Tagged: Kara

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

From Big to Small, They All Had a Ball

Dog Day 2010 #7

The A’s wrapped up a fantastic homestand yesterday, beating the Sox off the boys from both Boston and Chicago. We began both series with losses and then came from behind twice to win the next two consecutive games. Great pitching and awesome bursts of hitting!

Sadly, one of the losses had to come vs. Chicago on Friday night, Dog Day with the A’s. With a final score of 1-5, the action on the field wasn’t nearly as interesting as the fans we had sitting in the Plaza Reserved section of the outfield.

If you’ve been reading my blog or following me on Facebook and Twitter, you know that I had very much been looking forward to this event for the entire season and that it ranks up there in my Top 5 games of the season. Despite the loss, I can happily say that the 2010 Dog Day didn’t disappoint!!

Dog Day 2010 #5Dog Day 2010 #2Dog Day 2010 #6The event began in the Northeast parking lot with a costume contest and mingling session (basically, a chance for the pups — all 600 of them! — to meet each other and get a feel for the craziness ahead). As a judge for the contest, I helped award Enzo, the “Poochador” (above left) win for “Best Overall Dog.” Very deserved.

Dog Day 2010 #3Dog Day 2010 #4Dog Day 2010 #18
The pre-game festivities also gave the dogs a chance to sniff out the biggest animal in attendance: Stomper. I’d say it was 50-50 for dogs who responded well to him and those who didn’t. Luckily, my parents’ dog, Lucy, was mellow enough to pose for a family photo with the big fellow! I can only imagine what was running through her mind…

Dog Day 2010 #1After the pre-game contest, dogs and their owners got the chance to parade around the Coliseum field. This photo to the left is one of my favorite of the night as it represents such unbridled doggie instinct to roll around on that pristine field! Such a happy time!

Dog Day 2010 #17

From a dog’s perspective, the only good thing about a low-scoring game and a loss meant the nine innings flew by so fast on Friday night. Those 54 outs officially clocked in at 2 hours, 16 minutes. For me and my Diamond Vision crew, that meant we had to run around in warp speed, trying to capture all the dogs and their costumes on camera.

Dog Day 2010 #11

Most of the fans I spoke with agreed that Dog Day could be held every month during the season and no one would tire of it. I couldn’t agree more. The event is so novel, so entertaining and such a fantastic combination of people’s passions: baseball and their pets. What do you think, Avoderm Natural? Want to sponsor another one?!?

Dog Day 2010 #8Dog Day 2010 #13Dog Day 2010 #9Thank you to all the fans and their four-legged friends who helped make another Dog Day with the A’s so memorable. When you get your schedule for the 2011 Oakland Athletics season and start planning your summer, be sure to save Dog Day on your calendar. Win or lose, it’s going to be another not-to-be-missed game!

Dog Day 2010 #15Dog Day 2010 #14

Photo credit (for just about all of the photos I’m in): My mother and o
wner of Lucy Tsuboi, the cutest and sweetest Springer Spaniel around. She didn’t seem to mind wearing the A’s shirt, but the cap was another story… Fans, if you’ve got Dog Day photos to share, send then to me and maybe I’ll use them in my blog post next year! Email: kara@oaklandathletics.com

Dog Day 2010 #10Dog Day 2010 #12

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!

10 Games, 11 Days… Here We Go Oakland!

Fans, tonight kicks off a long homestand, and we need you at the Coliseum to rally on our boys in green and gold. The A’s return from the road with a 6-4 record, and while they’re still hanging on to 1st place in the AL West, it’d be nice to cushion our lead.

We kick off the 4-game Baltimore Orioles series tonight with an awesome giveaway: the “Sluggie.” Yup, these are those cheesy things you see advertised on late-night TV, but this one looks somewhat more stylish with the A’s motif scattered about. I had my misgivings when trying the thing on, but I have to say, it sure was warm and comfortable! And if you’re not totally digging the open-back, hospital gown style, it can still be used as a large blanket.

