing. So yep. I was shut out for both the Red Sox and A’s.

Eventually, John Jaso came out to stretch and get ready for the game.
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As he was finishing stretches, All-Star Bartolo Colon came out to run and get loose for the game.

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Meanwhile, Ryan Lavarnaway was getting loose as well, on the Red Sox side.

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Last season, when the Red Sox came to town, I had tried to figure out the names of their two bullpen catchers, but had no luck. After a bit of reserach, one of them is #86, Brian Abraham.

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The other, is #88, Alex Martinez.

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As Boston’s starting pitcher, Brandon Workman was warming up, A’s starter Bartolo Colon was doing the same.

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One of the players on the Red Sox is 2012 Athletic Johnny Gomes.
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As both teams started stretching, former teammates David Ortiz and Josh Reddick enjoyed a conversation with each other

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Right before the national anthem, there was this cool ceremony, as it was Law Enforcement Day.
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Ryan Lavarnaway was busy warming up in the final minutes before the first pitch.

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As it was a Sunday game, little leaguers got to take the field with A’s players for the national anthem.

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I loved the socks that Eric Sogard and Josh Reddick were wearing.
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Seriously, these stirrups don’t get any more awesome.
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Like I mentioned earlier in the entry, I was awaiting an announcement on Grant Balfour being chosen to the All Star game. Since Bartolo was pitching this Sunday, the game before the All Star game, he would not be able to pitch, allowing a replacement to be chose. It was highly speculated that his replacement would be Grant Balfour, and sure enough, between the 2nd and 3rd innings, Balfour’s entrance song, One, started playing on the Coliseum speakers, the announcement was put up on the screen, and everyone started All Star RAGING!!!!

As for the game itself, Dustin Pedroia got the scoring started in the top of the 6th with an RBI single.

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Meanwhile, Brandon Workman was in his first MLB Start, and he was dominating the Oakland offense.

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Through the first 6 innings, he had only allowed 1 baserunner. John Jaso walked in the 4th.

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Colon, meanwhile, was also pitching effectively. After allowing 3 hits in the first two innings, he pitched 1-2-3 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings.

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However, he allowed 3 singles in the 6th, the 3rd of those being the Pedroia RBI single I earlier mentioned
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In the top of the 7th, Mike Carp doubled to lead off the inning, then scored on a Brock Holt base hit.

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This prompted Sean Doolittle to enter the game, shutting down the Red Sox in the 7th.

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At this point, the A’s had still not managed a hit, until Coco Crisp lead off the inning with a single.

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After a John Jaso popout, Josh Donaldson stepped to the plate.
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And smashed a home run to center field tying the game at 2.

Craig Breslow, former Athletic, was then brought into the game, to finish off the 7th inning.IMG_1625After a quiet 8th inning, it was time to head into the top of the 9th. It was time for Grant Balfour to come into the game.

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This meant it was time to RAGE!!

I guess I was on TV, so thanks to Ryan Dalton for sending me this picture.

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The inning was lead off by Johnny Gomes, who struck out, then began to argue with the umpire.

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He was ejected…

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I don’t remember exactly what he was upset by, but he was upset.

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Nobody scored in the 9th inning, so the game headed into extras. Ryan Cook came on to pitch the 10th.
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He pitched a solid inning, only allowing a single to Jacoby Ellsbury.

Yoenis Cespedes singled to lead off the bottom of the 10th.

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Then the umpires convened for a moment.

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And Cespedes was standing on second, due to the throwing error from the Red Sox shortstop.

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John Farrell was quite upset.

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Josh Reddick proceded to strike out.
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Which was followed by Cespedes getting thrown out trying to steal 3rd and Nate Freiman grounding out.

Ryan Lavarnaway was hit by a pitch to load the bases in the 11th inning for the Sox.

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However, Cook was able to get out of it.
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This sent the A’s to the bottom of the 11th inning.

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After a Chris Young walk, Eric Sogard laid down a sac bunt.

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This put Chris Young on 2nd base with 1 out.

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After a Coco Crisp groundout and Derek Norris walk, Josh Donaldson stepped to the plate and connected.

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On a base hit, bringing Chris Young around to score!

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Donaldson set up for his post-game interview with CSN.
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While Jaso did one for NESN.

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As customary for an A’s walk-off win, Josh Reddick came in with the pie.

