Category: Sean Doolittle

7/14/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

Well…

This was my first game in about 2 weeks, and I was excited to be back!

It was MLB Network backpack day (joy) and my mom and I got there at 9:45, for the 11am gate opening, 1pm game time.

My dad would be showing up later with my grandmother and uncle, as they had seats behind the A’s bullpen.

It was the final game before the All Star Break, so we were hoping to hear Grant Balfour announced as Bartolo Colon’s replacement.

I decided to take a lap around the stadium first, as I usually do.

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As I walked past Gate B, I noticed the stairs to BB were not closed off, so I walked up.

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This was the scene from the top.
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My right.

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My left.

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This was the best view I could get of inside. Nothing that I could see going on.

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I kept walking and headed past Gate C.

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This was sitting just outside Gate D.

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I continued on past Gate A.

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Where the stairs were also not yet closed off.

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Nothing fancy inside.

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I walked back up to MM.

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We were 2 of the 7 people in line…

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About 30 minutes before the Gates opened, this truck drove into the Eastside Club.

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This is what was on it. Table cloth or something?

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This was just after Will, Ross, and Wiggi showed up. There was a small pile of flags and banners.

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This was also the time that the backpacks arrived in boxes.

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This is what it said on the side.

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Since there were only 4 boxes, that meant there were 800 jerseys at this gate. That’s only 5% of them. Clearly, MM is not very popular.

The gates opened at 11:05, where I ran inside to the Red Sox bullpen.

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It was packed, I had no way to move from where I was standing. It was very empty when I got there, I was too busy focusing on the players to notice. Even when I called out to players, nothing worked. I got shut out from the Red Sox. That’s all.

I then went over to the A’s bullpen, where Ross, Will, and Drew were standing.

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They were over there so Drew could get his flag signed.

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Meanwhile, A’s pitchers were stretching.

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It was even more crowded. Nothing. So yep. I was shut out for both the Red Sox and A’s.

Eventually, John Jaso came out to stretch and get ready for the game.
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As he was finishing stretches, All-Star Bartolo Colon came out to run and get loose for the game.

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Meanwhile, Ryan Lavarnaway was getting loose as well, on the Red Sox side.

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Last season, when the Red Sox came to town, I had tried to figure out the names of their two bullpen catchers, but had no luck. After a bit of reserach, one of them is #86, Brian Abraham.

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The other, is #88, Alex Martinez.

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As Boston’s starting pitcher, Brandon Workman was warming up, A’s starter Bartolo Colon was doing the same.

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One of the players on the Red Sox is 2012 Athletic Johnny Gomes.
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As both teams started stretching, former teammates David Ortiz and Josh Reddick enjoyed a conversation with each other

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Right before the national anthem, there was this cool ceremony, as it was Law Enforcement Day.
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Ryan Lavarnaway was busy warming up in the final minutes before the first pitch.

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As it was a Sunday game, little leaguers got to take the field with A’s players for the national anthem.

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I loved the socks that Eric Sogard and Josh Reddick were wearing.
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Seriously, these stirrups don’t get any more awesome.
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Like I mentioned earlier in the entry, I was awaiting an announcement on Grant Balfour being chosen to the All Star game. Since Bartolo was pitching this Sunday, the game before the All Star game, he would not be able to pitch, allowing a replacement to be chose. It was highly speculated that his replacement would be Grant Balfour, and sure enough, between the 2nd and 3rd innings, Balfour’s entrance song, One, started playing on the Coliseum speakers, the announcement was put up on the screen, and everyone started All Star RAGING!!!!

As for the game itself, Dustin Pedroia got the scoring started in the top of the 6th with an RBI single.

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Meanwhile, Brandon Workman was in his first MLB Start, and he was dominating the Oakland offense.

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Through the first 6 innings, he had only allowed 1 baserunner. John Jaso walked in the 4th.

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Colon, meanwhile, was also pitching effectively. After allowing 3 hits in the first two innings, he pitched 1-2-3 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings.

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However, he allowed 3 singles in the 6th, the 3rd of those being the Pedroia RBI single I earlier mentioned
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In the top of the 7th, Mike Carp doubled to lead off the inning, then scored on a Brock Holt base hit.

