[EDITOR'S NOTE: I was going to write something about my love for Travis Buck today when I looked at this diary and realized it HAD to be on the front page for everyone to see. Oh and I'm guessing I'm in the minority on this, but I LOVE the new jerseys. I think they look really sharp on the players. I was skeptical before, but they look really nice. Thanks for sharing this gotgreeen! - Blez]
This was last year's line for the autograph tickets at around 8:15am.
And this was this year's line for autograph tickets at the same time.
How sad. :(
Well, sad for the A's but good for me because my mission for the day was to get Ellis to sign my cap (I've been stalking him for the past two years to try to get him to sign it!) and Suzuki to sign my Suzuki shirt and I had no problems getting the autograph tickets for either session since there was hardly a line! However, I didn't even need to buy those tickets since I ran into both guys inside before their autograph session times!
Oh well, the money is going towards a good cause so it's all good!
Cold, stormy, rainy weather was predicted for Saturday but we fanfest'ers got INCREDIBLY lucky! It did not rain AT ALL and the weather was in the 50's by 8am! Thank you, weather and baseball gods!
While waiting in line for the gates to open, I saw a cart approaching our area. From previous FanFest experience, I knew that those carts sometimes carry players and lo and behold, there were a few players in it (sporting the new black alternate jerseys)!
I ran towards the direction of the cart and the two players that were closest to the cart, Alan Embree and Rob Bowen, were at the American Red Cross area getting ready to hand out pamphlets about donating blood.
The other two that were on the cart, Daric Barton and Jerry Blevins, were at the A's season ticket booth!
I headed back to the line to get into the Coliseum because the gates were opening and as I walked inside past the ticket scanner, imagine my surprise when Donnie Murphy handed me a Mark Ellis poster!
And imagine my bigger surprise when I turned to my right and I saw Mark Ellis handing out Ellis posters!! Haha!
I had some time before my first autograph session with Ellis and Murphy (the first two players I saw today!) so I decided to walk around. I went to the East Side Club and saw a familiar face!
Bobby Crosby! He looked happy. Maybe he was happy he didn't have to participate in the Q&A sessions this year. Haha.
I headed over to the Ellis/ Murphy autograph session and the line wasn't too bad.
I <3 Ellis!! And Donnie, will you become the new Marco Scutaro?!
Since this year is the 40th year anniversary of the Athletics being in Oakland, they had a bunch of displays showcasing things from the different eras here.
This one is from the first decade in the 60's and 70's:
This one is from the current decade (90's and 00's):
And speaking of Oakland Athletic history, Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers was at Fanfest!!
Hanging around the East Side Club turned out to be a great idea for me who just wanted to take a bunch of pictures because Rich Harden and Kevin Melillo were sitting around!
I decided to head across the way to the West Side Club to see what was going on over there and the first person I ran into was Kurt Suzuki! I decided I was NOT going to ask him to sign my shirt then since I had an autograph session with him later.
Continuing my trek around the West Side Club, I ran into a few more players!
Jack Cust and Dallas Braden!
Dan Meyer and Lenny DiNardo!
and even Bob Geren!
By then it was time for my autograph session with Kurt and Justin Duchscherer!
I did more walking and ran into more players!
Kentucky Joe Blanton!
After all that walking around, I took the chance to sit and watch some of the Q&A going on. This was the pitchers one with Rollie Fingers, Alan Embree, Huston Street, and Curt Young.
After that Q&A was over, I went to take the clubhouse tour to see if there were any big changes since last year. I was shocked to find there was NO line for the tour!!
The first thing I noticed that was different from last year were the posters on the walls in the walkway leading up to the clubhouse. They added a few new ones ... probably because of the 40th year anniversary and because only three or so players from last year are back! =P
It made me happy to see this was still there though!
But it made me sad seeing this! :(
I didn't see any major changes in the clubhouse besides this table right smack in the middle of the room. I'm assuming it's for the card playing!
Want to eat like the A's (or NOT eat like them)? This was posted on the bulletin board in the clubhouse.
I caught part of the Q&A with Suzuki, Barton, Cust, and Ellis as I was heading towards the dugout.
I wish I had these seats during games!!
Why are there now Wells Fargo signs all over the dugout walls when there are BofA ATMs all over the Coliseum??
My day at Fanfest was coming to an end and I caught a glimpse of our probable center fielder, Chris Denorfia!
And my day ended on a great note because I took one last pic with one of my favorite young guys, Barton, before I left. There were not too many people left in the East Side Club at the end of the day and I'm sure he had things to do and places to go but he stopped to sign autographs or take pictures with every single person that asked him. One of the security people asked Daric if he was alright and if he had things to do and he said something like "yeah, sign autographs!". AWESOME. :)
After attending Fanfest, I am officially excited and ready for this season to start! I am over being sad and bitter over the loss of Haren, Swisher, Kotsay, and Scutaro (well, almost over) and I am ready to see what these young guys can do!
Thanks for taking the time to read my recap of my great day! :)
Check out the Q&A sessions on the A's official page OR check out Englishmajor's awesome job of transcribing them here!