Today was going to be a long, fun filled day!
Do you remember back in March when I mentioned BallhawkFest: West Coast? Well shortly after, it was approved by Alan Schuster, the Admin at MyGameBalls.com, and it was all set to go, on May 18th in Oakland, for the A’s to take on the Royals.
There was A LOT of planning involved on my part, finalizing details and other such things…
ANYWAY… My family left for Zachary’s Pizza in Oakland around noon, getting there around 12:40. Spencer Sanborn, Dave Edlund, and Kelly Byrnes and his wife Leah were already there.
We were soon seated and shortly after, Rick Gold showed up. Today was looking to be a good day!
We all finished up around 2:20, where we grabbed a quick group picture before heading out.
Starting with me going clockwise: Me, Dave Edlund, My Mom (Anne), My Sister (Pascale), Leah Byrnes, Kelly Byrnes, Spencer Sanborn, and Rick Gold.
From there, we parted ways and headed off to the Coliseum. I was the first one there and arrived around 2:40, where it was near empty, but PERFECT weather. I was a little excited!
This was the scene when I got to Gate MM. As you can see, only the flags were laid out and there was nobody else there!
After walking around the stadium once, I headed out to the parking lot to meet up with Kelly Byrnes. He and I are both participating in the MyGameBalls.com Photo Scavenger Hunt this season, with one of the items on the checklist being “You swinging a bat at the BallhawkFest softball game.” Both of us were disappointed because nobody else wanted to play, so we decided to play a HR Derby-Style Wiffle Ball game in the EMPTY parking lot.
I was first up and the first to pitches I hit were both at one of the few cars in the parking lot…
I kept pulling the ball!!
We shifted our angle, and that’s where the fun began!
I would say my farthest hit went 200 feet maybe. Then, it was his turn to bat.
I felt bad because my pitches were not in the strike zone much.
But when they were, he got ahold of them!
Based solely on most hits, I won. If I had given him enough good pitches, he would have won in a landslide!
Once we finished up, he was very kind in giving me one of his blog’s shirts, we chatted for a bit, then parted ways.
I headed up back to Gate MM, where I saw Dave Edlund and his friend “Splash Hit” Steve Garrison in line at Gate LL, so I walked over there to talk with him.
Soon after, Leiming Tang, or Tang, as he is better known, showed up!
We talked for 20 minutes or so, before I headed to get back in line at MM.
Dave and Steve tossed and bounced a ball around for a bit.
They also played a bit of catch.
But I was in line! Kelly and Leah joined my dad and I in line, where we were soon joined by Will, Ross, Santiago, and a few others.
10 minutes before the gates opened, Ben and Vanessa showed up and Ben had an AMAZING hat for Will.
You know how the Brewers had the Design the YOU-niform contest
BUT THEY WOUDNT LET US IN because it wasn’t 4:05…
When I did finally run inside, Seth Smith was hitting in the cages.
So was Nate Freiman
Dave headed to left field. He’s in the blue.
To his right is Ryan Dalton, one of the ballhawks that joined us for BallhawkFest!
To his right is Rick Gold!
Rick Gold, as I am sure most of you know, ballhawked at the Coliseum in the 1990’s. He actually competed with Ryan’s dad, who was also a ballhawk for balls during that time!
It’s a small world, huh?
Within 10 minutes of no baseballs, the Royals came onto the field.
Then, a ball was hit off the wall, landing in the grass.
Jerry Blevins walked off, picked it up, and tossed it to a random guy a few feet away from me.
The ball boys were throwing EVERYTHING back to the infield.
Kelly had headed over to one of my usual spots, over down the RF line.
My dad got a lot of cool pictures during BP.
One of the players out there was Mr. Bacon Friday himself, Jeff Francouer!
Around 15 minutes into BP, a ball was hit off the wall right above where my dad was standing. A player walked over, tossed it up, and…
My dad snagged his 2nd lifetime ball!
I have to give major props to Dave and Steve for this game. They rarely go to games INSIDE the stadium, and both of them rarely go to the Oakland Colisuem, so as Spencer said, it’s like “They are fish out of water.”
