Results tagged ‘ Coliseum ’

Interview

On April 1st 2011 while I was visiting the Oakland Coliseum, I met this guy:

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His name is Benson. And he’s from Southeast Asia. Really a cool guy. When we first met, the Coliseum was his 17th baseball stadium he has seen. That year, he was on his way to see Busch Stadium and Kauffman Stadium as well. This year, I played a little catch-up with him via email and he stated he had only three more stadiums left to see. In 2013, he plans on seeing Skydome, Target Field and I think Tropicana. I hope to catch up with him at Target Field (since I’ve plans to go there anyway in ’13) and get some more pictures with him. He collects autographs and the occasional baseball. It’s really awesome meeting people abroad that share the same interests as myself.

Specifically for this blog entry (and with his permission) I asked him a few questions regarding baseball. Some of the things I found out were his favorite baseball stadiums and favorite players. You know, the cool stuff we all like to talk about.

Me: “So when we first met, you were visiting your 17th Major League stadium, right? How many stadiums have you seen now?”

Benson: “I’ve seen 27 total.”

Me: “Wow! You know, I’ve lived in the United States for 32 years and I’ve only seen like, 14 stadiums! Plus the Tokyo Dome in Japan, but. Anyway, what’s been your favorite stadium so far?”

Benson: “PNC Park and Safeco Field!”

Me: “Awesome! Seattle gets a little shout out there, that’s pretty cool. I practically live in Safeco Field during the baseball season, so for me, it gets kind of boring at times. But it’s always an adventure there. Its a great stadium. Plus, we have a roof that retracts! So we always get baseball! Do you have a favorite baseball player?”

Benson: “Josh Hamilton and CJ Wilson.”

Me: “Josh Hamilton may not return to Texas. That would be a bummer, huh. Any favorite teams?”

Benson: “Rangers and Angels.”

Me: “Ahh! Division rivals! How does that work when both teams play each other? Oh, forget I asked. That’s like when the Mariners play the Athletics. I’m just a confused baseball fan when that happens! So wrapping this up, my friend, what are your plans for the 2013 season?”

Benson: “Visit Toronto, New York and Minnesota!”

Me: “Good choices! Maybe catch you at the All-star game in New York next year! If not, see you in Minnesota!”

 

 

 

Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 10-10-2012 (ALDS Game 4)

Back at the Coliseum for another round of Athletics baseball! On Tuesday, I was only able to snag one baseball. I was hoping for a little magic during BP today, but alas, that really didn’t happen. I only snagged one baseball again, and here’s how it played out.

As soon as I ran inside the Coliseum, I saw this:

I thought for sure I’d get a toss-up. I knew the majority of the Tigers pitching staff, so I quickly switched out my hats to my Detroit one and ran down to the railing. I pulled my camera back and out and snapped this photo…

…do you see the Tigers player directly in line with me? Okay, look just beyond him to his throwing partner. See how he’s in motion to throw the ball? Well, as soon as I pocketed my camera, the ball came wheeling right for me. At the time, I didn’t even have my glove on to make a clean catch. But what made it worse was, the player directly in front of me made sort of a half-attempt to catch the ball. When he did, the ball glanced off his glove which gave me even less time to react, so all I could do was turn my shoulder and I took a hit nearly right between my shoulder blades. The only thing on my mind was to locate that ball. I heard it clang around in the seats and then I heard it rolling away. Possibly down some steps. But it went absolutely no where. The ball stayed in the aisle I was standing in and rolled just behind my feet:

Tada! No, the ball didn’t roll into my glove…I placed it there so I could gather myself up. It’s pretty scary to be hit with a baseball or have one coming directly at you and not have any time to react to it. And this wasn’t the first time I was hit with a baseball. Last year, at Safeco Field, I took a Cj Wilson fast ball to the inside of my thigh. Luckily, it didn’t hit me an inch farther in or I’d probably be missing a certain part of me, if you catch my drift.

