Like I’ve stated many times before, I refuse to call this place the “O.Co Coliseum.” It’s a horrible name for such a great stadium with such unique, awesome fans. So when you read these entries regarding my visits to the Oakland Coliseum, you will always, always read “Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.” Period.
When I arrived at the coliseum, I met up with a long time friend, Deirdre. She drove up from southern California to attend this game with me and we had a blast! I never knew the Oakland Coliseum could be so much fun and I urge anyone that’s in the area when the Athletics are playing at home, to attend at least one game. Tickets are dirt cheap and there are plenty of seats available!
We hit up the ticket window to get our seats for the day, and this was the line:
After we got our tickets (which I may add right now, these seats will play a pivotal role in my success later on…) we got a lady to get our picture before she hurried off…
…after that, we visited the team store to try on some Athletics swag…
…and as you can tell, like in Japan, I’m wearing my “Chuck Knoblauch Follows Me” shirt, again! Why? Because it’s become one of my most favorite baseball shirts, kind of like this one that I wore at Safeco Field last year, and because Chuck Knoblauch was, and still is, one of my favorite baseball players to this date. I even wrote a special blog entry called “An Ode to Chuck Knoblauch“. Check it out if you have the time.
After clowning around in the Athletics team store, Deirdre and I did a lap around the Coliseum just so she could see this old relic. Deirdre told me she hadn’t been to the Coliseum since she’d attended high school. That was roughly ten years ago. Not much has changed. I was a little shocked to see the lack of fans tailgating in the parking lot as we walked around the stadium and I was a little shocked at the lack of fans in general. I still can’t get over the fact that hardly anyone comes to these games. The stadium isn’t that bad on the inside, and even though I’ve called the stadium a “dump” and a “relic” it’s actually very beautiful in a sense that so much baseball history has happened here. I’d seriously hate to see the Athletics go anywhere else, and rumor has it, by the year 2015, they won’t be in Oakland anymore.
One thing that caught my eye while we were walking around is this:
The Athletics put this entry together a week or so ago to allow season ticket holders a special entrance into the Coliseum. Although, there aren’t any special perks to entering the Coliseum through this way, it just allows people with season ticket credentials to enter without having to deal with the other 25 people entering at D gate.
Deirdre and I sat down at D gate for the remainder of our time while we waited for the Coliseum to open at 5:35pm. The gates open roughly 90 minutes before game time, just for your information. While we were waiting in line, I told Deirdre that this was my third visit to the Oakland Coliseum. I visited the Coliseum last season on opening day and on April 2nd 2011. I also made a last-minute trip to Oakland on September 21st 2011 as well. So this would be my fourth game at the Coliseum, and as I explained all of this, Deirdre said, “Wow, Wayne. You’ve been to more games at the Coliseum than regular Athletic fans that actually live in Oakland!” There might be some truth to that.
Right before the gates opened, the line looked like this:
And when the gates “opened”, everyone scampered (including me) to the security tables to get their bags checked and to gain entrance inside. Three young boys in front of me got their bags checked and were allowed all the way to the second security gate seen here…
…but were instantly recalled. I’m not sure why, I guess someone jumped the gun in the management department. So more waiting. Another five minutes passed and I was able to see inside to view which team was on the field for batting practice. I saw one player wearing a blue jersey…so that meant the Athletics were already off the field and the Royals were out taking BP.
Once all 30 fans were allowed to enter the stadium, I ran inside and made a bee-line for foul territory that eventually would lead me up to the right field seats near the foul pole. I’ve always had great success in this spot, so I didn’t want to go elsewhere. Besides, when I initially ran in, I found this:
And within the next five minutes I was able to get a toss-up from an unidentified player in the right field (I think it’s Eric Hosmer). Here’s a picture of him:
I’ll admit; it’s a crappy picture, and you really can’t see his face. I looked through my MLB At Bat app on my iPhone trying to find this guy, but the only person I came close to was Joakim Soria. But he’s out for Tommy John surgery. If anyone can help me identify this player, shoot me a comment. Much appreciated.
