Category: kid

6/24/12 at Oakland Coliseum

Time for another game! This game would feature the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. Great, you would think, right? Yes and no. If you are a ballhawk, it is miserable. The Coliseum is already bad enough for ballhawking and then you give it a sold out crowd. Yeah. But overall, I was looking forward to it. I had never been to an A’s/Giants game and I figured it would be a fun challenge. Let’s do this.

Originally, I wanted to get to the Coliseum around 9am for the 11am gate opening and 1:05 start time. Well my dad didn’t exactly enjoy getting there an hour early on Thursday and my mom and sister didn’t enjoy a waiting in line for an hour and a half on Wednesday. So my mom proposed that she and I take BART to the Coliseum to get there at the time I wanted. Then he and my sister would show up around noon. That was fine with me.

So my mom and I got to BART around 9:50 and the Coliseum at 10:30.

We got in line at gate C and were the first ones in line. Again. It was awesome.

I didn’t think there’d be batting practice. The game the day before had been at 4:15, so I was overjoyed when I ran into the stadium and saw this

The cages were up and I was excited! I was feeling so good. I figured since there was nobody on the field only the Giants would be hitting. They took the field at 11:30ish and I was excited to say the least.

Wow. BP was boring. Very boring. Only ONE ball was hit to the right field bleachers and that was in the very front corner of the bleachers. I talked with multiple ballhawks, including one that I met on Wednesday. I talked with a Giants fan that makes it out to this game every year. He is the guy in the Orange afro in this picture…

The only toss-up that I saw during batting practice was from Sergio Romo to some lady that had screamed at the top of her lungs. Sigh. It was very frustrating. I put on my catcher’s mitt, with no hope of catching a home run, and focused on toss-ups. I had no luck.

And before I knew it, BP was over, and I was without a single ball. I am starting to wonder if the RF line would be a better for BP than the bleachers.

I went straight to our seats between the Giants bullpen and foul pole to meet up with my family. I stayed there until the game started.

After Matt Cain finished warming up with bullpen catcher Bill Hayes, I asked Bill for the ball. He flat out said no and tossed it to someone to the dugout side of the bullpen. That was the last chance I had for a ball before the game started, because ushers start to check tickets right after batting practice is over, and it is almost impossible to get into another section.

Now for those of you that have ever been to an A’s game on a Sunday, you know that before the first pitch, Stomper will drive around the warning track in the “Smiling Chevron Car,” followed by some girls and a guy that have bags filled with things like bead necklaces and logo baseballs. For this game, I ended up with this

I guess this time, they had necklaces, Bay Bridge Series baseballs, and t-shirts, when I opened it up, this is what I saw..

MLB Fan Cave! I was surprised that they had t-shirts, and I was figuring it would just be a Chevron shirt or something like that. Cool!

A.J. Griffin had been called up from AAA Sacramento to make the start, in place of Brandon McCarthy, who was placed on the DL. This game would be Griffin’s debut. In the last game I went to, I saw Derek Norris make his MLB debut, and he would do the catching in this game. A.J. struck out the first batter of the game on 3 pitches, which was really great to see.

I only came close to two foul balls during the game. The first one was hit right to the other end of my row, but because it was so crowded, even though I tried my hardest to get to it, I was unable to get the ball. The second time came in the bottom of the 3rd inning, when Cliff Pennington fouled a ball in my direction. I had a hard time tracking the ball, but when I realized it was going to go a little over the rail, I reached over to position myself. I heard an usher yell “No!” very loudly, so I backed away as he ran down the steps. Gregor Blanco caught it and came crashing against the wall right in front of me. When I was watching the game over on my TV, you can see me behind the Comcast SportsNet logo.

There were some very obnoxious Giants Fans sitting right in front of us

There was only one other ball in the entire game that I cam relatively close to, I wouldn’t have had any chance of getting it, but it was very controversial. In the bottom of the 6th inning, Seth Smith came up with runners on first and second. He drew the count full and he fouled a ball down the line. It hit the line and rolled into the corner. Gregor Blanco pointed to foul territory, as if to say the ball was foul. And guess what? Todd Tichenor, the first base umpire, called it foul. Josh Reddick, the runner on second had already scored, and the hit would have given the A’s a 3-2 lead. But no. He called the ball foul and the count remained full.

