Category: Long Lines

6/29/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

Coco Lean bobblehead day! I knew it was going to be crowded. For this reason, I chose to not put much effort into ballhawking at this game, so that I wouldn’t be disappointed if I didn’t snag a ball.

This would be a game featuring myself, my mom, and my sister, Pascale.

The game was a 1:05 start time. The gates opened at 11:05. What time did I get there? 7:45 of course! The BART Ramp gate was set to open up at 8. A few minutes after we got in that line, this was the scene behind us.

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You think that’s crazy? Check this out:
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Yeah… It was over 5 hours before game time and there were that many people in line to get into the Coliseum grounds!

Guess who was near the front of the line?

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That’s Ross and Wiggi!

I went over there and joined them, hoping to be able to get to the front of the line at MM.

The BART Ramp gate opened at 8:15. As soon as it opened, everyone started running towards LL and D, to the right side. Since I was near the front, I broke off towards MM. I jumped over the short fences keeping the line in place, and was first in line. All of the right field bleacher people started throwing their backpacks at me! A few people threw flags and such, but more importantly, we were first in this line.

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Around 8:30, Will joined in on the party.

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When I say party, I truly mean it. The line just kept growing.

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Pascale and I took off around 8:40 to take a lap around the stadium and scope out the other lines. Here is the Gate C line.

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As we walked past the gate, I saw something that caught my eye.

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It was WIDE OPEN. Yeah…

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I considered for a split second going inside, but decided against it for obvious reasons.

We kept walking, up towards the season ticket holder entrance, where there was already a decent line.

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The A’s were preparing very well. They had the line set up to snake towards the Oracle Arena.

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And do this…

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Yeah… WOW!

As we were walking towards Gate D, we took a quick peak at the player parking lot. Nothing fancy.

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The line at Gate D was HUGE!

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When I say huge, I mean HUGE! That picture does not do justice.

We ended up getting back in line around 9:15 or 9:20. Around 10:15, the bobbleheads started coming in.

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Here is a quick peak at the line at this time.
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Everyone was having a “great” time at the front of the line. It was very hot and there were a lot of us. Pascale spent some time playing with Cara Miller’s son Ian.

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I was clearly very excited.

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We were all “enjoying ourselves.”
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At 10:40, just 25 minutes before the gates were supposed to open, I got this picture of Will.

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That picture pretty much sums it all up.

This was the scene. Pure CHAOS!

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This was the line from MM. I was standing in the parking lot when I took this picture.

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The line extended INTO the parking lot.

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I’m  not even at the back of the line here.

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The sea of cars amazed me.

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It was nuts.

Sure enough, at 11:05, the gates opened, and I dashed inside.

Nothing was going on for the first 15 or so minutes.

Slowly, a few A’s began to stretch.

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They eventually started throwing, but by the time they were done, the Cardinals had all left the field. I had many many attempts for a tossup from an A’s player, but failed. I left the LF corner to head elsewhere.

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This all happened in a span of 25 minutes at most, so I was all but positive that I was going to be shutout.

I went over to the A’s Kids Club table with my sister, then headed back to the bleachers. At this point, I met up with Taylor Fernandez and her brother. We talked for a while, then walked around the concourse. I got back to the bleachers about 20 minutes before first pitch.

Matt Holiday, former Athletic was in the starting lineup.
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He was among the Cardinals players stretching along the RF line.

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Jarrod Parker, meanwhile, was warming up in the A’s bullpen.

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He was being caught by Derek Norris.

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As the players were finishing up warming up, IMD and ATM, the guys behind the song Bernie Lean had a short performance on the field, ending it with Bernie Lean. I videoed the performance, but now I can’t find the video. Sorry! I’ll update this entry if I do find it.

This was my view just before the national anthem.

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Right as the national anthem began, this began to fly over.

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On the bright side, it is providing arial coverage!

Again, like I mentioned, Jarrod Parker was on the mound for the green and gold.

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Oh, and one thing that the A’s have been doing for the past few weeks  is displaying fans’ tweets on DiamondVision. If you remember, my tweet was displayed back on Tuesday. Look what I came across this Saturday afternoon.

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Yay! I think I got a couple of new followers.

In the 4th inning, there was a scare on the mound.

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Jarrod Parker threw a 1-0 pitch to Allen Craig with 2 outs. Craig doubled on the 1-0 pitch to centerfield. However, on the pitch, Parker fell to the ground.

