Category: oakland coliseum

5/17/13 at the Oakland Coliseum- BACON FRIDAY!

This was a much different day than I’ve had in the past few years ballhawking-wise. It would be the first game since I went to Nationals Park in 2011 that I didn’t try to ballhawk at!

NICK!!!! HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND????

Yes.

No, but in all seriousness, I knew from the start I wouldn’t be able to ballhawk this game. My high school’s baseball team (Remember this game?) was 22-1 going into today, with a 4pm game against our cross-town rivals, so I couldn’t miss it!

I considered leaving around 5:30 to “beat” the traffic and get there at the end of BP, but it didn’t come close to happening. As much as I wanted to go to the A’s game, I really wanted to stay for this game!

I left around 6:30pm for the 7pm A’s game. Traffic was horrible! My dad and I listened to the pregame show on the radio on the drive up and pulled into the Coliseum parking lot just after the first pitch.

I ran in Gate MM and headed up to the 3rd deck? Why? I had purchased a Value Deck seat. Every Friday in the Value Deck in Oakland, they have a giveaway of some sort, this time it was a T-Shirt. Look for me to be wearing it in my next entry!

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I ran up, grabbed my shirt, and slid into my seat just in time in the bottom of the 1st inning. Everyone was wearing their Bacon Friday T-shirts!

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Wait? What is Bacon Friday, you might ask?

Watch this video…

Or this video…

That was just 2011. That was the first annual Bacon Tuesday.

In 2012, they brought it back for the 2nd Annual Bacon Tuesday. Read this article at Cut4 and this article at the Royals website.

It was back in 2013 and bigger and better than ever! How big? Jeff Francoeur AND Josh Reddick stopped by before the gates opened to tailgate with them!

I have to give MAJOR props to my mom! In the days leading up to Bacon Friday, she baked DOZENS upon DOZENS of Bacon Chocolate Chip cookies. I don’t know exactly how many she made, but they were AMAZING!!!!

Even the people running the scoreboard knew it was Bacon Friday!

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They even showed some action of Sizzlin’ Bacon! Everyone in RF chanted “Go Bacon Go! Go Bacon Go!

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They knew of the awesomeness that is Bacon Friday.

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When I slipped into my seat, Yoenis Cespedes was at the plate…

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But Brandon Moss grounded out to end the first, stranding Jed Lowrie at first.

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Jarrod Parker was on the mound for the A’s

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Daric Barton was playing first.

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FYI, I am a member of the Daric Barton Fan Club. WE GOT YOUR BACK BRO!

While Lorenzo Cain was batting in the 2nd inning, Eric Hosmer was picked off.

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After a short pickle, he was out at first.

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IMG_3532You could tell everyone on the field was happy about it!

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Cain ende up grounding out to first base to end the top of the 2nd.IMG_3536

Like I had mentioned earlier, everyone was wearing their Bacon Friday shirts.

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And yes, I did get one!

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I was 7 rows back or so, but I still had a great view!
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Will was not wearing a jersey like he usually does, but his Bacon Friday shirt!

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In the bottom of the 2nd, with 1 out and Josh Donaldson on first, Derek Norris walked.

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Then, Daric Barton stepped up to the plate.

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He ende up grounding into a fielder’s choice, Derek Norris was thrown out at 2nd base.

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With a runner on 2nd in the top of the 3rd and 1 out, Elliot Johnson was called out on strikes.

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Then, Parker allowed the first run of the game.

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David Lough doubled to Center, bringing in Salvatore Perez.

In the 3rd inning, I headed over to LF to go hang out with Rick Gold for an inning or so. He was in town for the homestand and planning on attending BallhawkFest the next day, so I thought I would stop by and chat for a little bit.

Right after I left, this happened…

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Yep. Omar, Anson, and a few other people did a live interview on the Royals TV broadcast.

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Everyone got pictures with him.

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This is a close-up shot of the back of the T-Shirt.

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Jarrod Parker pitched a scoreless 4th, despite a single and walk.

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I came back in the 4th inning, around the time that my mom and sister showed up!

Why were they so late? My sister had soccer tryouts that ended around 7. She went home, changed into her A’s gear, and she and my mom immediately took BART out to Oakland so they could catch at least part of the game.

FYI, here is Rick. He’s in the new BP hat with the green jacket- right in the middle of the picture.

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James Shields, who tossed me a ball last year when the Rays were in town, was on the mound for the Royals.

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On the 4th pitch of the bottom of the 4th, Brandon Moss singled to right field.

But he tried to stretch it into a double…

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Out or safe?

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He was called out trying to stretch his single into a double for the first out of the inning.IMG_3707

Everyone was pumped about the game!
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Throughout the game, they showed bacon facts on the scoreboard.

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Omar Gutierez’s son, known as The Champ took lots of pictures during the game!

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He’s one awesome kid!

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And he had BACON MINTS!!!

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The other Omar G, Omar Gonzalez was very excited!

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Coco Crispy Bacon!!!

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Jorge was getting into the action, despite his sleepiness.

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Daniel and Keith were chilling in the front row on the other side of the section.

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Ross was taking lots of pictures.

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As was everyone else.

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Can anyone guess what year bacon was invented?
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If you guessed 1500 BC, you are correct!

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The scoreboard routinely showed this for the entire game.

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Through the top of the 6th, the A’s had allowed only that 3rd inning run.

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Jorge was having a good day!IMG_3812

Ready for more bacon trivia? What percentage of men ranked bacon as their favorite smell?

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23%!

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More bacon facts and trivia. BACON CURES HANGOVERS!!!

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Omar had these three signs at this game.

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Everyone was getting into the spirit of Bacon Friday!

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Daric Barton stepped to the plate for the A’s in the 7th, but he was called out on strikes…

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But it wasn’t before Josh Donaldson hit a game-tying home run to left field!

Bob Melvin really wanted to score a few more runs.

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Sean Doolittle came in to pitch the 8th inning for Oakland.IMG_3900

Did you know there is a world record for bacon-eating?

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Doolittle pitched a scoreless 8th

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Adam Rosales stepped to the plate to lead off the A’s half of the 8th.

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On a 1-1 pitch, he hammered a ball to left field to put the A’s ahead 2-1!

Rosie did his usual sprint around the bases.

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RUN ROSIE RUN!

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This meant it was time for Grant Balfour to get loose in the bullpen.

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No more runs were scored in the 8th inning.IMG_3974

I don’t know what it is, but security hates sections 148 and 149 this year. They had a huge problem with a lot of people on Friday.

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Everyone was excited that the A’s had taken the lead!

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In the top of the 9th, it was time for Grant Balfour to come in to close the game out…

This meant it was time to RAGE!!!

