Category: San Jose

7/27/13 at Banner Island Ballpark

Origionally, I was supposed to go to the A’s game this day. It was 1969 Turn-Back-The-Clock day, with a T-Shirt giveaway. The start time was 12:05 and I had just gotten back from vacation the night before, so I wasn’t really wanting to go to the game.

I was sitting on 93 balls combined between MLB and MiLB, so my 7th ball of the day would be a special one. Keep that in mind!

We sold our 2 seats on StubHub and used the money to buy tickets to that night’s Ports game! It was a Drew Granier jersey, the Ports new Friday Alternate one.

The funny thing is that Granier was promoted to AA in Mid-June. Still, cool!

This was going to be a popular game, but I was looking forward to it, as I was sitting on 93 lifetime balls between MLB and MiLB and was hoping to snag #100 today.

My goal was to be in Stockton by 4pm for BP, and my dad and I ended up arriving there at 3:58, so it was perfect timing!

The parking lot was not yet open, so my dad dropped me off, while he went to go wait for the lot to open. I found Vanessa at the front of the line, she had come to this game with Ryan Dalton, who was out behind LF looking for any random balls.

I talked with her for about 20 minutes, as BP got underway around 4:25. I had gotten an official conformation that the gates would be opening at 5:35, rather than 6pm, so I was excited for a potential half hour of BP inside the stadium!

When Ryan and I headed out back, the San Jose Giants were stretching down the LF line.

IMG_3636

Meanwhile, the Ports were finishing their catch, having already completed their stretching.

IMG_3638

My first ball of the day was curtsey of Addison Russell.

IMG_3672

He lined a ball towards the Berm in Right-Center field, and since it was hit hard, it kept rolling past the berm, setting in the bush past the ballpark fence. I had a hunch, so I ran over there, dug through the bushes, and picked it up, coming back to show my dad and Ryan, as I was on the board!

IMG_3694

Meanwhile, Ryan chased down a ball, for his first snag on the day.

The next guy in the cage was Bruce Maxwell.

IMG_3698

From what I heard from Ryan and Vanessa, Bruce is a class act. Great guy! More on him later on…

Ryan and I were having a good time, as a moment later, he chased down another ball, that was hit towards the Marina, almost in the same spot as the other.

IMG_3708

There were 3 rounds of 4 hitters each, and at this point, there was one group left in Ports BP, at this point, it was just past 5pm.

IMG_3713

One of the hitters in the final group was Bobby Crocker. Here we go…

He BOMBED at ball down the Left Field line, and I broke off sprinting. Other than me and Ryan, there was one other ballhawk out there, a guy in a Giants hat and orange shirt. He was about 50 feet to my right, so he had a much better shot at the ball.

If you go back 2 pictures, you will see yellow caution tape and logs underneath it.

The ball was hit and we both took off running. It looked like the ball was going to hit the pavement, then roll fast, so he broke past the point of the caution tape. I took a direct line towards where the ball was headed, in hopes to cut it off from the other guy. The ball hit a tree, landing in the circle of dirt around the tree.

As he was much closer, he was almost guaranteed the ball. However, as he was running, he tripped on one of the logs. According to Ryan, as well as my dad, he just ATE IT. They both agreed if he hadn’t done so, I would have had no chance with the ball.

As soon as I picked up the ball, I heard Ryan yell “NICK THIS ONE’S YOU!” I looked up and the ball was coming straight for me. The other guy was still phased from his spill, so he hadn’t caught up with me. I took a few steps forward, in a perfect spot to catch it on the bounce. I got the ball on the bounce,

As soon as I caught the ball, the guy came running up from behind me and gave me a hard slap on the arm, in an attempt to knock the ball out of my glove.

I didn’t let go of either ball and came back to join my dad and Ryan.

IMG_3736

That guy didn’t move from this spot for the rest of Ports BP. He was pissed that he had fallen and not gotten either ball.

IMG_3744

How pissed was he? A ball landed 10 feet to his right and he didn’t move to go pick it up. Ryan was able to WALK over and grab it for his 3rd ball of the day!

I finished Ports BP with 3 balls, the same as Ryan.

IMG_3766

Then came the Giants BP…

IMG_3802

Quickly, I got a ball in Giants BP, when Ricky Oropesa lined a ball over the Ports bullpen.

IMG_3832

It hit the base to the scoreboard and more or less stopped. Ryan figured there was no way to get it, but I reached under the fence and picked it up for my 4th ball on the day!

