It was 2012 AL West Champs fleece blanket day. Oh Yeah!
My dad and I left our house around 8:30, I picked up my new glasses, and we headed off to Oakland.
I would say it took about 25 minutes to get there. Quickest it has ever taken either of us to get to Oakland. We arrived around 9:15 am or so.
Anyway, once we had parked, we started walking towards gate MM, when I realized that I had left my rosters in the car. My dad headed back to the car to grab them for me, and I headed to get in line at MM. I was SHOCKED to see that there were over 50 people in line an hour and 45 minutes before the gates were supposed to open.
Why were they doing the Bernie? The guy on the right had one of those mini portable speakers and it was playing Bernie Lean.
Once my dad got back, he got in line and I decided to walk around a little bit, as I always do.
As you can see, they had the lines set up to double back and forth, like they did for Scott Hatteberg bobblehead day.
The lines were pretty long…
I had to walk around a lot. Since we were up against the wall, they were attempting to squeeze us in pretty tight!
At this game, my school’s Jazz Band was going to be playing the national anthem! As I was walking around, I saw them getting their tickets.
Yeah… it was PACKED! I didn’t get in line right away, I just walked around in the BART Plaza, as I didn’t want to stand in that line for 30 minutes.
I decided to just get in line 15 minutes before the gates opened. Right after I got in line with my dad, Will popped over and asked me which seats I wanted him to save me. I asked him if he would be able to save my regular seats for my dad and I, and he was happy to do so! How awesome is he!?!?
I got out of line again, as this was the scene at 11 am…
I was just wandering around near the front of line, when Will asked if I wanted to jump in line with him. OF COURSE! Thank You very much Will!
At 11:07, the gates opened and I ran in, grabbed my blanket and was off! A lot of people don’t know how to get to the bleachers from MM, but I have it down. You run straight, turn right, and run down these stairs.
Make a turn into that tunnel, and you’ll be at the entrance to the bleachers!
The A’s were stretching when we got inside.
Doug Fister was throwing a bullpen.
And Tigers players were playing catch.
Like I said, the A’s were stretching.
Without looking at the next picture, can you tell me wh- HEY! I SAID DON’T LOOK AT THE PICTURE.
Awesome. You looked at the picture. But, yes, I headed over to where the Tigers were playing catch.
AJ Griffin and his luscious hair were jogging along the warning track.
I would have headed over to the A’s bullpen area, but as I mentioned, they were just stretching.
I was trying to get a ball from one of the Tigers players. There was one sitting barely out of my reach on the field, and I was determined to get it.
The seats were pretty empty.
One of the Tigers players that was playing catch overthrew the ball and pitching coach Jeff Jones walked over and tossed me up the ball!
Right as he picked the ball up, my phone started to ring. It turned out, it was my dad!
Here I am talking with him. Yes, he did take this picture.
Once I got that ball, I decided to take the rest of the day off from ballhawking and relax. I headed back to the bleachers just to chat with people, even though the A’s were playing catch.
Sean Doolittle used to be a power-hitting first baseman, Now he is a pitcher.
Here is Tommy Milone.
Sidewinder Pat Neshek and pitching coach Curt Young.
Evan Scribner running
Blevins, Scribner, and Chris Resop running
A’s bullpen catcher Casey Chavez
Hiro Nakajima is still rehabbing, he played a bit of catch with a team assistant.
Here was my view for the game.
This is the 1 ball I snagged during pregame.
The field cleared VERY quickly, so I had a lot of time to relax and such.
As he was coming from the indoor cages to the clubhouse, Miggy and the Tigers gave the RF bleachers some love.
Octavio Dotel was one of the few players left on the field.
He was playing catch with this guy.
I have no clue what is going on here.
Players were still walking in from the indoor cages.
Derek Norris usually does some drills near the bullpen.
Justin Verlander was taking the bump for the Tigers.
The grounds crew worked on Watering the field.
This guy was catching for the Tigers.
Then, these people walked onto the field.
My school’s Jazz band was playing the national anthem for the game!
Here they all are!
It was pretty cool to see!
My dad got a video of the performance.
How awesome is that?
The Tigers bullpen catcher, Scott Pickens, warmed up Verlander.
Derek Norris warmed up Anderson.
How cool is this photo?
Jeff Kunkel is the Tigers 2nd bullpen catcher.
While my dad was out and about wandering around, I got this really cool picture of Verlander.
Chris Young was rocking the stirrups.
