It was an unseasonably chilly early December evening when A’s Season Ticket Holders mingled with Rajai Davis, Brad Ziegler, and A’s Front Office Staff- including your Ticket Services Staff favorites- at Pyramid Alehouse in Walnut Creek. While it was cold outside, inside the attendees enjoyed dinner, a meet and greet with the players, autograph and photo opportunities, and a question & answer session MC’d by A’s broadcaster Ray Fosse. The Season Ticket Holders, all randomly selected, received party favors: new baseballs perfect for autographs, trading cards, and raffle tickets, where lucky winners received prizes such as game used bats, autographed baseballs, and an authentic Mark Ellis jersey. In the spirit of the season, each attendee brought one new unopened toy to the event as the A’s teamed with California Police Youth Charities in support of their annual toy drive.
Some of our favorite quotes from the Q&A session:
Rajai Davis on stealing bases:
“You know what’s fun is I look around at other teams and their catchers and I say, ‘okay I got you, I got you, I got you’.”
Brad Ziegler on switching to the submarine delivery:
“One of my minor league coaches actually suggested it to me. At first I was reluctant because I felt like going to a side arm delivery was sort of a last ditch effort for a struggling pitcher to stay competitive and at their best level. And I was pitching very well at the time. But once I started seeing the results I was getting I had to stick with it.”
Rajai on his mindset as a basestealer:
“It’s great to get on base and just have the confidence to know that I’m going to steal this bag and no matter what I’m not going to get out. A lot of times my coaches will give me the green light. Although sometimes I have a red light and occasionally happen to run that red light. As long as I don’t get caught, then everything is okay.”
Brad on making pitching adjustments:
“Making adjustments is something you have to do throughout your career from game to game and inning to inning. I even have to make adjustments during a single at bat. If I come inside to hitter and he turns on it foul, then I know if I come back inside I need to change something whether it be turning up the heat or changing the location.”
We particularly enjoyed one entertaining exchange between Ray Fosse and Brad Ziegler when talking about changing the pace of the game as a reliever:
Fosse: “A pitcher once told me you either want to throw faster or slower than what everyone else is throwing. And this guy (points to Brad) throws slower.”
Ziegler: “Just to set the record straight, at a game in Anaheim this year I was clocked at 91MPH.”
As the A’s staff, we enjoy opportunities to connect to our loyal fans on a more personal level at events such as these. And we should note, the players were amazing with everyone in attendance, showing full desire to be accommodating and involved. Interested in attending an event such as this in the future? As an A’s Season Ticket Holder today you never know when we may randomly select your account to partake in events such as these. We wish you a very happy and healthy Holiday season!