Rick had a successful BP himself.
Once I got this ball, I headed over to the RF line, near where Kelly was.
Shortly after I got over there, his wife Leah hot a ball tossed up to her. It was her first lifetime ball!
She ended up giving it away to a kid nearby her.
I didn’t see it, but about halfway though batting practice, if I am not mistaken, a ball was hit Dave’s way. In the following picture, you can see the ball in his hands.
My dad got a lot of great pictures from the bleachers, despite being crowded in.
The pitchers did a lot of running durin BP.
BP was pretty quiet in regards to hit balls, so I had a lot of time to stand around.
It AMAZED me how many toss-ups there were. JC Gutierrez tossed up at least 10 balls to the RF Bleachers.
Why was I not there? The area in which he was tossing them up was packed. Bruce Chen and Luis Mendoza also had their fair share of toss-ups.
Royals coaches were getting in on the act.
Some time after that, Jeff Francouer lined a ball foul that if I remember correctly either was bobbled by some fans or hit a seat.
Doy you see the kid in the black A’s hat and grey shirt, to the left of Kelly? Well, when I headed over to the RF foul pole, where a ball had just been hit, the boys called out to the trainer, asking for a ball. He didn’t have one, telling them all he had was water. So, that boy and his friend asked for a bottle of water!
Remember that kid and his friend, ok?
Around 5:50, Jeff Francouer hit a sharp ground ball just foul. It ended up landing here.
I called out to him.
And he flipped it up!
Can you spot the ball? Let me know in the comments!
It’s easier to see in this photo.
Dave was easy to spot in LF, wearing his royal blue BallhawkFest shirt among a sea of green and gold.
Shortly after I got that ball, once Chen had gotten back to his spot in the outfield, a ball was hit to him. The other of those two boys I mentioned earlier, asked if he could play catch with him.
STORY TIME!!! I had seen this video filmed by ballhawk Bobby Crosby, who films videos of himself snagging balls on the YouTube channel DodgerFilms. The video is of Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu playing catch with a young fan during Dodgers BP, and since it was posted on May 13th, has over 2 Millions Views! 3 days later, the same boy was back at Dodger BP again and AGAIN played catch with Hyun-Jin Ryu. That is really where it started. Zack Hample has done it not one, two, or three, but four times on video. Mateo Fischer has played catch with Derek Lowe. The day after the first video of Hyrun-Jin Ryu came out, there was a video of Gio Gonzalez doing them same thing.
As soon as I saw this taking place, I pulled out my cell phone and recorded this video:
My dad took notice and also got a short video as well. I edited his video and my video together to make this:
Hands down, that was one of the highlights of the day for me!
As soon as I finished recording the video on my phone, I immediately went to upload it to YouTube. It finished around 7pm, and I then tweeted it to Alex Espinosa.
He is the MLB.com Cut4 Real Time Correspondant for Oakland, and I’m sure most of you remember him from past entries.
Later that night, I found my video on Cut4, in this article:
Then, I saw this tweet from the MLB Fan Cave:
There were multiple blog posts written about it at the MLB Fan Cave website. The MLB Fan Cave posted a quick entry with my video, Mateo’s video, the Hyun-Jin Ryu video, and the Gio Gonzalez video.Then, Cave Dweller April Whitzman did a post herself.
On Monday, I walked into Mr. Hahn’s class and told him about the experience and video. He then told me he had read an article on Yahoo over the weekend about players playing catch with kids during BP. On Monday May 20th, it was the top headline at Yahoo sports! He showed me the article and lone behold…
Wow! I did not expect all of this attention at all!
Here is a picture my dad snapped of him lying on the outfield grass
I would say that in total, at least 30 balls were tossed up, if not closer to 40, mostly due to these two guys.
Once BP came to a close, I had finished with two balls. All of the ballhawks met up in the concourse behind the bleachers for a group photo.
