Tagged: fan awesomeness

Sizzling Bacon on a Rainy Tuesday



By now, most of you have probably heard a little something about “Bacon Tuesday” last week at the Oakland Coliseum. It was magical. And it represented one of the best parts of baseball: the chance for fun interactions between fans and players. In this case, the crew in the Right Field Bleachers were celebrating a player from *another* team: Jeff Francoeur from the Kansas City Royals. Click this link to check out my live, in-game interview with the organizers behind Bacon Tuesday.

Our dedicated A’s fans in the RF Bleachers even created t-shirts for the whole crew to wear (photo at left). Rumor has it, that Francoeur himself even donned a shirt after the game!  As a thank you to the fans for their enthusiasm on Tuesday night, Francoeur arranged for the delivery of twenty personal pizzas and a signed bat at the start of the game on Wednesday morning. While I haven’t had the chance to meet Francoeur in person, I admire his attitude and perspective on the game. Here’s a quote he gave to the Associated Press after last week’s festivities:

“Baseball is fun. We can take it too serious sometimes,” Francoeur said before the game. “This is something more than just baseball. That right-field section are here every game, they cheer for every (A’s player). They are diehards. I just enjoy them out there. It’s a lot of fun. You don’t get to build relationships like that every day.”

Later in the game, I met up again with the RF Bleacher crew for the 7th Inning Stretch. Here’s a link to my second chat with Omar about what’s in store for “Bacon Tuesday 2013.”  Notice how it’s gotten progressively wetter and those bacon strips, soggier and soggier. On a night like last Tuesday, the rain didn’t seem to matter. Honestly. We were all having too much fun!

The final component to the success of “Bacon Tuesday” was the mutual enthusiasm from the Diamond Vision crew (the team that’s responsible for the big screen, scoreboard and stadium entertainment in general). Hats off to Jeremy Wesler-Buck for creating such fun scoreboard messages so quickly! All of a sudden, cap caper was sponsored by Jeff Francoeur, and strips of bacon seemed to appear between every inning! I especially love this screen (photo below, courtesy of Jeremy) that hints to more fun times next year.

A’s fans sport their love

As I wander the steps of the Coliseum during an A’s game, I am always looking for the diehard fans. A good way to spot them is by looking down to their shoes! When I was a partial season ticket holder several years ago, the man with seats next to me wore white, chunky-clunky sneakers with a simple A’s logo on the outside. I was impressed with his true love for the team, but knew there must have been more fashionable options out there.

And I think I found a solution: design my own. Check out these beauties! I created them on Converse’s “Design Your Own” website and had a super cool, green and yellow pair of kicks in less than 5 minutes. With two shades each of green and yellow, the color combinations are endless. I think I may go “Pine” green for my next pair… One of my favorite parts is the optional lettering on the side. Now, if only they had room for the “Let’s” as in, “Let’s Go Oakland!”

If you’re interested in designing your own pair of green and yellow A’s shoes, try Adidas, Nike and your other favorite shoe brands. It seems like most have customizable options these days. But really, sporty, spiffy, color-appropriate shoes that show your A’s love don’t need to be expensive or laborious to design; just keep your eyes out for a good investment when you see them. Below is a gallery of photos of A’s green and yellow shoes that I’ve collected over the last two seasons. I’m impressed with the variety and creativity out there, but then again, these do belong to A’s fans!

If you’ve got a pair that you’d me to include in Round 2 of the A’s shoe collection, please send me a photo: kara@oaklandathletics.com

Count It: Seven Home Games Left

Karen, the A's super fan #2
Time is running out. Fans, our Oakland Athletics 2010 season is winding down…

Starting today, Monday September 20, the A’s begin their final 7-game homestand with three games against the Chicago White Sox, followed by four games against the division-leading Texas Rangers.

I’ve said this now for a month, but fans, it’s time to stop procrastinating and putting off your visit to the Coliseum. With only seven home games left, the time is now to show your green an gold pride!