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After getting 2 quick outs, Eric Hosmer stepped to the plate!

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And struck him out swinging! Everyone was happy!

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Slowly, we all filed out.

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We all met up in the concourse after the game, I handed out some more cookies, and Ralliney had someone take this picture of us.

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Wow! It was nice to to have any pressures of ballhawking, and for those like me who don’t care about streaks or such, I would highly recommend that you go to a game and purposely not ballhawk. Very relaxing!

Thanks for reading!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 9th Game this Year
  • 0 Balls at this Game
  • 8 balls in 7 MLB games this season = 1.14 Ball Per Game
  • 23 Balls in 9 Games this season = 2.55 Balls Per Game
  • 36 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 66 Total Balls

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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.baco

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4/29/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

Boy oh boy! Today was a long day!

First off, today was Josh Hamilton Appreciation night. Basically, Wes, out in RF (@RFWes on Twitter) came up with the idea of holding Josh Hamilton Appreciation night, in honor of Hamilton dropping the ball in game 162 to allow the A’s to pull ahead, winning the game and AL West division. Over the course of the next day, there were a lot of articles about the event. The Dallas Morning News, Sports Illustrated’s Swingin’ A’s blog, Fox 4 in Dallas, Fox Sports Southwest, NESN, ESPN Dallas, NBC’s Hardball Talk, the MLB Fan Cave, MLB.com’s Cut4, and NBC Dallas all covered the event! WOW!

When I got home from Reggie Jackson bobblehead day, Adam Olson, who designed this blog’s logo and is famous for his A’s Shirts, posted on Facebook that he couldn’t make it to Monday’s game, and he was offering his tickets for free to the first person that messaged him.  I took advantage, and he was more than willing to give me his 2 seats in Section 124 for the game.

Over the course of the day, I captured some pretty cool moments on video, which you can check out here:

Conveniently, on Monday, I had a doctor’s appointment nearby his place, so after school got out at 3:05, my entire family headed out to pick up the tickets. Once we had picked up the tickets at around 3:45, we made the quick drive to my doctor’s office, for the 4pm appointment.

It took a little longer than expected, as I was hoping to catch the 4:35 BART Train to Oakland, but the appointment ended around 3:35, so my dad dropped my mom and I off at 4:45, just in time to catch the 4:50 train to Oakland.

After getting off and transferring to a different station, we made it to the Coliseum BART station at 5:25, just 10 minutes before the gates opened. I ran from the station to the Coliseum, to find a VERY short line. Here is a bad shot of the line in front of me.

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I’d say that by 5:35, maybe 10 people were behind me.

There was only one person checking bags, and one person scanning tickets, but once I got inside, even though my ticket was not for the bleachers, I sprinted out to RF. It appeared as Pujols, Trumbo, Trout, and Hamilton had all finished taking their hacks, as I didn’t see any of them during Batting Practice.

I was on the board quickly. After getting to the bleacher around 5:40, I got my first ball almost immediately  As soon as I ran into the bleachers, I saw a ball hit the wall in Right-Center.  I ran over there, Michael Kohn walked over, picked the ball up, and tossed it up to me after I called out for it.

Ball #2 was the next pitch hit by the same batter, fielded by former Atheltic Joe Blanton. I called out to him, and I had two balls within 30 seconds, less than 6 minutes within the gates opening.

My 3rd ball of the day came 3 minutes later, it was hit to dead center field, Jerome Williams fielded it, and after noticing and identifying his pink glove thanks to my memory of Mateo Fischer’s blog entry, I called out to him, and he tossed it up!

3 balls within 10 minutes of the gates opening, all within 5 minutes of each other!

By this time, most of the players in RF and CF had seen me call out for balls, and considering nobody was hitting it to LF, BP was “dead.”

I focused my attention on this man:
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That would be Mr. Josh “Butterfingers” Hamilton!

Why? I noticed that he had struck up a conversation with the RF bleacher folks!

IMG_9717They tossed some Butterfinger candies onto the field for him.
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Which he enjoyed! He had a very long conversation with the 20-or-so folks out in RF;

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And they all loved it!

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I think he loved the fact that they were doing this!

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And they loved the fact he was so willing to participate!

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At this point, a majority of the balls being hit were hit down the RF line, so I headed to the RF corner, in the BBQ Terrace.
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This was the scene to the right.

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CJ Wilson (Right) and Ernesto Freiri (49) were patrolling the RF area.

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This camera was right below me.
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Then, I noticed this guy in RF.

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That would be Alex Espinosa, of MLB.com’s Cut4. Go ahead and follow him on Twitter here.

He was busy taking pictures and filming.
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Here is the video from the night that he got:

Hamilton was enjoying the Butterfingers.

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And he posed for photos.

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Alex got busy taking notes on what was happening.

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I got a chance to talk with him, along with Wes (Right) and Ralliney (Middle)

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I saw this coach on the Angels toss this ball up to a young fan in the first row.

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As you can see, Left Field was PACKED!

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Welp. There was nothing hit out there. Very few toss-ups.

While I was wandering around the BBQ Terrace in Right Field, I looked down to the stairs behind the Right Field wall.
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I ran back and forth between the Terrace and Bleachers A LOT.

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But the cages broke down…
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And I got a picture of Wes and “Dreamkiller” (Left) with their butterfingers.

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Ralliney got this shot of me with my 3 balls and my AMAZING shirt.

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As well of this photo of me taking pictures:

946653_10152790703280788_1018542732_nRoss was out in the Bleachers, as always, with a pretty awesome shirt!
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Everyone was having a great time!

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WITH THEIR BUTTERFINGERS!!!
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There were lots of All Star Ballots in the Bleachers. REMEMBER. VOTE GREEN AND GOLD IN 2013!!!

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Then, I decided to head off to my ticketed seat, where my mom got this photo of me with my 3 BP balls.

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This was my view. Not too bad!

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To  my right…

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And my left…

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Around 6:40, I headed back to the bleachers.

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Everyone was shuffling in.

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And Ross held his #ReddickRallyHair.

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Confused? Watch this video…

Now watch this video…

Now you are all caught up to speed!

Everyone was posing with their Butterfingers!!

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You know how I was wearing my “He Dropped It” shirt, designed by Adam Olson? Well… He updated the design, and many people in the bleachers were wearing it!

Alex got this photo of the two of us. Alex actually writes a blog as well called BayMode, and he has an entry up about this game, including lots of pictures from the bleachers! You can check out his blog here and his entry about this game here.

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Vanessa got it from this angle:

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In the words of Will MacNeil, “CURSE YOU PAPARAZZI!!!”