Top Row: Spencer Sanborn (3 Balls), Ryan Dalton (3 Balls), Kelly Byrnes (2 Balls), Rick Gold (4 Balls)
Bottom Row: “McCovey Cove” Dave Edlund (1 Ball), Nick Badders (2 Balls + My Dad’s 1 Ball), “Splash Hit” Steve Garrison (1 Ball)
Not Pictured: Dan Badders (1 Ball held by Nick Badders), Leah Byrnes (2 Balls- Gave Both Away), Leiming Tang (3 Balls)
So, between the 9 of us, 22 balls were snagged! Even though that is only an average of 2.44 balls per person, it is still crazy for me to see that it all came together and was successful!
After we got that group picture, I also got a picture with Rick, who has snagged the most lifetime balls at the Oakland Coliseum. This picture gave me 2 points in the MyGameBalls Photo Scavenger Hunt.
Kelly was in the picture, as he is also competing in the contest!
Between our two families, 5 balls had been snagged, so we both wanted to get a picture for the scavenger hunt. For 6 points… “You and another myGameBalls.com member standing in an empty row of seats in which each cupholder contains a baseball.”
We then parted our separate ways for a little while. My dad and I headed back to our seats.
After a little while with no action, Ervin Santana, the Royals starting pitcher for the day came out to warm up.
The grounds crew watered the infield dirt.
Omar Gonzlez wore his graduation robe, as he has just finished his undergrad studies in college! Why don’t you all, as the readers of 7000 Coliseum Way, go over and give him some love on Twitter. Sound good? Cool!
Back to the warming up?
It was “Star Trek Night,” so the A’s had all of these gimmicks going on, including Stomper’s “outfit.”
This was the only A’s logo shown on the scoreboard that day…
Jeff Francoeur WAS getting the start in Right Field today!
Ervin Santana warmed up in the Royals bullpen.
The ceremonial first pitch was thrown!
The national anthem was played!
The people in the bullpen finished up their work.
The meeting at home plate took place.
And we were all ready to go!
Chris Young was in Right Field for the A’s.
Eric Sogard was in his usual second base position.
It wasn’t too hard to spot Dave and Steve in LF. Can you?
Coco Crisp lead off in the bottom of the 1st for Oakland.
Yoenis Cespedes lined out to RF to end the inning.
Tommy Milone took the mound in the second, down 1-0, after giving up a first inning run.
I thought this was a randomly cool picture.
Along with this one…
And this one…
Lorenzo Cain was called out on strikes to end the second inning.
However, the 2nd inning didn’t come without a cost. *38* pitches in the 2nd inning for Tomaso, with 26 pitches in the top of the first inning, prompting Jesse Chavez to start to get hot.
Early into the game, the A’s will show the Pepsi Sports highlight during an inning break. It’s always MLB Action or something random.
Nobody ever wants to see MLB Action.
Like I mentioned earlier, Jeff Francoeur was in RF for KC.
The ball boy down the RF line tossed a lot of foul balls into the stands.
John Jaso was the 2nd out of the 2nd inning, striking out.
My dad enjoyed using the extension on his monopod to get photos like this.
This day was Social Media night, which my mom and sister particpated in. They each bought a ticket to the “Tweetup,” where they also got a special ticket in a section with all of the other tweeters. I used the zoom on my dad’s camera to find them quickly.
In the bottom of the 4th, Josh Donaldson took a mighty hack, but…
Popped out to end the inning, with the score still at 1-0 Royals.
After his first few wild inning, Tommy Milone settled down A LOT!
Chris Young was starting to get the hang of keeping track of outs with the RF Crew. He’s not 100% there yet, though.
Alcides Escobar at the plate…
Brandon Moss was at his usual first base spot in this game.
I thought this was another really cool photo. (I took it! ;-))
4 of the guys on my school’s Varsity baseball team: Ryan Flayler, Jordan Thrailkill, Justin Cash, and Dan Whitney, told me that they were going to be at this game, sitting fright behind the dugout. Guess who I found using my dad’s extreme zoom?
In the 6th inning, Jed Lowrie hit a sac fly with no outs to bring in the game tying run.
