Category: Moving Like Bernie

2012 ALDS – Game 3

Postseason baseball in Oakland for the first time since 2006. Awesome!

My dad and I left the house just after 12:30, making a quick stop along the way to get lunch at Subway, and a sporting goods store to buy a cheap Tigers hat, then we are on our way.

We got there around 1:45, over 2 hours before the gates would open at 4:07.

I had been tweeting back and forth with ballhawks Wayne Peck and Spencer Sanborn for a while (you might remember them from this entry) and I knew that they were both going to be there, and was excited to meet Wayne for the 1st time.

This is what the line looked like when I got there

Yep. I was the only one in line at Gate B. And my dad had brought a camping chair to sit in in line. Yep. This was going to be a long day. I had a LOT of time to kill, so I walked around.

If you have read this blog for a while, then you know what the outside of the Coliseum looks like. First, I walked towards the BART ramp.

I got to the BART Plaza

I then headed towards A and D gate. Parking lot A was empty. It was ridiculous. I was expecting more people, but I guess not!

Gate A was empty as well.

Over by D Gate (Where there was nobody in line), the 95.7 The GAME booth was being set up

I stopped in at the D Gate team store, browsed around a little, and was on my way up towards the Arena plaza.

There were a lot of news vans parked outside. Let me see if I can list all of the stations. CSN Bay Area, CSN California, MLB Network, TBS, ESPN, KTVU Channel 2 News, NBC Bay Area News, KRON 4 News, CBS 5, ABC 7, and there were probably a few more.

I then noticed a very familiar face stepping out of a CSN California van. Do you have any clue as to who the guy is in the green shirt?

You probably don’t but I recognized him right away. That man is Brodie Brazil, who hosts A’s Pre and Post-game Live, and is the San Jose Sharks rink-side reporter, as well as a 95.7 insider. Huge Bay Area celebrity.

I was then stopped by a security guard, who asked to see my ticket, then did the Bernie.

I wandered around the Oracle Arena a little, found the player parking entrance, and just walked around. I then headed down to Gate C, where there was 1 person in line.

When I got back, my dad was happily relaxing in his chair, reading the paper. I was ready to go. But we still had just under 2 hours.

There was still nobody behind us in line. I was bored. So I talked with my dad. Time passed. More time passed. Then I walked around one the Coliseum more time to stretch my legs.

Ok, are you ready for a crazy story? So I was walking past Gate A, and after I had walked 50 or so feet past the gate, I heard a ball hit the pavement. I immediately turned around and ran back. Somebody scooped up the ball immediately. I headed over to take a look at the ball, and when I asked to take a quick look, I was shocked to see that it was a near perfect 2012 Postseason ball. WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???????

Where did this ball come from? Wha— uh??? I was at a loss for words.

I was headed back to Gate B when I noticed a familiar face. It was Wayne! Sorry, I didn’t get a picture of him right away. I chatted with him for a minute, before he headed to the team store to look around.

Sooner or later, a lady got in line behind us. We talked with her for a few minutes. I spend a lot of time on my phone, then decided to go put it in the car and walk around some more. The line at Gate D was getting decently long, and in the front of the line was Spencer Sanborn!

I got back to the line. It was just my dad and the other lady. There was 1 hour until the gates open. WTH???? There was almost NO ONE in line, and the gates would be opening soon.

A minute or two later, Wayne got in line with us. This is what he (and a lot of other people) thinks of the “O.co Coliseum”

That is definitely the best facial expression I have ever seen regarding a professional sports facility.

We talked for a long time about a variety of things. Ballhawking, the Coliseum, how much the Coliseum sucks, crazy ballhawking adventures. Wayne is a good guy. He wrote a great blog entry about this game that you can find here! He also went to the game the following day, which you can find here.

My dad got a picture of us before the gates opened.

Do you like my shirt?

Right before the gates opened at 4:07, (Nope, to 4pm or 4:05, but 4:07) the line was getting pretty long.

The gate was all set up and ready to go

And we were off!

Actually… we weren’t. They let us go get in line at the turnstiles at 4:00

Shorty, after 4:07, they let us in. My ticket scanned perfectly and I headed through the turnstile. But it wouldn’t budge. The arms were never unlocked. And the ticket taker couldn’t open it. So after a few minutes, I just walked around and received my bright yellow rally towel.