The rest of batting practice was pretty much a bust and so was the game. I had standing room only tickets like last nights outing so I knew I’d be really limited to where I could go. I tried to stay down in the lower seating bowl the whole time, you know, walking around, talking with random people, but eventually the security guards sniffed me out and started asking me for my ticket when they saw me. I saved them the trouble and told them I had SRO tickets and I was on my way up the concourse to the upper seating area. And that was pretty much it. I had to watch the game from places like this…

…and again, it absolutely sucked. I guess I shouldn’t really be complaining though. I only paid like, $45 bucks for one ticket. So whatever. I did however sneak down after the game to the A’s dugout to see this happen:

No, that’s not a picture I took. The crowd was so crazy down by the dugout, people were shoving, and laughing, and jumping all around, and hugging each other, I couldn’t get my camera still enough to catch a good picture of what was happening. At one point in time, some random dude took my A’s hat off, kissed it, and slapped it back on my head! I was so awesome to be in the mix with people who genuinely loved their team! Even though I’ve been to a handful of A’s games with crowds as low as 9,000, this place had 36,000 of the best fans in baseball. And Section 149 was just going nuts!

Anyway, I left soon after and headed back to my hotel room. On the way back, all I heard was “LET’S GO OAK-LAND” chants all the way through downtown. It still gives me goosebumps just thinking of my trip to Oakland.

Today’s game snagging Highlights: Detroit Tigers Vs Oakland Athletics- Attendance 36,907

Baseballs snagged: one (over-throw from Tigers player)

Total baseballs snagged this season: 52

Total baseballs snagged last season: 135

Total dollars raised at this game: $2.04

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $100.78

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies last season: $257.00

Total number of donors this season: 9

Total number of donors last season: 7

If you’d like to join my official Snagging Baseballs for Puppies Facebook page, just click here! And if you want to like Collection of Baseball on Facebook, click here! Interested in following me on Twitter? Click here!

Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 10-9-2012 (ALDS Game 3)

The last time I attended a playoff game was two years ago. I visited Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas and watched the Rangers/Yankees series. I really didn’t put up solid baseball snagging numbers due to the fact of the large capacity crowd and the players were a little stingy with toss-ups and not many home runs were being hit out during BP. The same thing sort of played out here at the Coliseum.

In fact, it wasn’t until the very end of batting practice when I was able to snag one baseball.  I really didn’t think it was going to happen, either. Here’s a picture right before I got the baseball…

…all I did was asked if I could take a picture of him, and he happily obliged in a laughing manner. My real intent was to build some quick repoire and ask for a baseball. I’m pretty sure he saw right through me because before I could really ask, he underhanded me one with a wink. If anyone can identify him, I’d greatly appreciate it. I’d like to add him to my list on MyGameBalls.com.

So let me back up some..I’d like to explain how this trip actually came to be. Over the course of the summer, I was very limited to how many games I could actually attend because I was busy working two jobs. And a little more expansion on that; when I got out of the service two years ago, I got a job and started school. Well, school sort of didn’t work out for me, and my current job started cutting back hours. So I was sort of forced into getting a second job. Over the course of this summer, I worked nearly 70 hours a week. Which wasn’t fun or worth it. I had no life.

Anyway, so now that I’m only working one job now (and thinking about school again) I’m back to going to baseball games. Unfortunately, baseball season is just about over but fortunately, I was able to catch the ALDS in Oakland. In a nutshell, I was sitting at home watching the last game of the regular season, you know, the game the Rangers should’ve won? The one where the Athletics stole the AL West crown? Yeah, that one. When the A’s won the AL West, that changed everything for me. It would mean I’d be taking a trip to Oakland real soon. When I realized the A’s would be facing the Tigers on the 9th and the 10th of October, I immediately checked my work schedule.

I come to the Oakland Coliseum a lot. Mainly because it’s a fun place to catch baseballs. The stadium alone has a ton of history and it’s fun to be inside a place where my favorite baseball players as a kid used to play. Like Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Rickey Henderson, Dave Henderson, Dennis Eckersely, Rick Honeycutt and Tony La Russa. One thing I will not do is call this place the O-Dot Coliseum or the OCo-whatever stadium. In fact, do you want to see how I really feel about it?

Nick Badder’s father took that photo of me. Nick is a fellow ballhawk that routinely attends Athletics games at the Coliseum, himself. I finally met him today and he also runs a blog on MLB.com, too. It’s called 7000 Coliseum Way. Here we are hanging out prior to the gates opening:

Once the gates cracked open at 4:07, Nick and I parted ways and it was time to start snagging baseballs again for my charity; Snagging Baseballs for Puppies. I didn’t have high expectations for this game because a) it was a playoff game so I knew the players were going to be holding back on toss-ups and b) the Coliseum would be abnormally packed with fans.