IMG_3834

Neither of us got any balls up until the points at which the gates opened.

IMG_3850

We headed back at 5:20, to join Vanessa, who had stayed in line, saving us all a spot. The gates opened at 5:35, and I headed right for the berm in right-center field.

IMG_3880

Soon, a ball was hit back behind the inflatable kids slide in right field. I ran over and picked it up for ball #5.

IMG_3883

I then ran over to the RF wall, where Edward Concepcion was picking up a ball. Without having to ask, he tossed it to me for ball #6. I needed 1 more to reach 100 combined balls.

Moments later, Brock Bond launched a ball high, right at me. I moved back to the edge of the berm and secured it in my glove. Ball 100!

I know most people don’t think this is a big deal, it’s “cheap to count them together. Think of it this way. Ichiro is almost at 4000 hit combined between Japan and MLB. That’s still a big deal, right?

About 5 minutes later, I was joined by Ryan, who hadn’t snagged any balls inside. He then walked over to the slide and picked up two balls that were just sitting there. HOW HAD I NOT SEEN THEM. I felt ridiculously stupid, however he had missed one, and I picked it up for #8 on the day!

BP then came to a close, at which point I ran down to the cage, in hopes of snagging a ball that was lying around. I spotted a ball sitting by the Ports dugout and called out to Chris Lofton who picked it up and tossed it to me. It turned out to be an MLB ball! I then put it in my backpack and took one out, giving it to the nearest kid.

At this point, I joined back up with Ryan and Vanessa, as we sat in our seats and talked for roughly half an hour.

We then noticed Bruce Maxwell, the Ports catcher (Whom I had mentioned earlier in the entry), signing autographs down the right field line.

IMG_3888

Ryan, Vanessa, and I headed over there, where Ryan and I both got him to sign a ball for us. Bruce is a class act!
IMG_3895

Meanwhile, this guy was busy getting photos and cards signed.

IMG_3916

We headed back to our seats and talked for another 10 or so minutes, as the Ports began to warm up.
IMG_3952

Over on the 3rd base side, the Giants were doing the same.

IMG_3960

One interesting thing I noticed was that the Giants had brought a bat boy with them, so there was no need for the usual guy in a Ports uniform to sit in the dugout. My guess is that he is the manger’s son.
IMG_4020

As both teams were starting to play catch, I swung over to the Ports team store to get a new hat, as my current one was a size too small and about to cut off the circulation to the rest of my body.

I emerged from the team store, stuck on my *San Jose* Giants hat, and ran down to where they were finishing up with catch, where I failed to get a ball.

Ryan, Vanessa, and I once again reconvened behind the Giants dugout to talk for a little while longer, where we saw something quite amusing take place.. A 3 year-old boy was celebrating his birthday at the game, and the Ports let him throw out the first pitch. He was also going to say play ball before the game got underway, so after the first pitch, he hung out by the Ports dugout.

He made several attempts to run onto the field, being scooped up and carried back to the on-deck circle by people including his mother, Jeremy (The Ports In-Game host), as well as one of the umpires.

IMG_4038

It’s the little things that make you smile.

Around 7:10, the national anthem was sung.
IMG_4060

And it was time to play some baseball!

Ryan and I headed out to the parking lot to chase foul balls, as the Ports allow unlimited re-entry privileges.

On the mound for the Ports was James Simmons

IMG_4068

In the bottom of the first inning, Bobby Crocker stepped to the plate to lead off the Ports half of the first. He popped a pitch over the roof and the ball settled under a car. I ran over and picked it up! It was my 3rd straight MiLB game with a foul ball!

20130729-072926.jpg

Meanwhile, on the mound for the Giants was Kelvin Marte

IMG_4268

He struggled in the 2nd inning, but came back strong after that.

Will showed up in the first inning, as he was pulling a doubleheader. He went to the A’s game in Oakland, went to an Eric Sogard signing in Dublin, then came to the Ports game.

Anyway… He has a great relationship with Ports manager Webster Garrison, or “Webby.”

Every time Webby would jog over to the 3rd base coach’s box, he points to Will, as Will yells “Webby!”

IMG_4346

He’s a really cool dude!
IMG_4350

One thing Vanessa had been mentioning throughout the game was how she loved Ryan Cavan’s mustache. I can understand why!

IMG_4433

Oh, and also in the 2nd inning, Antonio Lamas and Dusty Robinson hit back to back home runs!