BP was underway and I was ready to go.

That’s a view from our seats in the bleachers. I headed there immediately, but quickly headed down to the RF line.

Do you see the guy in the Tigers had and shirt in the orange sleeves? That would be Spencer.

The A’s were taking BP, and the pitchers in Center Field were entertained by attempting to throw balls into the 2nd deck as well as the 3rd deck seats that are tarped off.

Adam Rosales took some hacks in the cage with Chris Carter watching on

The Coliseum wasn’t very full, but the energy was awesome, and everyone was pumped!

The A’s didn’t hit anything to the RF bleachers, or down the RF line, unfortunately. As they concluded BP and jogged off the field, they got a very solid round of applause from the crowd.

Tigers pitchers had been playing catch down the line, and despite my bright orange shirt and Tigers hat, I didn’t manage a ball.

Ask anyone that was there would agree that BP was a show. Miguel Cabrera was BOMBING ball after ball into the 2nd deck, and even a few balls onto the 2rd deck tarps.

One odd thing I noticed was the middle section of the 3 open 3rd deck sections.

I guess it would the overflow media and press area. Interesting.

Prince Fielder was launching some balls pretty far as well. But he wasn’t pulling the ball. He was hitting it 2nd deck in LF.

Those guys are STRONG.

Jhonny Peralta had some strong hacks as well

BP was frustrating. There were very few balls hit down the RF line, and those that were hit were fielded by the same guy who ignored fans.

There were a couple that spent a lot of time standing next to me that I guess are Tigers season ticket holders. The one ball that I came closest to during the 1st 45 minutes was a ball that was thrown to ME specifically, that they reached out in front of me and barehanded. Ok then…

During the regular season, the bleachers were General Admission, but since it was the PLAYOFFS, they had assigned seating. Because they didn’t have to worry about being the first ones in line, the RF Crew started to trickle in during the 1st hour of BP

For those of you who don’t know, that man is Will MacNeil, one of the Die-Hards in Section 149. He is an awesome guy and I have talked with/about him before in entires like this one and this one. He is the proud owner of a very cool item. A replica WWE wrestling belt. Josh Reddick sent it up there in the beginning of the season.

He is a great guy!

That’s Will on the right, and you can follow him on Twitter here. I am not 100% positive who the man on the left is.

All the guys out there are great. I strongly encourage you to sit out there some time. It’s awesome.

Back to BP…

Guys like Alex Avila

And Quintin Berry were not hitting anything to RF. It was frustrating

This guy had some awesome signs. That man would be Ian Sagerbaen, and was dubbed my MLB.com’s Cut4 as the Greatest Sign Maker in MLB History

It was frustrating be trapped behind A’s fan screaming for balls

And despite the fact that you can pick me out of a crowd of green and gold right away, I guess Tigers players couldn’t

I realized BP was ending soon, so I took off for the Tigers dugout.

Obviously, you can find me easily in this crowd

I got behind the dugout and was calling out to players for balls

The cages were taken in…

And I was shut out for BP…

Frustrating…

With this disappointing loss, I headed back to the bleachers, where I found this guy was handing out signs

I got two different ones that were both double-sided.

Here is the first

And the second

I then wandered around for a little bit. I walked around the concourse and the bleachers, when my dad noticed this thing being rolled onto the field.

They were set up all across the outfield.

As a helicopter flew overhead

Slowly, the Tigers began to come onto the field to warm up

I wasn’t able to get down close to the field on either the 1st or 3rd base side, so after multiple attempts, I headed back to our seats in time for Stomper and “The Herd” to come around the warning track.

The Color Gaurd marched onto the field.

It was time for the player introductions!

This was one of Ian’s signs that he gave to someone to hold up

When it came time for the A’s to be introduced, sparklers at the bottom of the firework carts were set off

Everyone with their yellow rally towels was pumped up!

Each time a player on the A’s was introduced, a firework shot off.

