Don't worry, I'm not planning on posting all 900 pictures. (That's an approximate number, by the way.)
This is a chronicle of my season at the ballpark. What's that you say? The season's not over? Well, mine is, because after this week, I will once again be an NRAF. Sigh. I'm most upset to be missing Turn Back the Clock Day. Y'all know how much I love throwbacks.
Anyway. As you could probably tell by the title, I tend to take a lot of pictures. I'm not a professional photographer or anything close to that; I just snap photos with my point-and-shoot digital camera. But I snap a lot of them, so usually there are a few that turn out halfway decent. And now I'm sharing them with all of you.
Join me on this journey through the season, from Opening Night to Root Beer Float Day, from the time of Beef-Brawn-TNT-Dynamite to the freshly minted Tommy Everidge Era. You'll laugh, you'll cry more, you'll mourn the loss of half-a-dozen players, you'll wish we could start the season all over again.
Or something like that.Game #1: April 10. Mariners. L 4-5.
Opening Night! Oh, the excitement. The optimism. The as-yet-untarnished hope for this season. Shiny white uniforms, snazzy new players, a winning record... yep, things were looking up.
After the ceremony, the players gave their black OPD caps to the police officers.
And... play ball! Welcome to the bigs, Brett! And welcome back, Chavy!
...and we'll just forget about the rest of that game.
Game #2: April 11. Mariners. L 5-8.
Okay, so last night didn't go exactly as planned. That's why we like baseball! There's a new game every day! And this is a day game! I like day games!
...except when I get sunburned. And when we lose. Again. This is not a good start.
O, magical stirrups. Why could your power not prevent our beloved purveyor of high-socked fashion from going under the dreaded knife?
Our trusty we're-not-selling-jeans-here backup catcher, on 3rd after his first major-league hit.
Cust! First home run of the season for him and the A's.
Gallagher, we hardly knew ye this year. I'm going to go ahead and blame the long hair for his rapid fall from favor.
Game #3: April 13. Red Sox. W 8-2.
My pictures from this game are pretty crappy, but who cares? We beat the Red Sox!
Oh hi Ryan. I missed you.
Game #4: April 24. Rays. L 2-8.
This game was notable because it involved a HANNAHAN sighting... and home run!
This is before one of the fireworks almost landed on us. Yes, it was chilly that night, but I didn't *really* want to set myself on fire.
The grass sure is pretty. We stayed on the field till security kicked us off. C'mon, guys, I wasn't gonna tear up the grass or anything. I just wanted to sleep there, that's all.
Game #5: May 4. Angels. L 2-5.
You may be sensing a pattern in the outcomes of the games I attended in the early part of the season. Kind of sucky, no?
Anderson warming up. And in the corner, you'll notice something interesting: proof that Holliday does, in fact, smile on occasion.
Holliday standing in against Anderson.
Petit (and somebody being stretched). I kinda forgot Petit was ever with the A's this year... too much roster turnover...
Game #6: May 8. Blue Jays. W 5-3.
Our fearless Outman returns to the mound.
I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it with my own eyes. Yes, it is LIVE! DOT! RACING!
Bailey, on his way to his All-Star first half. He is a worthy heir to the number 40, I suppose.
Victory! Oh, it is sweet indeed.
Game #7: May 25. Mariners. W 6-1.
This Memorial Day victory was quite enjoyable, except for...
The Dreaded Red Caps.
The red caps, they hurt me. They wounded my sensitive soul and hindered my photo-taking abilities so that all I have to share with you from this game is proof that I was there.
Game #8: May 26. Mariners. W 4-3.
The red caps are gone, and the bases are loaded! I have absolutely no memory of what happened in this particular moment, but we'll just pretend it was something good (as opposed to the entirely possible outcome of a strickout or double play).
Our illustrious fill-in second baseman was, once upon a time, batting .441. Sorry, Kennedy, it's only downhill from here.
High-fives all around!
Game #9: May 27. Mariners. L 1-6.
I hung out with Ryan in RF during this game. We're tight like that.
Game #10: June 5. Orioles. W 9-1.
This was during our week in Mazzaro World, I believe. That was a good week. Unfortunately my pictures aren't that exciting, so we'll just skip to the end and start the celebration.
Game #11: June 6. Orioles. W 9-4.
One of those odd 6 p.m. starts. Of course, we sat in right field once again. Hello, sun.