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This prompted Sean Doolittle to enter the game, shutting down the Red Sox in the 7th.

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At this point, the A’s had still not managed a hit, until Coco Crisp lead off the inning with a single.

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After a John Jaso popout, Josh Donaldson stepped to the plate.
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And smashed a home run to center field tying the game at 2.

Craig Breslow, former Athletic, was then brought into the game, to finish off the 7th inning.IMG_1625After a quiet 8th inning, it was time to head into the top of the 9th. It was time for Grant Balfour to come into the game.

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This meant it was time to RAGE!!

I guess I was on TV, so thanks to Ryan Dalton for sending me this picture.

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The inning was lead off by Johnny Gomes, who struck out, then began to argue with the umpire.

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He was ejected…

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I don’t remember exactly what he was upset by, but he was upset.

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Nobody scored in the 9th inning, so the game headed into extras. Ryan Cook came on to pitch the 10th.
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He pitched a solid inning, only allowing a single to Jacoby Ellsbury.

Yoenis Cespedes singled to lead off the bottom of the 10th.

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Then the umpires convened for a moment.

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And Cespedes was standing on second, due to the throwing error from the Red Sox shortstop.

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John Farrell was quite upset.

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Josh Reddick proceded to strike out.
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Which was followed by Cespedes getting thrown out trying to steal 3rd and Nate Freiman grounding out.

Ryan Lavarnaway was hit by a pitch to load the bases in the 11th inning for the Sox.

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However, Cook was able to get out of it.
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This sent the A’s to the bottom of the 11th inning.

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After a Chris Young walk, Eric Sogard laid down a sac bunt.

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This put Chris Young on 2nd base with 1 out.

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After a Coco Crisp groundout and Derek Norris walk, Josh Donaldson stepped to the plate and connected.

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On a base hit, bringing Chris Young around to score!

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Donaldson set up for his post-game interview with CSN.
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While Jaso did one for NESN.

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As customary for an A’s walk-off win, Josh Reddick came in with the pie.

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He brought it to Donaldson’s face.

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As JD braced himself for the hit.

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BOOM!

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Reddick slammed the pies into Josh Donaldson’s face!

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He was then given a towel to wipe it off with.

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Sure, I didn’t snag a ball, but it was a lot of fun out at the ballpark!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 19th Game this Year (14th MLB Game)
  • 0 Balls at this Game
  • 14 balls in 14 MLB games this season = 1 Ball Per Game
  • 42 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 93 Lifetime Baseballs

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

6/25/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

This was the first of a two-game series between the A’s and Reds. It would also be my first of 3 games in 5 days.

It was a 7:05 game, with the gates opening at 5:35. My dad and I arrived around 4:15 where we got in line at gate MM. At the time, were the only fans in line.

It was pretty boring for the next hour. It was pretty cold and it was raining off and on. Nobody was in line behind us for about 45 minutes. 30 minutes before the gates opened, Will MacNeil got in line with us.

5 minutes before the gates opened, the line looked like this…

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Yeah. I could tell it would feel pretty empty for the game. The gates opened at 5:35, where my dad and I grabbed two front row seats in Section 149, on the aisle.  It was pretty empty.

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 Things were looking up, as the Reds have a lot of power in their lineup. With few fans, lots of balls being hit into the outfield, I was confident that BP would be a lot of fun!

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Boy oh boy was I wrong…  It felt like the Reds hitters were trained to hit the ball to opposite field during BP. When the first few groups were up, I was going to RF for lefties, then LF for righties. Once I realized what was going on, I adjusted, going to RF for righties, LF for lefties.  Nobody was hitting anything near where I was positioning myself.

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There were a lot of people in the outfield. LOTS of pitchers were standing in the right-centerfield area, but none of them were tossing anything up. It was awful.

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Johnny Cueto was manning the Right Field warning track.

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He wasn’t tossing anything up either.

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Things were turning from bad to worse.  I had no clue what to expect from here on out.

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Over by the A’s dugout, Kate Longworth was getting ready for the A’s pregame show.

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Cueto was signing autographs by the Reds bullpen.

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And for the most part, the Reds hitters were making great contact with the ball. They just were not hitting it anywhere near me.