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He ended up laying on the ground for a little while, trying to stretch out. It was later determined to be a hamstring injury.

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He was then replaced with Jesse Chavez.

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At the time, it was a scoreless game.

The infielders gathered in front of 2nd base and talked with Jim Joyce while Chavez warmed up.

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The outfielders talked as well.

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I got this really cool picture of Yoenis Cespedes spitting.

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After a number of pitches, Jesse Chavez was ready.

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I then noticed that ATM and IMD were in 149.

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Meanwhile… Adam Wainright was dominating the A’s.

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Dan Ortero came in with 2 outs in the top of the 8th, when the Cardinals were ahead 7-0, with 4 of those runs being charged to Jesse Chavez, 2 of them charged to Jerry Blevins, 1 to Pat Neshek.

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I really like this picture of Brandon Moss. Not sure why- I just like it!

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Josh Reddick feeding himself sunflower seeds.

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Oh… and he was wearing these awesome stirrups!

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Nate Freiman stepped up to lead off the bottom of the 9th, with a 7-1 Cardinal lead.

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He grounded out, then Yoenis lined out, for the 2nd out of the inning.

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We were all hoping for some 2-out magic!

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Adam Wainwright walked Brandon Moss, then looked to finish off the CG when Adam Rosales stepped to the plate.

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Rosales popped out to 2nd Baseman Matt Carpenter to end the game, and that was it!

Sure the A’s lost, but it was certainly a fun day! Waiting in line, roasting in the sun, you can’t complain!

After the final out, ATM and IMD were posing for pictures with people in the concourse. Here they are with Will.

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This was my last game for 2 weeks, as my next game was going to be July 14th against the Red Sox.

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 18th Game this Year (13th MLB Game)
  • 0 Balls at this Game
  • 14 balls in 13 MLB games this season = 1.08 Balls Per Game
  • 42 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 93 Lifetime Baseballs

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

1/27/13 at A’s FanFest

Wow. This was a truly incredible day!

Last year, A’s FanFest was the same weekend, on Sunday, January 29th. It was a lot fo fun and you can read about it here!

It started off at 6am, when I woke up and slowly got ready, with the rest of my family out of bed by 6:45. We were out of the house and on our way to Oakland at 7:20, getting there around 7:50, where I found about 6 lines, each with 20-50 people. I got in the shortest line, which was to the far right. My dad and sister shortly arrived from the parking lot, with folding camping chairs and blankets, as we had a 1.5 hour wait in front of us.

Like I mentioned in this entry, the event was taking place mainly at the Oracle Arena.
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My sister and I decided to wander around a little, so we headed towards the Coliseum, where people were waiting anxiously in line for single-game tickets, like I did last year.
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We then headed past Gate A and up the ramp towards the BART Plaza.
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Along our way, I got a couple of photos of signs like these.
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When we got to the BART Plaza, I saw an electronic sign that was flashing “FAN FEST SOLD OUT. SINGLE GAME TICKETS ON SALE AT 9AM.”
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When we got over by B and C gate, I took note of the parking lot.
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The day before, there had been a supercross event at the Coliseum, so they have been unable to hold FanFest there. All of the semi-trucks were still parked in the lot.

We eventually made our way back, at which point I decided to sit in one of the chairs and relax.
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My dad got a couple more good photos of me.
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The lines behind us grew much longer.
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And this guy’s hat attracted more and more attention!
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Around 8:45, this was the scene.
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At this point, my dad and I left the line, bringing the chairs and stuff back to the car, as we headed to go pick up our media credentials for BlogFest!

On our way pack to the car, the line had gotten pretty long!
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At 9am, we picked up our passes. This is what my press pass looked like. How cool is that?
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We made our way back towards the Arena, where we still had 25 minutes to wait in line.
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At 9:30am, the lines started to move, and people were brought in. I would say there were 20 or so people in front of me in line.

It felt like a mad dash to get to the bleachers! I ran inside the barricaded area between the Coliseum and Arena, and ran inside, up an escalator, and got in a very short line for the Authenticated Memorabilia stand, which quickly grew VERY long. I’m sure you are wondering what the big deal was.