The fun part of watching the ALDS against the Tigers, was watching Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder smack a couple of home runs during batting practice. The most unfortunate thing during BP was, the ushers didn’t allow anyone into the upper deck (mainly section 149 where I wanted to go) without a ticket for that section. It was kind of a heartbreaker because I’ve been trying to get into section 149 since the last time I visited the Coliseum.

I was hoping for a big win from the Athletics tonight because when I planned this trip, I bought tickets for a probable game four. If the Athletics won that game, too, it was fine., Even though I’d love to stick around and watch the A’s take the series. But deep down, since I’m such a big Tigers fan as well, I wanted Detroit to win and I expected them to.

In any case, it felt really good to be back inside a Major League baseball stadium with some of the best fans in baseball. And when I say “best fans in baseball” I truly mean that about the fans in the Coliseum. During some games there are as little as 6,000 fans watching the Athletics play. But those 6,000 fans are those most dedicated fans I’ve ever met in my life.

By the time batting practice had ended, I got some food and drinks, I got a couple of pictures of me clowning around the Coliseum, and settled in to watch the game. Here are a few pictures I was able to get before the game started:

Me with the my only ball snagged during BP…

…and the next couple of photos are with some signs the Athletics fan crew were handing out.

Oh, and I can’t forget to show off my “rally towel”:

Here’s me with my Reddick sign:

And of course, my Cespedes sign:

The game was electrifying, to say the least. The Athletics were playing an elimination game and were doing everything in their power to force a game four. I had horrible seats, though. Standing room only. Which, in the Coliseum, there isn’t much “standing room only” places to stand only. Everywhere I went, I was asked to show my ticket. And once I ended up on the main concourse, that was it. I wasn’t allowed to get back down on the first level to walk the concourse around the lower seating bowl unless I showed my ticket, which said “SRO” on it, so the security wouldn’t allow me to pass. It was very frustrating.

I pretty much had to watch the game from places like this:

It totally sucked. My tickets for game four were the same thing, SRO. Regardless, I had a blast. I absolutely love the Coliseum!

Brett Anderson outgunned Anibal Sanchez in a 2-0 win with Coco Crisp robbing Prince Fielder of a home run during the game. Yoenis Cespedes hit an RBI single in the first inning and Seth Smith homered later. That was plenty on a night Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, Fielder and the Tigers’ high-priced offense were shut down by the low-budget A’s.

Game four would be played tomorrow and I’d be there!

I’m snagging baseballs for puppies again this season for the Seattle Humane Society! If you want to check out my charity information, just click here!

Last season, with the help of all of you, we were able to raise over $250 dollars! This year I’d like to break $300!

Today’s game snagging Highlights: Detroit Tigers Vs Oakland Athletics- Attendance 36,907

Baseballs snagged: one (toss-up from Tigers coach)

Total baseballs snagged this season: 51

Total baseballs snagged last season: 135

Total dollars raised at this game: $2.04

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $98.74

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies last season: $257.00

Total number of donors this season: 9

Total number of donors last season: 7

If you’d like to join my official Snagging Baseballs for Puppies Facebook page, just click here! And if you want to like Collection of Baseball on Facebook, click here! Interested in following me on Twitter? Click here!

4-10-2012 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Today would prove to be another awesome day at the Coliseum. Although, rainy, wet and soggy, I had a great time! The rain started as soon as I crawled out of bed around 8am and it never let up. I knew batting practice wasn’t going to happen today but I decided to go to the game anyway. I’ve been to a lot of games where batting practice wasn’t in session and I still walked away with at least one baseball. In fact, if you’re interested in statistics, March 29th 2012 at the Tokyo Dome was my 100th consecutive game snagging at least one baseball.

I took the hotel shuttle to the Coliseum about an hour before the gates opened. This was the line when I got there:

The line didn’t change much, either. While I was standing there, I had sort of a brain fart. I purchased tickets to the same section that I sat in last nights game (which I should’ve kept). I started to think that since there would be such a low attendance tonight, I could sit behind the Royals dugout and shag third out baseballs! I grabbed my back pack and hauled ass over to the ticket window to upgrade my ticket. I now had in my possession a ticket one row behind the Royals dugout on the aisle! This seat was ideal for catching the third out baseballs that the players throw into the bleachers. I was also sitting in foul territory with a very little competition factor.