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I was positioning myself wherever I thought I had the best chance of snagging a ball. The Reds just kept hitting it where I least expected it. I tried to adjust, but things just didn’t work out.

IMG_7206 To add to my frustration, none of the pitchers were tossing anything up. It was one of those situations where I wished I was a little kid or young female.

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And before I knew it, Batting Practice was over. Just like that. Wow.

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I was in utter shock. Everything went wrong. I got there early, the stadium was very empty, things looked great. All of a sudden, things turned for the worst. Nobody was tossing anything up,  plus the Reds hitters were not hitting balls into either bleachers section. I would say at most, 5 balls landed in the bleachers over the course of BP.

I really don’t know exactly how to put it all into words…

This was the last game all season I expected to get shutout at.  It was all hard to swallow. At least there was a great game ahead!

 Batting Practice ended around 6:20, so I had time to go grab food. As I was walking through the concourse, I bumped into Vanessa Demske and Wes Mills, among a few other people (If you have read almost any of my Coliseum posts, you know who they are). We all grabbed some food and headed back to the bleachers. Stephen Vogt was already well into warming up for his A’s debut.

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 Tommy Milone, the A’s starter was also warming up.

IMG_7516 Bronson Arroyo, the Reds starting pitcher came out to warm up as well.

IMG_7561 He started to play long toss with Ryan Hanigan.

IMG_7545 Tommy Milone was playing catch as well with Stephen Vogt.

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The grounds crew was putting the final touches on the field.

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Most Reds players went into their last stretches.

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 Same with the A’s.

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Right before the first pitch, the A’s had a ceremony honoring a few people. I can’t remember exactly what they were being honored for…

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To the game…

Pat Neshek is hands down my favorite player to take photos of, due to his funky delivery. Coming in a close second is Bronson Arroyo. The leg kick says it all.

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In the bottom of the 2nd, after a Brandon Moss double and Josh Donaldson single, Josh Reddick laced a line drive to center field that was fielded by Shin-Soo Choo.

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Reddick stood at 2n with a double, starting the scoring off to make it 2-0.

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Everyone was excited!

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Stephen Vogt then followed up with a Sac fly, driving in Donaldson, advancing Reddick to 3rd.

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Everyone in Right Field was into the game, as expected!
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In the A’s half of the 3rd, Yoenis Cespedes started the scoring off in the inning by driving in Coco Crisp, advancing Jed Lowrie to 3rd base.

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Brandon Moss brought in Lowrie with a Sac Fly, making the score 4-0 A’s.

Josh Donaldson then stepped to the plate and on the first pitch of the at bat, made contact with the ball.

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He BOMBED it out to left field!

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This made the score 6-0 A’s after 3 innings.

Joey Votto led off the 4th with a homer, brining Todd Frazier to the plate.

He singled to left field, but got greedy, trying to stretch it into a double. Yoenis threw the ball into Eric Sogard at 2nd Base, who threw it to Brandon Moss at 1st, to Jed Lowrie, who was covering 2nd, to make it a 7-4-3-6 putout.IMG_8359

Jerry Blevins came on in the 6th inning, relieving Tommy Milone

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He loaded the bases after hitting Shin-Soo Choo, but managed to get out of the 6th inning unharmed.

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In the top of the 8th, Sean Doolittle came on to replace Ryan Cook, who had pitched a 1-2-3 7th inning. What did that mean? It was time for some Doolittle headbanging!

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I looked over to 148, where Wes and Vanessa were headbanging it out!

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In the bottom of the 8th inning, Vanessa came over from 148 to join my dad and I in 149. She had something pretty cool to show us…

 This was the box she handed me.

IMG_8818 That would be a Coco Lean bobblehead! It was the giveaway for the game 4 days later! From what I understand, Vanessa won an essay contest for the blog Big League Stew, where the prize was that bobblehead! She was taking it on “tour,” where her goal was to get as many people to take a picture with it as possible. My reaction pretty much sums it up.

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I admired the leaning bobblehead a bit.

IMG_8829 Actually, bobble-torso, or bobble-waist would be more appropriate.