Most of the position players began to filter onto the field.
Tigers position players got loose on the field.
Chris Young seemed pretty entertained by it all.
Verlander finished up in the bullpen.
The A’s took the field.
And Brett Anderson took the hill.
Brandon Moss was starting at first base.
V-Mar looking at a pitch.
And making contact!
Torii Hunter was in RF for the Tigers. More on that soon.
As expected, Verlander was dealing.
Jaso rounding first base.
Chris Young running with the bat in his hand.
Now he is running down the line.
Josh Reddick stepping to the plate.
Looking at a few pitches…
Just a bit outside.
On top of his head!
Matt Tuiasosopo at the plate.
The Tigers bullpen.
The A’s bullpen and a unicorn.
All day, the umpire was making TERRIBLE calls behind the plate. See anything special here?
HIS EYES WERE CLOSED! I’ll have more proof, don’t worry.
Torii was enjoying chatting it up with RF.
Seth Smith swinging…
On 1st base, Verlander tried to pick him off a few times.
Josh Donaldson made GREAT contact with the ball today.
Well the umpire had his eyes closed more when Eric Sogard came up.
I know the ball has already made contact, but STILL.
As always, Right Field was lively.
Of course the umpire ALWAYS had his eyes open when the Tigers were up to bat.
I take that back…
Everyone was just chilling in the A’s dugout.
And Torii was all smiles!
And of course we have Josh Reddick…
As I was out of my seat using the restroom, Prince Fielder stepped to the plate.
Yep, He hit a homer. Dead center.
Curt Young paid Anderson a visit to the mound.
The A’s were hitting the ball hard and making great contact.
As displayed by Derek Norris.
I got this cool photo of Josh Reddick (and his beard) warming up in right field.
Derek Norris was performing his usual magic tricks behind home plate.
Then, Pat Neshek came on the mound. Boy oh BOY did I have fun taking pictures of him! Back to that soon…
The A’s bullpen was thoroughly entertained. So was the unicorn.
Back to Neshek. It continually amazes me with how accurate submariners and sidearmers are.
It also sometimes looks painful.
It is, however, AMAZING to watch.
All of these pictures were taken by me, and it was A LOT of fun!
It was a beautiful, sold out day at the Coliseum!
But, seriously! HOW DOES HE DO THIS?
I honestly don’t know.
Away from Neshek for a bit, here is Eric Sogard. #NerdPower
The Bill King broadcast booth was looking lively as always.
Rick Porcello began to warm up in the Tigers bullpen.
Along with Phil Coke.
The bleachers were rockin!
As Phil Coke took the mound for Detroit.
I swear, this is my last picture of Pat Neshek.
Josh Reddick was very nonchalant about his warmup tosses with Coco Crisp in the outfield.
In the middle of the 8th, as always, the A’s played Call me Maybe. Will was not impressed.
Oh, and Bob Melvin was ejected.
Why? Andy Fletcher had his head up his a** all game long.
Here is a very short video my dad got of the incident.
Joaquin Benoit took the mound for the Tigers in the late innings.
Eric Sogard was taking some mighty swings.
Like I mentioned, you CANNOT umpire a game with your eyes closed. It is UNACCEPTABLE.
Believe you me, I have about 50 more pictures where Andy Fletcher has his eyes closed. But I have chosen not to not bore you to death.
Evan Scribner took the hill for the A’s at the end of the game.
A majority of the crowd was still on hand, despite the score that had the A’s behind.
HIS EYES ARE CLOSED AGAIN
Thanks for reading!
- 5th Game of the Year
- 1 ball at this game
- 4 balls in 4 MLB games this season = 1 Ball Per Game
- 14 Balls in 5 Games this season = 2.8 Balls Per Game
- 4 Consecutive Games with at least 1 Ball
- 3 Consecutive MLB Games/Games in Oakland with at least 1 Ball
- 32 Lifetime Major League baseballs
- 57 total balls
Wow. 2012 was an crazy year for me, with so many fun experiences!
I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read my blog, and for all of the support that everyone has given me.
I would like to start of by saying that this is my 100th post at 7000 Coliseum Way!!!! Expect many more to come in 2013!
This entry will be complied of many things. IT IS VERY LONG: 3,659 Words to be exact.
I first want to present to you the 7000 Coliseum Way 2012 Annual report, as created by WordPress.com:
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 14 years to get that many views.
Thank you to my top 5 commenters in 2012!
