So by chance I was in San Jose for work for 3 days. I found myself with one evening without customers or colleagues. Sweet! I headed up to Oakland for the A’s – Red Sox matchup. Special shout out to the kind folks at Athletics Nation who helped me find the best way to and from the stadium using public transportation.
First you must understand that I get to see a live baseball game maybe once every two or three years. So to see a match in person is a BIG DEAL for me. I’m jacked.
I get to the game two hours early and walk up to the ticket window and say, give me the best seat you got! The guy looks and says, wow, I never see this – how’s first row behind home plate suit you? Fine and dandy. Damn!
I walk in and overlook the empty stadium. Even the Coliseum is majestic when you haven’t actually been to a game in years. I grab my beer – Goose Island dontchya know – and walk around the whole park. There’s a sort of museum behind home plate leading to and from a bar. Very well done. Here’s my picture of a young M.C. Hammer as bat boy.
Originally nicknamed Hammer after his favorite player Hank Aaron. Who knew?
Look here at Eck’s stats. Damn! I’d forgotten how dominant he was. And look, Billy Ball! Henderson, LaRussa, Bash Brothers. Oh here, even a picture of our old friend Frank Thomas in an A’s uniform. Cool museum.
So now I find my seat and the guy behind me is the owner of the seats and said he gave them back to the box office earlier as he wasn’t going to use them tonight. Thank you sir! He proceeds to explain how these are the best seats in all of baseball because of the angle – slightly to the left of the catcher, so an unobstructed view on the pitches, and elevated to enhance the view further. I phoned my friend in Texas to tell him to put the game on his mlb.tv. He saw me and took a screen shot – Look, here I am!!
Now a Boston guy sits next to me. Boston fans are fricking everywhere. Really nice guy, good friends with Jason Bere! Here look – I took a picture of his phone contact.
Of course we hid Jason’s number. Apparently he was bullpen coach (or something) when Cleveland was in the World Series against the Cubs.
Now the game starts, good pitching, good defense all around. Sale pitching!! woo!!! Slider and change are nasty. Fastball sitting 88. Oh there’s one at 90.5. Later in the game he got one up to 94. But mostly sat 88, just like Friers, Oakland pitcher, who has a nasty curveball. Great junkballer matchup.
9th inning, 1-0 Oakland. Bogaerts launches one against the Oakland closer. Out to CF and hits off the top of the wall just at the point where the wall goes up high. 3 inches to the left, same distance, and it’s a home run and a tie game. Ball caromes away from the CF. Bogaerts goes for the triple (with one out) and gets nailed by centimeters. I thought he was safe on the replay, but not enough for the umpires to overturn it. Incidentally, Bogaerts was thrown out at home the night before by the CF. Funny that.
Boom, Oakland closes out the 1-0 win. Great to watch good clean baseball played by fundamentally sound teams with really good pitching. A real pleasure.
@ParisSox Thanks for this. I may be heading there this summer, and I’d kinda like to sit by the fans in right field.
They were making some noise. I paid a pretty price for my seat but when it’s so rare, might as well splurge.
I sensed a second-city vibe there. Like SF is the more popular team and city.
sitting right behind the visiting dugout is also a lot of fun, and those tickets only cost about $50 on stubhub. I’ll be at all 3 whitesox/As games in oakland this year and I’d be happy to buy you a beer if you’re there.
Awesome recap, @ParisSox !