Category: sharpie

6/20/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

I had been looking forward to this game for a long time. It was an interleague game, Root Beer (Or Orange Crush) Float Day and the Dodgers were using commemorative balls. And because of root beer float day, the gates would open 2 hours early, instead of the usual weekday 1 1/2 hours. early. My plan was to leave for the BART Station around 1 and get to the Coliseum sometime between 1:30 and 2pm. I would ask around to find the best gate to enter and head to that gate.

I had tweeted the A’s earlier and they recommended LL or MM. After entering, I would head straight to the Eastside Club to get my Orange Crush Float in a autographed Cliff Pennington mug and head out to the bleachers and ballhawk.

Well the only one problem was that my sister had nature camp that lasted until 4. The game started at 7. The gates opened at 5. I wanted to get there between 1:30 and 2. Problem achieved. My parents picked her up around 2, because that was all that was the only time the camp would let us get her. They came home, my sister put on her A’s gear and we headed out to BART. This game was only going to be me, my mom, and sister, so my dad just dropped us off at the BART station and we were off.

The ride on BART lasted half an hour, like it always does. I killed some time my studying up on the Dodgers roster.

We got to the Coliseum ar 3:30 and from there, we got in line at gate LL.

I walked around the stadium a few times and noticed some interesting things. As I walked past C and D gates, the 2 that are open for entrance every game had moveable fences around them. But nobody was in line. NOBODY at all!

I also 2 the CBS 5 news trucks by Oracle Arena.

When I got back to line, I still had time to kill before 5:05. I saw the, loading the root beer inside.

And the set up in process.

I also ate lunch and talked with some lady that was nice. When it was time to go in, I had my bag checked and ticket scanned, and I ran to the table straight ahead, where the special mugs could be purchased. My sister and I both purchased a Cliff Pennington autographed mug, and it was actually hand-autographed, not just stamped or printed on.

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(That picture along with the next 3 were taken on my phone at home)

As I entered the East Side club, I got my bearings and considered my options. Should I get my float from somebody right away and risk a great opportunity, or go farther and see what else there was? I decided to go all the way to the end, and on a certain level, it payed off. There was a table that said “Everything $5” I looked closer and there were past giveaways there. All ones that I had wanted. I ended up getting a Justin Duchscherer bobblehead…
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a Ryan Sweeney Jersey…
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and an Athletics yoga mat…
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Pretty legit. I decided to get a float from Stomper, the A’s mascot, and Splash, the Ports mascot.

Yes, I would have rathered gotten a float served from the Warrior Girls, Raiderettes, Mrs. McCarthy (You may recognize her from ESPN) or Jonny Gomes, but I decided to get my float quick and get to ballhawking. Right when I got to the RF bleachers, the A’s were just ending BP… I waited a few minutes, and right after my mom and sister arrived, the Dodgers started hitting.

I have no words to describe the frustrations. There was a ball hit a little ways over my head, and as I chased to get it, it bounced around and I couldn’t get to it in time. It was a commemorative ball. Great. And of course, on the next pitch, before I could get back to the front, a ball was hit right where I had been standing. And the guy tried to barehand it and it landed on the out-of-town scoreboard. Commemorative ball. Great. There were many other stories like this, including one where some guy pushed me out of the way to get a ball, and he didn’t even catch it. And it was commemorative too… WHAT THE HECK??? There was a ball that rolled up onto the warning track and Todd Coffey went to go get it. I yelled out “Hey Todd! Is there any chance that you could please throw me that ball?” That prompted everyone to start yelling things like “Todd!” “Coffey” “T-Cod!” “Ball!” and “Throw it here!” He then asked “Who said please?” Everyone in the section pointed to me, and I told him that I had, but some guy yelled out “I DID!” and Todd threw it to him. Ugh! It was commemorative too! He was the only Dodger who threw a ball up during ALL OF BP! They were being very, very stingy about balls. Just like in San Diego. At 6:20, when batting practice was over, I had 0 balls. Yay!

I headed out of the bleachers and down to the Dodgers dugout to try and get a ball. Boy was it crowded! Wow! I put on my Dodgers hat and took off my Jersey and tried my luck, but within a few minutes, the usher kicked us all out. Cool. I then headed to the Dodgers bullpen, where I was for 20 minutes before the ushers started checking tickets. I stayed off to the side, until an usher headed my way, where I went to the section behind the cross aisle, where tickets were not being checked. I was hoping to get a ball from a player warming up, but I couldn’t get close enough… stupid ushers…

I changed back into my A’s gear and headed for my seat, where I told my sister of my frustrations. My only hope at this point was a Home Run ball, or a 3rd out toss up. In the top of the 8th, Josh Reddick missed a throw from Coco Crisp while warming up, so he grabbed the ball, I called out to him; he pointed to me, and threw the ball. Some old guy reached in front of me at the *very* last minute and got the ball. This was just not my night. But it would get worse. Josh Reddick caught the 3rd out of the inning, and he once against pointed to me. But this time, he chucked it 10 feet above my head. I sprinted back in hopes of getting it on a rebound, but right has I went to grab it, a 300 pound man pushed me/tackled me, and ended up with the ball. This was horrible!