WE LOVE YOU OAKLAND, WE DO! WE LOVE YOU OAKLAND, WE DO! WE LOVE YOU OAKLAND, OAKLAND WE LOVE YOU!
Then, Brandon Moss tripled in Coco Crisp to put the A’s ahead 2-1.
It was around this time that I attempted to create my own panoramic shot. I took 4 pictures, Photoshopped them together, and BAM!
In the 8th inning, my dad and mom headed up to where she and my sister had been sitting. Pascale stayed with me in RF, my dad took the camera and loved getting pictures from a different angle.
This was their view.
And no, they did not have any foul balls come close.
Coco Crisp was called out on strikes to lead off the A’s half of the 8th inning.
Jed Lowrie flied out to center field.
I thought it was awesome to see RF from this angle.
Guess who pitched the 9th inning for the A’s? It was 2-1. They were winning…
To end the game!
And it was the A’s 2nd consecutive 2-1 win!
Immediately after the final out, these people came onto the field…
And my family got in line along with Kelly and Leah to get onto the field to watch the fireworks.
It was PACKED!!
My sister and I were both happy to be there.
The fireworks were spectacular, as always.
My dad and I got a picture with our BP balls.
I got one last picture. I’m sure you can notice how tired I am.
- 10th Game this Year
- 2 Balls at this Game
- 10 balls in 8 MLB games this season = 1.25 Ball Per Game
- 25 Balls in 10 Games this season = 2.5 Balls Per Game
- 38 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
- 68 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.
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????
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!
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!
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.
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!
They even showed some action of Sizzlin’ Bacon! Everyone in RF chanted “Go Bacon Go! Go Bacon Go!
They knew of the awesomeness that is Bacon Friday.
When I slipped into my seat, Yoenis Cespedes was at the plate…
But Brandon Moss grounded out to end the first, stranding Jed Lowrie at first.
Jarrod Parker was on the mound for the A’s
Daric Barton was playing first.
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.
After a short pickle, he was out at first.
Like I had mentioned earlier, everyone was wearing their Bacon Friday shirts.
And yes, I did get one!
Will was not wearing a jersey like he usually does, but his Bacon Friday shirt!
In the bottom of the 2nd, with 1 out and Josh Donaldson on first, Derek Norris walked.
Then, Daric Barton stepped up to the plate.
He ende up grounding into a fielder’s choice, Derek Norris was thrown out at 2nd base.
With a runner on 2nd in the top of the 3rd and 1 out, Elliot Johnson was called out on strikes.
Then, Parker allowed the first run of the game.
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…
Yep. Omar, Anson, and a few other people did a live interview on the Royals TV broadcast.
Everyone got pictures with him.
This is a close-up shot of the back of the T-Shirt.
Jarrod Parker pitched a scoreless 4th, despite a single and walk.
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.
James Shields, who tossed me a ball last year when the Rays were in town, was on the mound for the Royals.
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…
Out or safe?
Throughout the game, they showed bacon facts on the scoreboard.
Omar Gutierez’s son, known as The Champ took lots of pictures during the game!
He’s one awesome kid!
And he had BACON MINTS!!!
The other Omar G, Omar Gonzalez was very excited!
Coco Crispy Bacon!!!
Jorge was getting into the action, despite his sleepiness.
Daniel and Keith were chilling in the front row on the other side of the section.
Ross was taking lots of pictures.
If you guessed 1500 BC, you are correct!
The scoreboard routinely showed this for the entire game.
Through the top of the 6th, the A’s had allowed only that 3rd inning run.
Ready for more bacon trivia? What percentage of men ranked bacon as their favorite smell?
More bacon facts and trivia. BACON CURES HANGOVERS!!!
Omar had these three signs at this game.
Everyone was getting into the spirit of Bacon Friday!
Daric Barton stepped to the plate for the A’s in the 7th, but he was called out on strikes…
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.
Did you know there is a world record for bacon-eating?
Doolittle pitched a scoreless 8th
Adam Rosales stepped to the plate to lead off the A’s half of the 8th.
