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I went to my first A's game (apparently) in the mid-80s or so. As I was a young child, I have no recollection thereof, but I'm informed and believe and thereon allege that I spent the entire time demanding to see every water fountain. Since then, I've been to a great many A's games. My original love for water fountains continues, but these days I try to focus more on the games. There have been many great games since the mid-80s and many great clinchers!
However, I'd never been to a clincher. I did have tickets to the 2000 clincher but for some insane reason due most likely to insanity, I gave those two tickets to my brother and dad. I have a strong memory of sitting alone in my fraternity at Cal watching Izzy strike out some rando to clinch the playoffs. The only thing better than sitting alone watching the game? BEING AT THE GODDAMN GAME ITSELF!
So, clearly, mistakes were made. Mistakes have been made. I couldn't make it to last year's clincher, because it was in the middle of a work day. A work day?!?! Why can't we live in a socialist paradise where no proletariat has to work ever again. Thanks, Obama.
When I saw that the clinching could take place on Sunday's game, I knew I had to be there. So, I was. I ended up way overpaying for my tickets by buying ahead when, unfortunately, I didn't have to (really, we couldn't sell out the last home game of the season when it's a clincher?!?!?!). But I was there and ready to go!
And so was Sonny G, soprano sax/pitching master:
This game was similar to one of my favorite games I ever attended: Game #20 of The Streak. A's jump out to a big lead and then the opposing team comes back. Back then, the Royals actually came all the way back (Thanks, Billy Koch.) Today, however, the Twins weren't able make it all the way and it never felt like much of a game. The final score was 11-7, but it seemed like an A's blowout through and through.
As went up big early, thanks to a 3 run homer by CoCo. For me and my friends, it became more about following the Rangers-Royals than the A's. Were the Rangers going to win? I was rooting for them to win, because I felt that it'd be more exciting to clinch on the final out of today and not in like the 3rd inning.
However, it was not to be as the Royals had a walk off granny. I was walking through the Bar+Grille during the 10th inning and there was a huge group of fans watching in there. I should have stayed in there to watch, because I heard that the scene was amazing. Instead, we went to other seats and found out from our phones.
When the walk off happened, the fans started going crazy, randomly, in increasing waves of excitement in the middle of an inning when Sonny Gray actually wasn't doing very well. I heard on the radio, it confused the A's and took them out of their element a bit. SORRY GUYS!!!!!
After the end of the inning, they showed the granny on the big screen, changed the item on the scoreboard, and everybody continued to go crazy. Plus, hugs!
Then, it was a laugher all the way! We were hoping for a Nontuple Switch, to get all the backups some playing time. That did not happen.
These people were wandering around the stadium (I saw them in a few diff sections), squirting people, raising a ruckus, and generally carrying on. I love it when people carry on and I'm enthusiastic about the scene they bring. Do other stadiums have all this? Do they have the posters on the bleachers? Do they have the fans all dressed up walking around, cheering? I've only ever been to AT & T Park, which is much more sterile in comparison.
SO MANY ONES!!
The line to buy these was extremely long. I usually don't buy the Division shirts right off the bat. You gotta wait and see. If the A's win the World Series, you don't want to be all "I CAN'T BUY A SHIRT, BECAUSE I SPENT MY CHAMPIONSHIP SHIRT BUYING BUDGET ON THE WEST DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP SHIRT?!?" Gotta play it cool, guys.
Soon, it was time for the As to win this thing!! The winner of last year's clincher made an appearance:
And we were off!
The players celebrated on the field and sprinted back inside. I wasn't sure what was gonna happen, but some started spilling back out.
Somebody was running around the outfield in a Georgia football helmet. We had no idea who it was, but it turned out to be Reddick, playing up for the right field bleachers.
Then, Coco came out and did a lap for the fans. He was high fiving everybody and signing autographs. The fans were chanting CO-CO-CO-CO-CO-CO-CO-CO. It was great!
Many other players followed him, although I couldn't quite get good photos of them due to the fans.
Kara was interviewing various players, like Suzuki and Reddick and CoCo. Everybody was in a great mood! Then, they started showing interviews up on the big screen from the inside. While that was happening, CoCo came back out with his family and was doing the Bernie Lean with them.
They were showing more interviews from the inside on the big screen, but I didn't know if others were going to come out. At that point, I decided to head out. It had been about 30 minutes since the game ended and things appeared to be winding down on the field. Perhaps I missed something. If others have photos, feel free to post in the comments. I'm sure many of you were right around me and have many great photos of the events, too!