IMG_4443

The Ports had the 3-1 lead after 2 innings, but starting in the 3rd inning, San Jose came charging and never looked back. They scored 1 run in 3rd inning, as well as the 4th inning, then added on 2 in the 5th, and 3 more in the 7th, making it 8-3 at the 7th inning stretch.

I spent the first 6 innings in the parking lot, chasing foul balls, as well as talking with a ballhawk named John, who had just moved from Omaha to Reno. Really cool guy! He’s been to over 40 Minor League stadiums and is going to be starting an MLBlog soon, so keep on the lookout!

I only had the 1 foul ball after the first 6 innings, so I decided to come back inside and go for 3rd out balls and actually enjoy a bit of the game.

Remember that bat boy I talked about earlier? I found it kind of funny that he was wearing a Stockton Ports helmet with the rest of his San Jose uniform.

IMG_4472

Seriously though, Ryan Cavan has an amazing mustache!

IMG_4521

In the top of the 7th, San Jose tacked on those 3 runs against one of the newer Ports relievers, Schaffer Hall.

IMG_4545

He had started the season with the Trenton Thunder of the Eastern League, but after playing a game with the River Cats (And Getting the win, might I add), he was sent down to Stockton, where he started 7 of his first 8 games, and has been in the bullpen since.

Jeff Soptic came in to pitch the 7th inning for the Giants. Not only is his name cool, but he makes fantastic faces on the mound.

IMG_4566

In that bottom of the 7th, the Ports scored 3 runs, shortening the Giants lead to 8-5.

In the top of the 8th, I hung out by the Ports dugout, in hopes of snagging a foul ball or 3rd out ball. Eric Sim struck out swinging on a pitch in the dirt to end the inning, and thankfully Bruce Maxwell kept the ball. I called out to him, he recognized me from pre-game, and tossed me the ball.

20130729-072933.jpg

It was my 11th ball on the day, a new all-time record for me! Since Bruce is one of Vanessa and Ryan’s favorite players, they thought the ball was pretty cool!
IMG_4583

In the bottom of the 9th, I moved myself down close to the Giants dugout in hopes of getting their lineup card, or a broken bat, as there had been one earlier in the game.

However, there was a scare in the 9th inning. With 1 out, and runners on 1st and 2nd, Myrio Richard was hit in the head with a pitch from Derek Law.

IMG_4597

It was scary. How scary? Ryan almost caught the ball. He was sitting in the first row, and the ball nearly landed in his glove, but he appropriately decided it would be inappropriate to make a real attempt for the ball, given what had just happened.

He ended up only being a bit shaken up, so he loaded the bases, brining the winning run to the plate with only 1 out, as Myrio representing the tying run.

Josh Whitaker and B.A. Vollmuth both struck out, sealing the 8-5 W for San Jose.
IMG_4615

After the game, I rushed down to the Giants dugout to try and get the lineup card. I asked the Giants manager, Andy Skeels for it, but he gave me a look like I was an alien, peeled the lineup card off, and put it in his binder. I then asked Lipso Nava, their hitting coach for the broken bat. He asked me why I would want a splintered bat, but before I could respond, he left the dugout.

At this point, I left for the Ports dugout, just hoping that there lineup card would still be there. I asked both Myrio and Bruce for the card, but neither of them was “allowed” to give it to me.

IMG_4619

I ended up asking the bat boy, and he peeled it off and gave it to me!

IMG_4621

Then, Ryan popped his head out from next to the dugout with what? THE BROKEN BAT!

IMG_4622

How cool is that?!?

We then got a group picture, Ryan holding his bat, me holding the lineup card and 4 balls, and Vanessa holding the other 6 baseballs I snagged on the day.

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 7.06.04 AM

My dad then got a picture of me with the lineup card (Which was typed) and all of my baseballs from the day in my MLB Network drawstring backpack.

IMG_4624

Then, Ryan noticed what he thought was a stat sheet, so he called over Jeremy, the Ports in-game host. He peeled it off the wall, and it turned out to be from the last game Ports Ryan had been at, on July 19th!

At that point, we had noticed the Rosin bag sitting on the dugout bench, so Vanessa asked Jeremy if we could hold it.

IMG_4626

I got a picture with it.

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 7.07.18 AM

And so did Vanessa.

BQPsGItCAAAL9nI (1)

COOL STUFF!