Arlene got this photo of Vanessa and I

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Don’t ask me about my eyes. I don’t know.

Anson (one of the RF Die-hards that I haven’t mentioned much on this blog) showed up shortly after I did.
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This may be the best prop I saw all night.

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Seriously. How amazing is that?

Satoshi and Keita were wearing these awesome hats.

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I had to pose wearing one as well.

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The ceremonial first pitch was quite entertaining.

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And Tony started distributing bags of the #ReddickRallyHair

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Remember that video of Alex Interviewing Tony? Here he is doing so. Cool camera, huh?

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Here is Tony explaining everything

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Remember… You can watch the video here.

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The umpires met at home plate…

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And we were ready to go!!

Right before the first pitch, my camera battery died. Of course, the second battery was in my backpack on the COMPLETE opposite side of the stadium… So I *SPRINTED* to my seat, grabbed the battery along with another spare, and sprinted back. I got to the bleachers just in time to see Josh Hamilton’s first plate appearance.

Alex LOVED it!

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When Josh came out in the bottom of the first, you could tell he did too!

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Tracey was flashing here sign and glove!

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You could tell Hamilton loved it all.

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After the first inning, I went over and spent the 2nd inning with my mom by the dugout before heading out to the bleachers again. I grabbed a seat on the left side of section 149, right behind Omar Gonzalez and his daughter Rhema.

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He has a lot of pretty awesome signs!

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Meanwhile, Tommy Hanson was on the mound for the Halos.

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Okay, okay. I know you all just want pictures of everyone in right field.

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Shin was just in front of me.

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Ready for a story?

Every night, the sun sets in Oakland. Every night game, the sun sets right behind the 3rd base dugout. Eventually, it is directly behind one of the staircases int he 3rd deck.

And the Sun Hole was born.

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I still can’t get over how amazing Tracey’s glove was!

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Like I went back and forth during BP between the Terrace and Bleachers, I went back and forth between 124 and the Bleachers during the game.
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While I was sitting with my mom, she got a lot of awesome pictures!

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It was weird to be on the other end of the stadium, watching the bleachers.
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But like I said, my mom got some AWESOME shots.

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Early into the game, there was a fielder’s interference of some sort… It was quite frustrating to the Angels…

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The Umpire was clapping…

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ERIC SOGARD NERD POWER!!!

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Strikeout machine Dan Straily was on the mound for the A’s.

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Jed Lowrie also got hit by not just one pitch….

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But two. Can you find the ball? FYI, I took this picture 🙂

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While I was sitting over there, you know what I was thinking? It must be awesome to be the A’s bat boy down the LF line. You get to warm up Yoenis Cespedes every inning.

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Soon enough, I was back out in Right Field.

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Sam was holding up this AMAZING sign.

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Like… Amazing!
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Omar was enjoying the game with his daughter Rhema.

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When Hamilton came out to Right Field, he tossed up a ball. Everyone was taking pictures of it…
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The ball had been tossed to Wiggi…

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And she seemed pretty excited about it!

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Here’s a slightly closer look…

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There was something written on the ball!

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More than just something!

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Every side of the ball had something written on it!

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Will seemed to be having a good day!

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Same with Tony!

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After spending another inning or so in the bleachers, I headed back to my mom so that I could take some more pictures.

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Of Eric Sogard…

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Then I handed the camera to my mom so that she could take some pictures of Pat Neshek.

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Seriously, it is fun to take pictures of him!

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Brandon Moss was at first base

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Josh Reddick in Right Field

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Coco Crisp in center.

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Yoenis Cespedes in left field.

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Jed Lowrie at shortstop

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Mike Gallego is the A’s third base coach.

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Mike Trout making a catch at the wall.

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Third Base…

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Josh Donaldson stepped to the plate.

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Derek Norris was due up after him.

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At this point, I headed out to right field again.

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Grant Balfour was beginning to get loose in the bullpen.

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Along with Sean Doolittle.

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In the top of the 9th, Sean Doolittle came into pitch. At this point, my mom joined me in right field, as I was hoping to catch a walk-off home run.

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The A’s had a 4-run 8th inning, so they were down by one run coming into the bottom of the 9th.

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With two outs, Yoenis Cespedes singled to center field, bringing in Coco Crisp to tie it all up at 7!

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You could tell Omar was pretty excited!
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The 9th inning ended in a tie, and we were ready to go into extra innings!

Grant Balfour came in to pitch the 10th inning.

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Time to RAGE!!!

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Balfour shut the Angels down in the 10th.

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At this point, I was amazed that Omar and his wife had stuck along with Rhema.

Vanessa enjoyed playing with her!

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She was pretty excited about free baseball!

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Picture-taking-ception!
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Nobody had any clue what was so special about this game.

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Rhema was getting very tired!
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Grant Balfour pitched the 11th inning as well.

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Moss was still at first base.

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Everyone was enjoying the free baseball!

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I took a lot fo random pictures like this one…
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As you can see, the crowd was starting to thin out.

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Omar was rocking the Coco sign.
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In the 12th, Ryan Cook came in to pitch.

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Then, in the middle of the 12th, they played Call Me Maybe

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Nobody likes that song in Oakland.

Around 11pm, this message was shown on the scoreboard.
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My mom and I had taken BART…. CRAP!!!!

In the bottom of the 12th, this message was shown on the scoreboard. A starter was in the bullpen!
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This was about the time my phone’s battery died…

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Everyone in the right field bleachers was still here.
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Will was moving around with his flag.

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Brandon Moss moved to right field in the 14th inning.

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Around this time, it was about midnight. At 11:50, my mom told me it was time to go, but I did not want to leave!

We called my dad and he offered to come pick us up! WE WERE STAYING TILL THE END!!
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Omar was pretty excited to be there!

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This is what the back of Wes’s head looks like…

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I spent a lot of the extra innings talking with him and Vanessa.

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Omar was having some fun with his drum.

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Around the 14th or 15th inning, my dad showed up!

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Anson was getting his moves on.
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Around this time, it was the 17TH INNING!!!IMG_0957

It was the 17th inning. I was pretty happy!

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Thanks to Arlene, we can all see our RALLY FACES!!!!

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It was EMPTY
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We were having FUN FUN FUN in Right Field.

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I got to try some of this delicious green and gold Lemon Bar

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In the top of the 18th, Brett Anderson left the game with an injury.

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The infielders chatted during the pitching change.

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IT WAS RIDICULOUSLY EMPTY!!

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The person that runs the out-of-town scoreboard in right field was watching the game.

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Everyone was having a great time!

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It was 1:14. MIND BLOWN.