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He brought it to Donaldson’s face.

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As JD braced himself for the hit.

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BOOM!

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Reddick slammed the pies into Josh Donaldson’s face!

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He was then given a towel to wipe it off with.

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Sure, I didn’t snag a ball, but it was a lot of fun out at the ballpark!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 19th Game this Year (14th MLB Game)
  • 0 Balls at this Game
  • 14 balls in 14 MLB games this season = 1 Ball Per Game
  • 42 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 93 Lifetime Baseballs

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

6/25/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Johnny Cueto was manning the Right Field warning track.

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He wasn’t tossing anything up either.

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

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

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Cueto was signing autographs by the Reds bullpen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_7561 He started to play long toss with Ryan Hanigan.

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

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

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Most Reds players went into their last stretches.

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 Same with the A’s.

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

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To the game…

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

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

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

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Everyone was excited!

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

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

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

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

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He BOMBED it out to left field!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 This was the box she handed me.

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

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I admired the leaning bobblehead a bit.

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

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Anyway…

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

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

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

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

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Everyone was happy about the A’s victory!

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

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

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 It was a good game!

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

BALLHAWKING STATS:

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

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

6/1/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

JERSEY DAY!!!!!!

We left the house just before 8am and got there around 8:25. This was the scene when we arrived…

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The PARKING LOT hadn’t even opened yet. I was almost positive I would be one of the first in line at this rate.

That ended up not being the case. There were already 30 or so people in line when we got there, so we jumped in line right away. It was Yoenis Cespedes Jersey day. That’s why I was there so early.

Given the fact that the gates didn’t open for 2.5 hours, my sister and I decided to wander a bit. On the way towards Gate D, we passed Will, who was heading up towards MM.
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When we stopped at the D Gate team store, my sister could not resist purchasing this:

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It was pretty boring before the gates opened. My sister and I played catch in the parking lot. I picked up a new t-shirt (I ended up wearing it at this game- You’ll see it soon). That was about it.

When we stopped in the C-Gate team store, we saw this:

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Jersey boxes were being opened!

Shortly before the gates opened- I spotted a familiar face. It was the man that goes by @CS_Darrow on Twitter. We had met up during the World Baseball Classic, and when he saw me this time around, he pulled out two things.

1) A ticket stub from a Rangers/White Sox game in Arlington.

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2) A Dodgers 2012 50th Anniversary ball!
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How cool is that? He thanked me for “spreading the ‘ballhawking’ word” and explained how he and I appreciate your efforts. Thank you again, very much!

The gates opened at 11:05, and I got in fairly quickly. I grabbed a jersey and ran down to my usual seat, but someone was sitting there, so I decided to go sit over where I had been sitting for most of the 19-inning game.

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When I first entered the seating bowl, 1 things shocked me. THE CAGES WERE UP!!!

It was a DAY GAME AFTER A NIGHT GAME and the Sox were going to take BP. SWEEEEEET!

The A’s pitchers were the only players on the field at the time, so I headed over there.

Grant Balfour was playing catch with Pat Neshek. Something caused Grant to yell out “F**K!” At this point, this came to my mind…

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What did I do? I yelled out “That’s 50 cents to the Aussie Swear Jar, Grant!”

He hear this, turned around, started laughing, and tossed me the ball!

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The A’s players started leaving the field. White Sox players came on.

I put on my White Sox gear and headed down near the bullpen, as the bleachers were crowding up FAST.

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Adam Dunn put on a hell of a show in BP, he was hitting the ball HARD and HIGH!

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The Coliseum was filling up fast.

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The bleachers were packed with Yoenis Cespedes gold replica jerseys.

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Omar and his adorable daughter Rhema were there.

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Oh, right. BP. BORING. Dunn and Alex Rios were the only ones that had any power- they hit every ball to CF. Nothing to the LF or RF bleachers as far as I can remember. My 2nd ball of the day was a toss-up. I had been standing a few rows behind a few little kids for most of BP.

There were a lot of balls hit down the line that stayed on the field. Every time, Matt Lindstrom would jog over and throw it in. There was a ball hit right to the wall that one of the kids called for, Lindstrom tossed it up, but it went right to me. I hadn’t even asked for it. I immediately handed it to the 7-8 year old boy that the ball could have been meant for. After all, he was in White Sox gear.