Here’s me chillin` out in my spot in right field:
It wouldn’t be long until I snagged my third baseball on the night. And this would be a good one, too! Remember when I bought my ticket? I specifically asked for section 218 and asked for an aisle seat that was as close to the field as possible. Well, this is where I ended up sitting with my friend, Deirdre:
Can you believe that?! Four rows from the field behind home plate! Foul ball heaven, right? Oh, you are so right, my friend! Three foul balls came relatively close to where I was seated and one man to my right decked out in Giants swag was able to nab one of them and the other floated to my left where it banged off the railing. If perhaps the two fans that were in pursuit would have pursued a lot faster, I’m sure someone would have come up with it. The foul ball that I caught came off the bat of Coco Crisp in the bottom of the first inning. Well, I can’t say I really caught it. It was more of a high arching foul that drifted about two rows behind me. I made an attempt to my left for it but I was blocked by fans. So I turned to my right, took about two steps up and watched a fan holding a beer take the ball off his chest. The ball landed in the row right in front of me and I was able to snatch it up pretty quickly:
In all the 132 games I’ve attended, this was my first foul ball during the game. Well, except for a foul ball that was tossed to me by an umpire at Kauffman Stadium years ago. In 2010, I caught a lot of third out baseballs from players at Busch Stadium. But those weren’t foul balls. They were actual baseballs used in live games, though. So that’s pretty special.
During the fifth inning, Deirdre treated the both of us to this:
I’m telling you; this was a massive bowl of nachos. It was more food for any one man to defeat but I accomplished that feat. I can now say I’ve officially conquered a nachos bowl at the Oakland Coliseum. It was so awesome-ly good, I considered eating what Deirdre couldn’t finish. But I was so overly worried about another foul ball coming my way, I decided to pass on the second nacho bowl (even though I think I can eat two). And just for the record, it took me an entire Major League baseball regulation inning to finish this bad boy.
Around the 6th inning or so, as I was sitting there kind of staring off into la la land, someone approached me.
“Are you Wayne?” the guy said.
“Huh? Me?” I responded sort of half dazed and surprised that someone out of no where knew my name.
“Yeah. Is your name Wayne?” he said again and extended his hand for a handshake.
My initial thought? I was in some sort of trouble or something. But there was no trouble. No trouble at all. It was an employee from Major League Baseball here to interview me regarding my charity work for the Seattle Humane Society. Earlier in the day, I had sent out a bunch of tweets on Twitter that I’d be attending the Athletics game in Oakland. I’m not sure if that’s where they got my information, or even who got my information or even how they found me in the Oakland Coliseum! But they found me! Anyway. I was able to speak about my charity and talk about my trip to Japan and all that, and I was told that the interview would be posted on MLB.com/Cutfour. It’s a new website that Major League baseball has came up with to involve fans in the game. It’s a pretty cool sight and all the teams have one. Here’s the tweet after the game:
The Athletics actually played some very good baseball. Josh Reddick was able to throw out Kansas City Royals baserunner, Jason Bourgeois, from right field to third base in the first inning on an amazing throw off his back leg. Donaldson, at third, made a great tag on Bourgeois and essentially blocked him from even getting in to touch the base. Athletics rookie, Tom Milone pitched eight shutout innings, gave up three hits and walked three. Pretty impressive. I can’t say the same for Royals rookie pitcher, Mendoza as he picks up the loss. And history also visted the Oakland Coliseum tonight. Kurt Suzuki played in his 600th game as an Athletics catcher! I was surprised when he got absolutely no recognition other than the tweet I sent to @TheAsGame on Twitter!
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- 10,054
Baseballs snagged: three (found , toss-up by Eric Hosmer and snagged Coco Crisp foul ball)
Total baseballs snagged this season: 8
Total baseballs snagged last season: 135
Total dollars raised for Snagging Baseballs for Puppies this season: $7.72
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
Well, I’m all done tinkering with all the baseballs I could identify. I have about 22 signed baseballs that I will put up for purchase, and all proceeds will go to my charity. You can check out the details here. The charity is called, Snagging Baseballs for Puppies. Some rules that you need to know: I will not accept cash. There is no exception to this rule, whatsoever. Also, all prices are negotiable but understand this; once you donate and receive the baseball, I will not accept the baseball back. It’s yours to do whatever you want with it. And in the event that you do not like what you’ve received, this is a tax-deductible charitable organization. So in other words, if you are unhappy with what you’ve essentially donated for, you can get your money back at the end of the year (most of it, anyway). Or whenever you do your taxes next. I’m not trying to be unreasonable, I just wanted to point some of these things to you so we are all on the same sheet of music.
