MLB Parks Tour #14 – Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA – 2013

It’s pretty great that I get to do these posts so close to the actual game. I’ve got three to do that I’ll try to post over the next week. Then we’ll be all caught up and ready to start planning the next trip!

We set out in the early Summer of 2013 toward the West Coast, a trip that would take us to San Francisco, Oakland, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and Phoenix, before arriving back home. Three ballparks and over 4,000 miles of open road for myself, Yvette, Baron and my parents, Bob and Kathy. And what a trip it was. We saw things and made memories in some of the most unique and awe-inspiring places in the country, and got to spend some great quality family time together. The whole trip will have to wait for another blog post, because this post is intended to feature the first installment of this trip’s park visits, Oakland Coliseum (or O.com Coliseum if we’re being technical) in Oakland California, just across the bay from the gorgeous hills of San Francisco.

Admittedly, this post will be less than kind to what is the beloved home of thousands of Athletics fans. But honestly, if that’s you, you should’ve seen this coming. The Oakland Coliseum opened in 1966 and hosts the Oakland Athletics as well as the Oakland Raiders (with the exception of the Raiders’ stint in LA from 1982-1995). Fans enter from street level at the top of the first deck of seats, which gives the illusion that the stadium is actually shorter than it is, with the playing field being about 20 feet below the main concourse. The seats along the first base side (where we sat) are moved to accommodate Raider games, and I was told by an enthusiastic A’s fan that we were sitting right where the infamous “Black Hole” is stationed. While that was a fun fact, we were less than impressed by the stadium. If it hadn’t been for the beautiful California weather we had that day, it may have been worse. Unfortunately, the Coliseum has fallen upon lesser days. And because the history of the ballpark leaves much to be desired (Moneyball fame aside), what should and could have been an impressive park turned into something less. The good news for A’s fans is that the ownership is already in talks about a new stadium. The bad news is the short list includes the likes of San Jose. Good luck A’s fans…and while you’re waiting, you might want to look into repairing those sewer lines.

A few notes:

The weather was sunny and beautiful. Gorgeous. Too bad I forgot to put on sunscreen, and as of the writing of this post, nearly three weeks later, I’m still showing the effects in peeling skin.

The game featured two pitchers on a roll; neither of which had allowed a run in 25+ innings. That didn’t continue here. 😉

I should reiterate that despite not loving the stadium, the fans of the A’s are really something special. The exceptionally large playing field at the Coliseum lends itself to the bullpens being right there in foul territory. Every time a pitcher was called to warm up in the bullpen, he and the catcher were heckled without mercy. My dad took a video of a little bit of it…

Fun side note that further proves this stadium’s lesser features: During our visit to Oakland, a sewer line below the stadium burst, flooding the visitors clubhouse. This caused both teams to have to share a clubhouse after the game. Fun times.

The game:

Seattle Mariners – 2
Oakland Athletics – 10

Sunday, June 16, 2013, 4:05PM
Time of Game: 2:59
Weather: 65° F, Sunny, Windy.

Attendance: 36,067

Winning Pitcher: Bartolo Colon (9-2)
Losing Pitcher: Hisashi Iwakuma (7-2)

The hot dog:

(Hot Dog ratings are for entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to hot dogs, either real or fictional, is purely coincidental.)

Well, what did we expect? Not bad, definitely not impressive.

Score (out of 5): 2 Dogs

2-hotdogs

Now for photos!

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Cheers, and play ball!