IMG_1001Earlier in the game, the A’s starting DH for the game, Seth Smith had to move to Left Field, after Coco Crisp Cape out, Chris Young replaced him and subsequently was injured, so Yoenis Cespedes had to move from LF to CF, and with Brandon Moss already having replaced Josh Reddick in RF, Smith had to leave the DM spot, meaning a pitcher would have to be in the lineup.

Jerry Blevins stepped to the plate. This gave me 3 points in the MyGameBalls.com Photo Scavenger Hunt!
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He actually made contact. FOUL BALL!!!!

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The stadium was almost empty at this point.IMG_1008

Vanessa got this picture of Her, me, and Wes. We were DELERIOUS!!

321470_10102455181762880_1085466090_nThe A’s couldn’t come up with anything in the 18th inning.
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Right field was loud, as usual.
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Blevins pitched the 19th inning as well.

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We were all having lots of fun! It got to the point where I think most of us just wanted the game to be over.
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We were all chanting the names of the broadcasters, from what I hear, they enjoyed very much!

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Basically, just like “Ray Fosse!” *Clap Clap ClapClapClap* “Glen Kuiper!” *Clap Clap ClapClapClap* “Ken Korach!” *Clap Clap ClapClapClap* “Vince Catroneo!” *Clap Clap ClapClapClap*

Remember how I mentioned that my phone’s battery had died? Never to fear! My dad has a smart phone too!

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(Arlene took that photo)

Here is the Tweet I sent out on his phone…

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Then… after a Seth Smith walk, Jed Lowrie grounded into a fielder’s choice, with Seth Smith out at 2nd base.

After that, Yoenis Cespedes struck out swinging, bringing Brandon Moss to the plate with 2 outs.

Following a first pitch strike, this happened.

After 6 Hours and 32 minutes, we were finally going home!

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EVERYONE was happy!

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After we had all been mulling around, someone suggested that we get a group picture of everyone in Right Field that had stayed all 19 innings. Given the fact that my dad was the only one there who hadn’t been at all 19 innings, plus he had his camera, he took the picture.

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Later that night, I tweeted the picture out, posted it on Instagram and Facebook, and over the course of the next 24 hours, it received 80 retweets and 55 favorites on Twitter;  268 Facebook likes, 33 Instagram likes, AND it was featured on Intentional Talk!

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Thanks to Alex Espinosa for tweeting that to me! I probably wouldn’t have seen it without your help!

Then, I got a photo of me with the 3 balls and an empty stadium.

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And it was SO LONG from the Coliseum.

KEEP READING!

Around 10:30am on Monday, I got this Tweet.

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Then, later that evening, I went on with 89.3 KPCC in Southern California to talk about the game. It was my first radio interview! I talked about what it was like to be at the game, how I managed to be there for the entire time, and some of my memories from the day. Go check out their website here. Thank You very much to Rob for inviting me on!

Finally, you know how Adam Olson hooked me up with the tickets to this game? (Thank You again very much Adam!) Well later Tuesday afternoon, he tweeted out this picture…

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He is going to make those shirts available, and YES, I did purchase one! Remember to check out his A’s shirt store here , his Around the League store here, and website here.

There is one more topic that I would like to address  I thought about it long and hard. With so few people left in the stadium, I probably could have snagged A LOT of foul balls, third out balls, and infield warm-up balls. Why did I not?

1) I wanted to enjoy the 19-inning game, rather than run around and be dissapointed every time I didn’t snag a ball.

2) The idea of catching a walk-off home run or a late-inning home run was just too much. I would trade in 10 3rd out balls for a walk-off homer in the 19th inning any day.

Lastly, there was a lot of coverage of the 19-Inning Game, Josh Hamilton Appreciation Night, and a few other RF Bleacher-related things on MLB Network’s Intentional Talk. I compiled it all into this video…

That is all for this entry. WOW! What an incredible day!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 8th Game this Year
  • 3 Balls at this Game
  • 8 balls in 6 MLB games this season = 1.33 Ball Per Game
  • 23 Balls in 8 Games this season = 2.875 Balls Per Game
  • 7 Consecutive Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 5 Consecutive MLB Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 36 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 66 Total Balls

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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.

4/3/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

More Baseball! This was my 2nd A’s game in 3 days, and this was going to be just me and my mom! If you can remember, the last time it was just the two of us, I snagged a Fenway Park 100th Anniversary Commemorative Ball. The time before that, I snagged 6 balls. This was looking to be a very positive day!

Fromt the time that we left our house to the time we got to the Coliseum, to my lap around the ballpark, I filmed nonstop. I also filmed us getting out of the Coliseum. It was an ADVENTURE! I compiled it all into an 11 and 1/2 minute video for you to enjoy! After watching it, you can continue with your regularly scheduled blog entry.

My dad took my mom and I to the BART Station, and we left the house at 3:40, getting there at 3:54, catching the 3:58 train to Oakland.

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Once we got to the Coliseum at around 4:25, we set our stuff down at gate MM, which is the quickest route to the bleachers.
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Towards the BART Plaza, this was the scene.

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It was very quiet, calm, and peaceful. I LOVED it!

At this point, I took the camera and documented my fifteen-minute trip around the Coliseum. Again, just watch the video to check it all out!

About 10 minutes before the gates were supposed to open at 5:35, the line wasn’t very long.

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Beyond what you see, that was it!

Around 5:33, they checked our bags, which made the process SOOOO much easier. This gave me time to zip up my backpack and put it pack on. Otherwise, I would have to do this in a rush between running and scanning my ticket.

Usually, Will MacNeil (click his name to follow him on Twitter) will run in with all of the bleacher crew’s flags and banners. I actually sprinted ahead of him, but then let him lead the way, as this was my first time going this way.

Once in the bleachers (Where I WAS NOT wrist banded, which made everything so much simpler), I set my stuff down, put on my glove, and was ready to go. Less than 10 minutes into BP, a ball was hit to Mariner reliever Tom Wilhelmsen. He turned around and just tossed it to me. I didn’t even ask. Cool!

10 or so minutes later, a ball was hit off the wall that Mariner pitcher Stephen Pryor fielded and tossed up to me after I ask him for it.

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After that, BP was more or less dead. Wilhelmsen and Pryor were fielding almost every ball hit to RF, so I didn’t bother asking either of them again, knowing that it was very unlikely I would get another toss-up from either of them.

Why did I not go to Left Field might you ask? Not a single ball was hit into the left field seats during BP. NOT EVEN WHEN MICHAEL MORSE WAS HITTING. There were not toss-ups into the LF bleachers either.

Around 6:10 or so, there still had not been a single ball hit into the outfield stands, however there had been many hit over the fence.

