I had always gone to A's games in the past, but 2011 was my first year with any season ticket package to the A's (a 22 game fielders choice pack with my sister Janani). While my wife, sister, and some friends all went to Saturday's game (the 5-3 win) vs. the Tigers, Janani and I decided to stick it out for the season ticket holder party as well.
It started off looking like a real boring scenario as we were herded onto the warning track waiting for players, but as it turned out it was pretty fun, shaking hands and taking pics of players, then moving into the club area for live A's talk, free food, and an all around good time. Pics and descriptions after the jump. Apologies for the photo quality, I suck at taking pictures.
So, initially they walked us onto the warning track, which was actually pretty fun. Hijinks immediately ensued:
Grass looking great even in football season:
Chillin in the 'pen.
Gotta Love the Coli.
Then, the players started coming around. What really surprised me was that they were all really friendly, and most of them (besides, say Taylor and a couple others) look like just average people. I know I probably should have realized that, what else would they look like? But having been a Warriors season ticket holder I can tell you definitively that NBA players do not look like regular people. These guys I probably wouldn't even notice if I walked by them at a supermarket. Let's just say that I was glad they wore their jerseys. Didn't include all the player pics, but some choice ones are below.
Sogard - Great quote from Janani - "He looks like a typical engineering nerd from UCSD" (she recently graduated from there). We still love him of course, but yeah, not what you think of when you think major league ballplayer.
Wuertz with the kiddo:
Matsui was awesome, fist bumping every fan. Super cool.
Allen - I didn't realize he really was rocking the fade-hawk. Nice.
Gio was incredibly talkative and boisterous, they kept trying to push him along, they told him no autographs, but he was taking his time and signing away. He really seems like a great guy. And yes, he clearly got his hair cut that day.
Janani with Taylor:
Some of these are blurry...sorry about that.
Then we went into the club area and got to gorge on free food (they even had fruit, for a healthy choice in addition to the typical ballpark fare) while A's Talk was happening live, featuring Melvin, Fosse, Cotroneo, Weeks, and Townie. It was fun. There were fans of all ages and backgrounds. One moment when Townsend mentioned that Melvin wears his Jersey #6 in honor of Sal Bando, this elderly guy who obviously had watched that team in person, raised his wine glass in the air. Seeing things like that was cool, how much the team has meant to people over the decades. There was even a 90-year old season ticket holder there, who they interviewed briefly but was hard of hearing.
Jemile at A's Talk Live (he was there for about an hour with Bob Melvin)
Probably the biggest celebrity shock was meeting Chris Townsend. I really didn't know what he looked like and was also happy to find out that he maintained the same radio voice even in one on one conversations with fans. I was glad I got to see him say "Players are creatures of habit" live after hearing it on the radio 1,000 times. There was a lot of moneyball cross-promotion going on as well (as one would expect) and free tickets to the premiere being given away to lucky fans.
World Series trophies!
Thanks for reading!