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!

kara@oaklandathletics.com
http://www.oaklandathletics.com/kara
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

Fireworks #3
Fireworks #2
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

Fireworks #6

(more…)

Battle of the Beats

With our rivals from across the Bay coming into town, we thought it’d
be a perfect night to host an A’s fan vs. Giants fan dance-off. Big
bragging rights are at stake!!

The dance-off is, without a doubt, one of my favorite contests to host — and watch — in the Coliseum. But really, who doesn’t love a dance-off?!  It’s a win-win situation for the spectators: if the fan is horrible (which more often seems the case), it’s at least amusing, but if someone has sweet moves, it’s hard to take your eyes away.

From an entertainment and skill level standpoint, the last Coliseum dance-off sure is going to be hard to beat. We put a hot, young kid up against Howard the “Crazylegs,” a stadium kettlecorn vendor (you know who I’m talking about — the older gentleman who shakes his hips and swings his legs any chance he gets). The kid danced first, and wow, did this guy have some slick moves!  He would have won handily in any other circumstance. Crazylegs was up next…and absolutely killed it. The crowd went wild!

Vendor dance-off #1Vendor dance-off #3Vendor dance-off #2
Vendor dance-off #4Vendor dance-off #6Vendor dance-off #5
Vendor dance-off #7Vendor dance-off #9Vendor dance-off #8
Vendor dance-off #10Vendor dance-off #12Vendor dance-off #11I just love the kid’s expression on his face as his watches Crazylegs dance. I don’t know what he was expecting, but certainly not that! Also, a big thank you to Matt from Stomper’s Herd for taking these great photos.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to shake it on stage in front of a crowd of thousands, then send me a message and let’s put your skills to the test.

Fans, see you at the game tonight — and as always, Let’s Go Oakland! 

When it Rains…the Diehards Come Out…

Thumbnail image for 5/18/10 Walk-off Win!With a season and a quarter under my in-game hosting belt, I’ve always said the best fans turn out on the ickiest game days. You know, those cold (and sometimes rainy) Monday and Tuesday nights early in the season when the A’s are playing against a struggling opponent.

During this homestand’s first 2-game rainy, cold series against the Seattle Mariners, our diehards were well rewarded with a series sweep and a walk-off win! (Photo to the right)

I’d like to personally thank you, the fans, for showing up! Here are some snaps capturing some of my favorite moments during the games.

Kara and 5-year old fanBirthday BoyOn the left, we have 5-year old Erica who immediately climbed into my lap and wanted to chat about anything and everything. Tuesday night’s game was her first baseball game ever, but I’m hoping she’ll become a fan for life! On the right are two buddies from Castro Valley celebrating a 67th birthday.

Cute fans
Diamond Vision interns

I interviewed Hefren and Max, left, about sending text messages to the big screen. Out of nowhere they came up with the cutest jingle that was met with a huge applause from the crowd: “Extra, extra, read all about it! Seattle’s going to lose, no doubt about it!” Awesome. On the right, our hard-working A’s interns, Steve and Jessica, wading through puddles on the second deck.

Family time at the AAudrey's 77th birthdayThe Garlets family on the left is one dedicated A’s family. 16 of them turned out on Monday’s game to celebrate 7 May birthdays. And on the right, Miss Audrey is celebrating her 77th birthday at the ballpark.

Alright fans, we could be in for a few more wet, cold nights this week, but please don’t let that keep you home. Come on out to the Coliseum tonight as we take on the Detroit Tigers. See you there, fans!

Friends at the game

Dallas Braden’s “Perfect Week”

Hey A’s fans, if you missed watching
Braden Perfect Game logoDallas Braden’s Perfect Game at the Coliseum on Mothers Day, you still have a chance to take part in the ongoing celebration. Last night, tickets in the 2nd deck were all $2.09 in honor of Braden’s hometown area code. Pretty sweet! But the great ticket deals and giveaways will be rolled out all homestand. And of course, the organization will honor the man himself plus Grandma Peggy Lindsey this weekend. Here’s a rundown of what’s still to come:

  • TUESDAY: $19 lower box tickets and FREE parking for Game 2 against the Seattle Mariners. The price is 19 because Braden is the 19th pitcher to throw a Perfect Game. Get it?!

Braden t-shirt giveaway

  • WEDNESDAY: The first 15,000 fans will receive an awesome Braden Perfect Game commemorative t-shirt for Game 1 vs. the Detroit Tigers. Not to mention, it’s Double Play Wednesday with $2 second deck tickets.
  • THURSDAY: Not to be missed, the A’s are giving the first 10,000 fans Perfect Game replica tickets with lanyards. A true collectors’ item!
  • FRIDAY: Finally, Braden will get the recognition he deserves at a special pre-game celebration. On top of that, his beloved Grandma, Peggy Lindsey, will be throwing out the first pitch. I don’t expect to see a dry eye in the house!
  • SATURDAY: For Game 2 against our rivals across the Bay, the San Francisco Giants, Field Level tickets will be $5 off. Come on A’s fans, we need your green and gold in the Coliseum to drown out the orange and black!
  • SUNDAY: To wrap up the homestand, the A’s will be giving the first 15,000 fans a Dallas Braden Perfect Game poster. 