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Anyway…

Jay Bruce was at the plate with 2 outs in the top of the 9th, with the A’s ahead 7-3.

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Dan Ortero was on the mound to finish the game off.

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And it was an A’s win! The stadium cleared out rather quickly.

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But the bleachers were not emptying yet. There was a group of Irish soccer fans who were visiting the US and had decided to visit an A’s game. They were sitting and cheering their heads off in Section 148. It was awesome to see! Well they got a group picture, along with Wes, who is pretty much one of the Kings of 148.

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Everyone was happy about the A’s victory!

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Vanessa got this picture with Yuichiro, holding up “Sogard Specs”

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And we all celebrated in the concourse, as the lights and ushers kicked us out of the bleachers, because apparently, they want to get home or something like that.

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 It was a good game!

Sure I didn’t snag a ball, but it was a great day. I was ready to be back out at the yard the next day, for the last game of the two game series between the A’s and Reds.

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 16th Game this Year (11th MLB Game)
  • 0 Balls at this Game
  • 12 balls in 11 MLB games this season = 1.09 Balls Per Game
  • 40 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 91 Lifetime Baseballs

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

6/1/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

JERSEY DAY!!!!!!

We left the house just before 8am and got there around 8:25. This was the scene when we arrived…

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The PARKING LOT hadn’t even opened yet. I was almost positive I would be one of the first in line at this rate.

That ended up not being the case. There were already 30 or so people in line when we got there, so we jumped in line right away. It was Yoenis Cespedes Jersey day. That’s why I was there so early.

Given the fact that the gates didn’t open for 2.5 hours, my sister and I decided to wander a bit. On the way towards Gate D, we passed Will, who was heading up towards MM.
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When we stopped at the D Gate team store, my sister could not resist purchasing this:

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It was pretty boring before the gates opened. My sister and I played catch in the parking lot. I picked up a new t-shirt (I ended up wearing it at this game- You’ll see it soon). That was about it.

When we stopped in the C-Gate team store, we saw this:

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Jersey boxes were being opened!

Shortly before the gates opened- I spotted a familiar face. It was the man that goes by @CS_Darrow on Twitter. We had met up during the World Baseball Classic, and when he saw me this time around, he pulled out two things.

1) A ticket stub from a Rangers/White Sox game in Arlington.

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2) A Dodgers 2012 50th Anniversary ball!
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How cool is that? He thanked me for “spreading the ‘ballhawking’ word” and explained how he and I appreciate your efforts. Thank you again, very much!

The gates opened at 11:05, and I got in fairly quickly. I grabbed a jersey and ran down to my usual seat, but someone was sitting there, so I decided to go sit over where I had been sitting for most of the 19-inning game.

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When I first entered the seating bowl, 1 things shocked me. THE CAGES WERE UP!!!

It was a DAY GAME AFTER A NIGHT GAME and the Sox were going to take BP. SWEEEEEET!

The A’s pitchers were the only players on the field at the time, so I headed over there.

Grant Balfour was playing catch with Pat Neshek. Something caused Grant to yell out “F**K!” At this point, this came to my mind…

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What did I do? I yelled out “That’s 50 cents to the Aussie Swear Jar, Grant!”

He hear this, turned around, started laughing, and tossed me the ball!

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The A’s players started leaving the field. White Sox players came on.

I put on my White Sox gear and headed down near the bullpen, as the bleachers were crowding up FAST.

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Adam Dunn put on a hell of a show in BP, he was hitting the ball HARD and HIGH!

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The Coliseum was filling up fast.

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The bleachers were packed with Yoenis Cespedes gold replica jerseys.

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Omar and his adorable daughter Rhema were there.

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Oh, right. BP. BORING. Dunn and Alex Rios were the only ones that had any power- they hit every ball to CF. Nothing to the LF or RF bleachers as far as I can remember. My 2nd ball of the day was a toss-up. I had been standing a few rows behind a few little kids for most of BP.

There were a lot of balls hit down the line that stayed on the field. Every time, Matt Lindstrom would jog over and throw it in. There was a ball hit right to the wall that one of the kids called for, Lindstrom tossed it up, but it went right to me. I hadn’t even asked for it. I immediately handed it to the 7-8 year old boy that the ball could have been meant for. After all, he was in White Sox gear.