This was the scene before I was let in.
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As soon as you walked in, to the right, there was a table, with game-worn batting helmets and hats, each was $40.
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In the center, there was another table with the $40 helmets.
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In the right of this picture, you see people crowding around the coveted jerseys table. BP/Spring Training jerseys were $30 each, Bob Melvin/Josh Reddick/Brandon McCarthy jerseys were $200 each, and all other jerseys were $100 each. In the center, you should see a table with plastic bags, that inside contained dugout jackets that were each $100!
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There was also this table, with game-used bats for $100.
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And to it’s left, there were champagne bottle from the Playoff clinching and AL West clinching clubhouse celebrations for $30 each.
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Along with these items, there were signed aprons from MUG Root Beer float day for $20, DVDs commemorating the 2002 20-game win streak for $20, and bases for $100.

Game-used pants were $10 each, and I would say they had about 7 different styles, mostly from throwback games.

There were also 2 tubs of game-used baseballs, which I thought nothing of. I later saw people with lots of different commemorative balls, which I think would have been cool to have!

I grabbed this program that was sitting by the bin of balls
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In the end, I purchased a #31 nameless batting practice jersey ($30), which I knew must have been worn my Kirk Sarloos, because he was #31 when the A’s wore this style of jersey.20130127-201208.jpg20130127-201213.jpg

I also got a game-used batting helmet ($40)20130127-201202.jpg

Pair of game-used throwback pants ($10)20130127-201222.jpg20130127-201227.jpg

This Root Beer float day apron, signed by David Justice ($20)20130127-201235.jpg

And these COOL knee savers, with the #8 on them, so I will assume that they were Kurt Suzuki’s ($10)20130127-201242.jpg

I got those 5 items, spending $110. How cool is that??

From there, my family and I walked around the upper concourse area, where my dad peeked in on the court area and snapped a few really cool pictures!
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We quickly stopped at the Kids Club table, where my sister purchased a kids club kit and got an autograph voucher.
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From there, we headed down to the lower concourse, where I was looking for anything free.

I grabbed these 5 soft balls at a Sport Clips table
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Along with a few other freebies
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At the Sport Clips table, they were giving free hair cuts, which I thought was kind of cool! IMG_1070

We stopped at the Stockton Ports table, where I got a bunch of free stuff!

4 of these Baseball cards
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And 4 of these bookmarks:
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4 of these team photos
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And these two items as well!
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After that, we stopped at the Athletics Magazine table, where I signed up for a 2013 subscription, and was given this free magazine from 2012!
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From here, we headed outside.IMG_1072

We decided to get in line for the clubhouse tours! We entered at the Employee Entrance
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And were ready to head down this long ramp
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The only reason they couldn’t hold it in the Coliseum was because of the Motercross event the day before. There were a bunch of dirt mounds on the field.
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We walked through the concourse a little, then down a few more ramos, before we got to this signIMG_1111

We then walked down this tunnel
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We eventually got to what seemed like the area near the clubhouse.

We walked past the Umpire’s room
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And saw this sign
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There were a few more signs like that along the hallway like these
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We then walked past the weight room
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And took a look inside
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We kept going, walking past theses signs
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Finally, we were right accross the way from the clubhouse, in the hallway with lots of cool memorabilia
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We walked past Steve Vucinich’s office. “Vuch” is the A’s equipment manager
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We finally got inside, and I took another pictures of this sign
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This is how the clubhouse was laid out
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Ariel Prieto, Yoenis Cespedes’ interpretor, as a locker right next to Cespedes
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Jim Miller, Travis Blackley, and Dallas Braden all have lockers next to each other
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Last year, Mike Gallego, Eric Sogard, and Tommy Milone greeted people in the clubhouse. This year, it was new bullpen coach Darren Bush. Here is the thing… NOBODY recognized him! Except for me, that is!

I immediately approached him, and he was very excited to see that someone had recognized him. I felt bad for him! Darren is a great guy, and I have a feeling I will be getting a few balls from him in 2013! IMG_1164

We left the clubhouse at headed out get autographs, since the autograph coupons we had received upon entry were for session #1, which was supposed to end soon. There were 3 autograph stations outside, in the area between the Coliseum and Arena. There were signs above each station with the people signing at each table.
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The line for Cespedes and Taylor was way too long, so we got in line for Josh Donaldson and Ray Fosse. We got in line and stood there for about 5 minutes, before we were next in line.
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I got both Josh Donaldson and Ray Fosse to sign both sides of the bill of a souvineer french fry helmet that I got at a game in 2012
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This was the scene behind the autograph lines
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Cespedes and Taylor were both busy signing
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My dad was accidentally given 2 autograph coupons for session 1, so he gave his second one to me, so that I could get two more autographs!