So without further ado…
First row from left to right: Troy Glaus, Alex Gordon, Dave McKay, Gary Mathews Jr
Second row from left to right: Brian Moehler, Bruce Chen, Max Scherzer, Dusty Baker
Third row from left to right: Mario Soto, Jose Cruz, Jerry Lynch, Brian Moehler
Fourth row from left to right: Melky Cabrera, Torii Hunter, Kevin Seitzer, Edison Volquez
Fifth row from left to right: Rick Hacker, Bud Norris, Colby Rasmus, Brian Moehler
Last row from left to right: Jim Maloney, Ryan Hanigan
Here’s how this is going to work. I’m going to make things fairly simple to reduce any kinds of problems that may arise. All you have to do to get a hold of one of these prized possessions is leave a comment below claiming which baseball(s) you want (first come, first serve). Secondly, send me an email with your name and address and I’ll take care of the rest! Make sure you go to Crowdrise.com to make your donation! Don’t worry about shipping costs and all that jazz. I’m not really prepared to set up any kind of auction system if someone comes to me with more money for a baseball. It’s simple ,first come, first serve. So if you see a ball you want, jump on it.!I’m not sure how fast these baseballs will go. Also, the Dusty Baker ball and the Ryan Hanigan ball, the signatures are a little faded. And none of these baseballs are on authentic Major League balls.
Now for the best part. I have a 2009 Cincinnati Reds team ball up for purchase as well. And here’s the kicker; since I got Joey Votto on a separate baseball, I’m combining the two! Here, take a look:
The team ball with all those signatures that you see? That’s on an official Major League baseball. The Votto signature isn’t. The reason why I didn’t use authentic MLB balls is because they’re like $15-25 dollars a piece and these Rawlings balls, although, just as good for signatures, were quite a bit cheaper. So I could get more of my favorite players on many more baseballs. I just want you to be aware of what type of baseballs these signatures are on.
Anyway, to wrap this up, I’m listing the prices below:
Troy Glaus: $20.00 (No longer available)
Alex Gordon: $20.00 (No longer available)
Dave McKay: $10.00
Gary Mathews Jr: $10.00 (No longer available)
Brian Moehler: $10.00
Bruce Chen: $10.00
Max Scherzer: $10.00 (No longer available)
Dusty Baker: $15.00 (No longer available)
Mario Soto: $35.00
Jose Cruz: $35.00
Jerry Lynch: $10.00
Melky Cabrera: $15.00 (No longer available)
Torii Hunter: $35.00 (No longer Available)
Kevin Seitzer: $25.00
Edison Volquez: $15.00
Rick Hacker: $10.00
Bud Norris: $20.00 (No longer available)
Colby Rasmus: $15.00 (No longer available)
Jim Maloney: $10.00
Ryan Hanigan: $15.00
2009 Cincinnati Reds w/ Joey Votto: $75.00
There’s your prices, folks! Throw some bids my way in the comments section and we will see what we can work out! Remember, shipping is free, and this is a tax deductible charitable organization! All proceeds go to my charity and I thank you for looking!
The World Series is happening right now. And yes I’m very excited for both teams. Since I won’t be attending any World Series games due to lack of free schedule this fall my baseball season as concluded. But on a rather high note, I must say. I started this baseball season with the intent to attend nearly one hundred baseball games. Well, that didn’t happen. I attended roughly 53 games. But I did travel to a few new baseball stadiums like, PETCO PARK, AT&T Park, The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Angels Stadium and Coors Field. I never did make it to Sun Life Stadium or Tropicana Field like I had hoped this year. Sadly, Sun Life Stadium won’t be used as a baseball stadium next year. But the Marlins are getting a new stadium called Miami Ballpark and it should be epic.