That was it for BP. It was BORING. And long. It was around 55-60 minutes, which was INSANE.

BP ended around 12:20. Yeah..

The grounds crew began prepping the field.

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Darren Bush and Derrek Norris headed out to the bullpen to get ready.

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They played some 2-ball to get loose.

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The day’s starting pitcher, Dan Straily, began to get loose.

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While this was all happening, I noticed this sign. Why is it important? That picture is from THIS blog entry!
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Thursday night, Ian Sagabaen, the guy holding up the sign, and the MLB-proclaimed Greatest Sign-Maker in MLB History contacted me, asking if he could use the picture. Of course I said yes!

Dan Straily began to warm up with D-No, as Darren Bush watched on.
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Jose Quintana, the White Sox starting pitcher began to get loose with Hector Gimenez, the starting catcher that day.

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Several A’s players began to stretch and such.IMG_0411

ROSIE!!!

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The National Anthem was performed.

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The meeting took place at home plate.

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And we were ready to go!

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Dan Straily was on the mound for the A’s. Last year, he was a strikeout MACHINE in the minors.

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This was my view for the game. Actually, I was sitting 2 sections over to the left. This was my dad’s view.

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The White Sox were unable to score in the 1st inning.

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The A’s scored a run in the first.

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The bleachers were lively. (Not that that is a surprise to anyone)

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Oh, and that run was doubled in my Yoenis Cespedes.

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And scored by Jed Lowrie.

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Josh Donaldson struck out.

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Josh Reddick grounded out to end the first inning. 1-0 A’s.

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The White Sox were unable to score any runs in the 2nd either.
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The A’s scored a run in the 2nd inning as well. It started with a Derek Norris double.

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Adam Rosales grounded out.

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Chris Young singled, brining in the run.

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That run was Derek Norris.

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It’s 2-0 A’s!

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Banjo Man showed up… Ew…

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The broadcasters seemed to be doing well.

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The White Sox scored a run in the 3rd on an Adam Dunn single.

The A’s went 1-2-3 in the 3rd.

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The White Sox were the same in the top of the 4th.

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Adam Rosales singled in the 4th inning.

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But the A’s were unable to capitalize, sending the game to the 5th…

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The White Sox went 1-2-3 again, in the 5th  inning.

Then, the A’s came up in the bottom half.

Josh Donaldson singled…

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The the BIG BOY Nate Freiman tripled.
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JD scored.

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Everyone was happy!

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But it was a pain to watch him run! Watch for yourself. Oof.

The A’s were unable to do anything more in the 5th.

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This made it 3-1 A’s after 5 innings in the books.

The White Sox were unable to do anything in the 6th.

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Josh Reddick tossed up the 3rd out ball…

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But I was cooling off in the concourse. Wiggi was the lucky recipient of the ball!

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The A’s went quietly in their half of the 6th, despite a double from Jed Lowrie.

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Sean Doolittle came on to pitch the 7th. Dan Straily went 6 innings with 8 strikeouts and 1 run allowed.

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This is when things began to unravel.

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The White Sox scored 2 runs on a single off the bat of Alejandro De Aza. This prompted a mound visit.

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Sean Doolittle then quickly got out of the jam.

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The A’s were unable to put anything together in their half of the 7th.

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Ryan Cook got loose in the A’s bullpen.

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As he was going to pitch the 8th inning, with the score knotted up at 3-3.

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Oh, and check out Josh Reddick’s AWESOME socks.

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Cookie set all 3 White Sox batters down in the 8th.

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Jesse Crain, who was a very stingy pitcher during BP pitched the bottom of the 8th.

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The A’s were not able to piece much together.

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There were several pickoff attempts in this inning.
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Daniel was visibly frustrated by them.

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Despite a Jed Lowrie Single and Chris Young double, the A’s were unable to score, as Yoenis Cespedes struck out to end the inning.
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Grant Balfour came in to pitch the 9th inning. Time to RAAAAAAAAGE!

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He concluded his warm-up tosses.

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And he proceeded to pitch a stellar 9th inning.

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The White Sox were set down in order.
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In fact, Balfour only needed 12 pitches to do so.

