Category: sports

4/21/13 at Banner Island Ballpark

This game was going to be me, my dad, and Uncle Seth, who I have mentioned before.

We left our house around 10:50, so we got to Stockton around 11:45.

Throughout the course of the day, before the gates opened, I made another vlog, similar to what I did for this game.

As soon as we got there, we found that nobody was collecting money for parking. FREE PARKING!

I then immediately headed out back for BP.

20130423-021449.jpg

As you can see from my tilted picture, there was little action, but the cages WERE set up.

The first batter to step into the cage for the Ports was Addison Russell.

IMG_3213

About 5 minutes after I arrived, look what I had!

20130423-021506.jpg

Yeah!

Only the Ports took BP, there were no Nuts players anywhere to be found.

IMG_3215

And believe it or not, the Addison Russell ball was the ONLY one that cleared the bullpen area, despite strong swings.

IMG_3216

Believe it or not, none of the bunts left the yard!

IMG_3235

BP was VERY boring all-told.
IMG_3231

Around 12:20, right when batting practice was coming to a close, the song Milkshake came on over the PA in the stadium. Wade Kirkland was patrolling left field. You know the app called Vine? Well watch this. He was kind of bored. Dance moves were not to bad.

BP came to a close around 12:25 or so, so I decided to walk around the Marina area and ballpark exterior.

IMG_3256

Seriously, how awesome is this?

IMG_3253

As I’m sure most of you know by now, the Stockton Arena sits right next door.
IMG_3249

Basically, I wandered along the waterfront as far as I could go, before I reached the fence of the parking lot.

IMG_3244

At this point, I decided to turn back. On my way back, I saw this…

20130423-021458.jpg

I decided to wander around over towards the Pro Shop area.

IMG_3293

In the windows, they have every Ports giveaway since 2005. I noticed these two bobbleheads…IMG_3278

Those will both be giveaways later on this year!

I headed over to the Suite Holder gate to get a better view of inside, where I saw this.

20130423-021518.jpg

That lady was writing in the lineups for both teams on the whiteboard in the concourse.

I then decided to head back and get in line.

IMG_3294

I seriously couldn’t wait to get inside!

IMG_3272

There was a table being set up that had a turtle in a cage next to it…IMG_3271

I decided to get a picture with my uncle and the ball I got during BP.

IMG_3266

Then, I got a picture of myself with the ball

IMG_3265

The gates opened at 1:07, and after getting my ticket scanned, I headed over to where a few Nuts players were playing catch and stretching.

20130423-021525.jpg

Just out of the frame was the glove of William Rankin. As he finished running, he tossed me his ball.

After I got that ball, I headed over to section 117. Why? It was on-field player photo and autograph day! When I got there, I met up with Will and Ross. At 1:15, we were all led into a roped off area. Players then lined up along the rope, with pens in hand. Remember the logo ball I got in my last Stockton game? I was ready to get some signatures!

The first player I got an autograph from was infielder Max Muncy, who tossed me a ball and hit me a foul ball in my last Stockton game. My dad and uncle were wandering around the stadium, so I was left to use my phone’s camera to get a photo with him.

20130423-021548.jpg

Next in line was outfielder Dusty Robinson.

20130423-021554.jpg

After getting a picture and autograph from Dusty, I moved on to pitcher Seth Frankoff.

20130423-021559.jpg

After Frankoff was pitcher Jose Macias.

20130423-021604.jpg

After Macias, I moved on to get an autograph and picture with pitcher Jonathan Joseph.

20130423-023459.jpg

Then, I got to talk with Blake Hassebrock.

20130423-021623.jpg

After Hassebrock was outfielder Bobby Crocker

20130423-021629.jpg

Then, came infielder B.A. Vollmuth (One of the coolest names EVER if you ask me).

20130423-021633.jpg

The next guy I got a photo with was outfielder Josh Whitaker.

20130423-021638.jpg

The 10th person I got a photo with was the starting pitcher that day, Deyvi Jimenez.

20130423-021643.jpg

Then, my dad came down to get a few shots, including this one of me with SS Addison Russell.

IMG_3344

I had an absoluste blast with all of this.

IMG_3334

It was a small space with LOTS of people.

IMG_3332

IMG_3321

I couldn’t get pictures with or autographs from all of the guys, so I spent a few minutes talking with Will and Ross, who got lots of photos themselves.

IMG_3365

I also go to talking with Eric and Bridget, who are A’s fans that I believe made the trip with Vanessa.

As you can see in the picture above, Vanessa joined us on the field. Remember her from my last game in Stockton?

She, Will, and I then got a picture with Max Muncy and Ryan Delgado.

IMG_3375

Do you see the phone in the picture above taking a picture of us? That is Vanessa’s, and here is the picture she later posted on Instagram.

Screen Shot 2013-04-23 at 2.52.12 AM

About halfway through the event, I took this panorama of the event, which hopefully captures the chaos of it all.

20130423-021651.jpg

Around 1:45, they started wrapping things up, at which point Will had a short conversation with Ports manager Webster Garrison.

IMG_3411

He and Vanessa then got a quick picture with Webby.

20130423-021702.jpg

Around 2, I headed over to watch the Ports starting pitcher for the day

20130423-021711.jpg

Once he was done warming up, I got this panoramic shot from the LF foul pole.

20130423-021717.jpg

Then I headed over to RF to get the same.

20130423-021722.jpg

The Ports let a Little Leaguers run on the field with players in this game, for the National Anthem, and it was a very cool sight!

IMG_3443

The National Anthem, as always, was great!

IMG_3466

IMG_3473

IMG_3474

The Ports sent Deyvi Jimenez to the mound.

IMG_3479

IMG_3522

While the Nuts countered with Ben Alsup.

IMG_3536

IMG_3547

IMG_3590

IMG_3620

For the Top of the first, I headed over to behind the Ports dugout in hopes of getting a third out ball.

20130423-021730.jpg

I was unsuccessful, and on my way back, I snapped this panoramic.

20130423-021735.jpg

For most of the game, I sat down with Will, Ross, Vanessa, Bridget, and Eric, near the first row, chatting.

IMG_3920

In the front row, you have Will, Ross, Eric, Vanessa, and Bridget.

I did, however, spend some time sitting up with my Uncle and Dad, where I was able to get shots of people like this one.

IMG_3784

And of Will…

IMG_3777

With 2 outs at every half inning, I would head behind the dugout of the team on the field and try to get a ball. I was unsuccessful ALL DAY.

20130423-021755.jpg

As always, my dad got AMAZING pictures.

IMG_3703

IMG_3719

IMG_3737

The Ports scored their first run in the bottom of the 2nd.

IMG_3633

Every time Webster Garrison, the Ports manager, walks past the visitng dugout to go coach 3rd Base, Will and a few other fans stand up and yell “WEBBYYYYY!”