Here’s a short collection of photos from the last month, showing off some of our Super Fans at the ballpark…

Cute A's fansT-shirt Dan

A berth in the playoffs would be nearly impossible for the A’s to achieve at this point in the season, but that doesn’t mean the 2010 campaign has been a disappointment. We’ve seen an impressive showing from all five, improbably young pitchers in our starting rotation and some great hitting and base-stealing efforts from the lineup. Also, let’s not forget how the 2009 season ended and how far we’ve come. Last year, we finished last in the division, 22 games behind the division-leading Angels.

David's attempted catchDavid, the superfan #2

This fan, David, in the two photos above comes to every game as if the team is playing for a playoff berth. A serious A’s follower, he’s always decked out in green and gold, his special, superstitious pants, and of course, his glove to catch homerun balls. In the photo to the right, you can see David diving for one of Coco Crisp’s long balls. Awesome enthusiasm! The crummy part is that he didn’t even get the ball!! Better luck next time, David.

So fans, I hope to see you at the Coliseum this week. Let’s send our team off for the final roadtrip with love and support from our fan base. And hey, you never know…we’re only nine games back!!

Three Homestands, Twenty-Three Games to Go…

Kara, fans and StomperIt’s really hard to believe, but the 2010 season is starting to wind down. I hate to be the one to break the bad news, but I’m just wondering how the last four and a half months disappeared so quickly?!? To me, Spring Training feels like last week. And Dallas Braden’s perfect game could have been yesterday.

So here are the facts, fans: starting today, Monday, August 16, there are only three more homestands and twenty-three more home games left in the 2010 campaign. We’ve only got about a quarter of the season to go, and you know it’s going to go by in a green and gold blur!

SuperfansFans with Suzuki sign

Because of this sad news, I urge you and your friends and family to make these next few homestands count! I know summertime is busy with vacations, camp,
parties and the like, but procrastinators, it’s time to start making
A’s baseball a priority. Click here to visit the A’s website so you can pick up your tickets today!

Fans celebrate 11th birthdayCute fans in matching tie-dye

In my opinion, there are a lot of factors that have made this season zip by (at least in comparison to last year). For starters, the team has been playing well and we all know it’s a lot more fun to watch a winning team. Instead of dreading upcoming series, we’ve been looking forward to them, thus the schedule appears to fly by.

Thumbnail image for Kara, Dan and his "Kara" t-shirtAlso, it doesn’t take a meteorologist to tell you that this summer has been positively Arctic. Where are those bright, sunny days and warm evenings? It’s been feeling a lot more like earlier May than mid-August. Yet another reason why it’s hard to believe the season is coming to a close.

So fans, get out your green and gold, make those homemade signs and come on out to the Coliseum for the remaining days of A’s baseball in 2010. I can’t wait to see you there!

Goodbye Bronx Bombers

Tonight’s game marks the last visit the Yankees will make to the Coliseum during the 2010 season, and I think most A’s fans will agree with me when I say that I’m not sad to see them (and their fans) leave. In the five games played in Oakland so far this season, we’re 1-4. A win tonight from Gio Gonzalez and the rest of the boys will help the team avoid the sweep and put us in a better position to face our division rivals, the Angels, this weekend.

"Stick it A-Rod" signThe A’s fan presence in the Coliseum over the last two nights has been a bit bleak. It’s common knowledge that when the Yanks (or BoSox) come to town, their West Coast fans come out in droves. This season has been no different. Here and there, however, you will find some examples of Oakland A’s fan awesomeness. Case in point, Jeff and Kris channeling Grandma Braden and their homemade A-Rod sign above. And below, some diehard fans and their elephant ears and Quintona (aka “Wiggi”) showing off her true green and gold love.

Elephant EarsQuintona "Wiggy" the super fan

I wish the boys on the field the best of luck tonight. Please, please, please, let’s not give the (occasionally obnoxious) Yankee fans the satisfaction of a sweep. And A’s fans, I want to feel your presence tonight. Get loud and let’s show our team some support! And thank goodness the two teams don’t meet again until the end of the summer…

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!

70s Night #970s Night #8
70s Night #6

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 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!

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

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!

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.

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