I got in line to get Tommy Milone and Pat Neshek to sign the souvenir helmet as well
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After we got autographs, we headed to the under level of the Arena. I saw a line where you could take a picture with Sal Bando and Billy North, along with the *4* A’s World Series trophies.IMG_1214

I was just standing next to the line watching the “action” when it got to a point that nobody was moving forward. Apparently Ray Fosse was scheduled next for the photos and *Everyone* in line was waiting for him. The volunteer that was controlling the line yelled out that anyone that wanted a photo with Billy North and Sal Bando, along with the trophies, could go to the front of the line.

I put everything with my parents, since they didn’t want a picture, and I jumped right to the front of the line. Oh Yeah!EPSON MFP image

We then headed to the main level, where we got some food and checked out the Sacramento River Cats table.
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I picked up this wristband at the stand

After we got our food and sat down, I realized that it was time for my dad and I to head off to BlogFest.

We left my mom and sister at the Q&A session and headed off to drop off some stuff at our car before heading to meet up.

If you don’t remember what BlogFest is, just click here to read what I wrote a few weeks ago about it!

I got to the meeting spot at about 12:40.
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There were lots of other bloggers there as well, including people from A’s Farm, BeanBall, Athletics Nation, newballpark.org, A’s Fan Radio, and many more!
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We walked into the Oracle Arena, down some stairs, through a few tunnels, into the underbellies of the Oracle Arena, and we arrived here!
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When we got into the room, I set up in the back corner of the room with my phone and laptop IMG_1246

This was the setup in the room20130206-213717.jpg

This was the sight from the side of the room
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The back
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We had about 15 minutes to prep before Adam, who coordinated this event, brought in 2012 AL Manager of the year Bob Melvin!IMG_1255IMG_1264

After Melvin, PR Director Bob Rose came in and talked to us for a little bit, while Adam went to get Assistant GM David Forst.
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Adam soon showed up with David Forst!
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Once we finished up with David Forst, Adam went to get Mike Gallego, the A’s 3rd base coach, who had some great stories to tell!
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I’m sure you are wondering what those 3 guys said…

Here is the deal. I have an audio recording of all 3 interviews. Right now, I am working to transcribe all 45 minutes of interviews, and publish IT ALL in a separate blog entry, with analysis of what they said.

It is taking a long time to get everything together, so hopefully, I will get everything up within the next week!

We left the press conference room with everyone else and headed back up to meet up with my mom and sister.

My dad had to leave to go pick up my grandmother and uncle, as we would be driving them out of town after FanFest, so I was alone with my mom and sister.

If you remember from this entry, then you know that in the mail, my family was invited to a special season ticket holder photo meet-and-greet session. The line was getting long, so my mom got in line, while my sister and I decided to wander around.

We headed upstairs to the Memorabilia sale that I had visited earlier, and prices had drastically decreased!

Jackets, baseballs, bats, helmets, and Spring Training jerseys had sold out, however game-worn jerseys were $40, Game-worn hats and pants were $5 each, champagne bottles from the 2012 clubhouse celebrations were $15 each, DVDs from the 2002 season were $5 each and aprons from MUG Root Beer float day were $5 each.

I first grabbed a 2002 DVD for $520130206-213818.jpg

Then this pair of pants for $5, so that I would have matching home and road pairs.20130206-213828.jpg20130206-213837.jpg

I then went over to take a look at the hats. $5 for a hat is a great price alone, but these are 59fifty hats that are usually $40 with tax. Then consider the fact that they are game-worn!

They only had road and 2012 BP hats left, and since I already have a 2012 BP hat, I searched through all the road hats, and found 2 in my size (7 3/8).

I got this one20130206-213731.jpg

That had Tye Waller’s #46 written on the inside20130206-213740.jpg

This hat is special for me because Tye Waller tossed me my first ever baseball.

The second hat I picked up was this one20130206-213749.jpg

It had a #37 written on the inside, with a MLB Authentication sticker20130206-213758.jpg

I looked it up through MLB’s authentication program, and check it out!
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Ron Romanick, the A’s pitching coach in 2011!

Can you guess what I did?20130206-220228.jpg

Yay!! “Official” Certificate printed out from the MLB.com website!