IMG_3577

Here he is coaching third base.

IMG_3773

The Nuts manager is Lenn Sakata.

IMG_3771

 As I mentioned earlier, I was very unsuccessful with 3rd out balls, so I enjoyed getting to relax and take lots of pictures!

IMG_3792

IMG_3793

IMG_3800

I then took these two pictures…

IMG_3804

IMG_3803

When I got home, I went into Photoshop and created my first “real,” (And poorly done) panoramic photo.

panorma

One memorable play was when Dusty Robinson came to the plate…

IMG_3805

And there was an interesting play at first…
IMG_3806

Here is Josh Whitaker.

IMG_3818

IMG_3823

For me, it was awesome to just sit back, relax, and take pictures.

IMG_3832

IMG_3862

IMG_3882

IMG_3827

IMG_3825

In the 8th inning, Bernie Lean came on…

20130423-021747.jpg

Can YOU Bernie Lean?

Also in the 8th inning, Juan Crouset stepped to the plate for the Nuts.

IMG_3729

He popped a ball foul a few rows behind me. I misjudged it, but immediately picked it up off the ground. Ball #4! It was my 5th lifetime foul ball, 4th at a MiLB game, and 2nd MiLB game in a row with a foul ball!

Right after I picked it up, I heard a young girl (7 years old maybe) quietly say “Dangit.” Without thinking, I handed the ball to her.

Yes, of course, I would have loved to have kept the ball, and I got PLENTY of backlash for it on Twitter, but it was all worth it to see her so happy with it.

When the Ports came to bat in the bottom of the 8th, Nelson Gonzalez went into his second inning of work out of the bullpen.

IMG_3935

IMG_3944

IMG_3951

But, he blew the lead…

IMG_3992

Ryan Ortiz had hit a go-ahead home run!

IMG_3962

IMG_3975

And it was high fives all around!

IMG_3983

Jordan Ribera and Taylor Featherston watched as a new pitcher took his warm up tosses.

IMG_4010

IMG_3997

Modesto called upon Kenneth Roberts to get the final two outs of the inning.

IMG_4030

IMG_4070

IMG_4081

IMG_4090

IMG_4118

IMG_4127

Thankfully for the Nuts, he was able to escape the inning, but not before allowing another run!

IMG_4200

In the top of the 9th inning, the Ports were ahead 4-2, so I headed over to my ticketed seat for the first time all game, located right next to the Nuts dugout. At that point, I was hoping to get the lineup card after the game, so I put on my Nuts hat. Will was VERY disappointed in me. He then took this picture of me.

61900_10200731133708011_706680960_n

That is my “I know I’m a Ports fan but I have to do this” face.

Jonathan Joseph came on for the Ports to lock down the save.

IMG_4155

IMG_4175

IMG_4205

IMG_4218

IMG_4219

And the Ports had won!

IMG_4233

IMG_4235

Some people were getting pictures…
IMG_4264

… But I was sticking my head into the dugout to try and get the lineup card.

IMG_4265

As soon as I got there, I asked the Nuts manager for the lineup card, but he ignored me and left. Then, Brian Humphries walked over, saw a pile of balls on top of the bat rack and tossed one to me without saying a word. He then tossed out 6 more to other kids that were crowding around the dugout.

Soon, I saw a clubhouse attendant in a rockies hat, shirt, and shorts (The Nuts are a Rockies affiliate) walk over. I asked him for the lineup card, and look!

IMG_4294

I thanked him and headed up the stairs, where everyone else was standing. Vanessa snapped this picture of me on her phone of me with the lineup card.BIbR5i_CQAA-tAO

We then got a group picture. From left to right… Bridgett, Will, Vanessa, MEEEEE, Ross, Eric, and my Uncle Seth.IMG_4270

As we were heading out, I noticed it was “Kids Run the Bases” day.IMG_4273

Once we left, I headed to Ross’s car to pick up my 2013 RF Bleacher shirt (To debut in my next game entry) and then headed back to meet up with my dad and uncle.

Cool stuff. Great game.

Thanks for reading!

BALLHAWKING STATS:
IMG_4295

  • 6th Game of the Year… 2nd MiLB Game of the Year
  • 5 balls at this game
  • 19 balls in 6 games this season = 3.16 Balls Per Game
  • 15 MiLB Balls in 2 MiLB Games = 7.5 MiLB Balls Per Game
  • 4 MiLB Foul Balls
  • 5 Lifetime Foul Balls
  • 5 Consecutive Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 8 Consecutive MiLB Games with at least 1 Ball
  • 5 Consecutive MiLB Games with at least 3 Balls
  • 2 Consecutive MiLB Games with 1 Foul Bal
  • 30 Lifetime Minor League baseballs
  • 62 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.

1/27/13 at A’s FanFest

Wow. This was a truly incredible day!

Last year, A’s FanFest was the same weekend, on Sunday, January 29th. It was a lot fo fun and you can read about it here!

It started off at 6am, when I woke up and slowly got ready, with the rest of my family out of bed by 6:45. We were out of the house and on our way to Oakland at 7:20, getting there around 7:50, where I found about 6 lines, each with 20-50 people. I got in the shortest line, which was to the far right. My dad and sister shortly arrived from the parking lot, with folding camping chairs and blankets, as we had a 1.5 hour wait in front of us.

Like I mentioned in this entry, the event was taking place mainly at the Oracle Arena.
IMG_0912

My sister and I decided to wander around a little, so we headed towards the Coliseum, where people were waiting anxiously in line for single-game tickets, like I did last year.
IMG_0920

We then headed past Gate A and up the ramp towards the BART Plaza.
IMG_0931

Along our way, I got a couple of photos of signs like these.
IMG_0939

When we got to the BART Plaza, I saw an electronic sign that was flashing “FAN FEST SOLD OUT. SINGLE GAME TICKETS ON SALE AT 9AM.”
IMG_0947

When we got over by B and C gate, I took note of the parking lot.
IMG_0960

The day before, there had been a supercross event at the Coliseum, so they have been unable to hold FanFest there. All of the semi-trucks were still parked in the lot.

We eventually made our way back, at which point I decided to sit in one of the chairs and relax.
IMG_0978

My dad got a couple more good photos of me.
IMG_0985IMG_1002

The lines behind us grew much longer.
IMG_0988

And this guy’s hat attracted more and more attention!
IMG_0998

Around 8:45, this was the scene.
IMG_1017

At this point, my dad and I left the line, bringing the chairs and stuff back to the car, as we headed to go pick up our media credentials for BlogFest!

On our way pack to the car, the line had gotten pretty long!
IMG_1028

At 9am, we picked up our passes. This is what my press pass looked like. How cool is that?
20130127-201156.jpg

We made our way back towards the Arena, where we still had 25 minutes to wait in line.
IMG_1029

At 9:30am, the lines started to move, and people were brought in. I would say there were 20 or so people in front of me in line.