At 6:15, BP picked up, when Kendrys Morales stepped to the cage. The second pitch he saw was a bomb to RF, but I was on the opposite side, as he had almost just hit it out. As I was on my way in that direction, Morales hit another bomb in the same area, caught by the SAME guy. However, it was this guy.

Then, while I was over there, expecting him to hit another, on the LAST pitch of BP, he hit it around where I had just been standing. AWESOME…

I ended BP with 2 balls.

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After BP came to a close, I went off in search of food and decided on a sandwich from the Westside Club.

When I got back to my seat, it was around 6:30, and players had started to take the field to warm up.

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I looked into the dugout and saw Yoenis Cespedes with his hat backwards just walking around in the dugout.

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Tommy Milone was tossing in the bullpen. I considered going down there to try and get a ball, but considering the fact that there were at least 5 ushers within 50 feet of him, I decided against it.

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There was this group of people behind home plate, who looked like they would be singing the national anthem.

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Scott Sizemore would be playing in his first game since 2011. If you remember, on the FIRST day of spring training in 2012 he tore his ACL.

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The Mariners would have offseason acquisition Joe Saunders on the mound.

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Newly acquired first baseman Nate Freiman was making his major league debut in this game.

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About 10 minutes before the A’s took the field, Yoenis Cespedes had a nice, long conversation with Kendrys Morales, in the middle of the outfield. My guess is that they were debating who can hit the ball farther. My money would be on Yoenis.

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The bleachers were quite crowded for this game, more than I had expected.

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Tommy Milone finished up his warm up tosses…

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… Josh Donaldson did some last-minute stretching …

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… Stomper rode around the warning track in the Smiling Chevron Car…

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… And we were all ready to go!

Offseason acquisition Chris Young was in the lineup, playing center field, making his debut in the green and gold!
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Right before the first pitch, I went to the last row of the bleachers and took this picture
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Then I took a panoramic shot on my phone. GORGEOUS.20130403-225021.jpg

As they announced the A’s line up, the right field guys all wave their flags.

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I just thought those were two cool pictures.

Well you know how the bleachers were crowded? Guess what wasn’t?
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Yep! How nuts is that? I would have tried to go down there, but the ushers in that area specifically have always been very strict about checking tickets.

Chris Young was playing center in his Oakland debut

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With Josh Reddick playing right field

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And Tommy Milone on the bump for the A’s.

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Since both pitchers were lefties, both lineups were packed with righty hitters, which meant fewer balls to right field. Since I knew there was a slimmer chance of snagging a home run, I focused on taking some pictures, as did my mom. Pictures like this one.

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And this one of Nate Freiman making his MLB Debut at first base.

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Yoenis Cespedes was the A’s starting left fielder.

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Jed Lowrie was in the game at shortstop

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And Josh Donaldson was playing third

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Tye Waller, who has tossed me two balls before, is the A’s first base coach.

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Coco Crisp had been hitting the ball far so far, and he showed that, with a deep fly to center that unfortunately stayed in the yard.

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Nate Freiman was hitting 8th in his MLB Debut

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And on the 5th pitch of the at bat from Joe Saunders,

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He singled into center for not only his first MLB hit, but his first MLB run batted in as well!

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Since Josh Reddick was playing closest to me, and the lighting was just right, I tried taking some “artsy photos” like these.

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I liked this shot of the Oakland sky at night.

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During the inning break, I took a look up to the CSN booth to see that Scott Hatteberg was in the booth instead of Ray Fosse. I love Scott as a player and person, but he is not cut out for TV…

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Mike Morse, the Mariners RF, was heckled plenty throughout the game.

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Jed Lowrie had a BIG day at the plate.

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Coco Crisp doubled in the 3rd inning.

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Then after Jed Lowrie and Chris Young walks, Yoenis Cespedes flied out, however Coco Crisp came home to score, giving Yoenis a sac fly.

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But Derek Norris struck out to end the inning…

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I was enjoying taking pictures, so I got a few like this one of Josh Reddick
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Or this one of Yoenis Cespedes.

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Ot this one of Chris Young.IMG_6748

Around the 4th inning or so, I decided to try my luck with foul balls and headed up to sections 223 and 222. No foul balls for Nick.

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I then headed over to 224, where I got this amazing panoramic shot!20130403-225028.jpgI decided to head back to the bleachers in the 5th or 6th inning, as I was having no luck whatsoever with foul balls.

Tommy Milone was pitching a great game!
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I enjoyed taking pictures like this one.

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And this one…IMG_6784

Jorge, one of the members of the bleacher crew had brought balloons to the game. Here he is with one of them…

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Everyone was having fun with them, including Tom Bentley, who put one in his King Felix foam crown.IMG_6793

The 7th inning was a very interesting inning for me personally. Here is Josh Reddick jogging off the field after the top of the 7th.IMG_6800

LOOK AT THAT HAIR!!!

Ready for the exciting story? Here it is… I was sitting on the end of  the row, on the asile, giving me more mobility in the event of a home run. Well in this case, sitting ont the asile hurt me. In the bottom of the 7th, on the 3rd pitch of the At Bat, Jed Lowrie smashed the ball to right field. At first, I didn’t think it would end up in the bleachers. I was expecting it to clank off the bleacher railing or the tip of the out-of-town scoreboard and get back onto the field. I would then politely call out to Michael Morse for the ball. Click HERE to watch the home run.

So I first figured that nobody in my row had a glove, so it would make it harder for them to catch the home run. Keep in mind that my row was completely full, no room for me to move. Take a look at this screenshot that I drew on…

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As you can see, I was on the end of the row, on the asile, while the guy that caught the ball (With His Glove, might I add) was smack dab in the middle of the row. He also reached over the railing a good 2 feet to make the catch.

Oh the frustrations. I couldn’t really beat myself up about this, as I am NOT about to push past a row of people, including my own mother to make the catch. It’s just one of those things that frustrates you…

Here is A’s bullpen coach Darren Bush answering the bullpen phone.IMG_6801

If you remember, I was the ONLY person that recognized him in the clubhouse at A’s FanFest.

In the middle of the 8th inning las year, the A’s played Call Me Maybe. Everyone hated it. Guess what song they played this year? I will give you four hints…

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Yep. Call Me Maybe. And don’t worry, Ross is not the only one who hates it. Everyone to his left was doing the same thing, but I couldn’t get a good picture of any of them.

Oh, hey look who was back! It was @Shakabrodie! AKA, Benjamin Christensen.

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In the 8th inning, Josh Reddick was hit by a pitch.

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But the A’s didn’t score. Then, in the top of the 9th, Chris Resop came in and had a 1-2-3 inning to seal the win for the Green and Gold!