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.
RUN ROSIE RUN!
This meant it was time for Grant Balfour to get loose in the bullpen.
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.
Everyone was excited that the A’s had taken the lead!
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!!!
After getting 2 quick outs, Eric Hosmer stepped to the plate!
And struck him out swinging! Everyone was happy!
Slowly, we all filed out.
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.
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!
- 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
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
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.
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!
*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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Read about it here.
The very next day, on June 21st, I set out with my dad and friend Ryan for another A’s and Dodgers game, with hopes of getting a commemorative ball. Derek Norris was making his MLB Debut in this game. Even though I was shut out for the second day in a row, the game ended with a bang! Check it out here.
Finally, 3 days later, on June 24th, I was back at the Coliseum again, for more interleague baseball, this time between the A’s and Giants. I got shut out for the 3rd game in a row, however I did snag something cool, and the game once again ended with a bang! Read it all again here.
6 Months. 815 Views. 22 Posts.
July was when things started to take off for me. This blog had 667 in the month, which is 22 views a day.
After a week of Boy Scout Camp to start off the month, my first post was on July 12th, titled “How was Josh Reddick not an All Star?” In it, I talked about Reddick, the 2012 All Star Game, Kurt Suzuki, as well as BallhawkFest 2012, which I didn’t end up going to. If you want to check it out, click here.
Then, on July 14th, my dad and I headed out to Municipal Stadium in San Jose to see the San Jose Giants take on the Visalia Rawhide. It was our first game in San Jose, and I snagged 6 balls at this game, which is the most I’ve ever snagged at a minor league game! Read all about that exciting day here.
On July 16th, I posted about the A’s recent success, with their magnificent sweep of the Twins. Read it here.
On July 20th, the A’s were 12-2 in July. I wrote a post about their incredible month, along with all of their Walk-Offs. Remember, there is an A in wAlk off! Check out that entry right here.
The very next day, on July 21st, my mom and I were off to Oakland again, this time to see the A’s take on the Yankees. I got two balls in this game, and it was a lot of fun to sit in Section 149 for the first time! Read about that game here.
7 Months. 1,482 Views. 28 Posts.
August was a special month. There were 868 views, which is an average of 28 per day.
In the month of August, 7000 Coliseum Way was the 42nd most viewed MLBlogs Fan Blog! I wrote an entry all about it here.
On August 1st, my mom, sister and I headed out to the Coliseum for some weekday baseball between the A’s and Rays. I had won tickets on Twitter two days prior, so we got the tickets for free! I snagged 2 balls at this game, giving away one. If you want to read about that game, click here.
Then, 4 days later, on August 5th, my whole family went to see the Blue Jays take on the A’s, with a Jemile Weeks drawstring backpack giveaway. I snagged one ball at this game, and you can click here to read about it.
About 2 weeks later, on August 18th, my family joined my friend Sal and I for Scott Hatteberg bobblehead and Moneyball Movie night. It was a whole lot of fun, and I snagged 2 balls. Click here to read about it.
2 days later, on August 20th, my mom and I got seats right behind the A’s dugout to see them take on the Twins. There were barely 10,000 people there, and I snagged 6 balls, giving away 2 of them. It was a lot of fun and I recommend that you click here to read all about it.
Then, on August 26th, my dad, sister, and I were in Modesto for some more California League action. I snagged 3 balls, including my 3rd foul ball for the year, and got to play catch with my sister on the field! Read all about it right here
8 Months. 2,350 Views. 33 Posts.
The views just kept increasing. In September, 7000 Coliseum Way was viewed 1,124 times, averaging to 37 views each day.
On September 1st, my mom and I headed out to the Coliseum to see the Red Sox in town. I snagged 2 balls, one of them being a Fenway Park 100th anniversary ball! That entry can be read here.
I was getting a little behind on entries, so I published a quick post with a list of upcoming posts. If you want to, click here to read it.