It felt like a mad dash to get to the bleachers! I ran inside the barricaded area between the Coliseum and Arena, and ran inside, up an escalator, and got in a very short line for the Authenticated Memorabilia stand, which quickly grew VERY long. I’m sure you are wondering what the big deal was.

This was the scene before I was let in.
IMG_1045

As soon as you walked in, to the right, there was a table, with game-worn batting helmets and hats, each was $40.
IMG_1049

In the center, there was another table with the $40 helmets.
IMG_1051

In the right of this picture, you see people crowding around the coveted jerseys table. BP/Spring Training jerseys were $30 each, Bob Melvin/Josh Reddick/Brandon McCarthy jerseys were $200 each, and all other jerseys were $100 each. In the center, you should see a table with plastic bags, that inside contained dugout jackets that were each $100!
IMG_1052

There was also this table, with game-used bats for $100.
IMG_1054

And to it’s left, there were champagne bottle from the Playoff clinching and AL West clinching clubhouse celebrations for $30 each.
IMG_1056

Along with these items, there were signed aprons from MUG Root Beer float day for $20, DVDs commemorating the 2002 20-game win streak for $20, and bases for $100.

Game-used pants were $10 each, and I would say they had about 7 different styles, mostly from throwback games.

There were also 2 tubs of game-used baseballs, which I thought nothing of. I later saw people with lots of different commemorative balls, which I think would have been cool to have!

I grabbed this program that was sitting by the bin of balls
20130127-232002.jpg

In the end, I purchased a #31 nameless batting practice jersey ($30), which I knew must have been worn my Kirk Sarloos, because he was #31 when the A’s wore this style of jersey.20130127-201208.jpg20130127-201213.jpg

I also got a game-used batting helmet ($40)20130127-201202.jpg

Pair of game-used throwback pants ($10)20130127-201222.jpg20130127-201227.jpg

This Root Beer float day apron, signed by David Justice ($20)20130127-201235.jpg

And these COOL knee savers, with the #8 on them, so I will assume that they were Kurt Suzuki’s ($10)20130127-201242.jpg

I got those 5 items, spending $110. How cool is that??

From there, my family and I walked around the upper concourse area, where my dad peeked in on the court area and snapped a few really cool pictures!
IMG_1058IMG_1059IMG_1060IMG_1062IMG_1069

We quickly stopped at the Kids Club table, where my sister purchased a kids club kit and got an autograph voucher.
IMG_1063

From there, we headed down to the lower concourse, where I was looking for anything free.

I grabbed these 5 soft balls at a Sport Clips table
20130127-231925.jpg

Along with a few other freebies
20130127-231931.jpg20130127-231937.jpg

At the Sport Clips table, they were giving free hair cuts, which I thought was kind of cool! IMG_1070

We stopped at the Stockton Ports table, where I got a bunch of free stuff!

4 of these Baseball cards
20130127-231942.jpg20130127-231948.jpg

And 4 of these bookmarks:
20130127-232008.jpg20130127-232014.jpg

4 of these team photos
20130127-232024.jpg

And these two items as well!
20130127-232029.jpg20130127-232019.jpg

After that, we stopped at the Athletics Magazine table, where I signed up for a 2013 subscription, and was given this free magazine from 2012!
20130127-232035.jpg

From here, we headed outside.IMG_1072

We decided to get in line for the clubhouse tours! We entered at the Employee Entrance
IMG_1079

And were ready to head down this long ramp
IMG_1082 IMG_1091IMG_1100

The only reason they couldn’t hold it in the Coliseum was because of the Motercross event the day before. There were a bunch of dirt mounds on the field.
IMG_1095IMG_1099

We walked through the concourse a little, then down a few more ramos, before we got to this signIMG_1111

We then walked down this tunnel
IMG_1114

We eventually got to what seemed like the area near the clubhouse.

We walked past the Umpire’s room
IMG_1116

And saw this sign
IMG_1118

There were a few more signs like that along the hallway like these
IMG_1119IMG_1120IMG_1121

We then walked past the weight room
IMG_1123

And took a look inside
IMG_1124IMG_1128

We kept going, walking past theses signs
IMG_1129

Finally, we were right accross the way from the clubhouse, in the hallway with lots of cool memorabilia
IMG_1134IMG_1140IMG_1142IMG_1143IMG_1144IMG_1145

We walked past Steve Vucinich’s office. “Vuch” is the A’s equipment manager
IMG_1137IMG_1139

We finally got inside, and I took another pictures of this sign
IMG_1148

This is how the clubhouse was laid out
IMG_1150

Ariel Prieto, Yoenis Cespedes’ interpretor, as a locker right next to Cespedes
IMG_1155

Jim Miller, Travis Blackley, and Dallas Braden all have lockers next to each other
IMG_1158

Last year, Mike Gallego, Eric Sogard, and Tommy Milone greeted people in the clubhouse. This year, it was new bullpen coach Darren Bush. Here is the thing… NOBODY recognized him! Except for me, that is!

I immediately approached him, and he was very excited to see that someone had recognized him. I felt bad for him! Darren is a great guy, and I have a feeling I will be getting a few balls from him in 2013! IMG_1164

We left the clubhouse at headed out get autographs, since the autograph coupons we had received upon entry were for session #1, which was supposed to end soon. There were 3 autograph stations outside, in the area between the Coliseum and Arena. There were signs above each station with the people signing at each table.
IMG_1192IMG_1193IMG_1194

The line for Cespedes and Taylor was way too long, so we got in line for Josh Donaldson and Ray Fosse. We got in line and stood there for about 5 minutes, before we were next in line.
IMG_1177

I got both Josh Donaldson and Ray Fosse to sign both sides of the bill of a souvineer french fry helmet that I got at a game in 2012
IMG_1178

This was the scene behind the autograph lines
IMG_1180

Cespedes and Taylor were both busy signing
IMG_1182IMG_1196

My dad was accidentally given 2 autograph coupons for session 1, so he gave his second one to me, so that I could get two more autographs!

I got in line to get Tommy Milone and Pat Neshek to sign the souvenir helmet as well
IMG_1187IMG_1206

After we got autographs, we headed to the under level of the Arena. I saw a line where you could take a picture with Sal Bando and Billy North, along with the *4* A’s World Series trophies.IMG_1214

I was just standing next to the line watching the “action” when it got to a point that nobody was moving forward. Apparently Ray Fosse was scheduled next for the photos and *Everyone* in line was waiting for him. The volunteer that was controlling the line yelled out that anyone that wanted a photo with Billy North and Sal Bando, along with the trophies, could go to the front of the line.

I put everything with my parents, since they didn’t want a picture, and I jumped right to the front of the line. Oh Yeah!EPSON MFP image

We then headed to the main level, where we got some food and checked out the Sacramento River Cats table.
IMG_1221

I picked up this wristband at the stand

After we got our food and sat down, I realized that it was time for my dad and I to head off to BlogFest.