Once inside, I knew I’d be seeing something similar to this:

I absolutely knew this was what today was going to be like. But I wasn’t in panic mode because I had seats behind the dugout that pretty much guaranteed me a baseball. I walked the entire concourse of the stadium and when I looked towards the visitors bullpen, I spotted a little white speck underneath the bench. I blinked a few times, rubbed my eyes and started heading that way. Yes, a baseball was on the field, underneath the bench of the bullpen and I was going to get it one way or another. Unfortunately, the only way to get it would be one of three ways: glove trick it (which is outlawed at the Coliseum), wait for a player to come by and ask for it, or ask security for it. All three options were a long shot but I had to try anyway.

Here’s an overhead view of the visitors bullpen with a red arrow pointing to where the baseball was:

When I went down there to get the baseball, I asked one of the Coliseum ushers if he thought the security guard would be nice enough to toss me the baseball. He quickly told me he didn’t want any part of that and sort of walked away. I thought to myself, “well, there went that.” But he actually came back and told me to ask the security guard to see if it would happen or not. When the guard got a free moment, I walked over to him and asked him if he’d be able to toss me the baseball. He immediately put his hands up and told me the baseball was not his to give away. Fair enough.

I’ve been going to enough baseball games to know the rules when it comes to security guards and baseballs. When I would go to games at Busch Stadium there was a security guard that would actually go into the dugouts and get pockets full of baseballs and hand them out to certain fans. Cute kids, babies, young boys dressed up in baseball swag usually got the majority. It was rare for a security guard to hook up an older fan like myself with a ball. They always give people the run-around. That’s what bothers me the most. I wish some of these guards would just be upfront and honest. But hey, whatever. Moments later, while I was engaged in conversation with the two Coliseum ushers, the guard flipped me the baseball:

I took the picture away from the field and without the security guard in view because I didn’t want to put the guy on the spot. He really didn’t want to throw me the ball in the first place, but he did, which I’m grateful for, but I didn’t want to make a big deal about it. I talked with the two Coliseum ushers for a while longer, we chatted about baseball (of course) and I shared my charity information with them, too. One of them offered me seats right behind the Royals bullpen, which I would have taken, but I had awesome seats behind the dugout.

I stood around for roughly an hour taking various pictures of the Coliseum since there was no batting practice. It was very boring, and for the majority of the time I stood on the corner near the field staring into the Royals dugout. Here are a few pictures:

Eventually Jeff Francoeur came out and signed a few autographs, shook some hands, etc. That was probably the highlight of the evening. The Athletics announced that there would be a rain delay but it didn’t last long and soon the Royals were on the field warming up. Prime baseball snagging time!

The second ball of the evening came from another unidentifiable player just like at last nights game. Although, a friendly fellow ballhawk left a comment claiming yesterdays toss-up came from Kelvin Herrera. I updated my stats on MyGameball.com accordingly but I still couldn’t identify this guy. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a better picture and in the above photo, I couldn’t even tell you where he is. All I know is after two Royals finished up playing catch, I flapped my glove at the baseball holder and he threw me a bullet that smacked right into my glove:

I waited around for an additional few minutes to see if I could get another toss-up but that was pretty much the end of it. I stuck around for the National Anthem, of course, and then moved on to find my seats. Check out empty my section was:

The above photo was the seats to my right…

 

…and in the picture that you just looked at, that is farther down the first base side. As you can see, there weren’t a whole lot of people attending tonight’s contest. And since I upgraded my tickets to sit behind the dugout, I thought I’d have a fair amount of opportunity for a third out ball and foul baseballs.  Foul balls? Not so much. Guess where they all went? Yup! In section 217, 218 and 219. Section 219 was where I originally decided to sit before I came up with the bright idea to move. But not all was lost. Not only did I get to sit next to Danny Duffy’s mother…

…and not only did I get to sit through 8 innings of constant rain…

…and not only did I sit through two rain delays…

…and not only did I catch a third out baseball from Chris Getz, but the Oakland Athletics have announced that anyone that attended tonight’s game would get a complimentary game on the house for gutting out the rain delays! How awesome is that?! I’d say that’s just another excuse for me to fly back to the Oakland Coliseum and watch more baseball in that old run down piece of crap of a stadium! Wouldn’t you agree?