I got another picture with my 2 BP balls.

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And we said goodbye to the Coliseum.

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Like I’ve said before, I made a video that showed not only what it was like to get from BART to the Coliseum and to walk around the Coliseum, but in that video, I showed what it was like to get from our seats to BART. Check it out here and skip ahead to the 7:37 mark and that will put you right where you need to be!

In a day or two, I should have up an entry about the Stockton Ports game I attended a few days ago at Banner Island Ballpark. In the mean time, Check out my entries about the World Baseball Classic game I attended, the High School Game Baseball game I attended at Banner Island Ballpark, or you can read the entry I wrote up about Opening Day in Oakland. Enjoy!

Thanks everyone for reading!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 3rd Game of the Year
  • 2 Balls at this Game
  • 3 balls in 3 Games this season = 1 Ball Per Game
  • 2 Consecutive Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 31 Lifetime Major League baseballs
  • 46 total balls

300x50_mlblogs_top100 Nick Badders is a unofficial reporter for MLB.com. He writes the blog, 7000 Coliseum Way, and you can follow him on Twitter @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay. You can also LIKE his blog on Facebook or follow him @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay on Instagram. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

4/1/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

This was shaping up to be a VERY fun day! Everyone in my family got Opening Day tickets on Christmas, and we were sitting in the bleachers and I COULD NOT be more excited! The four of us left our house around 1:45 and got to Oakland close to 2:20.

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It was a beautiful day and there were LOTS of fans already there!

When we were parked, I first walked around the perimeter to see if I could find someone with information about whether or not Gate B would be open. Eventually, I found someone, and he confirmed that indeed, Gate B would be open.

I then went back to our car, grabbed my sister, and we walked around the Coliseum again, where she snapped this picture of me.

We stopped in the team store for a bit before heading back to the car. At this point, it was 2:40 and I wanted to start prepping for my BlogTalkRadio show at 3:00. Unfortunately  I decided at the last minute to do it, and due to a lack of WiFi at the Coliseum, I was unable to publicize it, but thanks to Quinn for doing so! If you didn’t listen to the show, just click here.

At 3:25, I wrapped the show up and jumped back in line, where I found bleacher friends Ross (RF Bleacher Shirt) and Ralliney (Just out of the frame on the right)!

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My dad then noticed this scaffolding… RANDOM!

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But the four of us waiting in line got a quick picture together.

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Then we got a quick picture of me, my dad, and my sister. AWWWWWWW!

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It was seriously a beautiful day for baseball.

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I then remembered that I needed to get a photo checked off the 2013 MyGameBalls.com Photo Scavenger Hunt list. Attempting to juggle 3 baseballs while in line waiting for the gates to open. Check!

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No I can’t juggle. At least I made te effort!

More and more people started gathering in line and got pictures together.

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Fast forward to 5 minutes before the gates open. This is the scene. It was INSANELY PACKED. Everyone was all ready to go in.

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Then look who showed up! It’s Benjamin Christensen! He was one of the 9 Cave Dwellers for the MLB Fan Cave last year. Go hit him up on Twitter or check out his hat of the day blog. Good stuff!

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But like I said, the line was PACKED

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And LONG

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When they let us in at 5:07, I was running in and slipped on a gatorade wrapper on the ground on my first step. GREAT!!!!

Then, when I was the 3rd person in at the turnstile, the person ahead of me wouldn’t take his ticket out of his ticket lanyard, so that resulted in being held up. Once I finally got past that and the giveaways, there was a line to get WRISTBANDED going into the bleachers. Wristbands suck. You have to get a wristband when entering the bleachers if they are sold out. Well I finally got in!

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And Derek Norris was in the cages.

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He wasn’t hitting anything to right field. After him, Nate Freiman was hitting in the cage.

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A’s BP was going nowhere fast, so I headed down to where the Mariners were playing catch. Oliver Perez was throwing…

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… With this guy!

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I recognized this guy sitting near me during the game.

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That is Tommy Bentley, who was one of the Top 52 MLB Fan Cave Dwellers. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Towards the end of his time throwing, Perez began throwing submarine.

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And the Mariners began taking BP.

Kendrys Morales was hitting the ball pretty far, but he wasn’t hitting it out. Lots of balls off the wall.

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I decided it was best not to be in the bleachers for BP. Why?

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It was crowded. And there were at least a few people in every row, making moving around VERY hard. It was like that in every section of the Bleachers in LF AND RF.

It was a shame how packed the bleachers because Michael Morse was hitting BOMBS!

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He hit a few 2nd Deckers in Center Field. He hit A LOT of home runs into the LF Bleachers as well. Nothing to RF. But, like I said, it was way too crowded to even have a chance.

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You see those 3 guys? They must have thrown at least 10 balls into the bleachers if not more. Every time they threw a ball, it was a mad scrum to get it. Ridiculous.

Third Base coach Jeff Datz was throwing BP.

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Around 5:40, there was a batter who I couldn’t identify that hit 5 or 6 balls in a row on the ground that were all right in front of me. Bullpen catcher Jaime Navarro walked over and without me asking, seeing as that I was wearing Mariners gear, he tossed me a ball!IMG_6080

My dad wandered around for BP, taking a lot of cool photos. It honestly felt like there were easily 15,000 people in the stadium taking in BP.

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And for those of you that have wondered, this is what it looks like from above, looking into the Diamond Level seats in Oakland.

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But, like I said, he got a lot of cool photos during BP like this one:

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All told, BP was pretty calm. Other than Morse, there were few home runs hit. There were lot a lot of pull lefties either. Balls that were hit near me on the field were all tossed in. There was a ball that I called out for, but right before it was tossed to me, I noticed a little boy standing behind me and I moved out of the way so he could get it.

Once BP was over,I headed back to the Bleachers.

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Where they were setting these things. That meant one thing… FIREWORKS!!!!

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I then noticed this in Left Field. Hm…

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My dad then headed off to get some food for my sister and I.

Helpful Hint: If you are ever in need of good-tasting (However EXTREMELY overpriced food), go to the Westside Club. They have THE BEST Pizza-By-The-Slice! There is also a Sandwich bar that I mentioned in entries like this one.

The A’s started coming onto the field and I pulled out my dad’s camera when I noticed this…

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Do you know what is so special? For 5 points on the 2013 MyGameBalls.com Photo Scavenger Hunt list, you need a picture of… “At least three players standing in a group whose jersey numbers are visible and satisfy this mathematical formula: one player’s number equals the sum of the other players’ numbers.”

YES! 5 points checked off! 7 Points so far on the day! The I noticed this…

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What is so special?