We left my mom and sister at the Q&A session and headed off to drop off some stuff at our car before heading to meet up.

If you don’t remember what BlogFest is, just click here to read what I wrote a few weeks ago about it!

I got to the meeting spot at about 12:40.
IMG_1226

There were lots of other bloggers there as well, including people from A’s Farm, BeanBall, Athletics Nation, newballpark.org, A’s Fan Radio, and many more!
IMG_1228IMG_1234

We walked into the Oracle Arena, down some stairs, through a few tunnels, into the underbellies of the Oracle Arena, and we arrived here!
IMG_1244

When we got into the room, I set up in the back corner of the room with my phone and laptop IMG_1246

This was the setup in the room20130206-213717.jpg

This was the sight from the side of the room
IMG_1247

The back
IMG_1249

We had about 15 minutes to prep before Adam, who coordinated this event, brought in 2012 AL Manager of the year Bob Melvin!IMG_1255IMG_1264

After Melvin, PR Director Bob Rose came in and talked to us for a little bit, while Adam went to get Assistant GM David Forst.
IMG_1305

Adam soon showed up with David Forst!
IMG_1316IMG_1322IMG_1331

Once we finished up with David Forst, Adam went to get Mike Gallego, the A’s 3rd base coach, who had some great stories to tell!
IMG_1352IMG_1359

I’m sure you are wondering what those 3 guys said…

Here is the deal. I have an audio recording of all 3 interviews. Right now, I am working to transcribe all 45 minutes of interviews, and publish IT ALL in a separate blog entry, with analysis of what they said.

It is taking a long time to get everything together, so hopefully, I will get everything up within the next week!

We left the press conference room with everyone else and headed back up to meet up with my mom and sister.

My dad had to leave to go pick up my grandmother and uncle, as we would be driving them out of town after FanFest, so I was alone with my mom and sister.

If you remember from this entry, then you know that in the mail, my family was invited to a special season ticket holder photo meet-and-greet session. The line was getting long, so my mom got in line, while my sister and I decided to wander around.

We headed upstairs to the Memorabilia sale that I had visited earlier, and prices had drastically decreased!

Jackets, baseballs, bats, helmets, and Spring Training jerseys had sold out, however game-worn jerseys were $40, Game-worn hats and pants were $5 each, champagne bottles from the 2012 clubhouse celebrations were $15 each, DVDs from the 2002 season were $5 each and aprons from MUG Root Beer float day were $5 each.

I first grabbed a 2002 DVD for $520130206-213818.jpg

Then this pair of pants for $5, so that I would have matching home and road pairs.20130206-213828.jpg20130206-213837.jpg

I then went over to take a look at the hats. $5 for a hat is a great price alone, but these are 59fifty hats that are usually $40 with tax. Then consider the fact that they are game-worn!

They only had road and 2012 BP hats left, and since I already have a 2012 BP hat, I searched through all the road hats, and found 2 in my size (7 3/8).

I got this one20130206-213731.jpg

That had Tye Waller’s #46 written on the inside20130206-213740.jpg

This hat is special for me because Tye Waller tossed me my first ever baseball.

The second hat I picked up was this one20130206-213749.jpg

It had a #37 written on the inside, with a MLB Authentication sticker20130206-213758.jpg

I looked it up through MLB’s authentication program, and check it out!
20130206-213807.jpg

Ron Romanick, the A’s pitching coach in 2011!

Can you guess what I did?20130206-220228.jpg

Yay!! “Official” Certificate printed out from the MLB.com website!

After making this $20 purchase (No, my sister did not ask for anything), we headed back down to wait in line with my mom. The line was moving VERY quickly!IMG_1372

We got to the front of the line, to find YOENIS CESPEDES was taking pictures with group #4 of season ticket holders!IMG_1373

I really wish my dad could have been there with us. It was very, very awesome!

After this, we headed back upstairs, since my sister and I both had received special autograph coupons that allowed us each to get another autograph.

I handed mine and the souvenir helmet that I had previously gotten signed to my mom and she and my sister got in line for Eric Sogard’s autograph.

I headed back to the memorabilia sale to look around. All they had left were jerseys, DVDs, pants, and a few hats. They were desperate to get rid of everything! Hats were still $5, and those were swooped up quickly. DVDs were still $5, and there were A LOT of those left over.

However, they had A LOT of pants left, and there was a lady walking around yelling “PANTS ARE $1 EACH!”

WHAAAAA? I immediately ran over and picked up 3 more pairs of throwback pants- the 3 pairs that they had laying out that I hadn’t already picked up.20130206-213903.jpg20130206-213913.jpg20130206-213920.jpg20130206-213928.jpg20130206-213937.jpg20130206-213945.jpg

Then, I took a look at the game-used jerseys that they had lying out. They were…. *$20* each!

I looked at each jersey, and since there was only one in my size, I immediately grabbed it!20130206-220212.jpg20130206-220221.jpg

A #63 Danny Farquhar green jersey! How cool is that?

Who is Danny Farquhar you might ask?

“He was traded to the Oakland Athletics from the Toronto Blue Jays along with Trystan Magnuson for outfielder Rajai Davis after the 2010 season.
On April 18, 2011, Farquhar was traded to the Blue Jays in exchange for reliever David Purcey.
Farquhar made his major league debut on September 13, 2011, against the Boston Red Sox. He pitched 0.2 innings and allowed three earned runs on three hits, while walking two with no strikeouts. Farquhar was later optioned back to New Hampshire. On June 2, 2012, the Blue Jays designated Farquhar for assignment after claiming Chris Schwinden off waivers from the New York Mets.
On June 9, 2012 the Oakland Athletics claimed Faquhar off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. After making five appearances in the minor leagues for the Sacramento River Cats, the Athletics waived him to select the contract of A. J. Griffin.”

So…
*He never played a game for Oakland, just the AAA River Cats
*He was in the A’s organization twice
*He was waived for a guy that I saw make his MLB debut.

AWESOME!

Here was my final haul of stuff that I picked up at the memorabilia sale. Great deals, neat stuff, AWESOME!20130206-213955.jpg

I talked with a few people, and before I knew it, my mom and sister came back.

Here is the helmet that I got signed
20130206-214153.jpg20130206-214139.jpg20130206-214211.jpg
PRETTY COOL!

At this point, we headed out and met up with my dad, grandma, and uncle and headed out of Oakland.

This was an amazing day, and I had some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities! I met great people, got great deals, and had a great time!

This event put me just one step closer to Opening Day!

For me, I am looking forward to an exciting season as an A’s fan and season ticket holder!

Later that night, I went on BlogTalkRadio with RF Bleacher regular Will MacNeil to talk about the RF Bleachers and our experiences at FanFest. You can listen to that broadcast here.