I did, however, turn my baseball hobby into a charitable lifestyle. Last year I attended 37 games and snagged 87 baseballs. Mainly at Busch Stadium. And I did travel to Kauffman Stadium a bunch of times, I visited U.S Cellular in Chicago a couple of times, I even traveled to Cincinnati to see Great American Ballpark. And let’s not forget my trip to Texas where I watched game six of the ALCS. That was so awesome that I’d like to return to the Texas Rangers Ballpark in Arlington at least one more time. This year was one of the best seasons I’ve ever had. Mainly because I met so many awesome people who I’ll probably be friends for life with now. And, like I mentioned before, I started a charity project.
If you’re new to my Facebook page or new to reading my Tweets on Twitter then this blog entry that you’re reading now will do you some good. It will explain in detail how my charity works, how you can help and what I’m exactly doing traveling to different stadiums in the U.S like a mad man. And I’ll even hit on some future projects I’d like to start.
First and foremost this season was awesome. I attended 53 games and snagged a “career high” of 135 baseballs. You can check out my baseball snagging statistics here if you want. (I haven’t entered in the last game I attended yet) Anyway. That website that you just looked at breaks down my individual stats along with many other Ballhawks that chase baseballs during the season. As you can see I have an important streak going for myself. I’ve attended 98 games consecutively where I’ve snagged at least one baseball. To me that’s pretty impressive. Well, sorta. It’s actually very easy to catch a baseball at a Major League baseball game. Just ask Zack Hample. This dude is amazing and a very nice guy. He came to Safeco Field on his quest to attend all 30 Major League stadiums and snag at least 1,000 baseballs during the season.
So with all that information you’ve just took in I sat down one morning and asked myself how I could make snagging baseballs at stadiums more exciting and at the same time how could it help the community of Seattle. Since my home stadium is now Safeco Field I thought to myself, what am I most passionate about. Dogs and baseball. (Sorry, ladies.) And since I am so addicted to baseball and have an undying love for dogs…Snagging Baseballs for Puppies was born! I contacted the Seattle Humane Society via email and presented my idea. immediately they loved the idea, I was emailed some paperwork, and then the season started! The problem was that in order for this all to work I had to rely on neighbors, friends and family to pledge an amount per baseball that I’d snag at games. Here’s how it works;
I go to games and snag as many baseballs as I can. (my game high is like, eight) I blog about every game so people can read how I snagged them and picture evidence is also provided in the blog entry, and you as the readers email me and tell me how much you want to pledge per baseball that I catch. Now some Ballhawks have certain rules that they follow on catching baseballs. Me personally? If I catch it and it’s an Official Major League baseball AT an Official Major League Stadium, it counts. Plain and simple. It doesn’t matter of it bounces off some kids face into my glove or if it bounces between two fans and lands in my cup of soda…it counts. I used to count only the baseballs that I went home with. But what about the ones I give away to kids? Or military veterans? Those count. I even caught a baseball OUTSIDE Safeco Field this season! Peter Bourjos hit a BP home run into the party deck and it bounced all the way to the gates where I was standing. That happened I think on 6-13-2011.
When you make a pledge it’s also very simple. Unless you’re rich you want to keep your pledges in the cent range. Like, .10 cents a ball or .25 cents a ball. Because at the end of the season when I rack up my total and I’ve snagged 135 baseballs and if you’ve pledged $3.00 a ball..well…that’s $405.00 big ones. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that. I’m just saying try to keep your pledges realistic. Because who knows. I could go to a game and snag twenty baseballs and if you’ve pledged a dollar amount that you won’t be able to cover at the end of the season that looks pretty bad on your part. And if you don’t want to make a pledge you can just make a flat rate donation of $10.00. That’s the minimum that Crowdrise.com will allow. I have nothing to do with that. And yes I think that’s rather high. But I also understand that you can pay with a debit/credit card and I think the banks charge them a certain amount per transaction. I don’t know how it all works.
I think I’ve pretty much covered everything. So in conclusion I’d like to thank all that have pledged. Dorothey, Jennifer, Zack, Bronson, Kathy and Robert, thank you all so much for your pledges. It means a lot to me and it means a lot to those animals that the money went to, to try to help enrich their lives that much more.
And for those that just dropped a donation that is very much appreciated too. I couldn’t thank you all enough. Carla, Charlie, Ryan, #GirlsCorner, and a couple anonymous donations. I hope I got everyone. Together we raised over $200 dollars! And that is just amazing! This is the email I received from the people at the Seattle Humane Society.