After making this $20 purchase (No, my sister did not ask for anything), we headed back down to wait in line with my mom. The line was moving VERY quickly!IMG_1372

We got to the front of the line, to find YOENIS CESPEDES was taking pictures with group #4 of season ticket holders!IMG_1373

I really wish my dad could have been there with us. It was very, very awesome!

After this, we headed back upstairs, since my sister and I both had received special autograph coupons that allowed us each to get another autograph.

I handed mine and the souvenir helmet that I had previously gotten signed to my mom and she and my sister got in line for Eric Sogard’s autograph.

I headed back to the memorabilia sale to look around. All they had left were jerseys, DVDs, pants, and a few hats. They were desperate to get rid of everything! Hats were still $5, and those were swooped up quickly. DVDs were still $5, and there were A LOT of those left over.

However, they had A LOT of pants left, and there was a lady walking around yelling “PANTS ARE $1 EACH!”

WHAAAAA? I immediately ran over and picked up 3 more pairs of throwback pants- the 3 pairs that they had laying out that I hadn’t already picked up.20130206-213903.jpg20130206-213913.jpg20130206-213920.jpg20130206-213928.jpg20130206-213937.jpg20130206-213945.jpg

Then, I took a look at the game-used jerseys that they had lying out. They were…. *$20* each!

I looked at each jersey, and since there was only one in my size, I immediately grabbed it!20130206-220212.jpg20130206-220221.jpg

A #63 Danny Farquhar green jersey! How cool is that?

Who is Danny Farquhar you might ask?

“He was traded to the Oakland Athletics from the Toronto Blue Jays along with Trystan Magnuson for outfielder Rajai Davis after the 2010 season.
On April 18, 2011, Farquhar was traded to the Blue Jays in exchange for reliever David Purcey.
Farquhar made his major league debut on September 13, 2011, against the Boston Red Sox. He pitched 0.2 innings and allowed three earned runs on three hits, while walking two with no strikeouts. Farquhar was later optioned back to New Hampshire. On June 2, 2012, the Blue Jays designated Farquhar for assignment after claiming Chris Schwinden off waivers from the New York Mets.
On June 9, 2012 the Oakland Athletics claimed Faquhar off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. After making five appearances in the minor leagues for the Sacramento River Cats, the Athletics waived him to select the contract of A. J. Griffin.”

So…
*He never played a game for Oakland, just the AAA River Cats
*He was in the A’s organization twice
*He was waived for a guy that I saw make his MLB debut.

AWESOME!

Here was my final haul of stuff that I picked up at the memorabilia sale. Great deals, neat stuff, AWESOME!20130206-213955.jpg

I talked with a few people, and before I knew it, my mom and sister came back.

Here is the helmet that I got signed
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PRETTY COOL!

At this point, we headed out and met up with my dad, grandma, and uncle and headed out of Oakland.

This was an amazing day, and I had some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities! I met great people, got great deals, and had a great time!

This event put me just one step closer to Opening Day!

For me, I am looking forward to an exciting season as an A’s fan and season ticket holder!

Later that night, I went on BlogTalkRadio with RF Bleacher regular Will MacNeil to talk about the RF Bleachers and our experiences at FanFest. You can listen to that broadcast here.

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.300x50_mlblogs_top100

8/18/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

This was probably going to be one of my favorite baseball games ever.

There was a Scott Hatteberg bobblehead giveaway. And after the game, for extra $10 or something like that, we got to go on the field after the game and watch Moneyball. Awesome!

I invited my friend Sal to this game, because I knew he would want to come and I hadn’t been to a game with him in a few years. I went to 1 with him in ’09 and 2 in 2010.

I expected the lines to be very, very long.

My plan was to pick him up at 1:15 and catch the 1:40 BART train with him and my mom to the Coliseum, getting there a little after 2.

We picked up Sal at 1:15 and after being stuck in traffic, we got to BART at 1:35. My dad dropped the 3 of us off and we caught the 1:40 BART train, getting to the Coliseum a little after 2.

The line at Gate LL was long, so I headed to Gate C, because I assumed B would be closed. They were expected long lines, because they had caution tape set up for the line to double back 3-4 times. When we got to Gate C, there were maybe 20 people in line, so I jumped in there.

At this point, it was 2:30ish. Sal and I played Monopoly on our phones for a bit, before I decided that I wanted to get up and walk around.