In the replay, you can clearly see chalk fly up, so the ball is fair. But I guess the umpires didn’t see it that way.

They zoomed in on me looking down the line to see Bob Melvin arguing with first base umpire Todd Tichenor

Here, you can see Blanco running after the ball. I circled my mom and I in red.

In this shot, you can see me about to ask Gregor Blanco for the ball

Here, there are two things you can see, and I have labeled them for your convince
1) Nicholas Badders (Meeeee!)
2) The ball bouncing off of the line and chalk flying up

So I asked Gregor Blanco for the ball, and he said “Yeah, sure.” I was relieved not to get shut out for the third game in a row! Right when he went to toss it to me, I heard a loud “NO!” from the Giants bullpen, so he rolled the ball to Sergio Romo. Great. I had a feeling that they were worried that there was paint that you could see on the ball, and they didn’t want me to have it.

A.J. Griffin did allow 2 runs in the first on a home run by Buster Posey, but at the end of the inning, when he came in the dugout, he said he wasn’t going to allow any more runs for the rest of the game. Fro the next 5 innings, he matched Matt Cain pitch for pitch. Bob Melvin put in Sean Doolittle to pitch after A.J. walked Buster Posey to open up the 7th.

Doolittle, a former first baseman, pitched a solid 7th and got the first two out of the 8th.

Jim Miller got the last out of the 8th and pitched a 1-2-3 top of the 9th.

I forget when in the game it was, but Jeremy Affeldt came right in front of my seat and on his way back to the bullpen, I gave him a fist bump. It was pretty cool.

Going into the bottom of the 9th, Yoenis Cespedes, Seth Smith, and Brandon Inge were due up. Cespedes singled to left and Jonny Gomes came on to pinch run for him.

Seth Smith struck out swinging and Brandon Inge singled and there were runners on first and second with Brandon Moss, one of the A’s hottest hitters at the plate. He struck out.

Now due up was rookie Derek Norris. Keep in mind that he was without an extra-base hit, home run, walk-off hit, or walk-off home run in his career.

He brought the count full. There were runners on first

And second.

With 2 outs, the runners would be going. And the pitch…

A’s Win!

Here are some pictures from the home run and celebration

The Swing…

Watching the ball…

Jonny Gomes jumping on his way to the plate…

Players running in from the dugout…

Derek Norris running home…

Look how high Derek Norris is jumping…

Derek is somewhere in there…

They did end up ripping his shirt off…

This is his post-game interview with Comcast SportsNet California. I felt bad for him because he got a shaving cream pie to the face along with tubs of Gatorade and water dumped on him. I think he may have had contacts on too

Josh Reddick came to his rescue with some towels

That he promptly used

And his interview with MLB Network

After all of the celebration had died down, I began to wander the stadium for any loose balls while the kids run the bases thing was set up

So if you guys don’t already know, on Monday, July 2nd, Zack Hample is going to be doing something pretty cool. He is going to attempt to set a world record. And it has nothing to do with video games. He is going to attempt to catch a baseball dropped from a helicopter 1000 feet in the air. This is the entry he wrote on his blog about it. This is an entry on his blog about practicing for it. Ballpark Digest wrote an article about what Zack is doing. And finally, the Lowell Spinners wrote an article about it, because their ballpark is where the whole event is taking place.

This brings me to the fact that I will be off next week because I will be at Boy Scout camp. I get back July 7th, and am hoping to go to the A’s game July 8th. I guess we will have to wait and see because I have no games written in stone for the month of July.

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 0 balls at this game
• 4 balls in 6 Major League games this season = 0.667 ball per game.
• 7 balls in 9 baseball games this season = 0.778 ball per game.
• 9 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 12 total balls

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

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6/21/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

For this game, my friend Ryan would be joining my dad and I. You might remember Ryan from this game. Or this game. I picked Ryan up from his house around 9:20 and from there, we headed to the Coliseum.