That was it for BP. It was BORING. And long. It was around 55-60 minutes, which was INSANE.

BP ended around 12:20. Yeah..

The grounds crew began prepping the field.

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Darren Bush and Derrek Norris headed out to the bullpen to get ready.

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They played some 2-ball to get loose.

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The day’s starting pitcher, Dan Straily, began to get loose.

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While this was all happening, I noticed this sign. Why is it important? That picture is from THIS blog entry!
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Thursday night, Ian Sagabaen, the guy holding up the sign, and the MLB-proclaimed Greatest Sign-Maker in MLB History contacted me, asking if he could use the picture. Of course I said yes!

Dan Straily began to warm up with D-No, as Darren Bush watched on.
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Jose Quintana, the White Sox starting pitcher began to get loose with Hector Gimenez, the starting catcher that day.

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Several A’s players began to stretch and such.IMG_0411

ROSIE!!!

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The National Anthem was performed.

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The meeting took place at home plate.

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And we were ready to go!

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Dan Straily was on the mound for the A’s. Last year, he was a strikeout MACHINE in the minors.

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This was my view for the game. Actually, I was sitting 2 sections over to the left. This was my dad’s view.

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The White Sox were unable to score in the 1st inning.

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The A’s scored a run in the first.

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The bleachers were lively. (Not that that is a surprise to anyone)

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Oh, and that run was doubled in my Yoenis Cespedes.

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And scored by Jed Lowrie.

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Josh Donaldson struck out.

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Josh Reddick grounded out to end the first inning. 1-0 A’s.

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The White Sox were unable to score any runs in the 2nd either.
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The A’s scored a run in the 2nd inning as well. It started with a Derek Norris double.

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Adam Rosales grounded out.

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Chris Young singled, brining in the run.

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That run was Derek Norris.

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It’s 2-0 A’s!

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Banjo Man showed up… Ew…

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The broadcasters seemed to be doing well.

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The White Sox scored a run in the 3rd on an Adam Dunn single.

The A’s went 1-2-3 in the 3rd.

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The White Sox were the same in the top of the 4th.

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Adam Rosales singled in the 4th inning.

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But the A’s were unable to capitalize, sending the game to the 5th…

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The White Sox went 1-2-3 again, in the 5th  inning.

Then, the A’s came up in the bottom half.

Josh Donaldson singled…

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The the BIG BOY Nate Freiman tripled.
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JD scored.

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Everyone was happy!

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But it was a pain to watch him run! Watch for yourself. Oof.

The A’s were unable to do anything more in the 5th.

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This made it 3-1 A’s after 5 innings in the books.

The White Sox were unable to do anything in the 6th.

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Josh Reddick tossed up the 3rd out ball…

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But I was cooling off in the concourse. Wiggi was the lucky recipient of the ball!

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The A’s went quietly in their half of the 6th, despite a double from Jed Lowrie.

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Sean Doolittle came on to pitch the 7th. Dan Straily went 6 innings with 8 strikeouts and 1 run allowed.

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This is when things began to unravel.

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The White Sox scored 2 runs on a single off the bat of Alejandro De Aza. This prompted a mound visit.

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Sean Doolittle then quickly got out of the jam.

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The A’s were unable to put anything together in their half of the 7th.

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Ryan Cook got loose in the A’s bullpen.

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As he was going to pitch the 8th inning, with the score knotted up at 3-3.

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Oh, and check out Josh Reddick’s AWESOME socks.

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Cookie set all 3 White Sox batters down in the 8th.

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Jesse Crain, who was a very stingy pitcher during BP pitched the bottom of the 8th.

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The A’s were not able to piece much together.

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There were several pickoff attempts in this inning.
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Daniel was visibly frustrated by them.

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Despite a Jed Lowrie Single and Chris Young double, the A’s were unable to score, as Yoenis Cespedes struck out to end the inning.
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Grant Balfour came in to pitch the 9th inning. Time to RAAAAAAAAGE!

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He concluded his warm-up tosses.

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And he proceeded to pitch a stellar 9th inning.

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The White Sox were set down in order.
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In fact, Balfour only needed 12 pitches to do so.

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It was time for the A’s up’s in the bottom of the 9th!

Josh Donaldson led off with a single.

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Then, the White Sox changed pitchers.

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Josh Reddick then laid down a textbook bunt with 0 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd.

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And he was SAFE at first. Bases loaded, no outs!