When all the players had been introduced, it was time for the National Anthem

More fireworks were shot off

Anibal Sanchez finished his bullpen tosses

Then, Bert “Campy” Campaneris, a longtime A’s legend came out onto the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Once the ceremonial first pitch had been thrown, it was 4:59, one minute untill TBS went live to the Coliseum. Dick Callahan, the PA announcer, told the crowd to get crazy, as we would be live on national television soon. The place quickly ERUPTED!!!!

I took a panoramic picture shortly before the game started

Brett Anderson was dealing in this game

Austin Jackson struck out to lead off the game

Steven Drew walked in the bottom of the 1st, sending Coco Crisp to 2nd

Crisp later scored on a single off the back of Yoenis Cespdes

Awesome hair:

Seth Smith homered to right-center field, just past the RF bleacher seats

Grant Balfour began to warm up in the 8th inning, ready to come in for the save

While Balfour was warming up there were some drunk guys sitting in front of a Tigers fan with a young son and wife that started to boo the guy because he was a Tiger fan.

The little boy started to cry at which point everyone started boing the drunk guy. His response? “I didn’t see the kid, okay guys?”

In the top of the 9th, it was time for BALFOUR RAGE!!!!

Just to show you how packed and pumped up the crowd was, I got another panoramic picture

Throughout the game, there was a drunk A’s fan walking up and down the stairs of the sections cheering his head off. He was half drunk and half really excited. I have to admit, he did make the game a little more fun.

In the top of the 9th, he pulled me out of my seat to cheer. It was kind of awkward.

After an Omar Infante strikeout, Miguel Cabrera singled to right field. On a 1-2 fastball, Prince Fielder grounded into a double play to end the game.

Cue Kool and the Gang!

After a few minutes of celebration, something occured to me. I hadn’t snagged a ball. Then, I thought about the home run, and wandered over to see if the ball was somehow still beyond the wall. Nope. IT wasn’t. Oh well.

You know, it was disapointing to not snag a ball, but still, I would count the night as a success.

1) I got to meet finally meet Wayne Peck, who is a great guy.
2) I was the first one in line at a postseaon game.
3) I got a yellow rally towel.
4) I was at a POSTSEASON GAME!
5) I got some pretty cool posters.
6) I WAS AT A POSTSEASON GAME!
7) I had a ton of fun
8) Did I mention it was my first POSTSEASON GAME?

Even though I did’t snag a ball, It was a LOT of fun! I attended my first ever postseason game, and it was more than I could ask for.

I got a final picture with the signs and rally towel

And one with that guy I mentioned earlier

Wow. That was a lot of fun!

Yep. It was my last game of 2012. I had a great season. A lot of fun!

So. Regarding offseason entires, I have a bunch of ideas in mind. I’ll share more throughout the World Series and offseason, so check back frequently more more updates!

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 0 ballS at this game 😦
• 23 balls in 15 Major League games this season = 1.53 balls per game.
• 38 balls in 21 baseball games this season = 1.81 balls per game.
• 28 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 43 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.

9/1/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

Wow. That’s all I can say. I completely lost track of time. It was a 6:05 game with the gates opening at 4. I wanted to be there at 3, do that would mean leaving at 2.

Around 2:40, I honestly thought it was 1:40. I told my dad that I wanted I catch the 2:20 BART train to get my mom and I to the Coliseum around 3.

My dad told me it was almost 3 and I will be completely honest with you, I flipped out. The gates were going to open in just over and hour and I was still at home.

We jumped in the car and just missed the 3:00 train by about 4 minutes.

The train left around 3:20 and we arrived at the Coliseum around 3:50.

This was not going to be a good day.

I almost considered turning around multiple times, but I knew that I needed to just deal with it and go with the flow.

I ran from the train to the BART ramp and down to check gate B. It wasn’t open, so I ran up to gate MM and jumped in line there.

15 people? And it was 10 minutes until the gates opened? Hell. Yes. My mom showed up a minute later, and quickly purchased 2 bleacher seats.

She joined me in line, along with the 149 guys. I had a better feeling about this game!

When we got inside, I ran straight for the RF bleachers. I had to run through the concourse and down 3 flights of stairs, but I got there fairly quickly.