Sal had talked about wanting a new A’s hat, so after seeing that the C Gate team store was closed, we kept walking. The season ticket holder line was getting long, and when we got to D Gate, the line had already doubled back once and was getting very long quickly. We headed into the team store there, which happened to be open, where Sal got a new A’s hat.

Line MM was long too, and when we got back C Gate, the line hadn’t changed much. We took some pictures and just talked and waited until about 45 minutes before the gates opened, before I declared that I wanted to walk around 1 more time. Keep in mind that there were only 50 or so people in line. We first stopped in at the C Gate Team store, where I got this picture of the boxes of bobbleheads beyond the ticket scanners.

After spending 5 or so minutes in there, we kept walking, and outside D Gate, which had tripled since were were last there, saw the 95.7 The GAME booth set up, where they were broadcasting live.

As we walked along the line that was very, very long, I noticed the daily RF Bleacher Section 149 tailgate

Once we had walked to the end of the line, where it started to double back, at Gate A, which along with Gate B wasn’t being used, I notice that the stairs up to gate AA, which are usually closed were opened. Sal and I headed up to see what we could see.

I looked inside and the cages were all set up, which was a very good thing. I also saw some Indians pitchers warming up.

By this time, after spending a few minutes here, I realized we had already been gone for 20 minutes, so after 4 failed attempts to call my mother, we headed to get back in line. Gate LL and MM had tripled as well since we had last been there, and at this point, I guessed there were at least 5,000 people already in line.

When we got to the end of the LL line, I saw the line at Gate C and it had gotten larger by at least 5x. It was crazy. And like 30 new people were in front of us. Whatever. I got this picture of a lady holding a sign to show where the end of the line was.

And then my mom snapped a quick photo of Sal and I that neither of us wanted.

My sister joined us a few minutes before the Gates opened, and my dad decided it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to join us, so he got in the end of the line.

I was pumped and ready to go, so at 4:05, I ran to get in the shortest bag check line, and after getting my ticket scanned and grabbing my bobblehead, I sprinted for the bleachers. I was hoping for a particular 1st row seat, but it was occupied. I adjusted by setting my stuff down in aisle seats of rows 2 and 3 to reserve them for my group.

Indians BP was in full swing and I figured I should start looking for easter eggs.

I saw a ball a few rows back, and picked it up for ball #1 on the day.

Some guy started heckling the Indians closer Chris Perez to the point where he got security to kick the guy out of the Coliseum. No joke. The guy was cussing Perez out and using words that I will refrain from repeating, but I think you get the point.

Chris had told the guy to meet him over by the bullpen, and that is exactly what happened, I found this video on YouTube of the confirmation. CAUTION- CONTINUAL USE OF FOUL LANGUAGE

BP was very frustrating. The Indians were not hitting the ball out and players were tossing a lot up. But they ignored me. There was an unknown player who threw a ball over everyone’s heads, so I ran after it, but someone pushed me into the side of the wall and ended up with the ball. Nice going.

That was the closest I came to a ball in the bleachers after my 1st ball.

After that, I decided that it was time to move somewhere else, as the bleachers were getting overcrowded and I was getting agitated.

My dad caught some good shots during BP like these

Sal and I headed down to the RF line, where I had been for this game in hopes of me getting a ball. A screaming line drive was hit in my direction, but 10 rows behind me, and knowing nobody would catch it, I ran to try to get the ball trickling down. I was pushed OVER A ROW OF SEATS trying to get the ball and had to do some fancy parkour to stay on my feat. I got a glove on the ball, but someone pushed it off and ended up throwing the ball onto the field and getting kicked out.

So that makes 2 people kicked out and 2 rag doll Nicks on the day.

I expected only a few more minutes of BP, and there were a several balls hit near me during that period. The first few were grounders down the line that I asked Indians players for and ended up being ignored. There were also 2 that ended up under the Indians’ bullpen bench.

The one other ball caused quite a commotion. A line drive was hit, just like the previous one, and as the ball trickled down the steps, I grabbed it with my glove, and a 300+ pound man pushed me over, rolled on TOP of me, and grabbed the ball. At this point, I was laying on the stairs on my side with a 30 year old man that weighed over 300 pounds on top of me. His knee was bleeding and my entire left hand was hurting (he had sharp elbows and knees) and people were trying to help him off.

At this point, BP was coming to an end. I literally rolled out from under him, and sprinted off towards the dugout, leaving Sal behind.

I was yelled at my 5 ushers to slow down, and after slowing down, I got to the dugout, where I called out for a ball, to be met with odd stares.

