Ticket Services Representative Adam has been claiming for months that “The Saltine Challenge” is impossible. He spelled it out as seven crackers in one mouth at the same time. No water to help swallow. To begin Early Bird Deadline week Catherine sat snacking on some saltines. Travis had to take the challenge. Under the watchful eyes of the office, and fair officiating by Adam, Travis shoved seven stacked crackers into his month- Scooby Doo style- and proceeded to munch. “Like eating sawdust,” he wrote on a post-it note while unable to speak. In about 75 seconds he was in the clear. A high-five and an inflated sense of self worth later, Travis got back to work with a big bottle of water. Moti, visiting from Premium Seating down the hall, missed the challenge. “Let me know if you do it again,” said Moti. Travis isn’t so sure he’ll be trying that challenge again anytime soon.
*Note: A quick online search revealed that “The Saltine Challenge” is actually eating six of the crackers in 60 seconds without liquid. A bit different from the completed challenge. Says A’s Ticket Services, “Bring it on.”
Major League Baseball is in full “swing.” Though not locally just yet. A’s Spring Training is seven home games deep at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in Arizona. The United States has two wins in the World Baseball Classic. And A’s Ticket Services is involved with both.
Travis is the Spring Operations Manager at Phoenix Muni. He is responsible for most items not player or press related. He sends this report from the road: Hello. Games are underway. People ask me how the team looks and how much baseball I’ve seen. I really don’t see much of the games. Mostly watching the crowd, observing the stadium PA booth, checking on parking, etc. But from what I’ve seen the team looks solid. I’m very excited for this club. Young guys throwing well. New additions in the batting cage. The sun is warm, people friendly, it’s hard not enjoy the experience. Phoenix Muni is a great ballpark. Close to ASU, it’s an open ballpark. A lot of blue sky. Team on the field wears pretty colors. Cheers!
Matt, who you may remember from his many seasons as a teenage (and 20-something) bat boy is the Co-Equipment Manager for the United States WBC team. This is his second stint in that roll. Matt shares this report from Toronto: The week in Clearwater was a lot of work, changing stadiums and clubhouses four days in a row, making a lot of last minute roster changes, and just the overall organizing of our equipment. It was definitely our own little Spring Training before the tournament. The team came together on March 2 and all seem to be having fun playing next to each other and just watching each other in how they prepare and play. It’s very cool to see these guys respect each other and play for each other because of the USA on their chest. Toronto, needless to say, has been fun. Great city, we’re 2-0 and we’re looking good. The games are very intense with a lot riding on every pitch. I can only imagine a World Series game being like this. These guys are up for the challenges ahead as they have one thing on their minds and that is to win the WBC!
Thank you Travis and Matt. Best of luck while out of state (and out of country!). We look forward to seeing you both in Ticket Services again soon… though not too soon.
Travis includes some photos from Phoenix:
The A’s home dugout and field top prior to the start of Spring Training.
Grounds crew adding the “Athletics” script to the field.
The view from right field with Papago Park hills in the background.
Catcher Kurt Suzuki in practice with a coach.
The view from atop Camelback (he has to leave the ballpark at some point).