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Everyone was on their feet, ready for some walk-off pie!

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But Derek Norris grounded into a 6-2-3 double play, getting the outs at home and 1st.

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Coco was intentionally walked.
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Eric Sogard struck out with the bases loaded to send us to extras…

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Pat Neshek came in…

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And got two quick outs, at which point Jerry Blevins came in.

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Adam Dunn promptly flied out to right field to end the inning.

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Mostly everyone had stayed and was still into the game!

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Jed Lowrie lined out to Alex Rios to start the bottom of the 10th.

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Chris Young then doubled for his 3rd hit of the game and Yoenis Cespedes was intentionally walked.

This prompted another Sox pitching change.

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Josh Donaldson then walked as well, loading the bases AGAIN with 1 out.

Brandon Moss then lined out for the 2nd out.

This brought in Josh Reddick.

He took 5 straight pitches, only the first one being a strike.

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You know what this means?

WALK OFF VICTORY!!!

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Everyone was excited!!!

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And yes, Coco delivered the PIE!!

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After the game, I got a picture with Ian and the sign!
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Look closely in the bottom righthand corner.

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It was my Twitter handle!!!

Free jersey, 2 balls, my Twitter handle on a sign, and walk-off pie. You CANNOT complain about that!

My next game was going to be the next afternoon. Oh boy!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 12th Game this Year (9th MLB Game)
  • 2 Balls at this Game
  • 12 balls in 9 MLB games this season = 1.33 Ball Per Game
  • 34 Balls in 12 Games this season = 2.5 Balls Per Game
  • 40 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 77 Total Balls

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.

5/27/13 at Banner Island Ballpark

Time for some more Minor League Baseball in sunny California!

Originally, I had tickets for the 1:05 A’s/Giants game in Oakland. Knowing how slim my chances of snagging a ball were, and based on my previous Giants game in Oakland, along with the fact that I don’t have the patience to deal with the stupidity of drunk Giants fans (Beer in cheaper in Oakland than San Francisco), I decided to sell our two tickets for the game on StubHub.

Since they were part of my season ticket plan, when I sell tickets on StubHub, I can choose to have my profit go towards my A’s account. That means that I won’t have to pay as much for my season tickets next year. I also sold my tickets to the A’s/Giants exhibition game in Oakland back in March, so between these two games, I’ve made $130. That’s $130 that we won’t have to pay towards season tickets next year!

All of a sudden, I realized that I wouldn’t be going to a game on Memorial Day. I headed over to the Ports website to look at tickets for a game in June, when I saw this…

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I had been thinking about this game already, but now, my mind was made up!

I didn’t have school on Friday, so I had a 4-day weekend, and my parents told me that I had to finish my homework before they would buy the tickets. I finished it, showed them this, and it was a done deal!

My mom decided she didn’t want to go, but my sister did, so my dad went ahead and bought 5 tickets. Why 5? We got 3 seats where my dad and I have say for our last two Ports games, right next to the visitor dugout, so that 3 the of us could sit there, but my sister and I each individually purchased a ticket behind the Ports dugout, which would allow me to go for 3rd out balls over there as well.

My dad had to leave for his 3rd business trip of the month on Tuesday morning, so he wanted to get back before it was too late on Monday night. His goal was to be home by 9pm after the 6pm game, which would mean leaving around 8pm. If you know me, you know that that was the last thing I wanted. After all, I was hoping to grab the lineup card!

My hope was that given the fact Reddick was rehabbing, I wanted to get all of both Batting Practices. My though was that if the gates opened at 5pm, I would want to get there around 2pm, which would mean we would need to leave the house around 1pm. We were in for a LONG day!

Fast-Forward to Monday afternoon.

We left our house shortly after 1pm. Around 1:40pm, I decided to check the weather in Stockton, as it was raining when we left my house. What did the weather forecast say?

Rain until 4pm. WHAT THE HECK???

I was beyond pissed! We considered stopping at an outlet mall, but decided to tough it out and keep heading on to Stockton with hopes of BP.

We arrived in Stockton just after 2pm. I ran over to check to see if the cages just magically happened to be set up.

I didn’t get a picture, but THEY WERE!!! AND PLAYERS WERE HITTING!!!

My sister and I sprinted out behind LF just in time for the last hitter to finish up. Super…

We decided to just walk around by the marina and out behind RF to see if there were magically any balls. Nope.