I decided to head back, in hopes of asking Mark, the awesome security guard by the visitor bullpen for one of the balls that I hoped was under the bullpen bench still.

I was only my way over when Sal approached me and said Mark had a ball for me. I guess there had been a family that had seen the whole incident and asked him to give me a ball. I told him he didn’t need to give me a ball, but he insisted. In the hindsight, he raised my spirits and showed his awesomeness. I then chatted up the family and told them about my blog, ballhawking, and offered them the ball, which they refused.

After this, I dropped my stuff off in the bleachers with my dad and sister and headed with my mom and Sal to Deli 215, which is the Sandwich bar in the Westside Club, which I mentioned in my last entry.

When we got there, it was just after 5:00, so I was a little concerned about getting back to our seats in time for the pre-game ceremony. We purchased 4 sandwiches plus fruit cups for my sister and me. It was 5:20 when we headed back to our seats. When we got there, I snapped this picture of my sister’s bobblehead.

A few minutes prior to the ceremony, they adjusted the red carpet a little

And extended it to the infield

I then randomly noticed many birds flying over the field

This is what was on the horizontal scoreboards up until the ceremony got underway

When the ceremony got underway, they had people walk out boards with the number of each game of the win streak, first 3 at a time, then 2 and eventually 1. After every set of boards, members of the 2002 team would be introduced by the legendary former voice of the Athletics, Roy Steele, back at the Coliseum again. It was amazing to hear his voice. It gave me goosebumps.

I think one of the 3 loudest rounds of applause went to then-bench coach and former manager Ken Macha

The whole ceremony lasted about 20 minutes, and I got video of 18 of those minutes.

Chants of T-LONG! echoed throughout the Coliseum as Terrance Long walked down the red carpet

The 2nd loudest round-of-applause of the night went to manager Art Howe, who considered not participating because of the uncomplimentary portrayal of him in the movie Moneyball.

But the loudest the Coliseum got was when Scott Hatteberg walked onto the field.

Here are all of the boards lined up along the infield with all of the members of the ’02 squad that attended in the middle of the infield

There were many, many video tributes throughout the ceremony, including one for each game of the streak

In all, there were 10 members of the 2002 team that participated in the pre-game festivities

Sal and I watched it all from the first row, in the aisle.

One thing, that I think was great on the A’s part was to get videos of a few players from the team apologizing that they couldn’t make it; guys like Eric Chavez, Barry Zito, and David Justice.

There was also a fantastic tribute to the late, great Cory Lidle, a part of the 2002 team who tragically died in a plane crash in 2006. The A’s raised $10,000 for the Cory Lidle foundation over the course of the weekend.

All of the people with the number signs exited via the red carpet as the ceremony ended.

My dad, once again took some fantastic pictures throughout the game of guys like Brandon Moss

And Yoenis Cespedes

He also got photos of the 149 RF bleacher crew

And the RF Drummer

Here is Yoenis Cespedes scoring on his home run in the 3rd

Along with Josh Reddick

Coco Crisp is starting his handshake with Yoesnis

Overall, I think we all really enjoyed the game

Evan Scribner and Jerry Blevins combined to allow 4 runs in the 9th

After Blevins allowed another hit, Melvin came out and brought in Grant Balfour

Balfour into game means 3 words: Metalica and RAGEFEST!

Once Balfour nailed down the save, it was an A’s win!

Now it was time to watch Moneyball!

We left our seats, and went and got in line, and we were about in the middle of it. This is what was in front of us.

And behind us.

We walked down the steps and settled down on the field

I got out my A’s sluggie (A giveaway at an A’s game I went to with Sal in 2010)

I think my entire family was excited

They pulled down a screen in centerfield for the movie

And before it started, Hatteberg answered a few questions and introduced the movie

There were less people than I expected at the movie

Overall, the movie was a lot of fun

And when it was all over, the sprinklers turned on

Right before the movie ended, I took another 360 degree panoramic picture

It was pretty cool to see the entire Coliseum empty

It was a great day. 2 balls, 1 bobblehead, and an amazing experience!

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 2 balls at this game
• 11 balls in 10 Major League games this season = 1.1 ball per game.
• 20 balls in 14 baseball games this season = 1.429 balls per game.
• 16 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 25 total balls
• 4 consecutive games in Oakland with at least 1 ball
• 5 consecutive games with at least 1 ball

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.