And no, I didn’t get to keep it. As much as I would have wanted to, there is a 50% chance it had been on Tim Hudson’s head at some point, and I don’t really want to run that risk. Not only that, but there is a good chance it will spontaneously combust.

But the best reason of all for not keeping it was given to me by Chris Kusiolek (@Oak_AllDay on Twitter)

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 7.09.13 AM

I asked Jeremy if they really need it that bad, but he said they do, so there goes that….

Anyway… it was a REALLY fun day! I had a great tim ballhawking with Ryan (We snagged 19 balls combined) and it was a lot of fun to hang out with him and Vanessa for the day. Hopefully I’ll be back at Banner Island soon!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 20th Game of the Year… 6th MiLB Game of the Year
  • 11 balls at this game
  • 47 MiLB Balls in 6 MiLB Games = 7.83 MiLB Balls Per Game
  • 12 Consecutive MiLB Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 6 Consecutive MiLB Games with at least 5 Balls
  • 62 Lifetime Minor League baseballs
  • 104 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 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.
.img_5965

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.
img_0112

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. Read about it here.img_0049

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.img_0194

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.img_0217

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.reddick

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.img_0516

On July 16th, I posted about the A’s recent success, with their magnificent sweep of the Twins. Read it here.20120716-131355

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.563532_498776816802392_1320022965_n

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.20120721-222344

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.
img_0608

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.
img_1611

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.
img_2511

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.
img_3719

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 hereimg_6420
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.img_6690

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.img_7539

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! img_8235

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.img_0402

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.
20121005-201614

On October 1st, the A’s clinched a spot in the playoffs, and I wrote a quick entry about it here.246568_10151257433126873_1856080895_n

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!img_5630

On October 30th, I put together a post with all of my ballhawking stats for the 2012 season. Check all that out here.
20121023-165802

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.
20121030-221044

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.
img_3860

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 started receiving Fan Packs from teams. On November 16th and 17, I got Fan Packs from the Indians and White Sox, as well as the Diamondbacks and Rangers.
20121116-184359

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!img_0234

When I got back, I continued to receive mail. I got packages from the Reds, Red Sox, and Astros.
20121124-145922

I also received packs from the Minnesota Timberwolves, Portland Trail Blazers, Baltimore Orioles, and Philadelphia 76ers. 20121129-191421

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.20121201-152608

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.20121204-131723

Over the next week, I got fan packs from the El Paso Diablos, Detroit Tigers, and Detroit Pistons.
20121205-10214120121201-152608

On the 8th of December, I posted an entry about my bobblehead collection, which you can check out here.20121208-122000

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.blogtalkradio_02

On December 11th, I wrote about the very cool envelope that I got from the Harrisburg Senators.20121211-073719

The next day, December 12th, I talked about the packages I received from the Vermont Lake Monsters and Atlanta Falcons.20121212-150822

On December 14th, I wrote about the packages I got from the Houston Rockets, Round Rock Express, and New York Yankees.20121214-020526

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.20121217-191134

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.20121222-194004

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.
img_0564

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.

happy-new-year-13

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.

7/14/12 at Municipal Stadium

Time for some more baseball! San Jose here we come! This game was at Municipal Stadium, in San Jose, home of the San Jose Giants, the San Francisco Giants California league team. They would be hosting the Visalia Rawhide, who I saw play in this game in Stockton.

Every week this summer, I plan on making a spreadsheet of every Ports, Nuts, SJ Giants, River Cats, A’s, and SF Giants game during each week and planning out which games I would like to go to. This weekend, the Giants, San Jose Giants, and River Cats were in town. Out of those three, the San Jose Giants were the cheapest and closest so I figured that I might as well make the 45 minute drive to San Jose.

In the previous days, I did some research on Municipal Stadium, and I planned for this game. I was excited to find out that the gates opened 1 1/2 hours before the game, not 1 hour, like at most minor league stadiums. In the A-Z guide on their website, under batting practice, it says: “Gates open one and a half hours before game time allowing guests to view infield practice for the San Jose Giants and their opponent. Be sure to arrive as soon as the gates open and catch all the pre-game action. Unfortunately, San Jose Giants batting practice occurs over three hours before the game, well before our gates open.”

Ok. I got a few things out of this. First off, you cannot make it inside the stadium in time to see batting practice. Secondly, if I get there early enough, I can probably catch Visalia’s batting practice. Last, if I got to the stadium really early, I could see all of both batting practices outside. So I figured that since this stadium was new to me, I should get there sometime between 2 and 2:30 for the 3:30 gate opening and the 5:00 start time. It was also “Recycle bag giveaway day” or something like that.