For 6 points on the 2013 MyGameBalls.com Photo Scavenger Hunt list is of… “Two players standing together whose jersey numbers are visible and satisfy this mathematical formula: one player’s number equals the square root of the other player’s number.”

2+5+6 = 13 Points on the Day!

Yoenis Cespedes was also stretching on the field.

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So were the Mariners!

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“King” Felix Hernandez was pitching for the Mariners.

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Around 6:40, the pregame ceremonies got underway! The Bleachers were PACKED and READY TO GOOOOOOO!

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The Mariners were introduced and stuff, then the A’s were introduced! The A’s were really focused on the fan interaction this day, so they chose 10-15 of their longest season ticket holders to greet the players on their way onto the field!

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Remember that photo of the tarp over the outfield wall? Well they chose two more season ticket holders to pull it off and reveal this!

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It was so cool to see the entire team lined up along the field!

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The use of Pyro was really great in the pre-game ceremonies!

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RF Drummer, Andy, was gettting into it! (His Twitter is here)

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Felix finished his warm-up tosses.

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And the boys in Green and Gold took the field!

Josh Reddick, of course was the A’s starting pitcher.

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THAT BEARD!!!

I really like this next picture of him. I think it just looks really cool!

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Coco Crisp, of course, was the A’s starting Center Fielder.

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And the game was UNDERWAY!!

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Like Game 3 of the ALDS, the starting pitcher was Brett Anderson.

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He was pitching VERY well.

One of my favorite A’s players, Eric Sogard, was the A’s starting second baseman. If you remember, I got my picture with him at 2012 FanFest! NERD POWER!!!!

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John Jaso, the A’s starting catcher doubled for the A’s first hit of the game, which game with 1 out in the 4th inning.

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Michael Saunders was the Mariners starting right fielder. Poor guy. If you don’t know why I say that, I’ll leave it at the fact that visiting right fielders WILL get heckled in Oakland.

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The TV Booth was popping as always, with Ray Fosse and Glen Kuiper.

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Felix Hernandez was DEALING

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He allowed 3 hits all game. No Walks. 8 Strikeouts. Yikes…

I got this picture in the 7th inning. No real reason. Just thought it was cool.

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Then, in the 8th inning, guess who stopped by?

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It’s Oakland mayor Jean Quan! If you have heard anything about Occupy: Oakland, then I’m sure you know about her. IF not, just click her name right ^^here^^ to read about her on Wikipedia.

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In the bottom of the 9th, the A’s were down 2-0. But the stadium WOULD NOT stay quiet.

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But, with Jed Lowrie in scoring position at 2nd, Brandon Moss popped out to Michael Saunders to end the game. Awesome…

Before we left, I got this picture with my sister and my 1 ball on the day.

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After that picture right before we left, I spent a few minutes taling with 149 Die-Hard Omar G. He is one of the many A’s fans that has given me ENDLESS suport with my blog, so as a small thank you- can you all go follow follow him on Twitter HERE. Everyone go follow him. NOW.

He has two AWESOME sons, nicknamed Super J and the Champ. I HAD TO get a picture with the two of them! I posed with them and the foam Josh Reddick Wrestling Belt that my sister purchased before the gates opened.

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Seriously. Those kids are REALLY awesome!

The lights then started to turn off, so we all slowly filed out. Even though the A’s lost, it was a good day!

Once we got outside, I remembered that I need this picture…

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Why?  “BONUS 1: You with a stadium name sign in the background with you holding a baseball snagged that day at that stadium (1 point per stadium for a max of 30 points)” on the MGB Photo Scavenger Hunt list. 14 Points in the scavenger hunt on the day! That and the photo of me on Intentional Talk from this game, the next morning, this is what I saw at the scavenger hunt page:

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Awesome!

Well that’s about all I have from this game. My next game was April 3rd, so I should have that post up tomorrow or the day after that, then a few after my post about the April 3rd game, I should have up and entry about the game I’m going to today (April 5th) at Banner Island Ballpark!

Thanks for reading!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 2nd Game of the Year
  • 1 Ball at this Game
  • 1 Ball in 2 Games this season = 0.5 Balls Per Game
  • 29 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 44 total balls

300x50_mlblogs_top100 Nick Badders is a unofficial reporter for MLB.com. He writes the blog, 7000 Coliseum Way, and you can follow him on Twitter @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay. You can also LIKE his blog on Facebook or follow him @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay on Instagram. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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

2012 in Review

Wow. 2012 was an crazy year for me, with so many fun experiences!

I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read my blog, and for all of the support that everyone has given me.

I would like to start of by saying that this is my 100th post at 7000 Coliseum Way!!!! Expect many more to come in 2013!

This entry will be complied of many things. IT IS VERY LONG: 3,659 Words to be exact.

I first want to present to you the 7000 Coliseum Way 2012 Annual report, as created by WordPress.com:

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 14 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank you to my top 5 commenters in 2012!
1) Max- Max commented 64 times this year! He was very supportive with Fan Packs, giving me tips, and always was ready to comment! You can follow him on Twitter here. Thanks Max!

2) Connor- He commented 32 times! Like Max, Connor always commented on the Fan Pack entries, giving me tips, and too has been very supportive all year! Thanks Connor!

3) Quinn Quinn was the first person to subscribe to this blog, and he always was commenting, supporting my ballhawking, as well as giving me tips for fan packs. You can follow him on Twitter here. Thanks Quinn!

4) Chris Chris is a fellow ballhawk, living in New York. He commented 27 times in 2012, and was very supporite with my ballhawking, as well as my Mail Time! posts, giving me tips for fan packs. You can follow him on Twitter here. Thanks Chris!

5) SpencerS- Spencer is a fellow Bay Area ballhawk. He commented 7 times in 2012! I’ve gotten the chance to meet him, and he is a great guy! He, too has given me lots of support with ballhawking in 2012. You can follow him on Twitter here. Thank You Spencer!

If you read this blog, then chance are, you know who Mateo Fischer is. He writes the MLBlog called Observing Baseball, and even thought he was not one of the top commementers, he was one of my greatest supporters in 2012 with the growing popularity of this blog. He wrote a review entry as well, and you can check it out by clicking here. You can click here to follow him on Twitter or here to LIKE Observing Baseball.

I would also like to thank Zack Hample, Zachary Weiss, Wayne Peck, Todd Cook, Shawn Bosman, Rick Gold, Malcolm MacMillan, Paul K, and McCovey Cove Dave for all of their support this year. Click on any of their names above to give them a follow on Twitter.

*Zack was the one that first got me into ballhawking, which I have to thank him for.

*Zachary Weiss has also been one of the most supportive people, giving me advice and support with ballhawking as well as blogging.