The actual game, though, was pretty one-sided. Duffy held the Athletics to just one in six innings pitched and Mitch Maier had the only home run of the game. There were a few foul balls that came within snagging distance of me, but the majority, like I said, went up to the upper levels. I’ll be seeing you soon, Oakland. Very soon…

 

I’m snagging baseballs for puppies again this season for the Seattle Humane Society! If you want to check out my charity information, just click here!

Last season, with the help of all of you, we were able to raise over $250 dollars! This year I’d like to break $300!

Today’s game snagging Highlights: Kansas City Royals vs. Oakland Athletics- attendance 10,067

Baseballs snagged: three (security guard toss-up , toss-up by unidentified Royals player and snagged third out ball from Chris Getz)

Total baseballs snagged this season: 11

Total baseballs snagged last season: 135

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $11.74

Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies last season: $257.00

Total number of donors this season: 6

Total number of donors last season: 7

If you’d like to join my official Snagging Baseballs for Puppies Facebook page, just click here! And if you want to like Collection of Baseball on Facebook, click here!

9-21-2011 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

I had the day off from work today so guess what I did? I booked a flight to Oakland California and attended an Oakland Athletics baseball game at the Oakland Coliseum. The Coliseum is now re-named to the O.co Coliseum or some stupid name like that. I refuse to call it anything but the Oakland Coliseum. It’s been named that for a million years and I’m not going to call it the “Oh Co Coliseum”! Ridiculous! Here’s a crappy picture of the Coliseum as I rode past it in the shuttle van from my hotel room.

The good thing about this trip is I stayed in a hotel within walking distance to the Coliseum. But I didn’t have to walk. The hotel room also had a shuttle service to and from the Coliseum. So I took advantage of that. I got dropped off at the Coliseum, well the BART station, at around 3:30pm. Had I went to the stadium at noon I would have got to meet Josh Hamilton, and Nomar Garciaparra. I found out from the Ranger fans that were already at the stadium that they got to meet both of those guys, plus get their autographs, AND got pictures with them both!

This is the gate I entered in. I came to this stadium because of the low attendance and I really wanted to break out and have a monster day collecting baseballs. I didn’t expect $2 dollar ticket day. More people showed up for that than I expected. But there were only a handful of people with baseball gloves. Nearly everyone else headed to the dugouts to seek autographs. Something I’m not entirely into anymore. I wasn’t quite used to the stadium because I have only been to two games there. One on April 1st and another one on Apri 2nd where I collected my 100th baseball from Jason Phillips. When I ran into the stadium I immediately headed out to the outfield to find any loose baseballs rolling around in the rows. I took a wrong turn and ended up in the 200th level. I turned around and headed back to the first base seating bowl and found this:

 

Moments later Josh Hamilton drilled one deep to right field. I ran out onto the main concourse while tracking the ball and made the catch just in front of the railing. Had I not made the catch? The baseball would have ended up down here with this one:

There was no possible way I was going to retrieve that baseball. The Coliseum has strict rules on baseball retrieval devices. The security guard that I asked told me that I could be arrested if I were to use one. I didn’t believe they would go that far but I didn’t want to try anything. Home was 800 miles away. And when Josh Hamilton smacked another baseball into home run land I was so tempted to go after it when the kid that was trying to catch it failed to come up with the ball. The ball landed on the staircase out in right field. Here’s a picture of the staircase:

 

And here’s a picture of where the baseball landed:

When baseballs are that close and someone tells me I can’t try to get it, it makes me want to try to get it even more. But with that lingering thought of being arrested over a Major League baseball still fresh in my mind I decided to leave it be. Even though I could have probably snagged it and got away with it…I just didn’t want to risk it. I could have claimed that I was an out of towner and didn’t know the rules, (which is true, sort of) or I could have just gone for it and not worried about anything. I decided to use my better judgement and just leave it alone. That baseball would have been my third baseball.

