Well, first, of course, as always, I need to thank my dad, because at 3:30, I persuaded him to take me to the A’s game. Well, the main reason that I wanted to go was because Zack Hample was planning on being here. That is pretty cool.
Well, we took BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to the game and I played a little Brick Breaker on the ride:
Then, we got to Oakland at about 5:20ish and bought 2 bleacher seats and then got in line at the C gate only to see this:
That arrow is pointing to Zack Hample.
Then, the gate opened and he dashed inside. As soon, as my dad and I got inside, we ran to the RF bleachers and found this guy:
Yep, it’s Zack again. He was doing his ballhawking thing. And then my dad got this picture of Zack that I couldn’t help but share:
And yeah, as soon as I got in, I got Josh Lueke to toss me up a ball. Pretty cool. Yeah, one ball! Whooo-hooo!
Did I mention my dad snagged a ball. Yeah, I was talking to a few Matsuiland dudes and some other A’s fans, and then I noticed a ball coming straight for my dad. Thankfully, he saw it. He moved out of the way, and the ball landed right where he had been standing, then it bounced and he caught it. Just barehanded it. That was the first ball he had ever snagged. In his life. Not just this year. But, first ball EVER! Pretty Cool!
Then, Zack and my dad started talking, which led to finding out that my dad’s son Nick(me) was a fan of Zack’s. Zack realized that I was the one and only (drum roll please) NICK! Anyway, that led to this:
And of the record, yes the sun was horrible, I had a hard time seeing. Like, a really, really hard time seeing anything. It is a miracle tat I actually ended the day with 2 balls.
We talked it up for a little, I told Zack about my first snag. We talked about his blog and other ballhawking stuff, and he asked me if I had any of his books. Yes, I have Watching Baseball Smarter, and The Baseball (Both of which I highly recommend). And then, we agreed to meet down by the Mariners dugout after the game, where he would sign both the books.
Then, I saw a ball land just beyond the CF wall. That was the 4th one back there. I told him, he went to look, and of course, he had no glove trick stuff, except for his glove of course. No problem, anyways. But, he figured batting practice would be over soon, so he headed over to the Mariners dugout. Right after he left, Josh Lueke threw me my second ball of the day. Well, he threw it 10 feet above my head. I had to chase it, but got my second of the day.
And for the record, Mariners pitchers really love each other
But, after that, I went to go get some food, or something like that. I also tried to get down to the A’s dugout, no luck. But, when I was jogging back, I ran into Zack again, and we talked for a minute. I told him how I got another ball, and he parted ways. I got back just in time for the start of the game, in time to see Michael Taylor make his MLB debut. And make an error on the first play of the game. At least he made a clean throw.
And there were some Japanese ladies sitting the section over and started a “Cute Butt Ichiro” chant. Man, Ichiro was heckled a lot. A lot. A L-O-T: LOT.
But Ichiro and his cute butt can withstand anything.
But first, can someone teach Jemile Weeks how to slide feet first?
Yes, Jemile Weeks over slid the bad FEET first. Yeah. It sucks. A lot.
And that was about it. I mean for the game. Except for one tiny thing. Just a tiny tiny thing. Watch video of Cliff Pennington’s’ home run, you will see. Everything is clear. If so, stop reading, If not, continue reading this blog. Well, you should keep reading cause I will explain. He made contact, really really good contact. And the ball was coming right for me. I stood up and tried to get out of my seat, but the USHER was standing in the way. And this is where it hurts. The ball landed on the steps ***2*** feet behind me. It sucked. Then, it got worse. The ball bounced up and onto the cross section walkway thing and was grabbed by some stupid hot chocolate vendor and he ran off with it. Literally. he grabbed it and ran away. Last time I checked, stadium employees are not allowed to keep balls, so yeah. Hot chocolate man, If you are out there I hate you. Same with the evil usher that ruined my chances of catching my first HR and game ball. Screw you. You have been cursed. Goodbye.
And if it is not clear in the video, I am look just like I do in the pic. Except for the fact that I don’t want to beat someone up.
And I still am mad to this second. Ugh. But, more importantly, after 8 innings, My dad and I went down to the Mariners dugout, where we watched this
Then, Zack showed up, a minute after the game was over to take a picture with me and a few other people, and sign our copies of his books.
I told him the Cliff Pennington HR story and yeah.
Then his friend Brandon took a few pictures:
That is Brandon with the camera, a girl who had one of Zack’s book on the Left. Zack is in the middle, I am on the right, and another guy that we met at batting practice.
