Take me out with the crowd;
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't care if I ever get back.
For it's root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win, it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game.
What better way to celebrate life this 4th of July weekend than with the American pastime--BASEBALL! Dublin is ridiculously close to Oakland, home of the Oakland Athletics, and with Dublin's proximity to our commuter rail, it's an easy trip--no driving involved, and there's a train station AT the ballpark. Piece of cake!! I played ball as a kid, and as a family we attended a number of games throughout my years as a kid. I've also taken my father to a game annually for Father's Day for a number of years (Mom comes along too!), and it's always a fantastic photo opportunity. Remember to click on the pictures to see them full size!
These little kids are getting the opportunity of a life.... an autograph of a major league baseball player. It's probably one of the best days for them... and they'll celebrate it! (random note... I love my camera's 12X optical zoom! My seats are in the bleachers and I was able to get this close without using the digital zoom!)
A family soaking up the glorious California sunshine. We were having a heat wave, and since Oakland is on the Bay, we get nature's AC, the marine layer, which made the day wonderfully comfortable (whereas Dublin hit 108* that day!)
It was also Little League Day, so the team hosted a number of little league teams. The teams from Stockton (to the East) got to walk around on the warning track before the game (more on that later).
The A's mascot, Stomper!! He's quite the entertaining pachyderm. He comes around the track during the pre-game festivities of the weekend games, and he usually has a rap/hip-hop song by an Oakland artist blaring over the PA system and he then jives behind homeplate with his "driver".
But today, he had "The Tonight Show" theme from Johnny Carson's days playing over the PA, and he was CELEBRATING the LIFE of Ed McMahon. (taken off the JumboTron)
Here's more about the Stockton kids. One of the A's players, pitcher Dallas Braden, hails from Stockton and grew up being raised by a single mother who had to scrimp and save to give him the chance to play little league. Seeing her struggle, he's "adopted" a few kids annually who have single parents and he covers all the costs involved in playing on a little league team. See here for more info. The real neat thing? The kids got to throw out the first pitch!
Sundays are also "Take the Field with the A's" days, so one little league team from the Bay Area gets to head out on the field for the National Anthem, get an autograph from "his" player, and then stand on the field with the player for the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. Way cool. :)
Two little boys near us who were proudly wearing the day's freebie... a neat A's cap!
Unfortunately, the team wasn't showing much life, and centerfielder Ryan Sweeney stepped up to the plate to try to remedy that....
... and he did it! Line drive, scoring the runner from third base!! Here, fans CELEBRATE the spark of LIFE the team is showing!!
And then the TEAM CELEBRATES!!
Alas, the spark wasn't big enough. The A's lost to the Colorado Rockies, 3-1.