I didn’t bother with any toss-ups from any Rangers players even though I was wearing my Rangers hat and I could have probably gotten at least two more. While I was watching the Rangers field baseballs in the outfield another line drive home run was hit my way. unfortunately I was standing on the second tier seating area and I wasn’t able to move down fast enough. The baseball smacked off the picnic table and some kid ended up getting the ball. This was my view as batting practice came to an end:

My problem with the Oakland Coliseum is this; the gates opened up at 5:35pm, which meant I wouldn’t get to see the Athletics portion of batting practice. The Rangers ended their portion of batting practice at 6:15pm. Batting practice was over and done with so fast! It felt like as soon as I ran into the stadium batting practice was coming to an end. For me I felt fortunate enough to find a baseball and catch another. The good news is I had awesome seats for the game. I was sitting right behind home plate. What does that mean? Foul balls.

Here’s a picture of the two gems I snagged:

The concourse was absolutely crowded but I was able to grab a hotdog and a free soda for signing up for the drunk driver program thing they had at the Coliseum. I was only allowed to get a small drink and when they meant small they really meant small. They gave me a 4 oz dixie cup jammed full of ice and some soda. I felt ripped off but hey, it was free. The hotdog was like, $5 bucks though.

Here’s a view from my seat:

When I got these tickets I researched the best possible spot that I thought would be ideal for a foul ball. I figured directly behind home plate would be the best spot and when I bought the tickets, which were $26 dollars, I asked for an aisle seat as close to the field as possible. I was put in row seven, seat one. The rows around me were empty.

Every foul ball that would have come my way it would have been an easy snag. But for that to happen foul balls would need to come my way. During THIS particular game when I was sitting in foul ball territory with no one around me not one foul ball came even close enough for me to snag. I was shocked.

As the game went on I pretty much gave up on catching a foul ball while I sat in the perfect seats in the Coliseum. I thoroughly enjoyed the game though. It was well-played and I got to see Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler blast some home runs. The Rangers ended up winning the game 3-2 and I went home with only two baseballs.

 

 

O.co. Coliseum…blah.

 

Game; September 21st 2011 Texas Rangers vs Oakland Athletics

Gameballs; Two

Attendance; 19,589

Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $189.20 this season.

Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $47.80 this
season

 

 

 

 

4-2-2011 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

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Todays game started promptly at 6:05pm. Today was also the day that I would be attending another game but I would be looking to score my 100th career baseball to add to my collection. Talk about pressure. Anyway so I marched downstairs to eat some breakfast. The hotel provided a very nice spread and I was happy to take full advantage. On my way back to my room I managed to stumble and fall UP the stairs where I dumped some food and nearly lost the handle on my juice. Was it really going to be one of those days? Surely not.

As I arrived at the stadium that same lone security guard was again in my way. He stopped me and informed me to backup and go through the “pay” lane. I ended up having to shell out $17 bucks to park. I guess I cant complain. But the Athletics havent been to the playoffs since 2006 so parking should be A) free or B) not $17 dollars. Im just saying.

Once I made it inside where I safely parked my vehicle I started wandering around the stadium again. I took some pictures of the Athletics history. Check out these next batch of photos.

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Pretty awesome stuff. Oh, I forgot to mention in yesterdays blog. As I was taking pictures and messing around with my phone Michael Saunders, Tom Wilhemsen, and Jamey Wright walked passed me. In the picture above this was where they walked by. Of course I was wearing my A’s hat so I didnt stop them for any autographs or pictures.

Here are some more pictures of Athletics history.

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I bet you didnt know all of that about the Athletics. They are a pretty successful team throughout the years I will say. Thats one reason why I think they should get a new stadium. Maybe not move all the way to San Jose. But a new stadium should be in order.

Take a look at this next picture. Its the rules of the stadium. They have a lot. ( Like all stadiums ) But this particular rule sign was placed at a gate that is not used for entry. And I could not find another one like it near a gate that is used for fans to gain entry into the stadium. Here. Take a look.