I’m looking forward to seeing you at the Coliseum — i’s going to be a perfect celebration week! For more information on these ticket deals and to purchase them online, click here to check out the A’s website.


And the 209 Keeps Celebrating…

Braden's SI Cover

The media frenzy continues over Dallas Braden’s perfectly thrown game on Sunday. And for good reason. After all, he joins an elite club of only 18 other pitchers in the history of baseball to see the game’s minimum of 27 at bats.

As you’ve probably noticed, he’s the talk of the sports world and one of the most searched names on the internet this week. To honor Braden’s accomplishment, he’ll appear on the cover of next month’s Sports Illustrated magazine. Thanks to Vlae Kershner of SFGate’s “The Drumbeat” blog for posting.

Also, we just learned that Braden will be hosting David Letterman’s Top 10 list on the Late Show tonight. Awesome! What do you think — how many on the list will refer to A-Rod?! And who knows, perhaps this performance could foreshadow a post-baseball career for Braden. He’s got the wit, poise and charisma to last in the public eye for a long, long time.

Here are some other photos I captured from his Mothers Day Masterpiece:

Braden press conference

Above and Right: Dallas Braden fields questions from the media at his post-game press conference. Braden has said that he plans to send his game memorabilia (jersey, hat, glove, etc…) to the Stockton Hall of Fame. If you didn’t know there was one, there is now!

Kara and Grandma Peggy Lindsey
Powell & Geren at press conference

Left, me posing with Braden’s grandma, Peggy Lindsey. I had met her last season when I interviewed her during a game. She’s a delight: sweet, fun, sincere. And of course, she’s given one of the best quotes of the year: “Stick it A-Rod.” Love it. Right, catcher Landon Powell and manager Bob Geren replay the Perfect Game to media.

Left field bleacher fans with 209 bannerAbove, the awesome fans from the left field bleachers aren’t new to the talents of Dallas Braden. They’ve been hanging their “Braden-Stockton-209″ sign at every game he’s started this season. We love your enthusiasm and we love your dedication!

The Perfect Game win!Above, I watched the end of the Perfect Game from Diamond Level and captured this shot while the team was celebrating the win. For a fan, it’s always special to see the love between teammates. It gets me all choked up again just thinking about it!!

Mothers Day Masterpiece

Today, May 9, 2010, Dallas Braden secured his name in history books. He stands as the 19th pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball to throw a Perfect Game. 27 up, 27 down. In a word: Incredible.

Since hardly anyone receives the newspaper anymore, there are no great front pages to clip out and save. Instead, here are some screen shots that document and record the online media frenzy surrounding Dallas’s once-in-a-lifetime performance.

SFGate
New York TimesESPNTo be in the stands and watch inning after inning of flawless baseball
was a treat I will never forget or under appreciate. I personally
couldn’t be happier the success goes to such a tremendous man, both on
and off the field. Of course, we can’t overlook the error-less fielding from the other 8 members of the team. From Landon Powell’s catching to Kevin Kouzmanoff’s killer plays at 3rd, every single member of the team brought their A games to the ballpark today.

Even though we’re only five weeks into the 2010 season, Dallas has certainly had his ups and downs. As you may remember, the ups include a 3-0 record to start, 10 strikeouts in his first outing and a tongue-lashing to that cocky Alex Rodriguez. The downs are the ensuing bad press after the aforementioned tongue-lashing and a nasty whooping from the Rays earlier in May. The amazing thing about throwing a Perfect Game is that all of those previous outings will be remembered in a new light, like B.P.G. (Before Perfect Game) and everything after will be seen in a new context, A.P.G. (After Perfect Game).

Dallas’s tenacity and character define what is so legendary about Oakland
A’s baseball. Whatever happens next time he takes the mound, one thing is for
sure: the entire A’s community will swell with pride
that he’s wearing the green and gold.

Fans, we need YOU!

Game attendance has been a hot topic of conversation at the Coliseum
these days. All I’m going to say is we need you, the fans, to show up!
This is exciting, high-energy, family-friendly baseball, so why
wouldn’t you want to make an evening or day out of it? Did I mention
the team is in first place in the AL West?!

Out last 3-game
series against the Texas Rangers fell on the most challenging days of
the week from an attendance standpoint: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
I know it can be hard to motivate to the ballpark in the early parts of
the week in chilly Spring weather, so that’s why I have serious
appreciation for these fans in the pictures below:

Thumbnail image for The fan in spandexLet’s start with this guy, Spandex Man. If you were at the game on
Tuesday, May 4 or watched the broadcast, it would be impossible not to
have noticed this fan. Of course, I had to talk to him. He’s a sweet
kid who was **so** excited to wear his newly purchased one-piece
spandex suit. You gotta love how it shows off his every curve (thank goodness he’s wearing shorts!). He and his buddy played “Name that
Tune” and won, so get ready to see the duo back at a future A’s game.
Great enthusiasm, guys!

