This was my 2nd game in the past 6 days. Let’s go!
Once we exited the BART ramp, we headed towards Gate C, where I figured I would get in line. There was nobody in this line, or the 2 up at the BART ramp. (B and A were closed) Then, my mom reminded me that we needed to get tickets to another game, so we headed over to gate D to buy the tickets. I then remembered that the cast of Nitro Circus 3D was going to be greeting people at Gate D, so I jumped in line while my mom went ahead and purchased tickets for Scott Hatteberg bobblehead day.
Now, let me say right now, it will be hell for ballhwaking. Not only is there a bobblehead (With a sound chip) giveaway, but before the game, there is an on-field reunion 30 minutes before the game starts of the 2002 team that won 20 consecutive games. Then, after the game, if you pay an extra $12, you get to go on the field and watch the movie Moneyball on a huge screen above the center field fence.
I don’t expect to snag many if any at balls, but for me, this is such a great opportunity, that I can’t pass it up.
He thought I was about the coolest person ever. I talked about baseball, my blog, and stuff like that. He was kind enough to show me the schedule for the day, as I had told him that I snag baseballs. On it, it said that the A’s and Jays were supposed to take BP. If this was true, I was pumped!
He was under the impression that I was an All-Star baseball player. (Not close) This may have had something to do wit the fact that I had an 2 baseball glove, one being a catchers mitt. I also told him I am a 2nd baseman and short stop. That may have led him on to believe I was a leadoff hitter that will be drafted in the first round after high school. I guess his cousin was drafted 6th overall in the last NBA draft, which I think started the whole discussion. If you ever get in line at Gate D and see him, tell him Nicholas Badders sent you.
This lady was walking around, saying that Chevy was giving away free sun glasses. All you had to do was sign up for a chance to win a car. I sent my mom to investigate, and she ended up getting me some green A’s sunglasses.
If anybody can identify them for me, that would be great!
One of the things on the myGameBalls.com photo scavenger hunt involved getting a picture of you that had a celebrity in the shot. I complied this picture to submit that I hoped would be worth 6 points.
Those pictures were taken my dad. He arrived with my sister and joined us in line 15 minutes before the gates opened.
When the gates finally opened, I grabbed the giveaway of a Jemile Weeks drawstring backpack and headed to check if there was BP. The cages were up and the Blue Jays were on the field stretching! I ran up to the concourse, threw on my Blue Jays hat, and took off my A’s jersey to reveal my MLB Fan Cave shirt. I was running all over the place.
I ran down towards the Toronto dugout, where there were some players stretching. I called out for a ball, but had no luck. BP got under way, and knowing that the Jays don’t have a lot of lefty power, headed down behind their bullpen. I quickly got a toss-up from their bullpen catcher Alex Andreopoulos.
I am very glad that I didn’t go into the bleachers. There were 2. Yes, 2, balls hit into the bleachers in all of BP. They were both off the bat of Rajai Davis, the speedster that isn’t known at all for his power and jump-started his career with the A’s. The first one bounced into the bleachers from the steps between the foul pole and seats in LF, and the other was hit into the 2nd deck, bounced out, and into the bleachers. The same guy got both. Jose Bautista didn’t hit, and guys like Edwin Encarnacion hit balls out, but ones that didn’t go into the seats.
In total, I guess about 6 balls were hit clear over the wall by the Blue Jays.
This probably was the most I had ever moved around in BP. I was running up and down between the Jays’ dubout and bullpen the entire time. There were no balls that were hit foul into the seats, so I mostly followed balls that were weakly hit. There was one where I leaned over the railing, and even though the usher was holding my legs, I was unable to get it.
It also didn’t help that there were about 50 kids in a roped off area that were getting balls rolled, thrown, and hit to them. About 3 had gloves. Oh well.
It turns out, before BP had started, my dad took a bunch of pictures of A’s pitchers warming up. He also got a cool picture of Casey Chavez, the A’s bullpen catcher rubbing mud on the bullpen baseballs.