This game was just my dad and I. As much as I love going with my entire family, I love sharing the excitement with them, when it is just the 2 of us, it makes ballhawking a lot easier.

We left our house at 2:00 and got to San Jose and parked around 2:40. On the same lot as the stadium, here is a San Jose Sharks ice rink that had a cool mural on the side.

When we got to the stadium, I saw a small gap in the 2nd outfield wall, the one that prevents fans from watching the game for free. This is what I saw

The cages were up! I was pumped to get in!

From there, we went to the ticket office to buy 2 tickets behind the Rawhide dugout. We got 2 seats row 6 seats 5 and 6, which we were told were aisle seats.

After purchasing our tickets, we walked around the stadium, taking more pictures along the way. We first headed in the direction away from the parking lot. At the end of the lot, there was this schedule poster my dad wanted me to get a picture with.

From there, we headed back towards the parking lot. There was still nobody in line, so we had time to kill before we really needed to get in line. My dad took a picture of the stadium inside, and I noticed something interesting.

It looked to me as if that that was the original front of the stadium, due to the purchase tickets here sign. When we got inside, this was proven, because there was a curb opposite the field concourse.

From here, we continued to the parking lot. I realized that the player’s parking lot was right next to the parking lot.

I wanted to go check back on BP, so we headed back to the gap in the wall, but first, I pointed out that the 2013 All Star Game between the California and Carolina leagues would be at Municipal STadium. And yes, it has already been decided that we will be there.

When we got back to the wall, this is what I saw

The Rawhide were taking BP! Assuming that they were still hitting in about half an hour, I was feeling really good. We watched a little before I decided that since there was a net above the wall, it was kind of pointless to stand behind the outfield fence. My dad suggested that we get in line, and that is exactly what we did. For about 15 minutes, we were the only ones in line.

While we were in line, I saw a sign that listed the gate opening times corresponding to the game times. I looked at the row for a 5:00 start time. It said that Turkey Mike’s BBQ opened at 3:30 and the concourse opened at 4:00. Um… I thought the stadium opened at 3:30. I asked somebody in an orange STAFF jersey that told me that from 3:30-4:00, you could only access the bleachers down the LF line. That made sense.

When the gates opened at 3:30, I took my free reusable bag, figuring I might use it at some point in the day. I headed for the bleachers that they had been talking about, and right when I got there, I heard a loud thunk as a ball hit the bleachers. I ran to the bleachers, and discovered that the ball was under the bleachers, 3 rows back. Time to put the giveaway bag to use.

My 1st ball of the day! Now if you look closely, then you can see that it isn’t a Major League ball. It is a Babe Ruth league ball. Uh… that’s a little odd. A professional Minor League team using a ball from a youth league. Interesting. But it still counts.

Then, I took a minute to look around at the stadium and my surroundings, and there was one thing that disappointed me. Usually, most stadiums have a backstop screen from one end of the dugout to the end of the other dugout, just covering the home plate area. Here, the screen covered the top of both dugouts as well as the backstop. This would make getting 3rd out balls nearly impossible. At least foul balls were still going to be a chance.

About a minute later, another ball was lined, this time a section over. I ran in that direction, but it bounced in one of the top rows of the seats. I didn’t go after it, figuring that it was at an unreachable area in the bleachers. Well I headed over that way anyway and next to the Porta Potties and this is what I came up with.

It had been on the ground next to the toilet on the far left. Cool! This one was marked in sharpie with the Giants SJ logo on back of the ball.

I overheard an usher that had a ball in his hand talking about how he found a ball under the bleachers, and because he isn’t allowed to keep it, he was going to give it to the first person who asked. My dad wanted me to ask for it, but I wanted him to give it to a well-deserving little kid, which I found out later that he did.

After this, I went back to where I had been before, by the patio. Before I knew it, 15 minutes after I had entered the stadium, BP was over. At that point, #21 on the Rawhide came over to pick up somebody’s glove. I turned around, looked at my Visalia roster, and I saw #21 was Jeremy Erben.

I turned around and asked him for the ball. Ball #3. I had 3 balls within my first 20 minutes.

I had a very good feeling about it. But then I remembered about the screen. I was hoping to get a few more balls before the first pitch. I had about 10 or so minutes to kill before the concourse opened, so I wandered around the open concourse a little. Once it got to 4:00, I figured that we would head for our seats, and on the way, we saw the umpires entering the stadium.