*Wayne writes the MLBlogs Collection of Baseball and A View From the Bullpen, and I was fortunate enough to meet him this past October. He has encouraged me trough my ballhawking and been a great friend to me this past year.

*Todd Cook writes a fantastic blog, called Cook and Sons Baseball Adventures. He gave me constant competition with the myGameBalls.com Photo Scavenger Hunt, which I appreciate. He also wrote a book called the Baseball Log, which I own. I highly recommend that you go give it a look!

*Shawn Bosman was my first co-host on The Nick Badders Show, and I thank him for doing that with me, as well as giving me the encouragement to continue my ballhawking.

*Rick Gold is a ballhawk who is also an editor for MLB.com. I met him in May, and he too, as given me an encouragement in my ballhawking. As a teen, he ballhawked at the Coliseum, which is a great connection!

*Malcolm, too has given me great advice and encouragement with my blog, as well as ballhawking, and given me some ideas for things to do at Minor League Stadiums.

*I haven’t know Paul for very long, but in the time I have known him, he has helped me tremendously. He was the first person to ever call in to The Nick Badders Show, which gave me extreme confidence. He has been one of the main supporters with my radio gig, which I am thankful for. He listens to every broadcast, and is always ready to give me feedback. He writes the MLBLog called A Piece of The Game, and wrote an entry reviewing his 2012 season as well. Click here to check it out.

*McCovey Cove Dave has also supported me in my ballhawking and been a great friend to me on Twitter. I’ll be trying my best to spend a game out in McCovey Cove sometime in 2013.

Most imporatntly, I need to thank my Dad (Dan), my Mom (Anne), and my Sister (Pascale). Without these three people, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do today. They are the ones who give me the support to continue my work at home. They are the ones that take me to the games, go to games with me, and allow me to ballhawk, even though I am not spending time with them. They are the reason that I am able to succeed, I cannot thank them enough.

From here, I will go over my entire year at 7000 Coliseum Way. I’ll share my month-by-month memories from blogging, to ballhawking, and mail!

I’ve gone back and read each post, and it amazes me how far my writing has come. In December of 2011, 1,000 words was a lot for me for one entry! Reaching July and August, some of my entries managed 3000 words!

In the month of January, I have a feeling a lot of you were not reading this blog. I had 75 views total in the month of January, that is an average of about 2 views each day.

On January 17th, I posted an entry about SOPA. I’ll be honest, I don’t know what I was thinking when I was writing that entry. If you want to check it out, you can right here.sopa12_hp

Shortly after that, on January 19th, I posted an entry with pictures of me, one at each of the 5 stadiums I had been to in my life. If you want to take a brief glance over that entry, it is here.pict2764

About a week later, on January 25th, I published an entry with LOTS of pictures that I had found from baseball games from 2005-2010, which you can read right here.
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On January 27th, I published an entry about my expectations for the games I would go to in 2012, along with some information about A’s FanFest, an entry you can read here.649_hdr_fanfest

The following day, On January 28th, I posted a quick poll asking what A’s gear I should wear to FanFest, an entry that can be found here.

The very next day, on January 29th, my family and I were off to FanFest! We purchased some tickets, and had a complete blast! Check out that exciting entry here.
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1 Month. 75 views. 5 posts.

Moving on to February. I had 45 views, which is about 1 view a day.

I had only 1 post in February, on February 13th, I posted an entry with my projected A’s roster, which you can read here.

2 Months. 120 views. 6 Posts.

In March, I had 36 views for the month, which is barely an average of 1 view a day.

My first entry of the month was on March 25th. That is 40 days without an entry! I wrote a short bit on a few random things, an entry you can find here.413811_355468544497094_166699563373994_1020769_609678918_o

The very next day, on the 26th of the Month, I had another entry up, this one, I called “Pictures of the Day.” I simply shared a few pictures that I had found and enjoyed that were baseball-related. Check them out here.429283_349335911777024_166699563373994_1004959_1334377103_n

Then for my 3rd post in a row, and of the month, I shared some baseball videos that I had found and liked, titling it “Videos of the Day.” Check them out here.l

3 Months. 156 Views. 9 Posts.

Coming into April, we were already a quarter of the way through the year. In April, I had 227 views, which is about 8 views a day.

On April 5th, I attended Opening Day at PETCO Park in San Diego with my dad and unfortunately did not snag any balls. You can read all about that experience here.untitled-3

On April 6th, I posted an entry about the first 3 days of my Spring break, which I spent in Southern California with my leadership class from school. I was attending a conference about leadership in Costa Mesa, and it was a LOT of fun. You can read about it all here.wpid-2012-03-30_11-58-45_4622

Then, on April 13th, I went to Stockton to see the Ports take on the Modesto Nuts. There, I snagged my first ever MILB ball, and you can read the entry here.img_3089

On April 18th, I found a funny video that I wrote a QUICK entry about. You can see it here.

Finally, on April 22nd, I went to my first A’s game of the season, a game in which I snagged 3 balls, including my first lifetime foul ball. You can read all about that day here.img_1115

4 Months. 383 Views. 14 Posts.

In May, the views dipped a little, with 146 views, or about 5 views per day.

My first post of the month was on May 10th. I shared a quick meme that I made, then talked about my next game. You can find it here.575577_155853527874454_100003494239722_198277_947k452416_n

On May 11th, I saw the Tigers come in to Oakland, on Fleece blanket night. I snagged one ball and got the chance to meet Rick Gold. You can follow him on Twitter here and check out the entry about the game here. img_29321

Then, a week later, on May 18th, I attended my first game at John Thurman Field in Modesto. There, I got my 2nd lifetime Minor League ball. You can read about it all here. img_3833

Finally, 8 Days after that game, my family joined me for Michael Choice bobblehead night, for my second game of the year in Stockton, where I snagged my 3rd lifetime Minor League ball. You can read about it here.img_41501

5 Months. 529 Views. 18 Posts.

In June, the views picked up again with 286. That averages about 10 views a day.

My first post of the month was on June 13th, where I talked a little about Matt Cain’s perfect game. I think more of me was just writing it because the A’s had just played one of the best games of their season, plus R.A. Dickey one-hit the Rays, and MLB Network was focusing on the Giants. Don’t get me wrong, a perfect game is amazing, I just wish that other stories had been covered that night as well. Check it out here.595x416_mattcain_nohitter_9apjsvx5_a07rcbnj

Then, on June 20th, I went to MUG Root Beer Float Day at the Coliseum with my mom and sister. The A’s were playing the Dodgers, who I wanted to see, as they were using commemorative balls. However, I was unable to snag a ball that night. That being said, it was still an awesome day. Re