Category: Uncle

7/14/13 at the Oakland Coliseum

Well…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This was the scene from the top.
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My right.

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My left.

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

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I kept walking and headed past Gate C.

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This was sitting just outside Gate D.

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I continued on past Gate A.

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Where the stairs were also not yet closed off.

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Nothing fancy inside.

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I walked back up to MM.

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We were 2 of the 7 people in line…

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

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

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

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

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This is what it said on the side.

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

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

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

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

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

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Meanwhile, A’s pitchers were stretching.

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

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

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

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

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The other, is #88, Alex Martinez.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This meant it was time to RAGE!!

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

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

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He was ejected…

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

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

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

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Then the umpires convened for a moment.

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

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John Farrell was quite upset.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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He brought it to Donaldson’s face.

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As JD braced himself for the hit.

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BOOM!

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Reddick slammed the pies into Josh Donaldson’s face!

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

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

BALLHAWKING STATS:

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

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

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.

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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.

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

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Yeah!

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

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

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

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BP was VERY boring all-told.
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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.

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Seriously, how awesome is this?

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As I’m sure most of you know by now, the Stockton Arena sits right next door.
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Basically, I wandered along the waterfront as far as I could go, before I reached the fence of the parking lot.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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I seriously couldn’t wait to get inside!

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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.

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Then, I got a picture of myself with the ball

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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.

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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.

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Next in line was outfielder Dusty Robinson.

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

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After Frankoff was pitcher Jose Macias.

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

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Then, I got to talk with Blake Hassebrock.

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After Hassebrock was outfielder Bobby Crocker

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

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

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

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

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I had an absoluste blast with all of this.

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It was a small space with LOTS of people.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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He and Vanessa then got a quick picture with Webby.

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

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

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Then I headed over to RF to get the same.

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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!

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The National Anthem, as always, was great!

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The Ports sent Deyvi Jimenez to the mound.

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While the Nuts countered with Ben Alsup.

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

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

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

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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.

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And of Will…

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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.

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As always, my dad got AMAZING pictures.

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

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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!”

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Here he is coaching third base.

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The Nuts manager is Lenn Sakata.

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

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I then took these two pictures…

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

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

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And there was an interesting play at first…
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Here is Josh Whitaker.

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

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In the 8th inning, Bernie Lean came on…

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Can YOU Bernie Lean?

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

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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.

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But, he blew the lead…

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Ryan Ortiz had hit a go-ahead home run!

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And it was high fives all around!

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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And the Ports had won!

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Some people were getting pictures…
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… But I was sticking my head into the dugout to try and get the lineup card.

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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!

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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:
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  • 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

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

2/16/13 at the Stockton Arena

Sorry this post is up late guys!

It’s time for more hockey!

If you remember, a couple of months ago, I went to my first ever Stockton Thunder game.

This game was between the Stockton Thunder, the ECHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers and the San Francisco Bulls, the ECHL affilaiate of my San Jose Sharks!thunder_bulls

Last year, the Thunder were an affiliate of the Sharks, but I guess this year, it’s the Bulls!

Of course, I’m a Sharks fan, but for me, the Stockton Thunder are my favorite Minor League hockey team!

Are you ready for an exciting story about tickets?

*Due to the President’s Day Holiday, I had a 4-day-Weekend*

Do you remember my uncle? I went to this A’s game with him.

Well his birthday was this past Wednesday, and as a present, I thought it would be cool to take him to a hockey game, since I know he is a big sports guy.

Given the fact that he is in a wheelchair and visually disabled, my dad and I attempted to order a wheelchair accessible seat with 2 companion seats from the Thunder website.

Before that, however, we called the Thunder, who connected us to Ticketmaster.
We tried to go through the automated machine to get tickets and after that din’t work, we were on hold for 10 or so minutes before we actually got to talk to a real person, who was unable to help us.

At this point my dad submitted the request for for the 3 seats online. He then soon got an email back saying that they had 2 open where we requested, but they had to have a 3rd seat in the back of the section.

Yeah… Awesome…

At this point, my dad called the ticket office, where he was helped by a ticket person.

He got off the phone and told me he had gotten seats 8,9, and 10… ON THE GLASS?

How awesome is that???

Up until the game started, I made a point to often pull out my phone and make quick video updates. I put them all together to make this video…

So my *Awesome* dad and I left the house around 4:00 PM to pick up my uncle and head out to Stockton for the 7:30 game.