Cunningham? What are you doing here? I don't remember you being around in June. Like I said, too much roster turnover.
This was the night of the infamous Jordin Sparks concert. (I miss those commercials, starring Landon Powell describing how he listens to Jordin Sparks in his car.) The stage took over the infield while she sang.
Game #12: June 8. Twins. W 4-3.
Outman strikes again! 8 wins in a row!
And then... ohmigosh it's Dale! I didn't even know he had been called up until he came into the game.
Game #13: June 9. Twins. L 5-10.
Alas, all good things (like winning streaks) must come to an end. At least we put up a fight... The Twins had to bring Nathan into a game in which they had a 10-0 lead going into the 9th. Suckers.
Spying on the Twins during BP.
This is the guy that kept staring at my friend and me, even after he tossed us a couple baseballs. I did some research and discovered that he is Luis Ayala. Creeper.
Oh flexible Dale, who knew that your signature splits would soon become your downfall?
Cuddyer got a little bored in the 9th... pitching change after pitching change...
Game #14: June 29. Tigers. W 7-1.
Ellis is back! Hurrah!
And RyRy hit a home run! All is well.
Game #15: July 18. Angels. L 6-11.
This was a seriously ugly game. No lie. So this'll just be a one-and-done thing. Yep, there was a game, and I was there. That is all.
Game #16: July 21. Twins. L 2-3.
Here's where it gets more interesting. I had the privilege of going on the field during batting practice. I know, right? I was pretty excited. We had to stand in the dirt area behind home plate, just watching -- no autographs or actual player interaction allowed, apparently. But it was still awesome. And then we took a tour of the press box, which was also very cool. I didn't see KenKo, but I think I saw SuSlu (sorry, no photos from the press box).
So, here are some pics from BP.
Ry and Dale, together again. (Side note: hilarious article in the Rickey issue of A's magazine -- who knows Ryan better, Daric or his fiancee Tasha? Tasha won, sadly. She did admit that the first person Ryan calls after a game is his mom. Oh, Ryan.)
Crosby is taller in person... or at least when you're standing 15 feet away from him.
It's been a long season. Ellis needs a drink.
Oh noes! The Twins are stampeding! I hope Luis Ayala isn't in there somewhere.
And now for the game...
Welcome to Oakland, Scott Hairston.
Holliday... miss you, man.
Something new and different: Cust swings and misses. (He eventually walked, though.)
Kurt fouls one off.
Game #17: August 6. Rangers. L 4-6.
Root Beer Float Day! It's like my favoritest thing ever. I ended up with three autographs and five player sightings. It wasn't as crowded around the players as it's been in the past -- it seemed like most of the people were lined up to see Rickey. So it was easier for me to get autographs and pictures, which I always appreciate. (Also, I got my float from some Oakland firefighters... that was nice.)
The first player I ran into was Tommy Everidge. There weren't many people around, so it was pretty easy to get his autograph.
Then I saw Mr. Brett Anderson. He actually scooped a couple floats.
It was also not too busy around his area, at least when I was there. A guy passing by said to me, "Which player is that?" I told him, but I should have said, "Really? You can't even recognize Brett Anderson? He's started a ton of games this year..." Alas, I am too polite to say that.
Next we have All-Star closer Andrew Bailey.
It's hard to get good pictures when they're busy signing autographs with their heads down, but at least I got Andrew to sign my baseball.
Ziggy was hanging out with the firefighters. I got his autograph as well.
And then in the section reserved for the special/popular players were Nomar and Dallas.
Dallas and a random cute kid.
Aaand... the River Cats mascot. I forget his name, but he posed for my picture, so I like him.
Mascot Power! Stomper, Sharky (hiding behind Stomper), and unnamed River Cats mascot.
And one last game in the right field bleachers.
Our high-socked middle infield. Love.
And an outfield conference.
So I finished the 2009 season with a record of 8-9. Not too shabby.
Well, intrepid picture-viewers, we have made it to the end. It's been an interesting season. We went from an infield of Giambi-Ellis-Cabrera-Chavez to Everidge-Ellis-Pennington-Kennedy. I, for one, would not have predicted that at the beginning of the year.
Despite my sub-.500 record, I have thoroughly enjoyed attending so many games this year (17 is by far my single-season record). I hope to get to a couple games next year, but who knows if that will be possible... so in the meantime, go out to the Coliseum and take lots of pictures for me!