The security guard’s sheet was wrong, but that was no big deal. The A’s didn’t hit, but the Blue Jays did. They did end pretty quickly, though. I would guess they hit for 25 minutes. Considering the fact that they had started at 11:15 and ended at 11:40, I was somewhat disappointed. I was also excited that this gave me time to get some more things of the scavenger hunt checklist.
The first picture that I checked off after the one before the gates opened was this hopefully 10-pointer. Todd, Tim, and Kellan Cook took a picutre of Tim sitting in the Orange seat at Camden Yards, holding up Todd’s phone with a picture of Cal Ripken Jr.
After this, we headed up to the 3rd deck, as I wanted to try out a cool new iPhone app I had found call 360. It is a 360 degree panoramic picture app. It free, and cool. If you have an IOS device, you should get it. I went to the last row and took this.
3 statues. From left to right, the 2008 Statue of Liberty All-Star Game A’s statue, the A’s giant piggy bank statue, and the 2010 Mickey Mouse All-Star Game A’s statue.
Then, we headed into the Westside Club, which I believe I have never mentioned before on this blog. It is basically a restaurant/bar in the Coliseum. They even have a custum sandwhich place called Deli 215.
From the Westside Club, we headed back to our seats. I there realized that we didn’t have aisle seat. Other than catching a foul ball, my goal for the game was to find an aisle seat a few rows up.
Shortly after I got back, I went with my sister to get an ice cream helmet, which she thoroughly enjoyed.
halfway through his warm up tosses, Stomper in his “Smiling Chevron Car” and his “herd” ran around the warm-up track with all of their “goodies.” They had the usual bead necklaces and Ryan Sweeney jerseys that were giveaways in 2010 or something like that.
I got a yellow necklace and gave it to a kid who was sad because he hadn’t gotten anything.
My family always seems disappointed when I sit by myself at games and go for balls, so at this game, I made a point to make sure to sit with my sister, who utterly hates me ballhawking. This my view for the game.
As usual, my dad got some amazing pictures. Like, really good pictures. As usual, I am going to share them with you.
So I bet you are all wondering about foul balls during the game. There were 2 into the seats within 10 yards of me. There were 5 or so that the ball boy could have handed to me, but didn’t. So the two that landed in the seats… 1 bounced on the field and into the second row in the section to my left.
The other I should have caught. I am hitting myself over this. The ball was hit right at me. I lost it in the sky, but I eventually found it. It bounced softly 2 rows behind me and iI ran back and stuck my glove on the ball, which was in a cup holder. I held it there for a few seconds, then pulled it off. I grabbed it with my hand, but some lady yanked it out of my hand. Good going lady. An usher came over and asked if everyone was ok, so I told him that I was emotionally wounded. He chuckled and asked why. I explained. The lady offered the ball to me, but I told here to find a little kid to give it to.
I tried to stay happy, but I was just frustrated about the ball. I should have been able to hold onto it, but it left my hand. There isn’t anything I can do about it at this point.
Tommy Milone just wasn’t on his game, and allowed 6 runs over the course of his 6 innings. Going into the bottom of the 9th, the A’s had RBI doubles from Derek Norris and Coco Crisp, and a 3-run home run from Josh Reddick.
Before we left, there was one more thing I wanted to do. I had seen a ball under the advertisement board by the bullpen, and something came to my mind. One more thing on the photo scavenger hunt list was to retrieve a ball from the field using items strictly from concession stands. I found a cardboard tray, and after a little modifying, tried to retrieve the ball. This is the photo I submitted.
• 1 ball at this game
• 9 balls in 9 Major League games this season = 1 ball per game.
• 18 balls in 12 baseball games this season = 1.5 balls per game.
• 14 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 23 total balls
• 3 consecutive games in Oakland with at least 1 ball
• 4 consecutive games with at least 1 ball
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.