June 2010

Far Out Fans Feelin’ Groovy

From an energized crowd to the 1970s inspired costumes (both on and off the field) to a satisfying win against the Pittsburgh Pirates, throwback night at the Coliseum was a wild success.

The A’s have a lot of wonderful history to celebrate from that decade,
so it was great to see the organization recognize some of the stars from
another generation. One of the sweeter moments was watching Joe Rudi and his fellow
teammates take to the mound to throw out the first pitch. Judging by
the number of fans who quickly donned the giveaway Rudi jersey, there
was a lot of love coming from the stands too.

70s Night #3I had a lot of favorite moments from the night (Saturday, June 26, in case you missed it) and tried to capture some digitally.

70s Night #1070s Night #2Above, posing with Stomper who wore one of the grooviest costumes in the Stadium. Inspired by “Saturday Night Fever,” this elephant had the bell bottoms and sideburns look down. And speaking of costumes, there was much ado about choosing the right looks for me to wear. In the end, I choose two outfits I already owned. My mom sewed the green dress back in the 70s, so it’s a true vintage piece. The two-piece yellow number also dates back to an earlier, uglier time… And for the record, I was wearing a wig that night — that is not my real hair! Right, snapping a pre-game photo with the one and only Glen Kuiper, the A’s television announcer. Love the wig, the jacket and the ability to not take yourself too seriously!!

70s Night #170s Night #7

The same can be said about Vince Cotroneo, Left. As one of the accomplished A’s radio announcers, this guy may not get television air time, but wow — that’s quite an outfit. And again, I love how different 70s hippie is from 70s corporate businessman. Two great looks from one era! Above right, Mark, Christiane and Matt from the Herd show off their wigs and ‘staches. Their enthusiasm was infectious that night!

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One of the most satisfying parts of 70s night was spotting fans who took the time to dress up. Whether it was a righteous ‘stache and chops combo, an outrageous wig, homemade tie-dye or true vintage duds from the back of the closet, it was all groovy!

70s Night #470s Night #5 Finally, the in-stadium entertainment that night was particularly far out! The music was fun and funky, and I loved seeing the player’s zodiac signs on their headshots every time they came to bat. Other highlights include the Swingin’ A’s straw hat band that used to play regularly in the Coliseum back in the day. We should bring them back more often! Another hit with the fans was the old school dot racing game from that decade. Wow, we sure have come a long way with technology!

Thanks to everyone who made the night so memorable. And get ready A’s fans, word on the street is that we may celebrate the 1980s next season. Start shopping for that costume…

A Great Day on the Green

What do A’s players do on their days off? Well today, I can tell you that more than a dozen players and coaches volunteered their time at the team’s annual Community Fund Golf Tournament. As I type, Ryan Sweeney, Mike Gallego and Vida Blue (just to name a few from the current and former A’s roster) are swinging their clubs, drinking some adult beverages and taking in the sun at the Castlewood Golf Course in Pleasanton. Below, Gabe Gross, First Base Coach Todd Steverson, Cliff Pennington, Daric Barton and Brad Ziegler get ready to hit the links.

2010 A's Golf Tourney2010 A's Golf Tourney

I popped over earlier this morning to host the longest drive competition between Dallas Braden, Michael Wuertz and Gabe Gross. Dallas came in 2nd last year (against Vida Blue and Bullpen Coach, Ron Romanick), so I knew the lefty had a strong swing. After two rounds and *much* heckling, Wuertz emerged the champion. Dallas took second again (in his words, “always the bridesmaid, never the bride”) and Gross came in third. With these characters, it’s always a fun way to begin a day of action! Below, me taking a photo with the winner, Michael Wuertz, Jerry Blevins warming up his cart and Tyson Ross and Adam Rosales ready to drive the beer cart (no really, that was their assigned duty!).

2010 A's Golf Tourney2010 A's Golf Tourney2010 A's Golf TourneyThe money raised today through golf fees and auction items benefit the A’s Community Fund. This year, 10% of that total will be directed toward Craig Breslow’s charity, the Strike Three Foundation which raises money for childhood cancer research. I took a few minutes to chat with Craig about how the charity got started and what auction item he’s donating, so look for that video on the A’s website sometime soon! Photos below, taking a photo with Renaissance Man, Craig Breslow and an A’s fan showing off his particularly awesome golfing outfit.

All in all, an enjoyable day off for the A’s staff, filled with friends, silliness and a good cause. If you missed it this year, we’ll catch you next June for another round of fun.

2010 A's Golf Tourney2010 A's Golf Tourney

I’ve Got my 70s Costume…Do You?!

I’ve always loved a good excuse to dress up in costume. That’s why for
me, throwback day at the ballpark is one of the highlights in the
81-game calendar. Last year, the theme was 1929 in honor of the 80th
anniversary of the Philadelphia Athletics’ 1929 World Series win. We’re talking flapper
costumes for the girls, Model A Fords and a black and white big screen.

Kara in flapper costumeDick in 20s costumeplayers in 20s costume
On top last year’s fantastic costumes and clever details (for example, PA announcer Dick Callahan doing his broadcast from the field — just like teams used to do back in the day!), the team won on a walk-off hit from Mark Ellis. If you don’t recognize those players walking off the field (center photo, above), it’s because they too were wearing throwback uniforms to look like the white and blue of the Philadelphia Athletics.

