Results tagged ‘ First Pitch ’

Bell Biv DeVoe Tossing Ceremonial First Pitches on May 29

The Ticket Operations Department has a line drawn through it. People under 30-years-old and people 30-and-over. Those in the former aren’t familiar with Bell Biv DeVoe. Those in the latter are coming to work on their off day to see the first pitch. BBD, members of New Edition (also featuring Bobby Brown plus others), hit makers of such New Jack Swing hits “Poison” and “Gangsta,” are scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitches on Sunday, May 29 before the A’s host the Baltimore Orioles.   

Younger colleagues understood the fascination a little better when it was revealed that Michael “Biv” Bivins found and produced the chart-topping foursome Boys II Men. In the song “Motown Philly” Michael Bivins has two speaking interludes and all three BBD members appear in the video as part of the East Coast Family. “BBD” is even mentioned a few times in the song.

So now, our slightly younger friends, are you excited for Bell Biv DeVoe tossing the ceremonial first pitches on Sunday, May 29? The 30-and-over crowd couldn’t be more so. See you at the Coliseum about 12:45 p.m. on Sunday!

Goodbye Bob Feller

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I don’t care much about autographs. An A’s employee for almost 9 full years, I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of current and former baseball players, such as Lenny Dykstra in a restroom, Mudcat Grant’s chauffeur at a golf tournament. More recently I ran across actors like Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. I didn’t ask for their autographs, they didn’t ask for mine. One day last Spring Training, however, I did ask for an autograph. Hall of Fame Cubs pitcher Ferguson Jenkins visited Phoenix Municipal Stadium to draw awareness and raise funds for his charitable foundation. He’s been to Phoenix Muni multiple times the past couple years. He brings with him former baseball players. On March 27, 2010 he brought Bob Feller.

I wasn’t a sports fan when young. Then, in my teens, I became an A’s fan. Baseball has the greatest history of all American sports. For over a hundred years, thousands of men have taken the field. There’s equally as many stories, some more unique than others. Bob Feller was a unique story. Making his debut for the Cleveland Indians at 17-years-old, he pitched his entire 18-season career with the Indians, which was interrupted by three years of military service. Most astounding to me, he was enshrined in Cooperstown on his first ballot in 1962. For 48 years he lived as an active member of the Hall of Fame.

We were honored to accommodate when Jenkins’ group asked if Feller could throw the ceremonial first pitch. At 91 Feller was unable to walk the stairs to the field. Our stadium operations coordinator offered to drive him around the ballpark and onto the field through the outfield fence. As Feller took the mound he was announced by an exuberant Mark Andrews. To cheers, Feller tipped his cap and fired a strike to home. I would not have believed a man of 91 could do such a thing. In good shape, sharp mind, and kind spirits, Feller talked a bit with guests and staff on field, recorded a short radio interview, and headed off the field on the cart that brought him on. Amazingly, our vintage stadium gate usher, Chet, 90-years-young himself, was at Bob Feller’s 1940 Opening Day no-hitter (his first of three career no-hitters). Chet recounted the events of April 16 in Chicago with Feller, agreeing on the batting order and how the outs were recorded. Chet attended that game rooting for the White Sox. Chet departed the ballpark in 1940 with a lifelong respect for Bob Feller.

As that afternoon’s Spring Training game continued I reflected on Feller’s contributions to the game of baseball. How much he enhanced the game and how much baseball meant to him. I fetched a clean baseball and troubled Bob Feller, with a donation, for an autograph. Sitting in my office, just over my shoulder, it’s the only autograph I keep on display.

Travis LoDolce, Digital Ticketing Operations Manager & Spring Training Operations Manager

 

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 (Photos copyright Travis LoDolce)

Weekend Photos

It was so nice at McAfee Coliseum this weekend that we actually wandered out of the office for a few minutes to check out that “sun” thing everyone’s been talking about. We snapped a few photos of random moments around the field while outside. Take a peek below. Did you snap any ballpark photos this weekend? We’d love to see them.

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A fan shows her support for #10 Daric Barton.

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Young boys watch pre-game BP on the field.

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Bobby Crosby takes a few minutes before the game to sign autographs.

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A’s fans watching the “awesome” fireworks show from the field.

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Stomper and friend “flip” for the A’s. That’s impressive.

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Mr. Pringles throws out the first pitch to Cliff Pennington.

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Kurt Suzuki signs autographs and poses for pictures pre-game.

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Congratulations Aaron Cunningham. Major League debut. Two hits. And collects two RBIs on this 8th inning single.

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Brad Ziegler warms up in the pen.


Thank you to Travis LoDolce for use of these photos.