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.300x50_mlblogs_top100

Best Pictures of 2012- FanFest, April, and May

Wow. What a crazy season. My dad took a majority of the pictures featured on this blog, and all of them were excellent. I wanted to take some time to comprise a few entires with of all of the best photos that were taken at the 21 games I went to in 2012. At the end of each month and game, I will have a poll for you to choose your favorite picture of that month.

This entry features the 6 games I attended in April and May, as well as FanFest in January

***If you would ever like permission to use any of the photos on this blog for any reason, please send an email to nickbatters@gmail.com***

1/29/12 at FanFest

In line at for tickets early in the morning before FanFest

Posing with Eric Sogard

Posing with Tom Milone

Inside the A’s clubhouse

A sign showing times for BP according to game time


April:
4/5/12 at PETCO Park

Padres catcher Nick Hundley warming up before the Padres took on the Dodgers on opening day.

Padres catcher Members of the U.S. Navy holing the American flag on Opening Day at PETCO Park for the National Anthem.

Griffin Benedict, one of the Padres bullpen catchers in the bullpen.

Watching the game, sitting right next to the bullpen


4/13/12 at Banner Island Ballpark

Me at Banner Island Ballpark with the Ports Prize Pack that I won on Facebook

Having the water wiped off of our seats as we showed up with a rainbow in the background

A pre-game view of the home plate area from our seats

A.J. Cole throwing his last warm-up pitch in the top of the 1st inning

The tarp being put on the field during the rain delay

Sitting right next to the dugout for the final few outs of the game


4/22/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

MyGameBalls.com Scavenger Hunt Picture: Sitting in the seat I determined to be te farthest away from home plate

Tyson Ross pitching on his birthday. He tossed me a ball before the game.

Jordan Norberto tossing sunflower seeds to fans behind the bullpen

MyGameBalls Scavenger Hunt Picture: Bonus Photo- Posing with my 3 balls at the game in front of the O.co Coliseum sign


May:
5/11/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

A view of the Coliseum from the last row of the 3rd Deck

Tom Milone pitching. Photo taken from the 3rd deck.

Everything that I got at this game. Ball, Drawstring bag, Blanket, Hat


5/18/12 at John Thurman Field

Chad Oberkacker at the plate. He threw me a ball before the game.

Miles Head, who threw me my first ever Minor League Ball in Stockton in April

A.J. Cole Pitching. Look at his eyes.

A.J. Cole again. His eyes…

These signs are all over John Thurman Field


5/26/12 at Banner Island Ballpark

Batting Practice at Banner Island Ballpark

The Marina behind Banner Island Ballpark

Yordy Cabera at the Plate

A Ports pitcher pitching in the Top of the 9th


Ok. That’s it for this entry. I’ll try to have the entry for June and July up in 1 week. Make sure to vote in each poll, as I’ll be compiling an entry of the best pictures from 2012!

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.

8/1/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

This game came out of nowhere. Literally. The day before, the A’s ticket services staff posted a question on Twitter, with the 1st person to answer correctly won 2 tickets to that night’s game. The question was “Last night the A’s clinched their best July record in team history (19-4). When was last time the A’s had a record that good in a one month?” I knew the answer was August of 2002, when the A’s had their 20 game win streak.

I tweeted them the answer, and then got a DM that I had won. After remembering it was my parent’s anniversary, I told them that I couldn’t make it. Then, they offered me 2 tickets to the A’s game the next day, a 12:35 game against the Rays. After telling them that my sister had to come, and offering to buy an extra ticket, they told me to pick up 4 tickets at the box office.

The A’s ticket services staff are the best in baseball!

On Wednesday, I left the house, along with my mom and sister around 8:20. We were going to walk to the bus stop, as my dad had to leave for work, from there take the bus to BART, and take BART to the Coliseum. We got to the bus stop at 9:00 and BART at 9:40.

Once we got on BART, we got to the Coliseum at 10ish, the same time Will Call opened, so that we could pick up the tickets.

Once we walked halfway around the stadium to Will Call, we picked up our tickets. The lady at Will Call thought it was cool that we had won and said they were really good.

Honestly, I was expecting 4 generic A’s tickets in the 2nd deck. But, no. These seats were between the Rays dugout and home plate. In the first seating level!

And to top it all, they were the commemorative tickets that only season ticket holders get. Awesome!

At That point, it was 10:30; we got in line at Gate C, where there were only 2 people in line. Gate B, where I had entered before, was closed.

My sister wanted to play catch with me, so once she was done playing a quick card game with my mom, we played catch in the parking lot for 15 minutes.

After that, I pretty much waited until the gates opened.

It was pretty boring. Once it was 10:05 and the security guard said we could go, I rushed through the bag check, got my ticket scanned, and went to see if there was BP. Nope. Not a huge surprise.

I took off my A’s jersey, to reveal my Ryan Cook American League All-Star Game shirt. I stuck my jersey in my bag, pulled out my catcher’s mitt, and headed over to where the Rays were throwing, as there were no fans there.

As soon as started to run down the steps, a security guard threw a ball up towards the 2nd deck that some pitchers had been using to warm up. It bounced off and came down and started trickling through the seats. I couldn’t find it anywhere, and a minute later, the same security guard found it on the field, I guess it had rolled all the way down, and tossed it to me. As soon as I put it in my bag, it trickled out back onto the field. I didn’t realize it at first, because there was a little girl, maybe 4 or 5 crying because she had thought the ball had been tossed to her. The security guard had tossed it pretty high, and I guess she had been right behind me.

The guard, who I have known for a long time now, asked me if I wanted it back, and I said I was going to give it to the girl who was crying. He told me that he thought it was a good idea, and handed it to me.

This was the first ball I had ever given away, so I deiced that I WILL count balls that I give away as ones that I snagged.

I wanted to try to get a ball from one of the 2 guys throwing bullpen sessions, in Jeremy Hellickson, and Wade Davis. The bullpen catcher missed a pitch from Davis, and the ball rolled over to where Sam Fuld and James Shields were throwing. I headed over there, calling out to James, asking for the ball. He said no. I asked if there was any possible way on the face of the planet that he would be able to toss me one baseball. He chuckled and said that he wasn’t allowed to. I said OK, and no problem and headed to where Fernando Rodney was throwing.

James Shields called me back, saying that he had been joking with me. I laughed and said ok, as he tossed me the ball. He then came over and I told him how teams like the Dodgers rarely throw balls up during BP, and how their pitchers specifically are not allowed to give balls away, which sucks, because the Dodgers use commemorative balls. He seemed really surprised at that, at which point he started to get yelled at by some coaches.

He asked me if I would be in Tampa this year, and he seemed somewhat disappointed when I said no. I knew this was the Rays’ only trip to Oakland this year, so I half-jokingly suggested that he collect some commemorative balls for me and give them to me, when the Rays are in Oakland in 2013. He actually liked the idea, and said next time the Rays were in Oakland, or if I was in Tampa, he would hook me up with a few balls.