It was starting to rain, so we headed back to the car. From there, we took a short drive down the street to a thrift shop. We spent 15 minutes there, before we all got bored. We decided to head back, as there was NOTHING else to do.

It was around 2:45 at this point. Pascale and I decided to go back out to the LF area, this time to play some catch.

Around this time, players started taking the field. Pitchers like Seth Frankoff began playing catch.

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The position players were just arriving in the dugout.

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Remember how I said Josh Reddick was playing? He was all suited up for BP!

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The pitchers were playing catch in center field.

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And the position players were stretching.

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And they began to throw and play catch.

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I only showed 2 pictures, but in all, it took about 30 minutes before they started hitting. I was getting anxious!!

The first guy to step into the cage was Wade Kirkland.

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And I was on the board quickly!

He lined a ball over the bullpens, where it rolled under the fence and into my glove!

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There was a mark on the ball, most likely from the bat.

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The next guy to step into the cage was catcher Philip Pohl.

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He then hit a ball in the same spot Kirkland had, and I had ball #2!

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Next in the cage was Ryan Delgado.

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He BOMBED one out of the stadium that hit off the Stockton Arena. I ran over and picked it up for ball #3 on the day.

After that, it was pretty quiet.

Rashun Dixon had some good hacks.

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Then, came the real show of BP. Josh Reddick.

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Between me, my sister, and my dad, there were lots of pictures taken!

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He was BOMBING them out!

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Then, he hit one that I saw roll hard through the grass of the CF berm. I ran over to check.

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Sure enough, it was sitting right next to the fence. I grabbed it for ball #4 on the day! And it was a Josh Reddick BP homer!

That was honestly it for Ports BP. Nothing much exciting happened.

66ers BP was worse.

There were a few pitchers throwing bullpen sessions.
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You know it’s bad when they don’t hit a single ball over the outfield wall.

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I was pretty fet up.

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Around 4:20, it got to the point where I knew that they wouldn’t hit anything out, so I headed to go get in line.

The gates were supposed to open at 5pm for the 6pm start, so I figured I would be close to the front.

I got there, and ushers were opening the gates… WHA???

I got my ticket scanned, and I was in at 4:30!!

I headed for a place down the LF line where I had seen a few balls land. No luck. I decided I wanted to try some ballhawking on the berms, so I decided to head out there.

Then, I looked up and a ball hit by Matthew Scioscia (the son of Angels manager Mike Scioscia) was flying my way. I looked up and after it bounced in the seats, I scooped it up for ball #5 on the day!

Then, I headed out to the metroPCS Home Run Hill.
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Back where my dad was, this was the scene near the gates. It was 4:35. Un.be.lievable.

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My sister was chilling out on the berm with me as well.

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Then, someone on the 66ers hit a ball that bounced off the roof of a private seating area between the RF and CF berms. I was on the CF one, so as soon as I saw it off the bat, I took off running. I sprinted over to where it was rolling, but some guy that was walking by scooped it up.

There were a lot of balls that were just a few feet away from the wall. If only I had a retrieval device!

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You can see it in his hand in the picture below.

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The 66ers were hitting like crap…

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But I was enjoying running around!

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Eventually, BP came to a close, just before 5pm.

That’s when I saw these people show up!

In the #3 jersey is Will MacNeil, then the guy in the A’s hoodie is “famous” Jorge. Over Jorge’s right shoulder is Anson.
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Why were they here? For Reddick’s rehab of course!

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Once the 66ers finished BP, they took infield practice.

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When they were done with that, Zach Wright tossed me one of the balls they had used. It was my 6th ball of the day.

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After that, my sister and I walked around the concourse a bit. We got some food, sat in our seats, talked, and were REALLY bored!

As the 66ers started walking towards the dugout, I caught a few of them and was able to get my ticket signed.
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At this point, I headed over to the walkway, where players were coming out, hoping to catch Josh Reddick at some point.

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This is the tunnel that the players walk out of.

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As you can see, there is a special walkway just for them.

Everyone was crowded, waiting for the players to come down.

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See those costumes in the corner?

This is what they looked like…20130605-233017.jpg

Stockton is the asparagus capital of the world, so those would be the asparagus heads for the “Asparagus Race.” Like the Brewers sausage race. Except not sausages…

It was around this time, that I spotted Omar Gutierrez, with his kids known as “The Champ” and “Super J.” They were able to get Addison Russell’s autograph.