Today was a throwback Thursday, so every fan got a fee bag of peanuts and a scorecard. The A’s are amazing! (Sarcasm maybe?) We got to the Coliseum at got in line at gate C. My dad stayed in line while Ryan and I walked over to gate D to see how long the line was there. There was nobody there! We got in line and waited for my dad.

The gates opened at 11:05 and Ryan and I ran for the Dodgers bullpen, where the some players were warming up. I changed into my Dodgers gear and headed down. I had many interesting experiences there. I was told by 4 Dodgers pitchers that they are not allowed to give out balls from the bullpen, and all 4 of them tossed someone else a ball within 5 minutes of me asking.

It started with Aaron Harang, who was signing autographs. I got him to sign my ticket and after, I asked him if he would be able to toss me one of the cool commemorative balls. He said he would love to, but the bullpen balls have to stay in the bullpen. I got to talking to him about commemorative balls while everyone was screaming for his autograph.

Then he eventually walked away and said he would try to get one from the dugout from me. Then Tony Gwynn Jr. came over and I asked him for a Dodgers 50th anniversary ball, which I saw under the bullpen roof. I figured that since he was a position player, he wouldn’t know. But he said he wasn’t allowed to “hand them out.” I didn’t even get his autograph.

Then Chris Capuano came along and I asked him for a ball and with a laugh said “What is thrown in the bullpen stays in the bullpen.” So I asked him for the softball in his hand. I guess not.

My last hope was their catching coach Steve Yeager. He had the same answer as everyone else. Great.

With almost no chance of getting a commemorative ball, we headed over to our seats behind the A’s bullpen. While we had been gone, my dad had taken some great pictures of A’s players warming up.

Jerry Blevins:

Ryan Cook:

Brian Fuentes:

And when we got back, some more great pictures

Derek Norris:

Travis Blackley:

I was unable to get a ball from any player warming up, so I settled in my seat to see Derek Norris making his MLB debut. He joins Andrew Carigan, Bret Anderson, and Aaron Cunningham as the only players I have seen make their MLB debut in person.

Travis Blackley was dealing in this game, only allowing one run and three hits over eight innings- arguably the best start of his Major League career.

The A’s scored their first run when Jonny Gomes scored on a sac fly from Brandon Inge in the 2nd inning. The Dodgers scored their lone run in the 5th on a single from Juan Rivera. In the 6th inning, I went and got an ice cream helmet, which I finished in ten minutes.

We had a great view of Ryan Cook warming up in the 8th inning to go in the game in the 9th

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Coco Crisp walked and advanced to second on a passed ball. Jemile Weeks went to bunt Coco to third, but got to first on a miscommunication by Juan Uribe and Josh Lindblom.

Kurt Suzuki and Casey Chavez watched on from the bullpen

Now there were runners on first

And third

And Yoenis Cespedes came to the plate

He was still without a walk off hit in his career and before the start of his at bat, I predicted a walk-off home run down the LF line. Hmmmm…

Boom!

Had I been standing in the cross aisle and sprinted to my left on the crack of the bat, I would have had it. Whatever. Celebration! I was happy!

I saw a ball in the bullpen and I was trying to find someone to toss it to me, but the usher lady kicked us out. I was shutout.

As I walked up the steps, I turned around to see the security guard on the field pick up the ball and toss it into the seats. I raced down to grab the ball, but someone grabbed it before me. Dangit! The A’s still won!

Keep scrolling for pictures of Cespedes’ Walk-off celebration
BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 0 balls at this game
• 4 balls in 5 Major League games this season = 0.8 ball per game.
• 7 balls in 8 baseball games this season = 0.875 ball per game.
• 9 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 12 total balls

Home Run Trot:

Celebration at home plate:

On way to Dugout:

My next game is tomorrow (Sunday) at the Coliseum against the Giants… wish me luck!

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.