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It was time for the A’s up’s in the bottom of the 9th!

Josh Donaldson led off with a single.

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Then, the White Sox changed pitchers.

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Josh Reddick then laid down a textbook bunt with 0 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd.

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And he was SAFE at first. Bases loaded, no outs!

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Everyone was on their feet, ready for some walk-off pie!

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But Derek Norris grounded into a 6-2-3 double play, getting the outs at home and 1st.

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Coco was intentionally walked.
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Eric Sogard struck out with the bases loaded to send us to extras…

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Pat Neshek came in…

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And got two quick outs, at which point Jerry Blevins came in.

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Adam Dunn promptly flied out to right field to end the inning.

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Mostly everyone had stayed and was still into the game!

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Jed Lowrie lined out to Alex Rios to start the bottom of the 10th.

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Chris Young then doubled for his 3rd hit of the game and Yoenis Cespedes was intentionally walked.

This prompted another Sox pitching change.

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Josh Donaldson then walked as well, loading the bases AGAIN with 1 out.

Brandon Moss then lined out for the 2nd out.

This brought in Josh Reddick.

He took 5 straight pitches, only the first one being a strike.

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You know what this means?

WALK OFF VICTORY!!!

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Everyone was excited!!!

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And yes, Coco delivered the PIE!!

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After the game, I got a picture with Ian and the sign!
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Look closely in the bottom righthand corner.

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It was my Twitter handle!!!

Free jersey, 2 balls, my Twitter handle on a sign, and walk-off pie. You CANNOT complain about that!

My next game was going to be the next afternoon. Oh boy!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

  • 12th Game this Year (9th MLB Game)
  • 2 Balls at this Game
  • 12 balls in 9 MLB games this season = 1.33 Ball Per Game
  • 34 Balls in 12 Games this season = 2.5 Balls Per Game
  • 40 Lifetime MLB Baseballs
  • 77 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.

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

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

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

Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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Wait? What is Bacon Friday, you might ask?

Watch this video…

Or this video…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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They knew of the awesomeness that is Bacon Friday.

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

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

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Jarrod Parker was on the mound for the A’s

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Daric Barton was playing first.

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

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

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After a short pickle, he was out at first.

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

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

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

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And yes, I did get one!

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

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

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Then, Daric Barton stepped up to the plate.

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

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

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Then, Parker allowed the first run of the game.

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David Lough doubled to Center, bringing in Salvatore Perez.

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

Right after I left, this happened…

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

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Everyone got pictures with him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But he tried to stretch it into a double…

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Out or safe?

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

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

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

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He’s one awesome kid!

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And he had BACON MINTS!!!

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The other Omar G, Omar Gonzalez was very excited!

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Coco Crispy Bacon!!!

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Jorge was getting into the action, despite his sleepiness.

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

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Ross was taking lots of pictures.

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As was everyone else.

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

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The scoreboard routinely showed this for the entire game.

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

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Jorge was having a good day!IMG_3812

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

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23%!

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

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Omar had these three signs at this game.

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Everyone was getting into the spirit of Bacon Friday!

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

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

Bob Melvin really wanted to score a few more runs.

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

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

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Doolittle pitched a scoreless 8th

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

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

Rosie did his usual sprint around the bases.

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RUN ROSIE RUN!

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

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

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

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

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

This meant it was time to RAGE!!!

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

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And struck him out swinging! Everyone was happy!

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Slowly, we all filed out.

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

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

Thanks for reading!

BALLHAWKING STATS:

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

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.baco

4/29/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

Boy oh boy! Today was a long day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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And they all loved it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hamilton was enjoying the Butterfingers.

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And he posed for photos.

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Alex got busy taking notes on what was happening.

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

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

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As you can see, Left Field was PACKED!

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

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

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

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

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As well of this photo of me taking pictures:

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

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

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

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This was my view. Not too bad!

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To  my right…

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And my left…

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

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Everyone was shuffling in.

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And Ross held his #ReddickRallyHair.

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Confused? Watch this video…

Now watch this video…

Now you are all caught up to speed!

Everyone was posing with their Butterfingers!!