The next day, on September 2nd, my Grandma and Uncle accompanied the rest of my family to the Coliseum for Breast Cancer Awareness Day against the Red Sox. I snagged 3 balls, including a toss-up from Yoenis Cespedes! Read about that day right here.
Later that week, on September 7th, my dad and I took a final trip to Modesto to see the San Jose Giants battle it out with the Nuts to move onto the next round of the California League playoffs. I snagged 3 balls in this game, it was a lot of fun, and you can click here to read it!
Then, a week later, on September 14th, my family was out to Oakland again, this time for sold out Star Wars fireworks night against the Orioles, where I snagged one ball. Click here to read it.
9 Months. 3,474 Views. 39 Posts.
Then, come October, the views shot up once again, with a total of 1,581 for the month. That is an average of 51 per day!
In the month of September, with 1,124 views, this blog was the 31st ranked blog, on the Latest Leaders list for the second month in a row! At the beginning of October, I wrote about that and a few other things. Check out that entry here.
On October 1st, the A’s clinched a spot in the playoffs, and I wrote a quick entry about it here.
On October 10th, I was fortunate enough to attend the 3rd game of the ALDS, in Oakland, where I met Wayne Peck. You can check out his blog here and read the entry about the day here or check out his post on it here. Unfortuantely, I didn’t snag a ball, thought I had a great time!
On October 30th, I put together a post with all of my ballhawking stats for the 2012 season. Check all that out here.
Finally, on October 31st, I published a quick entry about Josh Reddick winning the AL Gold Glove for RF and the pumpkin that my mom carved with the A’s AL West Champs logo. Check out that entry here.
10 Months. 5,055 Views. 45 Posts.
November was more or less the same, with 1,528 views, I once again averaged 51 views each day, however I started to post more frequently.
My first post of the month was on November 7th. I gave my favorite pictures from FanFest as well as April and May. Check it all out here.
I then took a poll on November 14th as to what kind of entries you guys were interested in me writing. Feel free to look at it here.
I then left for a 5 day trip with my family, from November 19th-November 23rd to visit family in Omaha. You can read about days 1, 2, 3 ,4, or 5. I got the chance to catch up with family, visit Werner Park and TD Ameritrade Park, and hold my baby cousin for the first time!
When I got back, I continued to receive mail. I got packages from the Reds, Red Sox, and Astros.
11 Months. 6,583 Views. 58 Posts.
In December, this blog 1,833 views, a new record, with an average of 59 views per day!
On December 1st, I got a fan pack from the Buffalo Bills and Frederick Keys.
Then, on Decmeber 4th, the MLBLogs Latest Leaders came out for October and November, and I was still in the top 50! 4 months in a row! You can check out my entry about it all here.
Over the next week, I got fan packs from the El Paso Diablos, Detroit Tigers, and Detroit Pistons.
On the 8th of December, I posted an entry about my bobblehead collection, which you can check out here.
The next day, on December 9th, I blogged about my new radio show, The Nick Badders Show, on BlogTalkRadio, an entry you can find here.
On December 11th, I wrote about the very cool envelope that I got from the Harrisburg Senators.
The next day, December 12th, I talked about the packages I received from the Vermont Lake Monsters and Atlanta Falcons.
On December 14th, I wrote about the packages I got from the Houston Rockets, Round Rock Express, and New York Yankees.
December 18th was the day I wrote about my best ever mail day! I received 5 envelopes, from the Benoit Snappers, Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, and Richmond Flying Squirrels.
December 22nd was the date of my last Mail Time! post in 2012. I got an envelope from the Minnesota Twins and talked about my BlogTalkRadio shows, an entry that you can find here.
Finally, on December 29th, I went to a Stockton Thunder ECHL hockey game with my dad and had a blast! You can read all about that fun day here.
That brings us to this entry. Entry #100 at 7000 Coliseum Way. It’s crazy to think how far I’ve come this year, with my blogging and ballhawking skills. In January, I never would have expected to be where I am today. I never would have thought I would have 27 envelopes stacked up in my bedroom from sports teams.