6/20/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

I had been looking forward to this game for a long time. It was an interleague game, Root Beer (Or Orange Crush) Float Day and the Dodgers were using commemorative balls. And because of root beer float day, the gates would open 2 hours early, instead of the usual weekday 1 1/2 hours. early. My plan was to leave for the BART Station around 1 and get to the Coliseum sometime between 1:30 and 2pm. I would ask around to find the best gate to enter and head to that gate.

I had tweeted the A’s earlier and they recommended LL or MM. After entering, I would head straight to the Eastside Club to get my Orange Crush Float in a autographed Cliff Pennington mug and head out to the bleachers and ballhawk.

Well the only one problem was that my sister had nature camp that lasted until 4. The game started at 7. The gates opened at 5. I wanted to get there between 1:30 and 2. Problem achieved. My parents picked her up around 2, because that was all that was the only time the camp would let us get her. They came home, my sister put on her A’s gear and we headed out to BART. This game was only going to be me, my mom, and sister, so my dad just dropped us off at the BART station and we were off.

The ride on BART lasted half an hour, like it always does. I killed some time my studying up on the Dodgers roster.

We got to the Coliseum ar 3:30 and from there, we got in line at gate LL.

I walked around the stadium a few times and noticed some interesting things. As I walked past C and D gates, the 2 that are open for entrance every game had moveable fences around them. But nobody was in line. NOBODY at all!

I also 2 the CBS 5 news trucks by Oracle Arena.

When I got back to line, I still had time to kill before 5:05. I saw the, loading the root beer inside.

And the set up in process.

I also ate lunch and talked with some lady that was nice. When it was time to go in, I had my bag checked and ticket scanned, and I ran to the table straight ahead, where the special mugs could be purchased. My sister and I both purchased a Cliff Pennington autographed mug, and it was actually hand-autographed, not just stamped or printed on.

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(That picture along with the next 3 were taken on my phone at home)

As I entered the East Side club, I got my bearings and considered my options. Should I get my float from somebody right away and risk a great opportunity, or go farther and see what else there was? I decided to go all the way to the end, and on a certain level, it payed off. There was a table that said “Everything $5” I looked closer and there were past giveaways there. All ones that I had wanted. I ended up getting a Justin Duchscherer bobblehead…
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a Ryan Sweeney Jersey…
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and an Athletics yoga mat…
20120621-020206.jpg

Pretty legit. I decided to get a float from Stomper, the A’s mascot, and Splash, the Ports mascot.

Yes, I would have rathered gotten a float served from the Warrior Girls, Raiderettes, Mrs. McCarthy (You may recognize her from ESPN) or Jonny Gomes, but I decided to get my float quick and get to ballhawking. Right when I got to the RF bleachers, the A’s were just ending BP… I waited a few minutes, and right after my mom and sister arrived, the Dodgers started hitting.

I have no words to describe the frustrations. There was a ball hit a little ways over my head, and as I chased to get it, it bounced around and I couldn’t get to it in time. It was a commemorative ball. Great. And of course, on the next pitch, before I could get back to the front, a ball was hit right where I had been standing. And the guy tried to barehand it and it landed on the out-of-town scoreboard. Commemorative ball. Great. There were many other stories like this, including one where some guy pushed me out of the way to get a ball, and he didn’t even catch it. And it was commemorative too… WHAT THE HECK??? There was a ball that rolled up onto the warning track and Todd Coffey went to go get it. I yelled out “Hey Todd! Is there any chance that you could please throw me that ball?” That prompted everyone to start yelling things like “Todd!” “Coffey” “T-Cod!” “Ball!” and “Throw it here!” He then asked “Who said please?” Everyone in the section pointed to me, and I told him that I had, but some guy yelled out “I DID!” and Todd threw it to him. Ugh! It was commemorative too! He was the only Dodger who threw a ball up during ALL OF BP! They were being very, very stingy about balls. Just like in San Diego. At 6:20, when batting practice was over, I had 0 balls. Yay!