I set my stuff down in the 1st row of section 148. I pulled out my glove and saw that the A’s were taking BP.

The only ball that came close to me during A’s BP was hit 3 rows behind me and I should have had it. It was hit DIRECTLY at me, and I figured it would be right behind me. It bounced 3 rows behind me and I reached my glove to try and get it when it bounced back, but It just cleared my glove and a guy with a baby under his arm barehanded it.

The A’s portion of BP ended 5 minutes later.

I took off my A’s jersey, and headed over to where the Red Sox were playing catch.

2 players that stood out to me were Andrew Bailey and Craig Breslow, both former Athletics.

The Sox started hitting 5 minutes after I got to the RF line.

There was one ball that I had my eye on

I knew for sure it was a Fenway Park 100th anniversary commemorative ball, and I really was hoping to snag one, but when a Red Sox coach went to grab it, and when I called out for it, he ignored me.

When Andrew Bailey and Craig Breslow were done throwing, I asked Andrew Bailey for my first ball of the day.

Not commemorative. But I was still positive. I still had seen a lot of Fenway Park balls being used

The Sox were hitting ball all over the field that were not being fielded. If I had a retrieval device, I would have had at least 10 balls. But I didn’t, so I didn’t.

Then, I saw another commemorative ball in the outfield

After I got the ball from Bailey, I crouched down to take off my A’s hat and put on my Red Sox hat.

There was a guy who yelled at me for doing it, and I just ignored him.

A few minutes later, I noticed Craig Breslow coming over to pick up a ball on the warning track. I called put to him and he tossed me the ball.

I had seen him turn the ball over in his hand before tossing it to me. At first, I thought nothing of it, assuming he was making sure it wasn’t commemorative. I went to put it in my backpack, before checking the ball to see if it had the Fenway Park logo.

YES! My day was complete! I snagged a Fenway Park ball.

Like, literally, I could go home now if I wanted to. I wanted to snag just one commemorative ball, and from what I had heard, they didn’t have them in the bullpen, so I knew I would have to get a ball that had been hit.

So, do you remember the guy who had yelled at me earlier? When I called out for the ball, he yelled “NO! THAT GUY ALREADY HAS ONE!” Like before, I just ignored him. I showed him the logo, so that he knew why I wanted to try to get a ball. He seemed really pissed at me.

I tried to stay away from him, because I seemed to be getting on his nerves.

Batting practice ended just before 5, close to an hour after after the gates had opened.

I was somewhat disappointed with 2 balls, and there was one more ball I came relatively close to.

I was close to the dugout, because I knew BP would be over soon, and there was a ball hit to my right. I knew I would get it, so I ran through the rows, and it bounced softly in the section to my right. I ran to grab it, but so did that other guy.

He got his glove on the *Commemorative* ball, and at the same time my hand landed on his glove. He yelled at me to get my hands off him and that the ball was for him.

I started to walk away, but I stopped when I heard him yelling profanities at me. I just went to go tell the ushers, when he told me that he never wanted to see me chasing balls again. Apparently, I was a grown man who was stealing balls from little kids.

Huh? I was more confused than I had been in a long time. 1) I’m 14. 2) The ball was hit, not thrown. 3) If I’m a “Grown Man” and not allowed to catch balls, then why do you have 5?

It turns out that he had been catching balls for his kids, because they didn’t bring their gloves, and I’m fine with him trying to catch balls, but I wish he had been a little more mellow or something like that.

I guess I don’t have the right to try to get balls from myself? I was getting more and more confused.

Over the course of BP, he had gotten 5 balls for his kids. BTW, for future reference, all three of them were decked out from head to toe in Giants gear.

I explained to the guy that I write a blog, where I talk about my adventures at stadiums, and attempting to snag balls. I gave him my contact card, with my blog’s address on it, and walked away. I did not want to deal with him any more.

I don’t need to get into any situations like this.

I headed over to the Red Sox dugout, hoping to get a ball from someone.

I wasn’t able to get anything, so I headed over to the A’s bullpen, where I saw a few ball lying around.

I figured my best option would be to ask the ball boy for a ball. I got there, and when I did, he headed into the stands to talk to someone. She had an A’s jersey on that had a 1 on the back and said BATBOY KEVIN. I would assume that it was his girlfriend.