Below, we have more subtle displays of
A’s love. Paul and Heather’s gold socks were easy to spot in the crowd,
and I knew they’d be a great interview. When you’re dressing for an A’s
game, I think it’s OK to break all                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thumbnail image for Fans with gold socksThumbnail image for Oakland A's tattoo 
fashion rules, especially the one
that says couples shouldn’t dress alike! We spotted Janelle, to
the right, because of her D-I-Y, A’s style. Love the scarf and customized A’s t-shirt. Even better, she was sporting a pretty serious A’s tattoo in honor of her late father, a diehard A’s fan and the one who introduced her to baseball.

Thumbnail image for 5 year old A's fans!These three cuties win the award for most adorable fans. Aaron, Charlie and Kai were fun to spend an inning with; I hope their fathers forgive me for giving them sugar in the form of Drumstick ice-cream cones at 9pm!

The Team Prankster

Kara and Dallas BradenIn a little less than an hour, the Oakland Athletics will be up to bat at Tropicana Field for game two against the Rays. Taking the mound in the bottom of the 1st will be Dallas Braden, the A’s stud pitcher with a 3-0 record and a now widely publicized spat with A-Rod distinguishing his 2010 season.

During Spring Training, I had the opportunity to chat with Dallas for a few minutes about his off-season, his attitude for the new season and most importantly, his pranks on teammates. Check out this video to get an idea of who this man is off the field.

In my one full season with the A’s, I’ve had a few run-ins with Dallas. In fact, I’ve even been the victim of one of his pranks! No, my cell phone was not taped to Stomper or anything crazy like that… It was a subtle, sly retaliation for something I did to him last season. Really, a story for another blog post…

Enjoy the video, and more importantly, enjoy Braden’s start against the Rays. It’ll be obvious that when this man takes the mound, he’s not joking around!

Highlights from the Homestand

The longest homestand of the season (10 games in 11 days) has come to a
close, but I’m proud to say that our boys in green and gold survived it
and maintained their win streak. That’s right, we’re still perched
atop the American League West with an overall record of 12-8. Great
job, guys!

From an in-game host and fan perspective, these long
homestands can be exhausting! During this one in particular, we had
rain threats, a few tough, short-turn-arounds (night games followed by
day games) and the dreaded New York Yankees in the opposing lineup. On a
positive note, we had some great giveaways and a solid fan turnout.

There
were a lot of great moments to capture, but here are a few photos of
our super-fans. Wear your green and gold (in the most creative ways
possible!) and you’re bound to get your mug snapped. Hey, you might
just end up on my blog!!

Thumbnail image for Oakland A's wrestlersThumbnail image for Fans and the Herd

These two teenagers in the lucha libre
masks are some of my favorite fans to run into, game after game. In this
particular photo, I challenged them to pose for Diamond Vision in order
to rally the crowd in the middle of the 8th inning of a Yankees game.
Don’t worry, they were rewarded nicely with tickets to an Indians’
game! In the photo on the right, the Herd and I ran into these
well-dressed fans from Fremont during the Indians series. What a great
idea for a double date!

Thumbnail image for Fan in purple wigKara and fan

Wigs: love them. Cheers to our fan from Reno in the purple wig and sweet Karen, a long-time A’s fan with a green and gold wardrobe to die for. Love the enthusiasm, fans!!

Lady A's fans and their crocheted flowersAnd speaking of creative head gear, I absolutely adore these lady A’s fans and their darling crocheted flower accessories. The gal on the right has the nimble fingers and has whipped up a whole bouquet for friends and other fans over the years. What a great seasonal and feminine touch to bring the ballpark!

Kara and Moo Moo EvansThese next photos represent some favorite memories of mine from the homestand. Moo Moo Evans from the Harlem Globetrotters was in attendance to throw out the first pitch (which he did while spinning the basketball on one finger in the other hand!) and to promote his team’s upcoming games in the Bay Area. Not only was he super sweet and great with kids, but while I was interviewing him live on Diamond Vision, he put the spinning ball atop my finger. I’m so not a basketball player, but this was a cool sensation! I love how this picture captures the spinning ball and my excitement! Thanks, Moo Moo!

Kara and Little LeaguersWe ended the homestand with our first Little League day of the year. Any event that brings out our younger A’s fans is a favorite with me. I love the energy, enthusiasm and pure noise they bring to the Coliseum. During that game, I was in charge of kicking off the 7th inning stretch, so decided to recruit some kids to help me out. 3 kids quickly turned to 30, and before I knew it, I was mobbed. One little boy even asked if he could sit in my lap to get a better view! (I said yes!)

Finally, I’ll end this blog entry with a shot from Sunday’s spectacular win against the Indians (11-0). It’s hard to believe, but over the three days playing the guys from Cleveland, we outscored them 22-6. Hopefully those kinds of numbers will give the team some momentum to take on the Rays and Blue Jays while they’re on the road. Fans, can’t wait to see you in the stands for the next homestand!

Oakland A's celebrate a win 

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