FanPost

"What is your favorite memory involving the Oakland Coliseum?"

Ahhh, the good old "Oakland Mausoleum"...I have so many great memories at the place:

  • I was there for Barry Zito's first game as an Athletic in July of 2000 and sat right behind Barry's family who swore, "Barry is going to be something special someday!"
  • I was there for Game 3 of the 2006 ALDS when the A's finally broke through to the second-round of the playoffs following a sweep of the Twins (and went on to party that night with Nick Swisher, Chad Gaudin, Justin Duchscherer, Dan Johnson and Esteban Loaiza in downtown Walnut Creek in a completely fortuitous and magical evening).
  • I was there for Coco's walk-off single in Game 4 of the 2012 ALDS against the Tigers...
  • I was also there for Stephen Vogt's walkoff hit against Verlander in Game 2 of the 2013 ALDS...\

All of those were great memories and I probably should choose one of them as my all-time favorite experience at the Coliseum...

However, while those games were great, they really don't describe the true spirit of the Old Girl and the reason I keep coming to A's games over and over again no matter what the team does on the field...for that reason, I am going to choose a totally obscure, mid-season game of no-consequence that occurred at some point during the Dark Ages (Bob Geren's tenure)...

The Great Coliseum Capn' Caper

I don't really remember the date or even the opposing team...my friends and I carpooled-in and were fashionably 1 or 2 innings late...we tailgated in the parking lot with a handle of Captain Morgan's rum, and realized that in order to really enjoy yourselves for 7+ innings of borrrrrrrring Geren-ball, we would need to keep the party going as fervently inside the stadium as it was outside of it...

Rather than just resign ourselves to the beer lines in the depths of the Coliseum bowl, we endeavored to somehow bring our still-half-full handle of Capn' Mo' with us to the upper deck...

We didn't have flasks or any other containing devices to help us and our judgment was totally impaired in any case...

So, just like the right field bleacher crew, we got REALLY inventive to make the magic happen...

After trying to stuff the bottle in a girl's purse and down our pants, inside an umbrella and blankets, sweatshirts, etcetera, my brilliant friend (a civil engineer) hit upon the solution: balance the bottle non-nonchalantly on his head under a gigantic, foam, novelty hat that perfectly fit the 1.5 liters of spiced goodness:

Foam_Hat.0.jpg

(Note: this is not my friend, but this is the EXACT type of hat used in this Coliseum Caper)

From deep in parking Lot D to the main "Commitment to Excellence" entrance, my buddy (about as sober as a Gold Rush-era clipper ship captain on leave along the Barbary Coast) skillfully balanced the booze without attracting any attention...the security screeners at the entrance took his ticket, laughed at his silly hat and let him through...!

GREEEEEEAT SUCCESS!

He stayed covert all the way up to Section 312 and once seated, swung the hat and bottle off his head in one fell swoop and stuffed them both under the seat in front of him...we all cheered randomly right in the middle of an inning (to our neighbors' surprise and annoyance) and once the rest of the party came back with a few super-sized Pepsi's, we proceeded to have a gay old time, not caring that the A's probably lost 2-1 in excruciatingly boring fashion...

Best part about it: security guards eventually found out about us when one of our neighbors tattle-taled on us...however, once we agreed to pour them a bit of the sauce, they joined our revelry and the guards just quietly said, "OK, just keep the bottle down and watch your language. Go A's!"

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Overall, a pretty epic night...

So, why is this my all-time favorite memory at the Old Coli? Mainly because us fans have no control over the players on the field or how they perform once they dawn the Green and Gold...but even when the product is borderline un-watchable, everyone at the Coli, even the security guards, get it on the fun and make the atmosphere unique...

It truly is a special place and pretty much the last bastion of the type of gritty, working-class enclave that personified baseball for much of it's history...I'm definitely going to miss it whenever it gets torn down (but my liver will sure appreciate the break!)