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This ball is for sure a keeper!
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They got a few other players to sign their program.

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Then, Super J got Splash to sign his mask!

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And yes, of course, Josh Reddick did come onto the field.

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But he didn’t stop to sign autographs.

After most of the players had taken the field, everyone began to stretch and warm up.

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Then, they all started playing catch.

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It was funny. The entire time, Josh Reddick was doing something different than the rest of the team. He was off in his own little world!

Since it was Memorial Day, there were special people there to present the colors.
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A veteran threw out the first pitch.

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And we were ready to go! The umpires took the field!

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And the lineup cards were exchanged.

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And the players took the field.

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The National Anthem was played.

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And it was time to go!

Does this face have any significance to you?

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His name is Mike Huss. Why is he special? Well a week before, Will MacNeil had been at the Ports game, which had gone into 17 innings. In the 15th inning, he yelled something out ‘Terrible strike zone, midget!’ to Mike Huss, who was the home plate umpire. Obviously, it was nothing inappropriate or vulgar, but the umpire took it the wrong way. What did he do? He EJECTED Will from the game!

Now, keeping that in mind, read this article. How funny is that?!?! Also check out this article on MiLB.com about the incident  Quite amusing! I seriously recommend reading both articles, they will be well worth your time!

Josh Bowman was on the mound for Stockton.
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The first inning was a bit rough for him.

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Zach Borenstein singled  to left field, scoring Eric Stamets.

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This made it a 1-0 game.

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Josh Reddick was hitting 2nd in the lineup for the Ports.

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In the top of the 1st, he grounded out for the 2nd out.

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Then, Max Muncy flied out to LF to end the inning.

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I still find it amusing that Mike Huss was umpiring!
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The 2nd inning was the killer inning for Stockton.

After a walk, hit by pitch, Sac bunt, and strikeout, the 66ers had runners on 2nd and 3rd with 3 outs.Then, they strung together 2 singles,a home run, and a double, bringing the score to 6-0.

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Brandon Efferson was pitching for Inland Empire in this game.

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For those of you who don’t know, Webster Garrison is the Ports manager, and he is very good friends with Will and Ross.

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The Ports have this 2012 A’s AL West Champs banner in the stadium, listing all of the former Ports on the team.

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In the Ports half of the 2nd inning, they had 2 1-out hits, one of them from Antonio Lamas.

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But they were unable to capitalize on the 2 hits.

Remember this game when my high school played at Banner Island Ballpark? Well this is the dugout that we had been in.

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In the top of each inning, I sat behind the Ports dugout, hoping for a 3rd out ball.  There was a lot of competition.

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The 66ers catcher in this game was Abel Baker.

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In the 3rd inning, with 1 out, Dusty Robinson stepped to the plate.

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He lined out to the 3rd baseman.

Addison Russell ended up grounding out to end the inning.

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The 4th inning was quiet for Inland Empire.

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Josh Bowman had settled down, retiring them in the 4th, despite a 1-out single.

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In the middle of the 4th inning, the Ports do this thing where they pick 10 or so kids to chase Splash around the field.

Yeah…

BUT… Super J was lucky enough to be one of the kids that gets to do it!!

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Cool stuff!

In the bottom of the 4th, Josh Reddick led off.

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He fouled off a lot of pitches…

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And had a tough at bat…

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But he ended up popping out to the SS.

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This was the inning where Brandon Efferson was shaken up a bit.

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While the Ports were hitting, someone (Either Max Muncy, Tony Thompson, Antonio Lamas,  Bobby Crocker, or Dusty Robinson) lined a foul ball down the RF line.

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Guess who came up with it?

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It was Wiggi! She leaned over the railing, making a nice snag on the hard-hit foul ball.

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After having already scored 2 runs, Dusty Robinson decided to drive in another.
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He singled in Antonio Lamas.

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The 66ers tried to pick him off a few times at first base.

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But it was pretty easy to read the pitcher’s move.

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After the single, Efferson settled down, getting Philip Pohl to ground out to end the inning.

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Josh Reddick took his spot in RF.

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At this point, my sister and I headed over to the RF berm. Given the fact I hadn’t had any luck with foul balls or 3rd out balls, I decided to go for home runs for an inning or two.

