Category: rally towel

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.

2012 ALDS – Game 3

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

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

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

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

This is what the line looked like when I got there

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

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

I got to the BART Plaza

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

Gate A was empty as well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you like my shirt?

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

The gate was all set up and ready to go

And we were off!

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

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

BP was underway and I was ready to go.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Those guys are STRONG.

Jhonny Peralta had some strong hacks as well

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

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

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

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

He is a great guy!

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

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

Back to BP…

Guys like Alex Avila

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

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

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

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

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

Obviously, you can find me easily in this crowd

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

The cages were taken in…

And I was shut out for BP…

Frustrating…

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

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

Here is the first

And the second

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

They were set up all across the outfield.

As a helicopter flew overhead

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

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

The Color Gaurd marched onto the field.

It was time for the player introductions!

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

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

Everyone with their yellow rally towels was pumped up!

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

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

More fireworks were shot off

Anibal Sanchez finished his bullpen tosses

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

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

I took a panoramic picture shortly before the game started

Brett Anderson was dealing in this game

Austin Jackson struck out to lead off the game

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

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

Awesome hair:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cue Kool and the Gang!

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

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

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

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

I got a final picture with the signs and rally towel

And one with that guy I mentioned earlier

Wow. That was a lot of fun!

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

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

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

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