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Under the “not permitted” part I circled the artificial noise-maker part because during the game there were many fans that had cowbells, trumpets, drums, and other various noise making devices. And only one fan was ejected because he kept blowing his trumpet into some ladys ear. He was intoxicated so thats probably one of the main reasons why he got kicked out. Also containers carrying liquid of any kind, wouldnt that cover just about everything? Kind of redundant to …well, nevermind.
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Once inside the Mariners were already on the field. Batting practice was kind of slow. There wasnt much hit into the seats but there was one baseball that I had a fairly good chance of getting. It was hit a section up from me and when I went chasing for it there were about five other people chasing after the ball too. I ran up the stairs and started hopping over the seats like a dummy. I should have just let gravity do its work and I would have had the baseball. So after I lost it I ended up catching it in the corner of my eye going back down the rows. So I started hopping back over seats and I didnt get my leg up high enough which I ended up bashing my knee right into a seat back. It pretty much knocked the wind out of me and I ended my pursuit. That hurt.

I took it easy during batting practice trying to nurse my knee a little so I ended up heading over to the left field area. Mariners bullpen coach, Jaime Navarro was out there shagging fly balls. He tossed a few to some kids but basically ignored me when I asked for one. Not one on the Mariners roster except Milton Bradley could reach the seats. So I wasnt about to go stand around in the outfield bleachers. By the time I got up there batting practice would be over.

After batting practice concluded I looked for a decent spot to wait on a foul ball. I sat over on the first base side about two sections up from the field. I thought security was going to come over and boot me out but since the stadium was not even half full they pretty much left me alone. As I sat and waited for the game to start Jason Vargas started warming up in the bullpen. So I cautiously wandered down closer for a few pictures.

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By this time it was about seven minutes to game time. Not one security guard came down to run the fans out. Not even the Enforcer. I was really shocked. So I kept standing there.

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Five minutes until game time. Still no security guards. I even looked over my shoulder a few times and they were all up at the top of the concourse yapping their gums off. So I just kept standing there. When Vargas was finally done warming up he tossed the ball towards the dugout and it rolled underneath the bench. I waited for the Mariner pitchers to approach the bullpen but Jaime Navarro walked over first. I asked him if he saw Vargas warm-up baseball underneath the bench and he said he couldnt see it. I was leaning over the bullpen like a jackass and the nearest security guard walked over and pushed on my shoulder slightly. I guess that was his way of telling me not to lean over the bullpen and to go find my seat.

The game was very entertaining. It was very similiar to last nights game too. The Athletics took an early lead and throughout the game their defense just fell apart. The Mariners again showed off their smart base running skills, and Chone Figgins showed off his power with a deep drive to centerfield to score Ichiro from third base. By the seventh inning the Mariners had climbed back in the game to take the lead. Unfortunately I was still without my 100th baseball. Here is how it played out.

Jason Phillips, the Mariners bullpen catcher, would throw Michael Saunders and Ichiro a warm-up baseball to play catch in between innings. Michael Saunders would play catch with Milton Bradley and Ichiro would play catch with Jason Phillips. When the Athletics were ready to take their at-bats, Ichiro and Saunders would then end their game of catch by throwing the baseballs back to Phillips. He would then remove his glove and go sit back down. I watched this all throughout yesterdays game and todays game. And what I particularly paid attention to was what Jason Phillips did with the baseballs towards the end of the game. Sure he gave one or two away during the game but he also gave away two more right before the bottom of the ninth. So in essence I was hoping and praying that the Mariners would be leading the game going into the ninth. And they were.

One other thing I paid attention to were the security guards. They walked down to the area where I would need to stand but they also run back up the stairs right before Ichiro and Saunders both threw the baseballs back to Phillips. So I had to plan this just right and act with such precision it drove me batty.

The top of the ninth came and went. Ichiro, Saunders and Bradley jogged out to their positions in the outfield. Jason Phillips took a few steps towards the foul line. He threw Saunders a baseball. The security guard wandered down to take position in front of the field. Phillips lobbed Ichiro a baseball. I waited. My heart was racing. The advertisments came to an end on the Jumbotron. Ichiro finished playing catch with Phillips and he threw the baseball back in with a high arch. ( signaling that he was finished ) The security guard slowly wandered back up the stairs. I stood up. Saunders threw his baseball back to Phillips. I made my way slowly down the stairs towards the field. As Phillips turned around I held up my glove and joined about five other Mariner fans in calling his name. He saw me and lobbed me the baseball. All I saw were other hands trying to make the catch. Barely missing by inches. I secured the baseball in my glove and gave my thanks. Number 100.

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Ballgame.

