FanPost

The Ultimate Coliseum Experience

In my years as an A’s fan, I’ve experienced just about every section of the Coliseum. For some reason I braved the altitude of Mount Davis to watch the A’s hand the Devil Rays their franchise record 160th loss before the All Star Game in the early 2000’s. I sat in the all-you-can-eat section in 2007, then promptly sat on a Coliseum porcelain throne made of steel. Until last year, I’d taken in a game from every part of the stadium except one, the holy grail of our beautiful home: Diamond Level.

It started bright and early on a Sunday morning. Wanting to catch batting practice, we left 4 hours prior to first pitch, arriving at 9:30AMr for a 1 PM game. Of course, being a day game after a night game, there was no batting practice. My spirits could not be broken, as I was standing mere feet from where the legendary Ricky Henderson, Josh Donaldson, Ty Van Burkleo, and others had made their living.

The coolest part of Diamond Level was the player interaction. Josh Reddick and Eric Sogard played catch ten feet from me. Josh Donaldson gave me knucks when he exited the clubhouse for warmups. Here are some of the highlights of my trip to the Four Seasons of the Coliseum.

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Jarrod Parker signing my back. I made a joke of a sexual nature, he was not amused.

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Bartolo Colon enjoys the all you can eat aspect of Diamond Level more than anyone.

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Grant Balfour signing an autograph. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a pic of him screaming obscenities at me, but boy was I giddy when he did.

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Kurt Suzuki signing a jersey of his current team that was TWO numbers ago. That's got to be some sort of record.

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Mike Crowley, A's president, Billy Beane lookalike/disappointment for those of us with poor eyesight.

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My view of the field. Not too shabby!

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My view of Coco's butt. Also not too shabby.

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MVP! MVP! I also walked by him on the way to the bathroom, immediately voided my bowels and returned to my seat. The man is magic!

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I have about 50 pictures of Yoenis, and they are all about as crappy as this one. Photography is evidently not my strong suit. Anyway, his arms are about the size of me which was pretty cool. He was swinging a similar metal pole to what Frank Thomas used to swing. It's about the most Oakland A's-y thing possible and it's about one step above swinging a fallen tree. I know we don't have the budget for working plumbing (more on that later) but I feel like we could at least get a non-rusty pole.

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Daric Barton practicing what he does best. He would go on to strike out looking, his only one of the day!

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I seriously have so many pictures of Cespedes. I have exactly one of everyone else. He was hitting .230 at the time. Gotta love baseball crushes.

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My view to end the game, an A's win!

Other thoughts from Diamond Level:

-The food was actually pretty amazing. We had some sort of lobster bisque, a rabbit hot dog, chips and guacamole, and holy crap so much more. Eating these things in the Coliseum was just daring the food poisoning gods to punish me, but I actually felt amazing after the game. I did feel crappy about eating a rabbit hot dog because I imagine it's about a 3 to 1 ratio of rabbits to dogs, but whatever.

-I've sat in seats like this at AT&T and the Coliseum, and the Coliseum experience was so much better and more intimate. I can't imagine another stadium has the same level of player interaction; players are feet from you when they go in and out of the clubhouse. You're not really supposed to say anything to them, but rules are meant to be broken. Also, everyone seems tiny. I was taller than most everyone I met save Nate the Great.

-I walked by Luke Scott who smiled and said hi to me. You know, that Luke Scott. I was pretty excited about it but he's not my type.

-You don't need to stray far to realize you're still in the Coliseum. The steps going from the concourse to the clubhouses are ridiculously uneven. The damp smell of pee still managed to infiltrate the locker room area.

-About half of the seats were empty for the entire game, and a few people showed up in the 7th inning. I'm not sure how you get a life where you pay for Diamond Level and don't even feel obligated to attend, but I want it. Except I would show up.

For anyone who hasn't done it before, I highly highly recommend sitting in Diamond Level. It is obviously pricey for most people (me) but it's worth doing at least once.

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