Great job on your fundraising efforts! Thank you for your support of the animals at Seattle Humane! We’d be honored to be part of your project again next year. I will let you know when we receive the donations.
So there you have it, people. I’ll be at it again next year and hopefully, as a group, we will be able to raise more than $200 dollars again! That’s the goal, anyway!
Let’s talk some stats, shall we? This year I have attended 36 games and I have snagged a total of 83 baseballs. I’ve also been snagging baseballs for charity. I contacted the Seattle Humane Society of Seattle-King Co. and asked them If I could help raise money for them. I didn’t expect much at first but I have quite the following. Check this out.
Dorothey A. has pledged .25 cents per baseball snagged
Myself, I have pledged .25 cents per baseball snagged
Jennifer C. hs pledged .10 ents per baseball snagged
Kathy P. has pledged .25 cents per baseball snagged
and Zack H. has pledged .10 cents per baseball snagged.
On top of that I have had multiple donations from people like;
Brad E. that has donated $10.00
Charlie B. that has donated $10.00
Ryan K. that has donated $10.00
and someone anonymously donated $25.00.
The Seattle Humane Society and myself couldn’t be happier of the outcome of all of this. So thanks to all that have pledged, donated or just kept up with me on my blogs. I’m very grateful and so are the puppies down at the shelter. All of these pledges and donations have raised $133.00 dollars. How awesome is that?
If you are interested in following me on Twitter just log into your Twitter account and follow @MLBwayneMLB.
If you want to follow me on Facebook, just click this link.
And of course you can always subscribe to this blog to get email notifications whenever I post something new. Pretty snazzy, yes?
Oh, and if you want to make a pledge or donate you can always click this link to make things happen. Also note that any donation you make is tax deductible. (That means you get your money back) So that’s an even bigger reason why you should donate, right?
So lets continue our Brad Ziegler watch. If you don’t know anything about why I’m “watching” Brad Ziegler, well, I’ll tell you. I gave Brad some US Army wrist bands I got while I was in the service and they’re supposed to be bringing him and the Oakland Athletic some good luck this year. Read his stats below and you be the judge if they’re working or not.
On 4/26 Brad pitched against the Angels of Anaheim. He pitched two and a third innings and struck out one batter.
On 4/27 Brad pitched against the Angels of Anaheim. He pitched one inning and recorded his first save of the season. Thats also his 19th save of his career.
On 5/01 Brad pitched against the Texas Rangers. He faced one batter and gave up one hit. The Athletics win, 7-2.
On 5/02 Brad pitched against the Texas Rangers and faced one batter which he ended up walking. The Athletics win, 5-4.
On 5/04 Brad pitched against the Cleveland Indians and faced one batter. He gave up one hit. The Athletics win, 3-1.
On 5/09 Brad pitched against the Texas Rangers and faced two batters. He gave up one hit and struck out one batter.
5/15 Brad pitched against the Chicago Whitesox and pitched an entire inning giving up only one hit.
5/16 Brad pitched against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and pitched an entire inning striking out one batter.
5/19 Brad pitched against the Minnesota Twins and pitched an entire inning giving up three hits, one run and striking out one batter. His ERA is now .66.
Here is his latest games he’s pitched in. Check it out.
5/20 Brad pitched against the San Francisco Giants and pitched an entire inning striking out two batters and walking one.
5/21 Brad pitched against the San Francisco Giants recording one out, giving up two hits and two runs.
5/24 Brad pitched against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim where he pitched an entire inning, striking out one batter.
5/27 Brad pitched against the Baltimore Orioles where he pitched two entire innings, gave up one hit, struck out one batter and recorded his first win of the season.
5/30 Brad pitched against the New York Yankees giving up two hits and one run in one inning of work.
5/31 Brad pitched against the New York Yankees again recording two outs, one hit and two strikeouts.
6/4 Brad pitched against the Boston Redsox where he gave up one hit, one run and struck out one batter.
6/5 Brad pitched against the Boston Redsox again only giving up one hit and working the entire inning.
Since his last performance against the Florida Marlins, Brad has dropped his season ERA to 1.93. How awesome is that?