1) Max- Max commented 64 times this year! He was very supportive with Fan Packs, giving me tips, and always was ready to comment! You can follow him on Twitter here. Thanks Max!
2) Connor- He commented 32 times! Like Max, Connor always commented on the Fan Pack entries, giving me tips, and too has been very supportive all year! Thanks Connor!
3) Quinn– Quinn was the first person to subscribe to this blog, and he always was commenting, supporting my ballhawking, as well as giving me tips for fan packs. You can follow him on Twitter here. Thanks Quinn!
4) Chris– Chris is a fellow ballhawk, living in New York. He commented 27 times in 2012, and was very supporite with my ballhawking, as well as my Mail Time! posts, giving me tips for fan packs. You can follow him on Twitter here. Thanks Chris!
5) SpencerS- Spencer is a fellow Bay Area ballhawk. He commented 7 times in 2012! I’ve gotten the chance to meet him, and he is a great guy! He, too has given me lots of support with ballhawking in 2012. You can follow him on Twitter here. Thank You Spencer!
If you read this blog, then chance are, you know who Mateo Fischer is. He writes the MLBlog called Observing Baseball, and even thought he was not one of the top commementers, he was one of my greatest supporters in 2012 with the growing popularity of this blog. He wrote a review entry as well, and you can check it out by clicking here. You can click here to follow him on Twitter or here to LIKE Observing Baseball.
I would also like to thank Zack Hample, Zachary Weiss, Wayne Peck, Todd Cook, Shawn Bosman, Rick Gold, Malcolm MacMillan, Paul K, and McCovey Cove Dave for all of their support this year. Click on any of their names above to give them a follow on Twitter.
*Zack was the one that first got me into ballhawking, which I have to thank him for.
*Zachary Weiss has also been one of the most supportive people, giving me advice and support with ballhawking as well as blogging.
*Wayne writes the MLBlogs Collection of Baseball and A View From the Bullpen, and I was fortunate enough to meet him this past October. He has encouraged me trough my ballhawking and been a great friend to me this past year.
*Todd Cook writes a fantastic blog, called Cook and Sons Baseball Adventures. He gave me constant competition with the myGameBalls.com Photo Scavenger Hunt, which I appreciate. He also wrote a book called the Baseball Log, which I own. I highly recommend that you go give it a look!
*Rick Gold is a ballhawk who is also an editor for MLB.com. I met him in May, and he too, as given me an encouragement in my ballhawking. As a teen, he ballhawked at the Coliseum, which is a great connection!
*Malcolm, too has given me great advice and encouragement with my blog, as well as ballhawking, and given me some ideas for things to do at Minor League Stadiums.
*I haven’t know Paul for very long, but in the time I have known him, he has helped me tremendously. He was the first person to ever call in to The Nick Badders Show, which gave me extreme confidence. He has been one of the main supporters with my radio gig, which I am thankful for. He listens to every broadcast, and is always ready to give me feedback. He writes the MLBLog called A Piece of The Game, and wrote an entry reviewing his 2012 season as well. Click here to check it out.
*McCovey Cove Dave has also supported me in my ballhawking and been a great friend to me on Twitter. I’ll be trying my best to spend a game out in McCovey Cove sometime in 2013.
Most imporatntly, I need to thank my Dad (Dan), my Mom (Anne), and my Sister (Pascale). Without these three people, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do today. They are the ones who give me the support to continue my work at home. They are the ones that take me to the games, go to games with me, and allow me to ballhawk, even though I am not spending time with them. They are the reason that I am able to succeed, I cannot thank them enough.
From here, I will go over my entire year at 7000 Coliseum Way. I’ll share my month-by-month memories from blogging, to ballhawking, and mail!
I’ve gone back and read each post, and it amazes me how far my writing has come. In December of 2011, 1,000 words was a lot for me for one entry! Reaching July and August, some of my entries managed 3000 words!
In the month of January, I have a feeling a lot of you were not reading this blog. I had 75 views total in the month of January, that is an average of about 2 views each day.
On January 17th, I posted an entry about SOPA. I’ll be honest, I don’t know what I was thinking when I was writing that entry. If you want to check it out, you can right here.
Shortly after that, on January 19th, I posted an entry with pictures of me, one at each of the 5 stadiums I had been to in my life. If you want to take a brief glance over that entry, it is here.
About a week later, on January 25th, I published an entry with LOTS of pictures that I had found from baseball games from 2005-2010, which you can read right here.