I headed out of the bleachers and down to the Dodgers dugout to try and get a ball. Boy was it crowded! Wow! I put on my Dodgers hat and took off my Jersey and tried my luck, but within a few minutes, the usher kicked us all out. Cool. I then headed to the Dodgers bullpen, where I was for 20 minutes before the ushers started checking tickets. I stayed off to the side, until an usher headed my way, where I went to the section behind the cross aisle, where tickets were not being checked. I was hoping to get a ball from a player warming up, but I couldn’t get close enough… stupid ushers…

I changed back into my A’s gear and headed for my seat, where I told my sister of my frustrations. My only hope at this point was a Home Run ball, or a 3rd out toss up. In the top of the 8th, Josh Reddick missed a throw from Coco Crisp while warming up, so he grabbed the ball, I called out to him; he pointed to me, and threw the ball. Some old guy reached in front of me at the *very* last minute and got the ball. This was just not my night. But it would get worse. Josh Reddick caught the 3rd out of the inning, and he once against pointed to me. But this time, he chucked it 10 feet above my head. I sprinted back in hopes of getting it on a rebound, but right has I went to grab it, a 300 pound man pushed me/tackled me, and ended up with the ball. This was horrible!

In the bottom of the 8th inning, Brandon Moss stepped up to the plate and CRUSHED the ball to the RF bleachers, a section to my left. But because the bleachers were so packed and are hard to navigate, I wasn’t able to get there in time, and the ball bobbled around a little bit, before somebody grabbed it.

That was the closest I came again, and as a result, I got shut out again. Wonderful.

I got a great picture with my awesome sister.

And a picture with all of my loot, I guess you could say.

In clockwise order from the top, you have my french fry helmet, my Root Beer float mug, my bobblehead, my Jersey, and yoga mat.

Keep scrolling after the stats for a few more pictures…
BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 0 balls at this game
• 4 balls in 4 Major League games this season = 1 ball per game.
• 7 balls in 7 baseball games this season = 1 ball per game.
• 9 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 12 total balls

This is what it looks like from the BART train approaching the Coliseum

I took this picture of the sign that is Oakland’s equivalent of the Yankee Stadium subway sign thing

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.

5/18/12 at John Thurman Field

This game was strung together at the last minute. After I got home from school around 3, I called my dad, asked him if we could go to a baseball game. The A’s game in San Fransisco was out of the question, so we agreed to go to Modesto to see the Ports play the Nuts.

My dad got home around 5 and we left around 5:20 and got to Modesto at 6:30. After buying $12 tickets next to the Ports dugout, we headed inside. First, we headed to our seats, which were amazing! After the usher checked our tickets, she told us that we had waitress service!

After looking over the menu for a brief moment, I went over to the dugout, where I saw a ball lying on the ground.

Chad Oberacker walked in the dugout, I called him over, and asked him for the ball. He looked puzzled, but he reached down and tossed it to me! Notice that it says Official Minor League Baseball, not Official Ball California League, like the ball at my last Ports game.

Once getting the ball, I handed it to my dad to hold onto and went over to where most of the Ports players were warming up.

There was some other guy there, maybe a year older than me with 3 game-used bats to his side. He was also was holding a lineup card from the previous game and it was signed by at least 30 different players.

He was chatting up all the players and added a few more signatures to his lineup card. As the players finished playing catch, I asked multiple players for a ball, including Max Stassi, Miles Head, and A.J. Kirby-Jones. Despite calling their first names and shouting, none of them tossed a ball to me. As they were leaving, the kid next to me said “It helps if you call out their first names. They are more likely to respond.”

What a concept!

I promptly headed back to the dugout and tried my luck a little more there before the first pitch.

In the bottom of the 1st, I ordered a slice of cheese pizza and a fruit cup, which showed up a little later. The food was ok, but the whole experience was phenomenal! I didn’t focus on really getting balls, I just enjoyed the game.

The Nuts scored 6 runs in the bottom off the 1st off of A.J. Cole, who the A’s received in the Gio Gonzalez trade and I started to understand why the Ports had only won 2 games in May. (And lost 16 in a row)

Now look at his left eye in that picture. Do you see a pupil? I don’t. And that isn’t just the lighting. He really does pitch like that. See?