I NEVER in a million years would have expected to have the following that I do now. 43 Facebook Likes. 103 Twitter followers. 195 more Twitter followers. I want to again thank you all for your support with this blog, I could never do it without you.
AGAIN, 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.
I think I have covered everything. If you think I have left something out, let me know in the comment section down below.
Thank You for having the patience to read this LONG entry, and stay tuned for many more entries in the new year.
12 Months. 8,416 Views. 72 Posts.
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.
The night before, I sent a DM on Twitter to Rick Gold, the #5 ballhawk on the mygameballs.com lifetime leaderboard. I asked if I could take a picture with him before the game and get to talk to him for a little.
After we got there, we got in line and my sister and I played a little catch. Then, I walked over to the team store, and on the way back to my family, Rick called me over. I got to talking to him about everything from his job with mlb.com, to ballhawking and other things. He said that he had free tickets from mlb.com and he actually game an extra one to me! Thanks Rick! When it was 5:30, the line was all the way to the unopened right field gate and back to the 1B gate, which is where I wanted to enter the Coliseum. I headed back to get in line with my parents, and within 5 minutes, we were inside with our awesome Swingin’ A’s blankets. After talking to Rick, I knew that I should avoid the LF bleachers altogether and headed to the RF bleachers.
The LF bleachers were packed, just like Rick said, because of Cabrera and Young. Fielder was the only lefty in the group and while I was there, he hit only 1 home run. I had no luck with the first group. Or the second group. In the 3rd group, Brennan Boesch hit 5 or so balls right below the out-of-town scoreboard, and some unknown Tigers player tossed me my first ball of the day.
Before BP ended, I wanted to check something off the mygameballs.com scavenger hunt list. Ballhawking in a Justin Bieber shirt. Well before I had left my house, I made a Justin Bieber shirt, so I wore it under my brand new Yoenis Cespedes jersey. My dad took this picture right after BP ended.
After getting a picture with my only ball from BP, we headed up to our seats in the 3rd deck. As I said in my previous entry, we were sitting in the Value Deck for the Comcast SportsNet California Authentic Fan Friday.
Yes, there are only 3 sections open in the 3rd deck. The A’s closed it off around 2005 or something like that because the Coliseum was rarely half full with it all open, so they tarped it all off. A few years ago, they opened 3 sections back up, and it hands-down has the best view in the Coliseum.
After all of this, I headed down to section 222, with the ticket that Rick had kindly given me. I slipped into my seat just in time for the first pitch. I headed back to the upper deck in the bottom of the 3rd inning. I wasn’t thinking and left while Josh Reddick was up. On the very first pitch he saw while I was out of my seat, he hit it a section to my left… at least Rick got it!
While in the 3rd deck, I got in line for this wheel thing, which has different prizes on it. Well I got there just in time, because at a certain point, they only had backpacks left, and just handed them out to the people in line. My sister and I were lucky enough to get one. Kara, the A’s in-game host also came up to do a half-inning game, with some kids.
I stayed up there until the end of the 5th or 6th inning, and then headed back down. That was when I found out that Rick was the one who had gotten the Reddick foul ball. No more balls came close to us for the rest of the game, so eventually; I headed back up to watch the rest of the game with my family. My sister was very upset about me not spending more time with her. Just like the last game. It was a great experience for all of us for sure. And best of all, the A’s won!
At the end of the game, my dad got a picture of me with Iall of the things that I got at this game. In clockwise order: The A’s trucker hat given away to all fans in the 3rd deck, the Swingin A’s fleece blanket, the CSN bag, and my one and only ball of the day.
My next scheduled MLB game is June 20th at the Coliseum. The A’s are taking on the Dodgers, and it is MUG Root Beer float day, so that should be a lot of fun! I will try to stick in some minor league action as well as some unexpected games until then. It will be hard to not go to any baseball games for over a month!
• 1 ball at this game
• 4 balls in 3 Major League games this season = 1.33 ball per game.
• 5 ball in 4 baseball games this season = 1.25 balls per game.
• 3 consecutive A’s home games with at least one ball
• 9 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 10 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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.