No, the headline does not refer to Destiny, the lithe young woman hanging upside down from a pole at the Boom Boom Room. I am talking about your destiny, and the destiny of the Oakland Athletics. They are both waiting for you in Stockton. But who am I kidding? Your decision to attend Athletics Nation Day in Stockton probably depends on how you answer the following questions:
How many interesting people are you going to meet on Sunday afternoon, June 8?
If you stay home, the answer is, none! If you attend Athletics Nation Day, however, the answer is, lots of important people, people who will brighten your day and make your life as warm and sunny as Stockton will be that day. Who, you ask? Me, for starters. I will be the guy in the wide-brimmed Panama hat. I may not be all that appealing, but my hat is worth the price of admission.
Still not convinced? How about an opportunity to meet, in person, the future-maybe-potential 2020 manager of the Oakland A's, Ryan Christenson? (Ryan will be the subject of a story I'm writing next week so don't miss it!)
How about an opportunity to chat with, get autographed by, and pose for photos next to the future stars of the Oakland Athletics? As you know, the Stockton Ports, the Athletics' Single-A affiliate, feature up-and-comers Billy McKinney, Daniel Robertson, Renato Nunez, Matt Olson, and Nolan Sanburn. Christenson and several of the players will be in attendance at the exclusive Athletics Nation post-game reception in the Premier Staffing Club at the Stockton's Banner Island Ballpark.
Still not enough? You also get to meet some of the people who prevent you from paying attention at work, the Athletics Nation front page writers! Nico Pemantle, Alex Hall, Jerry "EBHI" Brewer, Jeremy Koo, Scott "OmahaHi" Parker, Mighty Casey "Guessatomo" Hellman will all be on hand. And, (this just in!) Lev Facher will be there! Lev is the man who knows everything about the future Oakland A's stadium, except when it will be built and where it will be located. But, hey, not even Lew Wolff knows that.
How much will you learn about hitting on June 8?
If you stay home, the answer is, nothing! If you attend Athletics Nation Day, the answer is, lots of stuff! You will get to go down on the field and watch EBHI (Jerry Brewer) display his chops in the most astounding hitting demonstration you will ever witness! (Hah! The pressure is on, Jerry!)
How much baseball, in one of the loveliest boutique ballparks in America, will you see on June 8?
Once again, if you stay home, the answer is, zip, nada, niente! If you attend Athletics Nation Day, the answer is, wow! At Athletics Nation Day, you will have the opportunity to watch the Stockton Ports play the High Desert Mavericks from the very chic left field BBQ terrace, where you will be served the finest BBQ Stockton can provide. (Hah! The pressure is on, Stockton!) Or you can sit in luxurious lower-deck seats, crafted from the finest molded plastic China can produce. Your choice!
How many chances will you have to recite "Casey at the Bat" on June 8?
You guessed it. If you stay home, the answer is, zero! If you attend Athletics Nation Day, the answer is, once! This could be your big break! You will be part of the unofficial Athletics Nation Chorus which, during the seventh-inning stretch, will recite baseball's greatest poem in the exact location where Mighty Casey struck out! Rumor is, the saxophone player on Wham's "Careless Whisper" has been retained to accompany the reading. Saxophone players, I hasten to add, are notoriously unreliable.
How many good deals are you going to get if you don't attend AN Day on June 8?
None! If you reserve your seats today, though, you will get one heckuva bargain. For less than the cost of parking and an imported beer at the Oakland Coliseum, you get game tickets, free parking, a BBQ meal, access to the post-game reception, EBHI's hitting demo, your chance at Show Biz immortality, and an opportunity to admire my hat!
Tell me now where your destiny lies.
RESERVE YOUR SEATS TODAY by sending Jerry "EBHI" Brewer an email at ANMeetup@gmail.com. He will guide you from there. You can pay by check or PayPal. Once you reserve your seats you have one week to pay. ALL RESERVATIONS AND PURCHASES MUST BE MADE IN ADVANCE. There will be no sales at the Ballpark on June 8.
(Incidentally, we will be coordinating carpools to Stockton from the Bay Area. If you need a ride, or can provide a ride for someone, let us know.)
Also understand there can be no refunds or exchanges. Once you buy the ticket you are committed, rain or shine. Jerry and I are just two volunteers, arranging and administering AN Day in Stockton for your entertainment. We are paying for our own tickets and we have no way of refunding yours. So check your calendar carefully. Below is a summary of the event information.
Athletics Nation Day in Stockton
Banner Island Ballpark, 404 W. Fremont Street, Stockton, CA 95203
Main Phone: (209) 644 -1900 www.stocktonports.com
Sunday, June 8, 2014 Game time: 2:09pm
Stockton Ports (Oakland Athletics High Single-A affiliate) vs. High Desert Mavericks (Seattle Mariners High Single-A affiliate)
Adults: $30 per person
Includes game admission, BBQ lunch (Tri-tip, sides, & soda), parking, and associated events. Beer and wine not included but alcohol is very reasonably priced (around $6).
Kids (14 and under): $20 per person (Instead of Tri-tip, the kids get hot dogs.)
Schedule of Festivities
10:00am: Box Office opens. (Tickets and name passes available at the ballpark Will Call window.)
1:05pm: Gates open
1:05-2:35pm: BBQ Lunch on Pit Stop BBQ Terrace, 1st level (right behind the Ports bullpen beyond left field)
1:35-1:50pm: Hitting Seminar in Left Field by Jerry "EBHI" Brewer. (The Ports are making a special allowance for Athletics Nation by permitting our group to go on the field for Jerry's demonstration. But we have to make it snappy!)
2:09pm: Game Starts. (AN Day participants have the option of returning to the BBQ Terrace to view the game or strolling to seats in Section 117 down the 1st base side next to the Ports dugout.)
4:00pm (est.): Seventh-inning stretch Group Reading of "Casey at the Bat" on the BBQ Terrace. (Banner Island was where Ernest Thayer witnessed the game that became the basis for his legendary poem.)
5:00pm (est.): Game ends.
5:10pm: Post-Game Reception with Manager Ryan Christenson and several (unidentified, as yet) Ports players in the Premier Staffing Club. Again, this is special accommodation for Athletics Nation. The Club (it's a terrace, really) is normally only available for season ticket holders. Ryan Christenson has already committed to attending and he will bring three players. He cannot specify which players right now because of roster uncertainties. Photos and autographs will be allowed.)
5:30pm: We are done!
RESERVE YOUR SEATS TODAY by sending Jerry "EBHI" Brewer an email at ANMeetup@gmail.com. You can pay by check or PayPal.