Miles Head was the one that tossed me my 1st ever Minor League ball at this game.. He did very well on the night, with a double and a triple.

Chad Oberacker didn’t do very well in this game

Sometime halfway through the game, I wandered around the concourse and found a shaved ice stand that sold mammoth shaved ice. (Yes, I do know how goofy I look in this picture.)

In the 7th inning, my dad and I went to sit on the other side of the dugout, which would give me a better chance for third out balls.

I didn’t get any, but i did get a picture of this sign warning fans of balls and bats.

While sitting here, I looked into the dugout and saw the lineup card in the Ports dugout.

My plan was to go over to that end of the dugout for the 9th inning, and as soon as the final out was recorded, ask for it. Little did I know that there would be competition. On my right is the kid that I had been talking about earlier. On my left is some girl that pushed past me to get to the dugout. It wasn’t a big deal; she got a ball, so it was all good.

But when I got to the dugout, I asked A.J. Kirby-Jones for it, and he said he wasn’t allowed to. Then I asked Craig Lefferts, the Ports Pitching coach, and Webster Garrison, the Manager, both who said the same thing as A.J. Once everyone had cleared the dugout, I asked a clubhouse manager, Vic Zapien, who was cleaning up the dugout, for the line-up card. He said yes, then took it off and right before he handed it to me, said he remembered he had promised it to someone else. Oh well. Then he handed a ball to that girl I talked about earlier.

My dad and I were headed out to go look for any home runs that hadn’t been found, when all the lights turned off and a fireworks show started. We stayed for that and headed out. Then, he wanted to head onto some soccer field, where the fireworks had been launched. He convinced me to, but the city fire chief started yelling at us and telling us that home runs were never hit there, although we knew that 2 or 3 had been. Oh well.

Overall, I got a cool ball, waitress service, fireworks, and a huge shaved ice. Hard to complain about that!

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 1 ball at this game
• 2 balls in 2 Minor League games this season = 1 ball per game
• 6 ball in 5 baseball games this season =1.2 balls per game
• 2 consecutive Ports games with at least one ball
• 4 consecutive baseball games with at least one ball
• 11 total baseballs
• 2 total Minor League baseballs

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

4/13/12 at Banner Island Ballpark

Today’s game was a Stockton Ports game, the A’s Class-A advanced team. Well right after I got home from school, I called my dad asking when he was going to leave work for the 7:05 game. Well he was having a hard time getting out, so all I could do was wait.

My goal had been to leave at 4 for the estimated hour long drive to Stockton and get there around 5, in time to pick up our tickets and my Facebook contest prize and get in line before the gates open at 6. So I checked the estimated drive time on Google maps… 2.5 hours!!! There had been a huge head-on collision or something and debris had flown everywhere and it was crazy backed up.

My dad came home around 4 and I got ready, and we left at about 4:20. We took some backroads and at 4:45, we were supposed to get there around 5:30. Around 5:15, it started to rain… oh boy… the rain let up quickly enough and we arrived at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton at about 5:30ish.

Once we go there, we headed to the front office to pick up the “Ports Prize Pack” that I won on the Ports Facebook page. I came out with this.

But apparently we aren’t allowed to bring bags into the stadium, so we brought everything, including my A’s backpack into our car and headed to line.

Very short. Very nice. Once we got inside and received our rally flag and magnetic schedule, we headed to our seats behind the dugout, where some nice usher cleaned off the wet seats.

Our view was fantastic!

So I wandered around and looked down onto the field and saw this.

If you can’t see, this is what I saw…

While I was wondering how I would get it (For the record, nobody ever goes down there, so I din’t get the ball), a bunch of players walked down the aisle past me and onto the field.

I walked the opposite direction and looked into the dugout. Pretty cool.

Before the game, there was a parade for a nearby little league and it was really great to see them enjoying everything so much.

After that, I saw a ball boy with a ball in his hand and asked him for it, but he just ignored me, as he handed it to some season ticket holder.