In the bottom of the 8th inning, Brandon Moss stepped up to the plate and CRUSHED the ball to the RF bleachers, a section to my left. But because the bleachers were so packed and are hard to navigate, I wasn’t able to get there in time, and the ball bobbled around a little bit, before somebody grabbed it.

That was the closest I came again, and as a result, I got shut out again. Wonderful.

I got a great picture with my awesome sister.

And a picture with all of my loot, I guess you could say.

In clockwise order from the top, you have my french fry helmet, my Root Beer float mug, my bobblehead, my Jersey, and yoga mat.

Keep scrolling after the stats for a few more pictures…
BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 0 balls at this game
• 4 balls in 4 Major League games this season = 1 ball per game.
• 7 balls in 7 baseball games this season = 1 ball per game.
• 9 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 12 total balls

This is what it looks like from the BART train approaching the Coliseum

I took this picture of the sign that is Oakland’s equivalent of the Yankee Stadium subway sign thing

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.

8/13/11 at O.co Coliseum

Another baseball game with my really, really (did I say really?) awesome family.

Today was Ray Fosse Bobblehead day. Oh Yeah!

Before we could head to Oakland, we had to make a few stops so, we left our house at 9:00 and got to the Coliseum at about 10:50. Ugh. We got our tix and then got in line. it freaking went halfway around the stadium! So, we finally got in at 11:15 or so. When I got in, there was batting practice.

Yes! I gave all my stuff to my mom, except for my glove, pen, string and rubber band (to be explained soon) and ran to the LF bleachers. I just couldn’t believe my luck. This was completely unexpected. Well I got out there and got ready, unfortunately, nobody on the Rangers was hitting dingers to LF, until I ran to RF. Oh boy!

Well, I stood in the aisle, ready for anything, but everything was heading to RF, CF, or the BBQ terrace in LF, just not the LF bleachers.

I knew everybody on the field, and tried my best, but had no luck at all. One guy to my left was sandwiched in the first row and snagged 7 balls. 2 were home runs. And, yeah. And some other little kid could have gotten 9, but we dropped about 7 of them. 2 of those landed on the Out of town scoreboard.

Ready to hear about that pen, string, and rubber band. Here we go.
Well, if you have not hear of Zack Hample, shame on you. He has this awesome “secret weapon” called the glove trick. This is what it says on his blog:

1) The materials. Tie the string to the handle of your glove and keep it tucked away in the palm when you’re not using it. It’s a bit uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get used to it.

2) Hook the band under the flap on the outside of your glove’s pocket. (If there’s no flap, you have two choices: improvise or get a new glove.)

3) Stretch the band over the tip of your glove and prop the glove open with the Sharpie. (Without the Sharpie, the glove won’t stay open. Normal pens don’t work as well because they’re thin and sometimes slip through the spaces between the fingers. When you have everything set up, the space between the band and the tip of the glove needs to be slightly smaller than the ball.)

4) Lower your glove over the ball. (At this point, you’ll be dangling the glove by the string. I’m just holding the glove itself so I could take a decent pic. Anyway, the glove’s weight forces the band to stretch around the ball. But first make sure that the band is not too tight or the ball won’t go in, or too loose or the ball won’t stay in. This takes practice.

5) It’s a delicate operation. Lift the glove slowly so the ball doesn’t fall out. (This is the view from below, complete with the ceiling light in the hallway outside my apartment. Notice how the band has stretched back to hold the ball in place.)

Oh, and don’t tell anyone how the trick works. It’s a secret.

I did all of this, everything, perfectly, having practiced it on the stairs at home, everything. so I was ready and yeah. So i get all set up ready to do it, and these two guys next to me are encouraging me a lot. Everyone else, was telling me no, how I would get ejected, how there were secret camera everywhere, how it is trespassing onto the field, and a little kid like me (i am 13!) doesn’t need any balls when i don’t have any to begin with. (Ouch!) Well, I never did get those two balls. Because I kinda didn’t want to get ejected.

Here is the out of town scoreboard. Its a random pic I found, but the yellow line above all the scores is the line the ball has to pass for it to be a home run. Would lowering my glove down onto that platform be ejection worthy? Let me know in the comments. And for the record, this scoreboard is behind the wall.

Anyway, I decided to come back for those two balls after the game. I mean, I can’t get thrown out after the game, right? I’ll get back to that later. Well, I get back to my seat, and according to my mom and sister, If I had gone to our seats, I could have gotten 3 balls during BP great! Just great!

Well, other than that, the game was boring. The A’s lost 7-1. Jemile Weeks lead off the bottom of the first with a triple.
And yeah, before the game, cause it was rotary appreciation day, Boy Scout Troop 103 presented the colors (flags) and I am now trying to see if my troop can do that. We are pretty awesome.

That aside, I was still determined to get those to balls on the scoreboard. so, after the game, I started to make my way over there, only to see that some lady had *JUMPED* down on top of the scoreboard onto the platform and tossed the two balls back up into the bleachers. That really set me off. And then she needed 4 people to pull her back up. What BS!

Well, let me know what you think in the comments. Yeah. Down there.