On January 27th, I published an entry about my expectations for the games I would go to in 2012, along with some information about A’s FanFest, an entry you can read here.
The following day, On January 28th, I posted a quick poll asking what A’s gear I should wear to FanFest, an entry that can be found here.
The very next day, on January 29th, my family and I were off to FanFest! We purchased some tickets, and had a complete blast! Check out that exciting entry here.
1 Month. 75 views. 5 posts.
Moving on to February. I had 45 views, which is about 1 view a day.
I had only 1 post in February, on February 13th, I posted an entry with my projected A’s roster, which you can read here.
2 Months. 120 views. 6 Posts.
In March, I had 36 views for the month, which is barely an average of 1 view a day.
My first entry of the month was on March 25th. That is 40 days without an entry! I wrote a short bit on a few random things, an entry you can find here.
The very next day, on the 26th of the Month, I had another entry up, this one, I called “Pictures of the Day.” I simply shared a few pictures that I had found and enjoyed that were baseball-related. Check them out here.
Then for my 3rd post in a row, and of the month, I shared some baseball videos that I had found and liked, titling it “Videos of the Day.” Check them out here.
3 Months. 156 Views. 9 Posts.
Coming into April, we were already a quarter of the way through the year. In April, I had 227 views, which is about 8 views a day.
On April 5th, I attended Opening Day at PETCO Park in San Diego with my dad and unfortunately did not snag any balls. You can read all about that experience here.
On April 6th, I posted an entry about the first 3 days of my Spring break, which I spent in Southern California with my leadership class from school. I was attending a conference about leadership in Costa Mesa, and it was a LOT of fun. You can read about it all here.
Then, on April 13th, I went to Stockton to see the Ports take on the Modesto Nuts. There, I snagged my first ever MILB ball, and you can read the entry here.
On April 18th, I found a funny video that I wrote a QUICK entry about. You can see it here.
Finally, on April 22nd, I went to my first A’s game of the season, a game in which I snagged 3 balls, including my first lifetime foul ball. You can read all about that day here.
4 Months. 383 Views. 14 Posts.
In May, the views dipped a little, with 146 views, or about 5 views per day.
My first post of the month was on May 10th. I shared a quick meme that I made, then talked about my next game. You can find it here.
On May 11th, I saw the Tigers come in to Oakland, on Fleece blanket night. I snagged one ball and got the chance to meet Rick Gold. You can follow him on Twitter here and check out the entry about the game here.
Then, a week later, on May 18th, I attended my first game at John Thurman Field in Modesto. There, I got my 2nd lifetime Minor League ball. You can read about it all here.
Finally, 8 Days after that game, my family joined me for Michael Choice bobblehead night, for my second game of the year in Stockton, where I snagged my 3rd lifetime Minor League ball. You can read about it here.
5 Months. 529 Views. 18 Posts.
In June, the views picked up again with 286. That averages about 10 views a day.
My first post of the month was on June 13th, where I talked a little about Matt Cain’s perfect game. I think more of me was just writing it because the A’s had just played one of the best games of their season, plus R.A. Dickey one-hit the Rays, and MLB Network was focusing on the Giants. Don’t get me wrong, a perfect game is amazing, I just wish that other stories had been covered that night as well. Check it out here.
Then, on June 20th, I went to MUG Root Beer Float Day at the Coliseum with my mom and sister. The A’s were playing the Dodgers, who I wanted to see, as they were using commemorative balls. However, I was unable to snag a ball that night. That being said, it was still an awesome day. Read about it here.
The very next day, on June 21st, I set out with my dad and friend Ryan for another A’s and Dodgers game, with hopes of getting a commemorative ball. Derek Norris was making his MLB Debut in this game. Even though I was shut out for the second day in a row, the game ended with a bang! Check it out here.
Finally, 3 days later, on June 24th, I was back at the Coliseum again, for more interleague baseball, this time between the A’s and Giants. I got shut out for the 3rd game in a row, however I did snag something cool, and the game once again ended with a bang! Read it all again here.
6 Months. 815 Views. 22 Posts.
July was when things started to take off for me. This blog had 667 in the month, which is 22 views a day.
After a week of Boy Scout Camp to start off the month, my first post was on July 12th, titled “How was Josh Reddick not an All Star?” In it, I talked about Reddick, the 2012 All Star Game, Kurt Suzuki, as well as BallhawkFest 2012, which I didn’t end up going to. If you want to check it out, click here.