We quickly stopped for gas, picked up my uncle, and we were on our way to Stockton!

Right next door to the Stockton Arena is Banner Island Ballpark, home of the Stockton Ports!
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After the 45-minute car ride, we pulled into the parking lot across the street from the arena, and after seeing only 20 or so people in line, we decided to walk around the area a little bit.
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We walked past this table set up for Military Appreciation nightIMG_1403

This is where we were at this point
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I got a few good pictures of the ArenaIMG_1406IMG_1415

My dad and uncle headed closer to the water, but I immediately headed over to Banner Island Ballpark, home of the Stockton Ports, where I was able to get this photo IMG_1421

I then took a picture at a different angle to capture the amazing sunset
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I had to get a picture of myself as well!
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This was the scene behind the stadiumIMG_1416

Yeah. And I wonder how whenever I go there, I don’t get 20 balls every game!

I then went over to meet them at the far side of the marina, where we started to walk back towards Banner Island Ballpark, as my uncle wanted to go check it out.IMG_1434

On our way over, we found this cool thing.
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Then from the same area, I was able to get a few more pictures of the sunset over the marina
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From here, we decided to head back and get in lineIMG_1436

We got in line at about 6:00, so we still had a half-hour until the doors opened
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So my dad went to go pick up our tickets!
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This is the ticket office areaIMG_1465

The line was quickly getting *very* longIMG_1461

Soon enough, it was 6:30, and we headed inside, where we were handed these snazzy Thunder hats

We walked into the entrance that said floor access only, where we found our seats! As soon as we walked in, I took a picture of the curtains we had walked through
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The view from our seats
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If you can come up with ANY view that is better than that, let me know!
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I decided that I wanted to walk around and check out the full concourse, so I headed up these stairsIMG_1472IMG_1473

And I walked along the upper concourse areaIMG_1474IMG_1476IMG_1477IMG_1478

I soon found myself in what seemed to be a larger concourse area
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This was how I got thereIMG_1483

You know how baseball stadiums have speed pitch? Well at the Stockton Arena, they have a similar thing, but you hit a puck into holes in a screen and it records your speed!
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This was my view of the ice!
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I quickly found my dad and uncleIMG_1485

They had these booths set up along the concourse areaIMG_1486IMG_1488

I decided it was time to head back down to the lower concourseIMG_1492

Here it is!IMG_1493

Their team store is called the “Fan Attic”
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I kept going along the concourseIMG_1496IMG_1499

To find this guyIMG_1497

From here, I headed back to my seat, where I found the Bulls and Thunder were warming upIMG_1521IMG_1529IMG_1546

Soon enough, the players cleared the ice, with no pucks tossed into the crowd
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In the first period, the Thunder scored two goals within the span of a minute, just 6 minutes into the game, ending the first period with the Thunder ahead 2-0! IMG_1628IMG_1648

Other than that, the first period was quiet.
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The first intermission started off with a 10-minute tribute to the fallen soldiers from the Stockton area. Great video.

In the second period, just a minute in, the Thunder scored their 3rd goal of the night, followed by a fourth goal less than two minutes later! IMG_1620

In the second intermission, they held the Chuck a Puck, where you can buy foam pucks and throw them onto the ice. If you land it in a certain spot, you have the chance to win a prize! I bought two and both of them were really close to landing on the mat!

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After that, I went up and met a reader, named Austin! I didn’t get the chance to get a picture with him (Stupid Me, Right?), but I did talk to him for a solid 10-15 minutes! He is a Giants fan that is slightly younger than me and ballhawks mostly in Stockton at Banner Island Ballpark, but he often goes to MLB stadiums as well!

The third period was VERY exciting!

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This is why…
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Yep. Halfway through the period, after a hard hit, both teams broke out into a huge fight, which sent 8 guys to the locker room.
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As for the rest of the game…

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Neither team scored, giving Thunder goalie Oliver Roy his 5th ECHL shutout, with the final score being 4-0.

After the game, due to numerous requests on Twitter, I decided to go behind the penalty box to try and score a puck!20130309-105518.jpg

I was unsuccessful, but came close several times!

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From there, the three of us headed home.

I had an absolute blast!

Again, I apologize for taking so long to get this entry out but TONIGHT (3/9/13) I will be going back to the Stockton Arena for yet ANOTHER game! I seriously CANNOT wait for the baseball season to start!

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.