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In the top of the 5th, the 66ers continued to tack on runs, scoring 2 more on a triple off the bat of Andy Workman.

That was it for Josh Bowman. 8 runs allowed, with a runner on 3rd base he is responsible for.

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The infield gathered on the mound as T.J. Walz came in to pitch.

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The runner on 3rd scored on a single, then after another single, he got 3 quick outs to end the inning.
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In the middle of the 5th, the Ports had a game where 3 members of the Ports “Promo Squad” used a slingshot to shoot 3 playground balls in the air. The contestant on the field has to catch them in this net.

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Always entertaining.

In the 5th, B.A. Vollmuth was called out on strikes, bringing Addison Russell to the plate.

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He ended up grounding out, bringing Josh Reddick to the plate.

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Josh singled on a ground ball to right field.

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This put him on first base.

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Max Muncy then struck out to end the 5th inning.

Reddick was back out in right field.

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And T.J. Walz was back on the mound. Can you say awesome mustache?
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He retired the 66ers 1-2-3.

In the bottom of the 6th, Inland Empire pitcher R.J. Alvarez struck out the side, with 1 walk.

After the strikeout of Dusty Robinson to end the inning, I called out to catcher Abel Baker to toss me the ball, which he did!
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Ball 7 on the day!

After I got this ball, Vanessa Demske called out to me, I turned around to see she was sitting just a few rows behind me! I moved back to talk to her, as well as Twitter friend Jamey Van Dyke.

At this point, it was well after 8pm. My dad had wanted to leave at 8pm. He was letting us stick around for the final out!

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My dad is awesome, isn’t he!?!?

In the 7th, the 66ers went down 1-2-3 again, but Myrio Richard came into the game in right field for Josh Reddick, as he was only slated to play the first 6 innings.

With 2 outs in the 7th, Max Muncy doubled to center field, scoring 2 more runs to make it 10-5.

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Between the 7th and 8th innings, they held the asparagus race.

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The green one lost it’s head…

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Yep…

The 7th inning, as well as the first 2 outs of the 8th inning were pitched by 240-pound Tony Pena.

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Around this time, Will, Vanessa, and Jamey wandered off, but I found them quickly, talking to this woman.

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Wiggi, Ross, and Drew were still over down the RF line.
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Back to the other group. In the top of the 8th inning, my sister and I had been headed over to the Ports dugout, when Will and Vanessa stopped me and introduced me to Bess Frankoff, the wife of Ports pitcher Seth Frankoff, who at the time was on the DL. Bess is the one in the teal.
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I guess they had all been interacting on Twitter for a while and had gotten to know each other.

I spent the next inning talking with the group.

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We also were able to get Bess to take this group shot of us.

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In the bottom of the 9th, I temporarily parted ways with everyone, as I was hoping to get a broken bat. Earlier in the game, someone on the Ports (I CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHO!!!) broke his bat someone (I DON’T REMEMBER HOW) and the Ports bat boy brought one of the halves to the 66ers dugout.

The Ports went 1-2-3, sealing a 10-7 win for Inland Empire.

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I tucked my head into the dugout.

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A player walked by, and I simply asked him for the broken bat, and he told me yes, as long as I was careful with it!

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I handed it to my sister, in hopes of getting the lineup card.

IMG_9448It had already been handed out… BUT STILL!

My dad wanted to leave, but I had to say a quick goodbye to everyone first.

Everyone loved the broken bat! In my last Ports game, I got a lineup card. This time I got a broken bat. COOL STUFF!

QUICK NOTE: I think out of everyone, Vanessa thought the lineup card and bat were the coolest. This past week, she took it into her own hands to end up with a souvenir, and after Monday and Tuesday’s Ports games this past week, look what she ended up with! (This is not my picture)

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We all parted ways, at which point I got this picture with the bat.

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It was a great game! 7 balls, 1 broken bat, and lots of new friends!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 11th Game of the Year… 3rd MiLB Game of the Year
  • 7 balls at this game
  • 19 balls in 6 games this season = 3.16 Balls Per Game
  • 22 MiLB Balls in 3 MiLB Games = 7.33 MiLB Balls Per Game
  • 9 Consecutive MiLB Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 6 Consecutive MiLB Games with at least 3 Balls
  • 37 Lifetime Minor League baseballs
  • 75 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.

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.