Then, on July 14th, my dad and I headed out to Municipal Stadium in San Jose to see the San Jose Giants take on the Visalia Rawhide. It was our first game in San Jose, and I snagged 6 balls at this game, which is the most I’ve ever snagged at a minor league game! Read all about that exciting day here.
On July 16th, I posted about the A’s recent success, with their magnificent sweep of the Twins. Read it here.
On July 20th, the A’s were 12-2 in July. I wrote a post about their incredible month, along with all of their Walk-Offs. Remember, there is an A in wAlk off! Check out that entry right here.
The very next day, on July 21st, my mom and I were off to Oakland again, this time to see the A’s take on the Yankees. I got two balls in this game, and it was a lot of fun to sit in Section 149 for the first time! Read about that game here.
7 Months. 1,482 Views. 28 Posts.
August was a special month. There were 868 views, which is an average of 28 per day.
In the month of August, 7000 Coliseum Way was the 42nd most viewed MLBlogs Fan Blog! I wrote an entry all about it here.
On August 1st, my mom, sister and I headed out to the Coliseum for some weekday baseball between the A’s and Rays. I had won tickets on Twitter two days prior, so we got the tickets for free! I snagged 2 balls at this game, giving away one. If you want to read about that game, click here.
Then, 4 days later, on August 5th, my whole family went to see the Blue Jays take on the A’s, with a Jemile Weeks drawstring backpack giveaway. I snagged one ball at this game, and you can click here to read about it.
About 2 weeks later, on August 18th, my family joined my friend Sal and I for Scott Hatteberg bobblehead and Moneyball Movie night. It was a whole lot of fun, and I snagged 2 balls. Click here to read about it.
2 days later, on August 20th, my mom and I got seats right behind the A’s dugout to see them take on the Twins. There were barely 10,000 people there, and I snagged 6 balls, giving away 2 of them. It was a lot of fun and I recommend that you click here to read all about it.
Then, on August 26th, my dad, sister, and I were in Modesto for some more California League action. I snagged 3 balls, including my 3rd foul ball for the year, and got to play catch with my sister on the field! Read all about it right here
8 Months. 2,350 Views. 33 Posts.
The views just kept increasing. In September, 7000 Coliseum Way was viewed 1,124 times, averaging to 37 views each day.
On September 1st, my mom and I headed out to the Coliseum to see the Red Sox in town. I snagged 2 balls, one of them being a Fenway Park 100th anniversary ball! That entry can be read here.
I was getting a little behind on entries, so I published a quick post with a list of upcoming posts. If you want to, click here to read it.
The next day, on September 2nd, my Grandma and Uncle accompanied the rest of my family to the Coliseum for Breast Cancer Awareness Day against the Red Sox. I snagged 3 balls, including a toss-up from Yoenis Cespedes! Read about that day right here.
Later that week, on September 7th, my dad and I took a final trip to Modesto to see the San Jose Giants battle it out with the Nuts to move onto the next round of the California League playoffs. I snagged 3 balls in this game, it was a lot of fun, and you can click here to read it!
Then, a week later, on September 14th, my family was out to Oakland again, this time for sold out Star Wars fireworks night against the Orioles, where I snagged one ball. Click here to read it.
9 Months. 3,474 Views. 39 Posts.
Then, come October, the views shot up once again, with a total of 1,581 for the month. That is an average of 51 per day!
In the month of September, with 1,124 views, this blog was the 31st ranked blog, on the Latest Leaders list for the second month in a row! At the beginning of October, I wrote about that and a few other things. Check out that entry here.
On October 1st, the A’s clinched a spot in the playoffs, and I wrote a quick entry about it here.
On October 10th, I was fortunate enough to attend the 3rd game of the ALDS, in Oakland, where I met Wayne Peck. You can check out his blog here and read the entry about the day here or check out his post on it here. Unfortuantely, I didn’t snag a ball, thought I had a great time!
On October 30th, I put together a post with all of my ballhawking stats for the 2012 season. Check all that out here.
Finally, on October 31st, I published a quick entry about Josh Reddick winning the AL Gold Glove for RF and the pumpkin that my mom carved with the A’s AL West Champs logo. Check out that entry here.
10 Months. 5,055 Views. 45 Posts.
November was more or less the same, with 1,528 views, I once again averaged 51 views each day, however I started to post more frequently.
My first post of the month was on November 7th. I gave my favorite pictures from FanFest as well as April and May. Check it all out here.