Be sure to be one of the first 10,000 fans through the gates tonight and you’ll receive your very own fleece Sluggie. Check out these photos from a promotional video shoot with Stomper and the Herd and note how easily Stomper fits into his Sluggie!

See you at the game tonight, fans. And then again next week for the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians. Let’s Go Oakland!

Sluggie 1Sluggie 2

Sluggie 3Sluggie 4

Let the one-week countdown begin…

Thumbnail image for Kara with mic

It’s finally here. The official start to the 2010 Oakland A’s season is only one short week away!! This is the time of year when there are so many possibilities, so many hopes, so much optimism for a dynamic team and a great year.

For me as a fan, this is the time when I really start to analyze the schedule and the opponents in the early weeks of the season and to see if a game falls on my birthday this year (it doesn’t, unfortunately!).

As the team’s in-game host, this is the time of year to start shopping for sensible footwear to huff up and down the stairs of the Coliseum (although you’ll still find me in 3-inch heels!), to start coordinating my green and gold outfits and to really familiarize myself with the new guys on the team.

Speaking of… As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, while the Diamond Vision crew was at Spring Training, we interviewed several of the players and coaches. I wanted to share a couple of the videos of the newer members of the roster. Find out what exactly makes me blush in my interview with the ever-charming Michael Taylor or how Kevin Kouzmanoff relaxes on a day off.

Enjoy these two videos — more to come as we count down to Opening Day on Monday, April 5. I’m looking forward to seeing you at the ballpark, fans! Let’s Go Oakland!

Spring Training Miscellany

Hi fans, Kara here with some more fun tidbits from Spring Training. Before we get to the photos, I’m proud to introduce my very first video post to this blog. Check it out by clicking right here. The fantastic Diamond Vision team, Troy, David, Jon and Jeff work so hard to create awesome multimedia content, so thanks to them for posting this link so quickly. More to come in future blog posts!

Vida and BertFans visiting the Muni during the second week of Spring Training were lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet some of Oakland’s greats: Vida Blue and Bert Campaneris (Rollie Fingers was also there, but I didn’t see him when I took this photo). In typical ST fashion, these guys were so casual, signing autographs and joking and chatting it up with fans. You can really tell that both of these two guys still love to be around the game of baseball and are committed to giving back through the sport where they made their names and established their legacies. Both Vida and Bert are also avid golfers, so I very much look forward to seeing them at the next A’s Community Fund Golf Tournament later on this Spring.

MLB video game head scanningFor all you gamers out there, I know the fun of playing MLB games is the startling accuracy of the way the video game players look compared to the real ones. In this photo to the left, you can see some of the technology at work. During the early days of Spring Training, players (in this case, Kevin Kouzmanoff) would visit a corner of Phoenix Muni and sit in a special chair that can lift and lower and rotate. While they were moving around, tilting in different angles, a dozen or more cameras would capture their every facial detail. The whole process would take fifteen minutes or less — can’t wait to start playing with my 2010 Oakland team!

Thumbnail image for Bob Geren ST commercial shootBe sure to keep an eye out for the new series of Oakland A’s television commercials running this season. In typical A’s fashion, they’re hilarious, some with more subtle, dry humor and some that hit you over the head with silliness. The photo to the right is from a shoot the Diamond Vision team did with Bob Geren. In this picture, Jeff is holding the boom mic while Troy feeds Bob lines to — you can see what a production just a short scene can be!

Fans, enjoy the rest of Spring Training — soak up that Arizona sun while you can! And have fun at the Phoenix Muni — here’s one last photo of me at the fastball contest in the breezeway behind the seats. Pay a dollar, get three throws. Yikes! I was horrible. My fastball came in at 38 miles per hour. I have a whole new respect for our starting rotation…

Kara throwing fast ball

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Greetings from Spring Training!

Thumbnail image for Kara Spring Training Shoot #1

Hi fans, welcome to Kara’s Hot Corner, a place for all things Oakland
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

Thumbnail image for PHXMuni.JPGSo 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.

Mark Ellis ST interviewNearly 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…

Rajai Davis ST interviewThanks 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!