Once I got to my seat, I got a picture of me with my first 3 balls.

I have no clue what I am looking at.

After this, My dad got a picture from the very top of the section.

I then decided to get a slushy and sit in my seat a little, because there was no action on the field.
around 4:30, I notice the Giants catcher warming up downy the right field line, so I headed over there. As soon as I got there, I got the catchers, Andrew Susac to sign my ticket. Then, the Giants starting pitcher that day, Shawn Sanford started to stretch. 5 or so minutes later, they started throwing.

I noticed most of the team was out on the field at this point, and I saw Aubrey Huff was still rehabbing from his injury in June. How did he injure himself, you might ask? After the final out of Matt Cain’s perfect game, he tried to jump over the railing and hurt his leg. Good going, Aubrey. One thing I noticed while he was warming up was the color of his pants. The Giants home uniform consists of a white jersey and pants, while the SF Giants home uniform features an off-white scheme. Aubrey was wearing the white 25th anniversary jersey, like everyone else, but with the tan/beige/off-white pants. Uh…

I then heard some Giants players talking about the Ports so I joined in the conversation, talking about the beasts on Stockton who hit home runs and stuff like that.

Before long, Shawn and Andrew headed to the bullpen so they could both fully warm up. My dad did get some good pictures of Shawn Sanford pitching in the bullpen

When they were done, Shawn just pointed at me, and tossed me the ball. #4 on the day!

There were some kids there, who didn’t have gloves on that were surprised that I got a ball. I gave them some tips on how to snag a ball and my dad and I headed back to our seats, in time for the first pitch.

In the top of the 2nd, Yazy Arbello, who I think has the most amazing name ever, fouled a ball off in my direction. It landed 2 rows behind me, and rolled down, landing on my bag, which I always put under my seat. Somebody yelled out “There’s the ball!” but my dad said “No, that’s my son’s ball.” Then everyone started looking for the foul ball. I told my dad that it wasn’t my ball, but now it was and smiled. I stuck it in my bag without saying anything. People were looking for that ball, all game.

So at this point, I had 5 balls and was hungry for more. After this, there were no balls that were hit in my direction. In the 6th inning, I saw somebody warming up in the Giants bullpen, so I headed over there. I asked him for the ball when he was called in to pitch, but he told me to come back at the end of true game, and I would get a ball.

When I got back to my seat, I asked my dad if he was willing to go get me some food. He decided to go to Turkey Mike’s Barbecue, which online had great reviews. He came back with pulled pork sandwiches, which I am willing to put up against any ballpark food as the best food that you can get at a Minor League stadium. It was some of the best pulled pork that I have ever had. Amazing ballpark food.

The Giants mascot, Gigante, spent a lot of time in our section, and he posed a lot and took pictures with kids all game.

In the 8th inning, he played with a little kid sitting behind me and tried to get a picture with him, but the kid didn’t really want a picture.

Ok, so in the bottom of the 9th inning, I headed over to the Giants bullpen, as suggested with hopes of getting my 6th ball. I got there, and there were no balls to be seen in the bullpen, except a wiffle ball under a tarp. While I was there, I talked to the kids from before th game, and it had turned out, they had all snagged a foul ball and toss up. There were only 2 guys sitting on the bullpen benches next tot he right field foul pole, and it looked like neither of them had balls, so I headed back to my seat.

The Giants scored 2 runs in the 9th, but due to Visalia’s 5-run 6th inning, the Rawhide won 8-3. As soon as the final out was recorded, They started setting up for a tennis ball toss, where you throw tennis balls onto the field, trying to get them into hoola hoops on the field. While they were cleaning up, a random Rawhide player came out from under in the dugout and asked if anyone wanted a ball. I asked him for it, and before I knew it, I had 6 balls.

I later realized that this was the player who tossed me the ball.

At this point, I was ready to head out. For me, it was a very good day. Before this game in 2012, I had 7 balls, combined major and minor league. I got 6 balls in this game. Last year, I got 5 balls in the entire season. I got 6 balls in this game. It was a lot of fun!

That’s all for now.

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 6 balls at this game
• 9 balls in4 Minor League games this season = 2.25 balls per game
• 13 balls in 10 baseball games this season = 1.3 balls per game
• 4 consecutive Minor League games with at least one ball
• 18 total baseballs
• 9 total Minor League baseballs

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.