As part of our 2009 “Season Ticket Holder Sweepstakes”, Ticket Services hosted a Holiday Reception for fifty 2009 Season Ticket Holder’s at Pyramid Ale House in Berkeley on December 3rd. The winners of this unique prize in the sweepstakes enjoyed the company of A’s starting pitchers Dana Eveland and Gio Gonzalez, as well as broadcaster Ray Fosse and several members of the A’s front office staff.
The night began with appetizers and a rousing welcome from Steve Fanelli, Senior Director of Ticket Operations. Ray Fosse then officially christened the 2009 baseball season with a warm introduction of Dana and Gio. Whenever you hear Ray on the microphone, one can only think of warm summer days spent in the sun at the Coliseum, even if it is one week after Thanksgiving. Player’s and front office staff dined with Season Ticket Holders, who caught up on off-season plans as well as what is in store for the 2009 season. The highlight of the evening was the private chalk talk session with Ray, Gio and Dana where Season Ticket Holders had the chance to meet the players and interact on a personal level in a private locale.
Some interesting quotes from the chalk talk session:
Dana Eveland on earning the starting job at the beginning of the 2008 season:
“Bob (Geren, A’s Manager) and Billy (Beane, Vice President & General Manager) didn’t tell me throughout Spring Training that I was going to be starting. Actually, not until after the Japan games did I find out I had the starting job.”
Gio Gonzalez on his outlook on the 2009 season:
“I’m coming into this season with the mindset of us not only just reaching the playoffs, but winning a championship. On a personal basis, I wish I was thinking like this last year, but now that I have a year under my belt, I understand how focused I need to be.”
Dana Eveland on his childhood idol:
“As a kid I loved Nolan Ryan. I watched other pitchers but Nolan Ryan, the way he was such a warrior out there, I loved him. Even in Tee ball I was like ‘man I need to pitch like that.’ You know he’s got the raised arms and the high knee kick.
Ray Fosse jumps in:
“I faced Nolan Ryan; and that’s all I can say is that I faced him.”
Dana Eveland on shaking off A’s catcher Kurt Suzuki:
“I shook him off maybe three times all year. He’s probably my favorite catcher that I’ve thrown to in my entire life.”
We were happy to show our guests a great evening, and A’s staff look forward to opportunities such as these where we are able to speak to our fans on a more personal level in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. We’ll be selecting more winners throughout the off-season, so be sure to renew your plan by the Early Bird deadline. Stay tuned to the blog for more information, and good luck!