When he went back onto the field, I asked him for the ball, but he had already promised it to someone else.

At this point in the evening, it was 5:20, so I headed back to the bleachers, so that my mom could do out and get herself something to eat.

Soon enough, players came out onto the field to start warming up.

I would have gone over to the Red Sox bullpen, but the ushers never let me stay there longer than 3 minutes.

There was a special promotion going on for this game, called Weekend at Bernie’s. I hope you all know the back-story behind the promotion…

No? Ok. I would hope you know about the whole Bernie-ing thing, so I won’t go over that, comment down below if you would like me to explain it, and I shall add it in.

In 1989, a movie came out called Weekend at Bernie’s, staring Terry Kiser as Bernie. The Bernie became popular in Oakland, and not only did Brandon Inge put Moving like Bernie as his walk-up song, but so Coco Crisp now uses the song Bernie Lean as his walkup song.

So I hope this gives you a sense of the promotion. The first 2,000 fans to enter the stadium were given these “Bernie Masks”

And Terry Kiser threw out the first pitch. And of course, he did some dancing on the mound.

Once he had thrown the pitch, he jumped into the arms of Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick, as Brandon Inge watched on.

Time to play ball!

Josh Reddick took his place in right field

And Coco took his spot in center

In the top of the 1st, Coco Crisp came to bat. Guess what?

Lead off home run!

From our seats, my mom was able to get some awesome pictures!

In the 2nd inning, when Brandon Inge was in his first at-bat off of the DL, it was time to bernie!

And in the top of the 4th, Brandon Inge had to come out of the game. He re-aggravated his shoulder injury in the 3rd inning, making a throw. His season was unfortunately over.

A.J. Griffin was the starting pitcher for the A’s, and he was dealing!

His first 4 2/3 innings were perfect.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia stepped to the plate, and bunted for a single. Um… Stay classy, Jarrod.

He was booed for the rest of the game. Along, of curse, wit Cody Ross. If you are a right fielder in Oakland, you’re going to have a bad time. The RF bleachers are very creative. Very. Cody Ross completely missed a fly ball in foul territory early in the game. Then, he misplayed another ball in right field, crashing against the wall in complete failure, prompting the training staff to come out

And don’t worry; in the top of the 6th, the Red Sox got 2 real hits.

My view for the game was really fantastic, it is hard to beat sitting in the right field bleachers for a game!

In the 7th inning, Terry Kiser, Kara (The A’s in-game host), and the two guys behind the Bernie Lean music video came out to the right field bleachers.

This is what had caught my attention originally

Terry took a picture of the right field bleachers and then hosted a bernie dance-off, which was won by a 149 regular.

The two guys from the Bernie Lean Music video actually sat in the row behind me, in section 149. I chatted up one of the guys for a little bit, before he gave me a sheet with a QP code for a free download of the song

And in the top of the 9th inning, BoMel was on the top step of the dugout, like he always is, waiting for the A’s to win their 8th consecutive game.

That is about it. I had a great time, and didn’t really come close to any home run balls, but it was still a lot of fun!

And it turns out, when I got home and was watching the game on the DVR, I saw myself twice in the RF Bleachers.

The first time was right after Coco Crisp hit his leadoff home run, it showed me doing the Bernie. I took a picture of the TV right before I started to Bernie

And in the top of the 9th, the broadcast showed me again in the RF bleachers

Overall, I wasn’t expecting a good day, but hey, look what happened! It was an awesome day with my mom!

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 2 balls at this game (1 pictured because I never got a picture of the two balls together)
• 19 balls in 12 Major League games this season = 1.583 balls per game.
• 31 balls in 17 baseball games this season = 1.824 balls per game.
• 24 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 36 total balls
• 6 consecutive games in Oakland with at least 1 ball
• 8 consecutive games with at least 1 ball
• 4 consecutive games with at least 2 balls

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

7/21/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This was my view when the game started

And this was the view to my left.

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

This was the sight whenever Josh Reddick came up to bat

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

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

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

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

And yes, I was Moving Like Bernie too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yep, I was doing it too.

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

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

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

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

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