Ports players were starting to warm up down the right field line, so I headed down there to try my luck. No luck. I knew who everyone was, but no luck with a ball. I headed back to my seat, and tried to get a ball there, but no luck there. (Fast forward to the game.) A.J. Cole was pitching for the Ports.

Now to most people, this may not seem like a big deal, but to me, he was a key piece in the Gio Gonzalez trade, so it had a lot of meaning to me.

He actually turned 20 and the beginning of January, so it was really great to see someone so young pitching. This was my view for most of the game. We had the whole 3 rows of the section to our self for the entire game, and for most of it, actually, I stood in the cross aisle behind the section and chased foul balls. I came close to three in the first inning. The first two were hit to the right of me, so I sprinted that way and arrived a split second too late, but I almost got them on a bounce, but a little kid got them both times, so I was glad. The third one was hit to my right, and I sprinted off that way, but it bounced too high when I got there and OUT of the stadium.

So when it comes to foul balls in Stockton, long story short: stand in the parking lot. Had i done that, I probably would have caught 3-5 foul balls.

In the top of the second, A.J. Cole got a strike out for the second out of the game, and the catcher, whose first name was Petey threw the ball down to third to catch a runner stealing for the third out. Most people thought it was the second out, some people thought it was the third out, and there was a lot of confusion. The third baseman, Miles head tossed the ball to me and I had my first Minor League ball, and my 6th lifetime ball.

I didn’t actually get a picture of the ball on my dad’s camera, but I did get a picture of the Petey right before the play.

However, I *DID* get a picture on my phone

For the rest of the game, I was at the dugout after infield warm ups, and at the end of each half inning, but other than that, I stood in the cross aisle for a foul ball.

In the third inning, it started to rain very hard, so they brought out the tarp and there was a twenty minute delay.

In that time, I went to get some food and wander around. I then went and stood here, but the usher said I had to move…

For the rest of the game. I sat here. (I am the one in the green in the first row)

And for the record, there is a wall in front of the seats, and it is about a foot and a half tall. I would have more pictures, but my dad’s camera kind of died, so I don’t really have any pictures left to show you.

I didn’t get any more balls, but honestly, I am fine with one. It was a great game and I had a great time!

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 1 balls in 1 Minor League Game games this season = 1 ball per game.
• 1 ball in 2 baseball games this season = 0.5 balls per game.
• 1 ball at this game
• 6 Lifetime baseballs
• 1 Lifetime Minor League baseball

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Videos of the Day

So yesterday I did pictures of the day. Today, videos of the day…
Let’s start off with the Miami Marlins song…

Now this next video I love. it is this kid who totally ca calls a Josh Willingham Home Run.

So the next two videos come from fellow MLBlogger and ballhawk Erik Jabs. He writes the MLBlog Counting Baseballs. Go check it out. But anyways, for the past 10 weeks or so he has been giving away MLB shirts and 2 weeks ago, I came very close to winning. Here is the intital video:

Then, if you watched that video (which I hope you did) this video follows…

Now this last video is of me ALMOST catching a home run at the A’s game on 9/2/11 if you rememberm where I got to meet Zack Hample. If you read the post, you know how frustrated I got because the usher would NOT let me get out of my seat. It pissed me off. I almost caught it, it landed abotu 5 feet behind me. And the hot chocoalte vendor ran off with the ball… Unfortunatly, I guess I cannot embed the video in because “Your browser does not support iframes.” Click here to see the video…

Thats all for now. I won’t have a new post up tommorrow because I have a baseball game and nothing up Thursday-Saturday because I am attending a state Leadership confrence in Costa Mesa with my Leadership class. After that, my family may either stay in LA or fly back down to LA for Spring Break. And yeah, go to some baseball games. I might got to a Dodgers-Angels exhibition game and potentally the Padres Opening Day. So we will se how this goes for now! Oh, and yeah, I will get up early tommorrow and Thursday to listen to the A’s games. They will also be rebroadcast on MLB Network sometime during the day. So stay tuned!

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.