Pretty Cool!

After that, I got no more balls before the game started. One thing that I noticed while the pitchers were throwing was that one guy was wearing a David Price #14 jersey that looked nothing like David Price. It turns out, it was Josh Lueke, who tossed me balls in Oakland, last September, when the Mariners were in town. He was called up on in the morning, and when he got to the clubhouse in the morning, he found out that he was short a BP jersey. He ended up borrowing a David Price jersey. I found an article on Cut4, which explains it. Had I known who it was, I think I would have gotten a ball.

Shorty after, I got Sam Fuld to sign one of my tickets, followed by James Shields. I came close to a ball a few times, when guys like David Price and Matt More missed throws and they bounced into the crow. They would just get a new ball, or toss the old ball into the stands. Most of the time before the game, I competed with Greg Barasch, a very accomplished New York ballhawk, who snagged 10 balls in this game, and after this game, had snagged 1,287 MLB balls. I didn’t know how much I would run into him throughout the game.

I was curious where our seats were, so I searched the seats a little, and found my sister 20 or so rows back playing on her phone.

Shortly before the Rays left the field, I got Matt Moore to sign my ticket as well, and James Shields talked to me for a moment longer, and told me that he would be waiting in Tampa for me. I promised to get

Once everybody had left the field, I headed to our seats and my mom took this picture of me with the one ball I had kept

Then, my sister got this picture

A few minutes later, I noticed Rays’ broadcaster/reporter Todd Kalas getting ready for the Rays Pre-game show, I believe. He was right in front of the Rays dugout, so I headed over there to see if I could watch a little and get some pictures.

A few minutes later, an usher told us all to leave, because batting practice was over. Uh? There was no BP. But I knew what she meant.

At this point, it was about 12:00. I saw Kurt Suzuki warming up down the left field line, so I threw on my A’s jersey and headed over there. I had to weave a little to avoid ushers, but I ended up where I had been in the last game, right next to the foul pole, where Zuk was playing catch with Chip Hale.

I looked around, and saw this guy to my left.

Yep, the tall guy in the A’s hat. That is Greg Barasch.

A few minutes later, an usher approached me, asking if I had a ticket to this section. I said that my ticket was right behind the dugout and that I was over here just to try to catch a ball, and as soon as they were done, I would head back to my seat. Nope. No can do. I had to head back. But first, I texted my mom to let here know. I saw Greg talking to the usher, who let him stay. I think I will have to start thinking of ways to talk ushers to going wherever I want.

I headed back to my seat where Josh Feinberg, from A’s ticket services stopped by our seats introduced himself, and asked what we thought of the tickets. We thanked him for them and after he asked if we were enjoying ourselves, I mentioned the 2 balls and conversation with Shields.

Soon enough, it was 12:20, which meant all of the pre game stuff. My sister and I stood in the cross aisle, hoping to get a shirt that was tossed into the crowd, and an usher told us to go down right behind the dugout. After we didn’t get anything, he told me that we could sit right behind the dugout in the empty seats, because there were very few people there, at the time, close to only 10,000.

This is where I sat for the first inning or so.

Then I moved down here for most of the game.

My mom got some really good pictures in the game, including this one of Jarrod Parker

And these of B.J. Upton, Kurt Suzuki, and the home plate umpire, Chris Conroy

During the game, I tried for the infield warm-up balls and 3rd-out balls from the Rays, and unfortunately I didn’t get one, and I don’t believe Greg did either. Now I feel very frustrated on a certain level because there were about 5 foul balls tat I probably should have gotten, which, trust me was very frustrating. But, hey, at this point, there is nothing I can do about it.

Greg, at least, got one of the foul balls. 2 of the balls I came close to were ones that landed in my section while I WAS USING THE BATHROOM. I really had to go. It’s not my fault. Ok, from now on, I will not leave the seating bowl during the game.

I also picked up a popcorn helmet, mostly because it was a different design than the green one that I already have. If you know me, you know I love souvenirs like that.

The A’s lost 4-1, and after the final out of the game, I tried to get a ball from the dugout, but nobody could hook me up. Then, I asked Joe Maddon for the lineup card, but he just ignored me. I asked Jeff Keppinger for a souvenir of some sort, and he tossed an open pack of sunflower seeds that spilled over the dugout roof, and some kid got them. Whatever.

Carlos Pena, who had hit a home run and had had an RBI single did an interview

I got a final picture with my one ball on the day, and the popcorn helmet on my head.

Overall, it was a pretty good game!

On our way out, I fooled around with the camera, taking a picture of the near-empty Coliseum.

And my mom and sister up the stairs, on the way to the concourse to head out

And a BART sign

I also took this picture of our BART train pulling into the station

And this sign at the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 2 balls at this game (1 pictured because I gave one away)
• 8 balls in 8 Major League games this season = 1 ball per game.
• 17 balls in 11 baseball games this season = 1.545 balls per game.
• 13 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 22 total balls
• 3 consecutive games in Oakland 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.

How was Josh Reddick not an All-Star?

I’m back! I had a great time at camp, and I think that if I had to pick my favorite thing, it would be that they would read the baseball scores every morning! Pretty awesome! The A’s lost on Saturday, the day I left and they won Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. I got back on Saturday. For every full day I spent at camp, the A’s won. Other than no baseball games, what would this mean if I worked on staff there next summer?

While I was gone, the A’s had 2 walk-off hits, They outscored their opponents 21-14 and evened out their record to be at an even .500.

I’m glad to be back, and just in time for the All-Star celebration. I was more than surprised to find that Ryan Cook was the A’s only all-star. I mean, Josh Reddick had an insane 1st half! He had 20 home runs with 43 RBIs! And I was not the only one surprised by this. Not only was he ticked, but so were Ryan Cook and the rest of the Athletics organization. I, personally thought Reddick deserved to go more than Cook, but Cook still deserved to go as well.

Lets start off with the home run derby. I have to say, at the beginning, my pick to win was Jose Bautista, but I wanted Andrew McCutchen to win. He was the one guy who everyone didn’t expect to win. Of course he had only one home run, but he is still my favorite Pirates player.

I wasn’t surprised by the Royals fans booing Robinson Cano for not putting Billy Butler on the team, and of course Cano didn’t hit any home runs, but I would like to point out that he was the only AL player not to make it to the 2nd round. One guy that some of you might know, the guy known as Ballhawk Shawn, was lucky enough to snag a Prince Fielder home run in the 2nd round of the derby. It was Prince’s 8th home run of the night, and he eventually won the whole thing. My pick to click in Jose Bautista finished 2nd in the derby, just a few home runs shy of Prince.