This Sunday, the A’s are rolling back the clock once again. This time,
the theme is 70s day to commemorate the three World Championship titles the
team earned in 1972, 1973 and 1974. The cool thing about honoring the
70s is that a lot of fans have vivid memories of the “Swingin’ A’s” and
the players from that decade are still alive and healthy. Expect to see a handful of favorite names parading around the stadium and in the stands that night!

Thumbnail image for Kara's 70s outfit #5Thumbnail image for Kara's 70s outfit #2Thumbnail image for Kara's 70s outfit #3Both the A’s and the Pirates will be wearing throwback uniforms from that decade, but for me, finding the perfect outfit for 70s day has not been as simple as picking up a flapper dress for last year. For one thing, there’s a wide range of 70s costumes: disco 70s, sporty 70s, glamorous 70s and of course, hippie 70s. These photos document a recent shopping trip I took to the used and vintage stores along Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue. Which will I choose? You’re going to have to show up on Saturday to see for yourself. And remember, please come in costume!!

Game Details:
Saturday, June 26, 2010, 7:05
vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates
15,000 fans will receive a replica Joe Rudi jersey

Click here for great ticket deals!

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Photo credit: My friend Sarah, a big A’s fan and expert costume historian.

A Sweep for a Sweep

A's "sweep" broomWhile I love the history and tradition that surrounds the Bay Bridge series, I have to admit, it’s always a relief when it’s over. You too probably have tons of Giants fans for friends who love to rub in the fact that they have their fancy-schmancy stadium and…well, that’s all they got. One of my absolute favorite T-shirts I see in the stands is, “Zero Splash Hits, Four World Titles.” Yup, that pretty much sums it up!!

The A’s sweep of the Giants in May at the Coliseum was so, so, so satisfying. The stadium was packed, the weather was beautiful and A’s fans felt a real sense of pride. This 2010 team has beaten expectations and they’re an absolute delight to watch. Below left, fans hang their pithy banner off the left field bleacher wall: “Got Trophy?” Love that. Below right, the team celebrates the win — and sweep — after the third game.

While the 3-game sweep was exhilarating, I knew that when it came time to play the Giants in San Francisco, they’d come at us with a vengeance. And sure enough, they delivered.

Thumbnail image for "Got Trophy?" bannerA's sweep Giants!

A sweep for a sweep.

It doesn’t get more fair than that. Of course I would have liked to see total A’s domination and our bats really come alive. Believe me, I would love any reason to really smack-talk back to those smug fans in orange and black.

But let’s face it, the teams are decently well-matched this season.

Dad and me at the A's/Giants gameAT&T view 1

Every year during the Bay Bridge series, I make a point to go to at
least one game in San Francisco. I don’t love the fan experience in San
Francisco (expensive, obnoxious drunks, etc…), but feel weird missing
the chance to see my team play when they’re so close to home.

AT&T view 2A friend and his family hooked me up with tickets (thank you Facebook for getting my need out there!), so I dragged my dad along for a day in the sun. He actually grew up a Giants fan in California’s central valley, but my brother and I slowly brought him over to the bright side over the years. Now, he proudly wears his green and gold! While we had a fantastic dad-and-daughter day, we left disappointed with the loss, but comforted that the series ended in a draw.

Fans, what did you think of the series? If you made it to games on both sides of the Bay, how did the experiences differ? I’d love to hear your feedback!

Perfect Attendance No Longer

In my season and a third tenure with the Oakland Athletics, I take great pride in the fact that I haven’t missed a single game. My perfect attendance stands at 108 possible games, 108 worked. In many ways, this should be seen as a pretty minor feat. After all, I do get paid to watch baseball!

I hate to ruin this perfect attendance, but will be out of town for the upcoming 3-game homestand versus the Minnesota Twins (June 4-5-6). I’m sad to be away from the ballpark for so long, but wouldn’t miss a game unless it was really worth it. In this case, my 10-year college reunion is a very special, not-to-be-missed event.

I’ll be back at the Coliseum on Monday, June 7 vs. the Angels and look forward to catching up with everyone then. In the meantime, stay in touch!

twitter: @karashotcorner

Kara's business cards

This photo is a collage of my A’s photo business cards. Next time you see me, ask for one!

Fireworks…On and Off the Field!

Fireworks #1

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On Friday, the A’s return home after a long (and so far, successful)
roadtrip. Fans, let’s welcome them home with a good turn-out and
spectacular, post-game pyrotechnic show! If you’ve never been to a
Coliseum fireworks night, save the date: Friday, June 4 vs. the
Minnesota Twins. We’re always talking about good value around the
stadium, but let me tell you: these nights provide the most bang for
your buck in the Bay! Pun intended.

Not only do you get a ballgame and fireworks show for one price, but
all guests are invited to come down on the outfield grass for a
truly great view. I took these photos from the 3rd level’s Value Deck, also a great spot
to watch the show. But fans, if you’re a newbie to the A’s fireworks
night, it’s definitely worth bringing a blanket and sitting where Ryan
Sweeney makes all those fabulous catches!

It’s not every Friday night you get to watch
1st-place caliber baseball, a musically-themed fireworks show AND sit
on a big league outfield. Pretty awesome. Oh, and the music theme for
this Friday? Hairbands.

Fireworks #4Fireworks #5

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