I then took a poll on November 14th as to what kind of entries you guys were interested in me writing. Feel free to look at it here.
I then left for a 5 day trip with my family, from November 19th-November 23rd to visit family in Omaha. You can read about days 1, 2, 3 ,4, or 5. I got the chance to catch up with family, visit Werner Park and TD Ameritrade Park, and hold my baby cousin for the first time!
When I got back, I continued to receive mail. I got packages from the Reds, Red Sox, and Astros.
11 Months. 6,583 Views. 58 Posts.
In December, this blog 1,833 views, a new record, with an average of 59 views per day!
On December 1st, I got a fan pack from the Buffalo Bills and Frederick Keys.
Then, on Decmeber 4th, the MLBLogs Latest Leaders came out for October and November, and I was still in the top 50! 4 months in a row! You can check out my entry about it all here.
Over the next week, I got fan packs from the El Paso Diablos, Detroit Tigers, and Detroit Pistons.
On the 8th of December, I posted an entry about my bobblehead collection, which you can check out here.
The next day, on December 9th, I blogged about my new radio show, The Nick Badders Show, on BlogTalkRadio, an entry you can find here.
On December 11th, I wrote about the very cool envelope that I got from the Harrisburg Senators.
The next day, December 12th, I talked about the packages I received from the Vermont Lake Monsters and Atlanta Falcons.
On December 14th, I wrote about the packages I got from the Houston Rockets, Round Rock Express, and New York Yankees.
December 18th was the day I wrote about my best ever mail day! I received 5 envelopes, from the Benoit Snappers, Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, and Richmond Flying Squirrels.
December 22nd was the date of my last Mail Time! post in 2012. I got an envelope from the Minnesota Twins and talked about my BlogTalkRadio shows, an entry that you can find here.
Finally, on December 29th, I went to a Stockton Thunder ECHL hockey game with my dad and had a blast! You can read all about that fun day here.
That brings us to this entry. Entry #100 at 7000 Coliseum Way. It’s crazy to think how far I’ve come this year, with my blogging and ballhawking skills. In January, I never would have expected to be where I am today. I never would have thought I would have 27 envelopes stacked up in my bedroom from sports teams.
I NEVER in a million years would have expected to have the following that I do now. 43 Facebook Likes. 103 Twitter followers. 195 more Twitter followers. I want to again thank you all for your support with this blog, I could never do it without you.
AGAIN, Most imporatntly, I need to thank my Dad (Dan), my Mom (Anne), and my Sister (Pascale). Without these three people, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do today. They are the ones who give me the support to continue my work at home. They are the ones that take me to the games, go to games with me, and allow me to ballhawk, even though I am not spending time with them. They are the reason that I am able to succeed, I cannot thank them enough.
I think I have covered everything. If you think I have left something out, let me know in the comment section down below.
Thank You for having the patience to read this LONG entry, and stay tuned for many more entries in the new year.
12 Months. 8,416 Views. 72 Posts.
I have two fan packs to show you in this entry, both for teams from Detroit, the Tigers and Pistons.
Simple, but sweet! I think I will try and get Alex Avila to sign that photo when I see the Tigers play in 2013.
For now, that is all I have to share with you. If I have a slow mail week this upcoming week, I have a few ideas for entries, so keep posted for those!
My dad and I left the house just after 12:30, making a quick stop along the way to get lunch at Subway, and a sporting goods store to buy a cheap Tigers hat, then we are on our way.
I had been tweeting back and forth with ballhawks Wayne Peck and Spencer Sanborn for a while (you might remember them from this entry) and I knew that they were both going to be there, and was excited to meet Wayne for the 1st time.
Yep. I was the only one in line at Gate B. And my dad had brought a camping chair to sit in in line. Yep. This was going to be a long day. I had a LOT of time to kill, so I walked around.
There were a lot of news vans parked outside. Let me see if I can list all of the stations. CSN Bay Area, CSN California, MLB Network, TBS, ESPN, KTVU Channel 2 News, NBC Bay Area News, KRON 4 News, CBS 5, ABC 7, and there were probably a few more.
You probably don’t but I recognized him right away. That man is Brodie Brazil, who hosts A’s Pre and Post-game Live, and is the San Jose Sharks rink-side reporter, as well as a 95.7 insider. Huge Bay Area celebrity.
I was then stopped by a security guard, who asked to see my ticket, then did the Bernie.