Now onto the All-Star Game. Every minute up to the introductions, I was honestly hoping that someone had been injured on the AL squad and Reddick had been chosen to replace him. That, unfortunately was not the case. As mean as this may seem, I really, really wanted to see him play in the All Star game. Its not that I wanted someone to get seriously hurt, I am very disappointed that Reddick was most selected. After a performance from Phillip Phillips, it was time for the introductions. It was great to see Bob Melvin and Cook representing the A’s, as much as I would liked to have more people there in the Green and Gold. The first inning for me, was very frustrating to say the least. 5 runs off of Justin Verlander… crazy!

Not to mention, Pablo Sandoval had a 3-run triple, Matt Cain started and pitched the first two innings, and Melky Cabrera went 2-2 with a 2-run home run to take home MVP honors. Great. More crap from my friends that are Giants fans.

It was great to see Ryan Cook come in in the 7th inning, and see the NL go 1-2-3, including David Wright and Bryce Harper and his gold shoes. The AL did loose for the 3rd time in a row, this time 8-0.

I would like to point out here, that Ron Washington lost to the Giants in the World Series. He just lost to the Giants in the All-Star game.

One final thing that I would like to say is that I expect Kurt Suzuki to be traded this month. Derek Norris has taken his job. I don’t care what anyone else says. Suzuki is having a season to forget and is slowly turning into Jason Kendall. Ugh. I will miss Zuk, but I am looking forward to having a big bat like Derek’s in the A’s lineup.

Now I really can’t wait for baseball to start back up again tomorrow. I need it. Now if you follow me on Twitter, or have liked this blog, then you know that I have a lot of possibilities regarding baseball games in the future. I hope to go to a game this weekend, and maintain a pace of 1 or more games per week, parent permitting. I will do my best to be at myGameballs.com BallhallkFest 2012 West Coast.

Other than that, I have no real commitments. I wish I did. Trust me.

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.

6/24/12 at Oakland Coliseum

Time for another game! This game would feature the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. Great, you would think, right? Yes and no. If you are a ballhawk, it is miserable. The Coliseum is already bad enough for ballhawking and then you give it a sold out crowd. Yeah. But overall, I was looking forward to it. I had never been to an A’s/Giants game and I figured it would be a fun challenge. Let’s do this.

Originally, I wanted to get to the Coliseum around 9am for the 11am gate opening and 1:05 start time. Well my dad didn’t exactly enjoy getting there an hour early on Thursday and my mom and sister didn’t enjoy a waiting in line for an hour and a half on Wednesday. So my mom proposed that she and I take BART to the Coliseum to get there at the time I wanted. Then he and my sister would show up around noon. That was fine with me.

So my mom and I got to BART around 9:50 and the Coliseum at 10:30.

We got in line at gate C and were the first ones in line. Again. It was awesome.

I didn’t think there’d be batting practice. The game the day before had been at 4:15, so I was overjoyed when I ran into the stadium and saw this

The cages were up and I was excited! I was feeling so good. I figured since there was nobody on the field only the Giants would be hitting. They took the field at 11:30ish and I was excited to say the least.

Wow. BP was boring. Very boring. Only ONE ball was hit to the right field bleachers and that was in the very front corner of the bleachers. I talked with multiple ballhawks, including one that I met on Wednesday. I talked with a Giants fan that makes it out to this game every year. He is the guy in the Orange afro in this picture…

The only toss-up that I saw during batting practice was from Sergio Romo to some lady that had screamed at the top of her lungs. Sigh. It was very frustrating. I put on my catcher’s mitt, with no hope of catching a home run, and focused on toss-ups. I had no luck.

And before I knew it, BP was over, and I was without a single ball. I am starting to wonder if the RF line would be a better for BP than the bleachers.

I went straight to our seats between the Giants bullpen and foul pole to meet up with my family. I stayed there until the game started.

After Matt Cain finished warming up with bullpen catcher Bill Hayes, I asked Bill for the ball. He flat out said no and tossed it to someone to the dugout side of the bullpen. That was the last chance I had for a ball before the game started, because ushers start to check tickets right after batting practice is over, and it is almost impossible to get into another section.

Now for those of you that have ever been to an A’s game on a Sunday, you know that before the first pitch, Stomper will drive around the warning track in the “Smiling Chevron Car,” followed by some girls and a guy that have bags filled with things like bead necklaces and logo baseballs. For this game, I ended up with this

I guess this time, they had necklaces, Bay Bridge Series baseballs, and t-shirts, when I opened it up, this is what I saw..

MLB Fan Cave! I was surprised that they had t-shirts, and I was figuring it would just be a Chevron shirt or something like that. Cool!

A.J. Griffin had been called up from AAA Sacramento to make the start, in place of Brandon McCarthy, who was placed on the DL. This game would be Griffin’s debut. In the last game I went to, I saw Derek Norris make his MLB debut, and he would do the catching in this game. A.J. struck out the first batter of the game on 3 pitches, which was really great to see.

I only came close to two foul balls during the game. The first one was hit right to the other end of my row, but because it was so crowded, even though I tried my hardest to get to it, I was unable to get the ball. The second time came in the bottom of the 3rd inning, when Cliff Pennington fouled a ball in my direction. I had a hard time tracking the ball, but when I realized it was going to go a little over the rail, I reached over to position myself. I heard an usher yell “No!” very loudly, so I backed away as he ran down the steps. Gregor Blanco caught it and came crashing against the wall right in front of me. When I was watching the game over on my TV, you can see me behind the Comcast SportsNet logo.

There were some very obnoxious Giants Fans sitting right in front of us

There was only one other ball in the entire game that I cam relatively close to, I wouldn’t have had any chance of getting it, but it was very controversial. In the bottom of the 6th inning, Seth Smith came up with runners on first and second. He drew the count full and he fouled a ball down the line. It hit the line and rolled into the corner. Gregor Blanco pointed to foul territory, as if to say the ball was foul. And guess what? Todd Tichenor, the first base umpire, called it foul. Josh Reddick, the runner on second had already scored, and the hit would have given the A’s a 3-2 lead. But no. He called the ball foul and the count remained full.

In the replay, you can clearly see chalk fly up, so the ball is fair. But I guess the umpires didn’t see it that way.

They zoomed in on me looking down the line to see Bob Melvin arguing with first base umpire Todd Tichenor

Here, you can see Blanco running after the ball. I circled my mom and I in red.

In this shot, you can see me about to ask Gregor Blanco for the ball

Here, there are two things you can see, and I have labeled them for your convince
1) Nicholas Badders (Meeeee!)
2) The ball bouncing off of the line and chalk flying up

So I asked Gregor Blanco for the ball, and he said “Yeah, sure.” I was relieved not to get shut out for the third game in a row! Right when he went to toss it to me, I heard a loud “NO!” from the Giants bullpen, so he rolled the ball to Sergio Romo. Great. I had a feeling that they were worried that there was paint that you could see on the ball, and they didn’t want me to have it.