Game; April 4 2011 Seattle Mariners Vs Oakland Athletics

GameBalls; One

Attendance; 15,067

The Baseball

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     I’m probably the last guy on planet earth to have given my two-cents on this book. I mean I read it from front to back within seven hours after it was delivered to my house. Personally I wasn’t as interested in the history of the baseball as I thought I would be. I like Zack Hamples second book Watching Baseball Smarter better. That book is my favorite because it gave you an insight about the game. It gave you answers to all of those zany quirks and all of those ” Why does he do that?” questions.

     The book goes well in-depth of how the baseball was created. Zack even draws out a timeline of the first baseball used in a game. It’s very interesting stuff. The last two-hundred pages or so pretty much tell you how to snag a baseball from a game. If you’ve ever read his first book How to Snag a Baseball at a Major League Stadium then you’ll probably end up skimming through this section like I did. Although there are key tips in this new book that weren’t in his first book. So if you’re a Ballhawk thats just starting out or all you want is just one baseball at a game then I would advise reading this section thoroughly. If you’ve already snagged over 100 baseballs or even 50 then I would say you’re on the right track and you can probably just pick through what you want and leave the rest.

     I’m glad I bought the book. I love reading about baseball in general. Zack has an interesting way with words and his sense of humor isnt over the top. Its a great read and worth every penny.

 

Fans vs Fans    

     Well, another season is about to kick off. Im sure every baseball fan is getting ready for opening day. As I have stated many times I will be in Oakland at their Home Opener against my beloved Seattle Mariners. I really can’t wait and this week is killing me in anticipation. It’s hard to sleep at night knowing that in nearly 72 hours I’ll be at the Oakland-Coliseum trying to snag my 100th baseball. After I read The Baseball by Zack Hample I of course looked through his blog to try to find a blog entry of him at the Coliseum so I could get a leg up on the competition. You know, to find those tips and secrets that not everyone knows.

     Well, to my surprise I found a lot of other blogs bashing Ballhawks. Do I consider myself a Ballhawk? Yes. I do. Its kind of bothersome to read these blogs that are floating out there though. I’ve never seen a physical altercation in the bleachers over a baseball and I’ve never witnessed any fights break out during games because a fan wasn’t sitting in their assigned seats. But one blog really stood out. http://mccarpie.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/10/ugh_ballhawks.html

     Now I know she blogged this in 2009 and I even left a comment. But it’s just irritating that people draw these conclusions about Ballhawks. I have never seen anyone run over a kid. I have never seen anyone push the elderly out of the way. And I have been to plenty of baseball games. But thats not what bothers me the most. Its these self-righteous, holier-than-thou attitudes these people have and claim that every baseball hit into the stands should be given to the nearest five-year old. The Major Leagues has a huge job. They have to please everyone from the ages of 1-99. Thats a huge job. People that go to these game want to be apart of it. Hangout with the players. Walk around the field. Catch a baseball. Some people just want to sit in the cheap seats, eat a hotdog, and drink a beer. Tailgaters want to sit outside, drink beer, eat food until just before game time. Some people show up hours early to attend batting practice and shag home run baseballs. The bottom line is; ITS ALL APART OF THE GAME. 

     Another blog that was pretty explicit was this one  http://www.millerparkdrunk.com/ Im not going to post any of the blogs about him bashing Ballhawks. If you want to read them you can pick through the blog and find them. But anyway. The point I am trying to make about this particular blog is this guy is a tailgater at Miller Park. His thing is to come to baseball games, drink beer, and eat food. Yet he complains and takes shots at guys like The Happy Youngster and Zack Hample for doing their thing at a game. Whats with all this hate? Cant a person just come to the baseball stadium and enjoy their time there?  

     Well, I’m not going to sit here and beat a dead horse. Its just nonsense and I guess that’s apart of life. I’ve had a few situations with fans resulting in name calling and crying kids. Like the time in Kauffman Stadium when I caught three baseballs in one game from Todd Helton. I was heckled by three college students that were obviously intoxicated. And the other time at Busch Stadium when Randy Wolf managed to drill some three year old in the face with a baseball when he air mailed it to me. Baseball will be around a long, long time. Any five year old kid today that doesn’t get a baseball will probably get one ten years from now when he goes to baseball games on his own. Like me.

 

Until next time… 

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