Ok, are you ready for a crazy story? So I was walking past Gate A, and after I had walked 50 or so feet past the gate, I heard a ball hit the pavement. I immediately turned around and ran back. Somebody scooped up the ball immediately. I headed over to take a look at the ball, and when I asked to take a quick look, I was shocked to see that it was a near perfect 2012 Postseason ball. WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???????
Where did this ball come from? Wha— uh??? I was at a loss for words.
I was headed back to Gate B when I noticed a familiar face. It was Wayne! Sorry, I didn’t get a picture of him right away. I chatted with him for a minute, before he headed to the team store to look around.
Sooner or later, a lady got in line behind us. We talked with her for a few minutes. I spend a lot of time on my phone, then decided to go put it in the car and walk around some more. The line at Gate D was getting decently long, and in the front of the line was Spencer Sanborn!
I got back to the line. It was just my dad and the other lady. There was 1 hour until the gates open. WTH???? There was almost NO ONE in line, and the gates would be opening soon.
That is definitely the best facial expression I have ever seen regarding a professional sports facility.
We talked for a long time about a variety of things. Ballhawking, the Coliseum, how much the Coliseum sucks, crazy ballhawking adventures. Wayne is a good guy. He wrote a great blog entry about this game that you can find here! He also went to the game the following day, which you can find here.
Do you like my shirt?
Shorty, after 4:07, they let us in. My ticket scanned perfectly and I headed through the turnstile. But it wouldn’t budge. The arms were never unlocked. And the ticket taker couldn’t open it. So after a few minutes, I just walked around and received my bright yellow rally towel.
Do you see the guy in the Tigers had and shirt in the orange sleeves? That would be Spencer.
I guess it would the overflow media and press area. Interesting.
BP was frustrating. There were very few balls hit down the RF line, and those that were hit were fielded by the same guy who ignored fans.
There were a couple that spent a lot of time standing next to me that I guess are Tigers season ticket holders. The one ball that I came closest to during the 1st 45 minutes was a ball that was thrown to ME specifically, that they reached out in front of me and barehanded. Ok then…
During the regular season, the bleachers were General Admission, but since it was the PLAYOFFS, they had assigned seating. Because they didn’t have to worry about being the first ones in line, the RF Crew started to trickle in during the 1st hour of BP
For those of you who don’t know, that man is Will MacNeil, one of the Die-Hards in Section 149. He is an awesome guy and I have talked with/about him before in entires like this one and this one. He is the proud owner of a very cool item. A replica WWE wrestling belt. Josh Reddick sent it up there in the beginning of the season.
That’s Will on the right, and you can follow him on Twitter here. I am not 100% positive who the man on the left is.
All the guys out there are great. I strongly encourage you to sit out there some time. It’s awesome.
Back to BP…
This guy had some awesome signs. That man would be Ian Sagerbaen, and was dubbed my MLB.com’s Cut4 as the Greatest Sign Maker in MLB History
And I was shut out for BP…
I got two different ones that were both double-sided.
I wasn’t able to get down close to the field on either the 1st or 3rd base side, so after multiple attempts, I headed back to our seats in time for Stomper and “The Herd” to come around the warning track.
Once the ceremonial first pitch had been thrown, it was 4:59, one minute untill TBS went live to the Coliseum. Dick Callahan, the PA announcer, told the crowd to get crazy, as we would be live on national television soon. The place quickly ERUPTED!!!!
The little boy started to cry at which point everyone started boing the drunk guy. His response? “I didn’t see the kid, okay guys?”
Throughout the game, there was a drunk A’s fan walking up and down the stairs of the sections cheering his head off. He was half drunk and half really excited. I have to admit, he did make the game a little more fun.
In the top of the 9th, he pulled me out of my seat to cheer. It was kind of awkward.
After an Omar Infante strikeout, Miguel Cabrera singled to right field. On a 1-2 fastball, Prince Fielder grounded into a double play to end the game.
After a few minutes of celebration, something occured to me. I hadn’t snagged a ball. Then, I thought about the home run, and wandered over to see if the ball was somehow still beyond the wall. Nope. IT wasn’t. Oh well.
You know, it was disapointing to not snag a ball, but still, I would count the night as a success.
1) I got to meet finally meet Wayne Peck, who is a great guy.
2) I was the first one in line at a postseaon game.
3) I got a yellow rally towel.
4) I was at a POSTSEASON GAME!
5) I got some pretty cool posters.
6) I WAS AT A POSTSEASON GAME!
