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.
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!).
The 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.
Hey A’s fans, if you missed watching
Dallas 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?!
- 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.
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:
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!
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.
Above, 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!
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!!
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.
To 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.
In 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!
A’s and the people who love them!
This inaugural blog
entry comes from Phoenix Muni, the home of the A’s in Arizona during
Spring Training. Our Diamond Vision crew
arrived on Sunday to film three days worth of interviews with the
players and coaches and new videos with me about fun new stuff in the Coliseum this year.
But before I get into any of that detail, I have to admit, this is my very first time here at Spring Training. Sort of embarrassing to admit for such a longtime, dedicated fan! Of course, it’s always been on my radar, but for
whatever reason, the scheduling, budgeting and prioritizing has never
worked out in the past. After this superlative experience, Arizona ball will be in my regular rotation of yearly
So first impressions thus far… The stadium, Phoenix Municipal, is
darling. I know, that’s not the adjective you would normally use for a
ballpark, but when it comes to the Muni, it truly applies. If you’re
familiar with the Rivercats’ Stadium in Sac, picture something even more
intimate with the most spectacular desert bluffs looming over left
cozy stadium is exactly the place to find relaxed ballplayers,
especially before the games actually begin. The goal for our crew in Phoenix was to capture material for the Oakland A’s website, our in-stadium entertainment and television commercials. And let me tell you, these guys delivered! For me, the most fun part was developing our in-game entertainment like the answers to all those pop quizzes we play with fans during the inning breaks.
Nearly two dozen players and coaches visited us in our “studio”
(really, an office we rearranged and built a makeshift set) to answer a
number of fun, fill-in-the blank questions like, “My dream vacationspot is…” or “My teammates give me the hardest time for…”
As you can imagine with our collection of characters, the answers were
hilarious!! Dallas Braden had us laughing out loud
and newcomer Michael Taylor wowed us with his charm and thoughtfulness.
One of the sweeter moments during the three days of interviews was with Rajai Davis, a true fan-favorite. New for sale in the team store this season is his player t-shirt…you know, the ones that have his name and number on the back. When he saw them for the first time, his eyes lit up, his grin spread even wider than usual and he couldn’t help but express his pride and excitement of reaching this poignant moment in his big league career. He realized that people actually want to wear his name and his number! A lot of players would probably take it for granted and not even care or maybe they would, but would never admit it. That’s just part of what makes Rajai so special…
Thanks for stopping by, fans. Stay tuned for
some fun, new Spring Training-related videos and longer interviews to be posted on this
site in the near future. Maybe I’ll be able to convince the Diamond Vision crew to cut an outtake video, because that’s where the really good player moments live on…
I’m looking forward to seeing some of you down here in Scottsdale, and the rest of you, at home in Oakland in one short month. I’m so excited to get my
green and gold back on in 2010 (although I’m just
enjoying these games as a fan) — Let’s Go Oakland!