Then, the ushers told us to leave the seats, so we went up to the concourse so that he could sign more books. He signed both of my books and then we talked for a little bit.
He said he was going to Oakland Saturday afternoon, San Fran Saturday night, and Oakland again on Sunday. I explained Breast Cancer awareness day and how batting practice might be cut short on Sunday.
Anyway, I thanked him and my dad and I headed to the BART station.
MY BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 5 balls in 8 games this season = 0.62 balls per game.
• 2 balls at this game (both pictured below)
• 5 total balls
MY DAD’S BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 1 ball at this game for my dad ( Pictured below) (And how cool is that smudge?)
• 1 ball in 7 games this season = 0.14 balls per game.
• 1 Lifetime ball
OTHER AWESOME STUFF
• I got to meet Zack Hample and he signed my copies of two of his books:
Watching Baseball Smarter :
BASEBALLS IN BLACK LIGHT
Finally, Zack has been photographing baseballs in black light to show the invisible ink stamps? Well, one of my two balls had an invisible ink stamp on it:
Can you guess which one?
It is the one on the right:
And as far as my Dad’s ball goes:
Comment Down there. Yeah. Ther Right down there.
Double-dip at the Coliseum? Heck yeah! Saturday’s doubleheader was awesome! 2 games, one ticket, 35 minutes in between games.
My entire family went to this game, all four of us. We left our house around 11ish and were at the Coliseum at about 11:40. We got inside and went straight to our seats. and I don’t mean to brag, but they were pretty awesome.
Now that wall that you might be able to see on the left side is the wall that I kept leaning over to try to get balls. I love that wall. My seat was just barey out of the view from that shot. And we were in perfect ball snagging territory. I mean awesome! The bullpen was down and to our left and the outfield was was to our right. Jered Weaver was pitching for the Angels in the first game and was warming up with Jeff Mathis an hour or so before the game.
Now the reason I bother to show that picture is because when he was done warming up with Weaver, he tossed the ball to me. I was decked out in my A’s stuff, my gold jersey, stars and stripes hat, and green and gold bead necklaces. There were plently of other fans, most of them in Angels gear, but because I was the only youngster(ish) I got the ball. 1 down, a lot more to go (I hope)
What really pissed me off was that nobody was warming up on the field and it was 40 minutes before the game time.
Do you see anyone in that picture? No. I mean, it is a doubleheader and all, and a day game after a night game, so I can’t expect batting practice, but still, player at least might want top get ready or something like that.
And yeah, that is the picture before with a self-drawn red circle done in Photoshop. And yes, I don’t draw very well on the computer. But that is just about where the ball was sitting. 15 minutes before the game started some ball boy noticed it, ran to go get it and put in in my glove. I guess he can’t throw or something like that.
Once the game started, everything was pretty boring, I mean, If the right fielder got a thrid out ball, bam flip to me. A foul ball down the right field line, bam, me. Foul ball pulled by a lefty, bam I catch it. But no, the foul ball gods didn’t like me very much today.
There was one really exciting thing that happened for the A’s. For those of you that don’t know, Hedeki Matsui has 499 Home Runs combined between Japan and MLB. In the bottom of the 8th inning, with 1 out, Hedeki Matsui hit a line drive that looked like it was going to clear the wall and yellow line, and Bob Melvin thought it had.
An then a pinch runner (Ryan Sweeny) was put in to run for Matsui. After that, the game was pretty boring, msotly cause the A’s lost. Then I had 35 minutes before the second game started. I decided to go to other side of stadium to get some ice cream, but I guess everybody else wanted to get out of their seats. It took us 30 minutes to walk from our seats to the other side of the coliseum, and we never got any food. Of course, Rich Harden decided for the A’s to change from the home white jersey to the Green alternates. Ervin Santana and the Angels changed to the Alternete red tops.
Another thing, if you have never been to the Coliseum in Oakland, there are some people in the RF bleachers that hold up signs that spell out Matsuiland every time Hedeki Matsui comes up to bat, and now, use them to cover their heads when birds fly over. They are pretty awesome.
Other than that, most of the game was pretty humdrum, the Frozen Lemonade man completly avoided me during the second game and then, I realized that the game was tied. And then, the game went into extra innings. Then, Scott Sizemore cam up with runners on seond and third with two outs:
Scott Sizemore hit the ball in the Right-Center gap and yeah, the A’s won. Neighter outfielder threw the ball to me, they did something with it, no idea. But the A’s split the doubleheader. Overall, good day. On Sunday, I’m going to 80’s day with my dad and my friend Ryan . Looks like it should be a good day.