A.J. Griffin did allow 2 runs in the first on a home run by Buster Posey, but at the end of the inning, when he came in the dugout, he said he wasn’t going to allow any more runs for the rest of the game. Fro the next 5 innings, he matched Matt Cain pitch for pitch. Bob Melvin put in Sean Doolittle to pitch after A.J. walked Buster Posey to open up the 7th.

Doolittle, a former first baseman, pitched a solid 7th and got the first two out of the 8th.

Jim Miller got the last out of the 8th and pitched a 1-2-3 top of the 9th.

I forget when in the game it was, but Jeremy Affeldt came right in front of my seat and on his way back to the bullpen, I gave him a fist bump. It was pretty cool.

Going into the bottom of the 9th, Yoenis Cespedes, Seth Smith, and Brandon Inge were due up. Cespedes singled to left and Jonny Gomes came on to pinch run for him.

Seth Smith struck out swinging and Brandon Inge singled and there were runners on first and second with Brandon Moss, one of the A’s hottest hitters at the plate. He struck out.

Now due up was rookie Derek Norris. Keep in mind that he was without an extra-base hit, home run, walk-off hit, or walk-off home run in his career.

He brought the count full. There were runners on first

And second.

With 2 outs, the runners would be going. And the pitch…

A’s Win!

Here are some pictures from the home run and celebration

The Swing…

Watching the ball…

Jonny Gomes jumping on his way to the plate…

Players running in from the dugout…

Derek Norris running home…

Look how high Derek Norris is jumping…

Derek is somewhere in there…

They did end up ripping his shirt off…

This is his post-game interview with Comcast SportsNet California. I felt bad for him because he got a shaving cream pie to the face along with tubs of Gatorade and water dumped on him. I think he may have had contacts on too

Josh Reddick came to his rescue with some towels

That he promptly used

And his interview with MLB Network

After all of the celebration had died down, I began to wander the stadium for any loose balls while the kids run the bases thing was set up

So if you guys don’t already know, on Monday, July 2nd, Zack Hample is going to be doing something pretty cool. He is going to attempt to set a world record. And it has nothing to do with video games. He is going to attempt to catch a baseball dropped from a helicopter 1000 feet in the air. This is the entry he wrote on his blog about it. This is an entry on his blog about practicing for it. Ballpark Digest wrote an article about what Zack is doing. And finally, the Lowell Spinners wrote an article about it, because their ballpark is where the whole event is taking place.

This brings me to the fact that I will be off next week because I will be at Boy Scout camp. I get back July 7th, and am hoping to go to the A’s game July 8th. I guess we will have to wait and see because I have no games written in stone for the month of July.

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 0 balls at this game
• 4 balls in 6 Major League games this season = 0.667 ball per game.
• 7 balls in 9 baseball games this season = 0.778 ball per game.
• 9 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 12 total balls

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

6/21/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

For this game, my friend Ryan would be joining my dad and I. You might remember Ryan from this game. Or this game. I picked Ryan up from his house around 9:20 and from there, we headed to the Coliseum.

Today was a throwback Thursday, so every fan got a fee bag of peanuts and a scorecard. The A’s are amazing! (Sarcasm maybe?) We got to the Coliseum at got in line at gate C. My dad stayed in line while Ryan and I walked over to gate D to see how long the line was there. There was nobody there! We got in line and waited for my dad.

The gates opened at 11:05 and Ryan and I ran for the Dodgers bullpen, where the some players were warming up. I changed into my Dodgers gear and headed down. I had many interesting experiences there. I was told by 4 Dodgers pitchers that they are not allowed to give out balls from the bullpen, and all 4 of them tossed someone else a ball within 5 minutes of me asking.

It started with Aaron Harang, who was signing autographs. I got him to sign my ticket and after, I asked him if he would be able to toss me one of the cool commemorative balls. He said he would love to, but the bullpen balls have to stay in the bullpen. I got to talking to him about commemorative balls while everyone was screaming for his autograph.

Then he eventually walked away and said he would try to get one from the dugout from me. Then Tony Gwynn Jr. came over and I asked him for a Dodgers 50th anniversary ball, which I saw under the bullpen roof. I figured that since he was a position player, he wouldn’t know. But he said he wasn’t allowed to “hand them out.” I didn’t even get his autograph.

Then Chris Capuano came along and I asked him for a ball and with a laugh said “What is thrown in the bullpen stays in the bullpen.” So I asked him for the softball in his hand. I guess not.

My last hope was their catching coach Steve Yeager. He had the same answer as everyone else. Great.

With almost no chance of getting a commemorative ball, we headed over to our seats behind the A’s bullpen. While we had been gone, my dad had taken some great pictures of A’s players warming up.

Jerry Blevins:

Ryan Cook:

Brian Fuentes:

And when we got back, some more great pictures

Derek Norris:

Travis Blackley:

I was unable to get a ball from any player warming up, so I settled in my seat to see Derek Norris making his MLB debut. He joins Andrew Carigan, Bret Anderson, and Aaron Cunningham as the only players I have seen make their MLB debut in person.

Travis Blackley was dealing in this game, only allowing one run and three hits over eight innings- arguably the best start of his Major League career.

The A’s scored their first run when Jonny Gomes scored on a sac fly from Brandon Inge in the 2nd inning. The Dodgers scored their lone run in the 5th on a single from Juan Rivera. In the 6th inning, I went and got an ice cream helmet, which I finished in ten minutes.

We had a great view of Ryan Cook warming up in the 8th inning to go in the game in the 9th

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Coco Crisp walked and advanced to second on a passed ball. Jemile Weeks went to bunt Coco to third, but got to first on a miscommunication by Juan Uribe and Josh Lindblom.

Kurt Suzuki and Casey Chavez watched on from the bullpen

Now there were runners on first

And third

And Yoenis Cespedes came to the plate

He was still without a walk off hit in his career and before the start of his at bat, I predicted a walk-off home run down the LF line. Hmmmm…

Boom!

Had I been standing in the cross aisle and sprinted to my left on the crack of the bat, I would have had it. Whatever. Celebration! I was happy!

I saw a ball in the bullpen and I was trying to find someone to toss it to me, but the usher lady kicked us out. I was shutout.

As I walked up the steps, I turned around to see the security guard on the field pick up the ball and toss it into the seats. I raced down to grab the ball, but someone grabbed it before me. Dangit! The A’s still won!

Keep scrolling for pictures of Cespedes’ Walk-off celebration
BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 0 balls at this game
• 4 balls in 5 Major League games this season = 0.8 ball per game.
• 7 balls in 8 baseball games this season = 0.875 ball per game.
• 9 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 12 total balls

Home Run Trot:

Celebration at home plate:

On way to Dugout:

My next game is tomorrow (Sunday) at the Coliseum against the Giants… wish me luck!

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.