7) I had a ton of fun
8) Did I mention it was my first POSTSEASON GAME?
Even though I did’t snag a ball, It was a LOT of fun! I attended my first ever postseason game, and it was more than I could ask for.
Wow. That was a lot of fun!
Yep. It was my last game of 2012. I had a great season. A lot of fun!
So. Regarding offseason entires, I have a bunch of ideas in mind. I’ll share more throughout the World Series and offseason, so check back frequently more more updates!
• 0 ballS at this game 😦
• 23 balls in 15 Major League games this season = 1.53 balls per game.
• 38 balls in 21 baseball games this season = 1.81 balls per game.
• 28 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 43 total balls
The night before, I sent a DM on Twitter to Rick Gold, the #5 ballhawk on the mygameballs.com lifetime leaderboard. I asked if I could take a picture with him before the game and get to talk to him for a little.
After we got there, we got in line and my sister and I played a little catch. Then, I walked over to the team store, and on the way back to my family, Rick called me over. I got to talking to him about everything from his job with mlb.com, to ballhawking and other things. He said that he had free tickets from mlb.com and he actually game an extra one to me! Thanks Rick! When it was 5:30, the line was all the way to the unopened right field gate and back to the 1B gate, which is where I wanted to enter the Coliseum. I headed back to get in line with my parents, and within 5 minutes, we were inside with our awesome Swingin’ A’s blankets. After talking to Rick, I knew that I should avoid the LF bleachers altogether and headed to the RF bleachers.
The LF bleachers were packed, just like Rick said, because of Cabrera and Young. Fielder was the only lefty in the group and while I was there, he hit only 1 home run. I had no luck with the first group. Or the second group. In the 3rd group, Brennan Boesch hit 5 or so balls right below the out-of-town scoreboard, and some unknown Tigers player tossed me my first ball of the day.
Before BP ended, I wanted to check something off the mygameballs.com scavenger hunt list. Ballhawking in a Justin Bieber shirt. Well before I had left my house, I made a Justin Bieber shirt, so I wore it under my brand new Yoenis Cespedes jersey. My dad took this picture right after BP ended.
After getting a picture with my only ball from BP, we headed up to our seats in the 3rd deck. As I said in my previous entry, we were sitting in the Value Deck for the Comcast SportsNet California Authentic Fan Friday.
Yes, there are only 3 sections open in the 3rd deck. The A’s closed it off around 2005 or something like that because the Coliseum was rarely half full with it all open, so they tarped it all off. A few years ago, they opened 3 sections back up, and it hands-down has the best view in the Coliseum.
After all of this, I headed down to section 222, with the ticket that Rick had kindly given me. I slipped into my seat just in time for the first pitch. I headed back to the upper deck in the bottom of the 3rd inning. I wasn’t thinking and left while Josh Reddick was up. On the very first pitch he saw while I was out of my seat, he hit it a section to my left… at least Rick got it!
While in the 3rd deck, I got in line for this wheel thing, which has different prizes on it. Well I got there just in time, because at a certain point, they only had backpacks left, and just handed them out to the people in line. My sister and I were lucky enough to get one. Kara, the A’s in-game host also came up to do a half-inning game, with some kids.
I stayed up there until the end of the 5th or 6th inning, and then headed back down. That was when I found out that Rick was the one who had gotten the Reddick foul ball. No more balls came close to us for the rest of the game, so eventually; I headed back up to watch the rest of the game with my family. My sister was very upset about me not spending more time with her. Just like the last game. It was a great experience for all of us for sure. And best of all, the A’s won!
At the end of the game, my dad got a picture of me with Iall of the things that I got at this game. In clockwise order: The A’s trucker hat given away to all fans in the 3rd deck, the Swingin A’s fleece blanket, the CSN bag, and my one and only ball of the day.
My next scheduled MLB game is June 20th at the Coliseum. The A’s are taking on the Dodgers, and it is MUG Root Beer float day, so that should be a lot of fun! I will try to stick in some minor league action as well as some unexpected games until then. It will be hard to not go to any baseball games for over a month!
• 1 ball at this game
• 4 balls in 3 Major League games this season = 1.33 ball per game.
• 5 ball in 4 baseball games this season = 1.25 balls per game.
• 3 consecutive A’s home games with at least one ball
• 9 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 10 total balls
Nick Badders is a unofficial reporter for MLB.com. He writes the blog, 7000 Coliseum Way, and you can follow him on Twitter @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.