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.
Game; September 21st 2011 Texas Rangers vs Oakland Athletics
Snagging Baseballs for Puppies has raised; $189.20 this season.
Snagging Baseballs for Relief in Japan has raised; $47.80 this
When I got to the stadium today this was waiting for me:
Yes, that is an authentic Major League baseball from Rawlings. The stamp on the sweet spot reads, “Catch n Win 2011” and the red “X” means that it’s already been turned in for a prize to Guest Services. What does this all mean? Absolutely nothing. Yesterday at Safeco Field the Mariners were holding a fan appreciation day and when I found out they would be using special baseballs during BP I literally freaked out. I started tweeting everyone I knew that would be going to the game asking if they’d snag me one of those baseballs. I even tweeted Mariners pitcher, Shawn Kelley if he’d snag me one and hold onto it until I could get to the stadium the next day. Thanks to my friend, Ryanna and Carla, I was able to get one. Shawn Kelley eventually responded to me with this;
Welcome back baseball fans! With Spring Training right around the corner most MLB teams are putting their finishing touches on their rosters, and moving players to their respective positions in hopes to have an outstanding season.
With the fresh retirement from Andy Pettite hitting the baseball world that really shouldnt put a damper on the New York Yankees making another strong run to the World Series in the 2011 baseball season. The Yankees put in great effort to sign Cliff Lee in respects that Pettite would retire, and went on to make roster moves, trades, and free agency contracts a reality whether Pettite retired or not. No surprise there!
We have a lot to talk about. So lets get started!
The Texas Rangers are currently in turmoil with Michael Young. Young had agreed to switch to DH, and Utility infielder after the signing of slugger Adrian Beltre. Over time, Young has became disenchanted with the switch, and its been reported that Young has requested that the Rangers trade him to a team where he can get more playing time defensively. Michael Young, and Josh Hamiliton were at the BallPark in Arlington Monday to field questions from reporters but Young declined to comment on anything until the situation is resolved. ” He said he wasnt sure of anything.” Hamilton said. ” I dont know. We’ll see. Its going to be different.” Although the club has expressed a willingness to accommodate Young in his request but there is no deal that is close. Hamilton, on the other hand, faces arbritration at the end of this season if he and the Rangers dont work something out. Hamilton is confident something will come abroad before the season ends.
The Baltimore Orioles made a big splash by signing Vladimir Guererro from the Rangers for $8 million dollars. The single season contract will probably help strengthen what the O’s have going for them right now because Vlad is veteran status, and has a lot of insight on the game. The O’s are full of young players and could benefit from his guidance, and wisdom. Vlad will most likely continue filling the DH spot, and the O’s havent commented on if he will take any outfield practice during Spring Training.
Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees captain is looking ahead into the 2011 season. ” Ive always been pretty good in my career in terms of forgetting the previous seasons, whether it was a good season or a bad season.” Jeter told the Associated Press on Monday. ” You have to forget about it, and move on.” Jeter, 36, came off a season low in 2010 batting .270. But he did scoop up his fifth Gold Glove Award. December of 2010, Jeter came to terms with the Yankees to extend his contract for another three years for $51 million dollars.
Albert Pujols has not come to any terms on his contract. Pujols has threatened that he will not talk “contract terms” during the season, and that is to include Spring Training. So the Cardinals have roughly two weeks to figure something out. Pujols is wanting somewhere in the ballpark ( no pun intended ) of a ten-year $300 million dollar contract. If that happens, Pujols will become the highest paid baseball player in the history of baseball. That will be $4 million dollars more than what Alex Rodriguez is currently being paid. Pujols currently makes roughly $14 million dollars. So far no other Cardinal player have commented on the future signings of Pujols. Although, many teams are going to check in if the contract does not get done before Spring Training, Pujols has said he will exercise his 10-5 option ( 10 years in the same league, 5 years with the same club. ), and veto any trade agreements. The most likely team that will chase after Pujols will be the Florida Marlins. But its even been said that the Yankees will check in too.
Carlos Delgado is still recovering from surgery. This would be his third hip surgery in his career, and he is confident that he will see the Big Show eventually. ” If I am healthy, I will find a way.” said Delgado. ” I know how to play. I dont want to retire.” Delagdo, 38, had surgery on his left hip, and has not played in a Major League game since May 10th 2009. He signed a minor league deal with the Boston RedSox last August but began feeling discomfort in his hip, and had his latest surgury the next month. As part of a rehabilitation program, Delgado has been swinging the bat and started a running program. He said he isnt going to contact any club until he is completely healthy.