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

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

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Vanessa got it from this angle:

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

Arlene got this photo of Vanessa and I

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

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

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Seriously. How amazing is that?

Satoshi and Keita were wearing these awesome hats.

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I had to pose wearing one as well.

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The ceremonial first pitch was quite entertaining.

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And Tony started distributing bags of the #ReddickRallyHair

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

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Here is Tony explaining everything

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Remember… You can watch the video here.

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The umpires met at home plate…

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And we were ready to go!!

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

Alex LOVED it!

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

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Tracey was flashing here sign and glove!

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You could tell Hamilton loved it all.

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

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He has a lot of pretty awesome signs!

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

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

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Shin was just in front of me.

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Ready for a story?

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

And the Sun Hole was born.

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

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

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

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

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The Umpire was clapping…

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ERIC SOGARD NERD POWER!!!

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

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

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

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

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Soon enough, I was back out in Right Field.

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Sam was holding up this AMAZING sign.

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

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

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And she seemed pretty excited about it!

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Here’s a slightly closer look…

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There was something written on the ball!

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More than just something!

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Every side of the ball had something written on it!

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Will seemed to be having a good day!

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Same with Tony!

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

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Of Eric Sogard…

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

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Seriously, it is fun to take pictures of him!

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Brandon Moss was at first base

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Josh Reddick in Right Field

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Coco Crisp in center.

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Yoenis Cespedes in left field.

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Jed Lowrie at shortstop

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Mike Gallego is the A’s third base coach.

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Mike Trout making a catch at the wall.

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Third Base…

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Josh Donaldson stepped to the plate.

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Derek Norris was due up after him.

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

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Grant Balfour was beginning to get loose in the bullpen.

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Along with Sean Doolittle.

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

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

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

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

Grant Balfour came in to pitch the 10th inning.

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Time to RAGE!!!

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Balfour shut the Angels down in the 10th.

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

Vanessa enjoyed playing with her!

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She was pretty excited about free baseball!

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

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

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Moss was still at first base.

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Everyone was enjoying the free baseball!

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

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

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

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Nobody likes that song in Oakland.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Omar was having some fun with his drum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The infielders chatted during the pitching change.

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IT WAS RIDICULOUSLY EMPTY!!

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

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Everyone was having a great time!

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It was 1:14. MIND BLOWN.

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

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

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The stadium was almost empty at this point.IMG_1008

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

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

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

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

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

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(Arlene took that photo)

Here is the Tweet I sent out on his phone…

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

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

Following a first pitch strike, this happened.

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

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EVERYONE was happy!

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

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

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

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

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And it was SO LONG from the Coliseum.

KEEP READING!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BALLHAWKING STATS:

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

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

9/2/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

First of all, I would like to apologize. This entry is long overdue and much shorter than usual with a lot less pictures.

We left the house at 8:45 to get my mom, sister, and I to BART around 9. We got to the Coliseum close to 10.

I wanted to get in line at gate MM, but my mom wanted us to get in line at C, where there was no line. I walked around the Coliseum once with my sister, and she took some pictures along the way.

When we got back, I played catch with my sister for 15 or so minutes, as there was still nobody in line. Once we both had made a few errant throws, I decided to walk around once more.

This is random, but as we were walking around, we saw a bunch of cones set up in the parking lot, along with a few cars.

Turns out if you test drove a car, you got 2 free A’s tickets or something like that.

When I got back, the line had grown to 50 or so people, and right next to my mom and sister was fellow Bay Area ballhawk Spencer Sanborn!

We talked about ballhawking and stuff for the most part, until the gates opened, and at that point, we went our separate ways.

Oh, I forgot to mention that my grandmother and uncle would be joining us for this game!

They arrived 15 or so minutes before the gates opened, and got in the handicapped line with my dad. My grandmother had just had surgery on her eye a few weeks ago, and my Uncle is in a wheelchair, so my dad wanted to make sure that they got into the Coliseum okay.

Well, I raced inside, and after grabbing my giveaway “Pink and white A’s baseball umbrella” to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Day, I put on my Red Sox hat and shirt and headed over to the Sox bullpen, in hopes of snagging another commemorative ball.

Spencer got there a little bit before I did, and he started chatting up the ushers a little, before heading over to the right field line. I stayed behind the bullpen area, focusing on Clay Buchholz, who was woking on a bullpen session at the time. When he finished, I called out to him, and he tossed me ball #1 on the day.

The day was off to a good start. I had my eye on a few of the Red Sox pitchers playing catch, but was unable to come up with a ball.

Spencer broke out his giant glove and snagged his one and only ball on the day a few minutes after I got ball #1.

I wasn’t able to snag any balls before the Red Sox cleared the field, so I changed into my A’s gear and went over to where our seats were for the game to say hi to my family.

There were a lot of A’s players signing autographs when I got to our seats

but I was focused on Grant Balfour playing catch down the line.

He ended up throwing the ball to someone else, and at that point, it was roughly 12:15.

And of course, as always, while I was busy snagging balls, my dad was taking some amazing pictures by the A’s bullpen.

There were 45 minutes to game time, and I decided to go spend some quality time with my Grandmother and Uncle, who were sitting in the wheelchair accessible area.

I chatted with them for 10 or so minutes before heading off in search of some food.

I figured that I would go get a sandwich from the Deli, but found an $8 slice of “Gourmet” pizza. It was absolutely amazing. And of course, I failed to get a picture.

I grabbed a lemonade and headed back to our seats.

I talked with my mom for a few minutes before noticing Derek Norris warming up with Chip Hale in the outfield, rather than their regular spot buy the wall.

Shortly thereafter, Brett Anderson came out to warm up, rocking his Nike Elite socks

Because it was Breast Cancer Awareness day, there was a HUGE Parade on the field with breast cancer survivors. They walked out from center field

And they formed a ribbon shape on the field

Then, A’s wives released doves into the sky

While the whole ceremony was going on, players continued to come onto the field and warm up

Anderson finished his warm-up tosses shortly before the ceermony concluded, and the A’s relievers had their special handshake going

At 1:05, the A’s took the field. Yoenis Cespdes warmed up by playing catch with the ball boy

And tossed me the ball when he was done.

My 2nd ball on the day!

During the game, there were no foul balls that came close to me.

This was my view for the game

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Brett Anderson pitched very well

Despite a home run in the first inning

Seth Smith countered with a home run of his own

Josh Donaldson had a good game as well

Ryan Cook warmed up in the bullpen at some point during the game

Along with Sean Doolittle

While Brett Anderson continued his domination

Sometime around the 7th inning, I asked my dad if he would be willing to go and get my an ice cream helmet, because I had overheard someone mentioning that there were special ones for this game. Turns out, they had pink helmets in honor of BCA day!

The Kettle Corn man at the Coliseum is the BEST vendor in baseball. I don’t care what anyone else says, he is

Grant Balfour started to get loose in the bullpen around the 8th inning

When Balfour came in, 149 went into full ragefest

The Ausie came in, shutting down the Red Sox

And it was a win for the A’s!

Once the final out was recorded, I headed over to the bullpen to see if I could get any more balls. I then saw a ball wedged between the bullpen roof and phone for my 3rd and final ball on the day.

I had a great time with my family and getting a chance to share some great A’s baseball with my uncle and Grandmother!

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 3 balls at this game
• 22 balls in 13 Major League games this season = 1.692 balls per game.
• 34 balls in 18 baseball games this season = 1.888 balls per game.
• 27 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 39 total balls
• 7 consecutive games in Oakland with at least 1 ball
• 9 consecutive games with at least 1 ball
• 5 consecutive games with at least 2 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.

8/5/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

This was my 2nd game in the past 6 days. Let’s go!

We left the house at 8:40 for my dad to drop my mom and I off at BART. My sister had like a sleepover or something the night before, and she was going to come later with my dad.

My mom and I got to BART at about 9:00 and the Coliseum at about 10:30.

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.

I was the only one is line

I started talking with this security guard at the gate

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.

He ended up walking away when kids starting filing out of the coliseum from some class that A’s players were giving.

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.

Right after she got back, this pulled into the parking lot.

Nitro Circus! This is who got out…

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.

There were a decent amount of other people with me down the right field line, and almost none of them had gloves.

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.

Lets start off with Sean Doolitle