On Sunday I had the chance to be a part of the A’s BlogFest portion of FanFest, but because I have not had time to transcribe any of the interviews yet, I am just going to throw out some of my (belated) thoughts on the event as a whole.
I did want to do more than just BlogFest so I arrived at the stadium around 9:30 AM and by that time the line was backed up all the way to the BART ramp. I was not able to get an autograph “coupon” so the first thing I did was line up for a picture with a player. I missed the video highlights because I was in line, but my friends were nice enough to hold my spot so I could watch the player introductions. The energy inside the arena was amazing, actually very similar to how I left the coliseum in 2012.
I was given a season ticket autograph session, which was with Ty Waller, but had to leave the line so I could make it to BlogFest on time. Missing out on the coupon and the season ticket autograph meant no autographs for me this year. I was, however, able to get photos with Sean Doolittle, Seth Smith, Michael Taylor and AJ Griffin so it wasn’t a complete loss.
I won’t get into too much detail about the interviews since I will be doing a separate post for those, but as expected we got to sit down with Manager Bob Melvin, assistant GM David Forst and third base coach Mike Gallego. Jarrod Parker was supposed to be there as well, but had to skip FanFest this year because he was sick. Anyway, as before, really enjoyed the experience and it was nice meeting other A’s bloggers I have been tweeting with since this blog started.
Overall, I would say it’s a vast improvement over last year’s FanFest. Even though 3,000 more people showed up this year than last, the crowds seemed to be a lot more controlled and I had a better idea where to go. I don’t know if it’s because they moved part of the autograph session outside or because they were a bit more organized this year, but whatever it was it seemed to help. That being said, I do miss the days when it was at the Coliseum and we could choose whose autograph and photo we wanted (have I ever mentioned how much I despise surprises??). For the second year in a row I did miss out on most of the Q&A because most of my time was spent standing in line, but even with spending an hour at BlogFest, I was able to accomplish a lot more than last time.
It had it’s flaws, but I would have to give the day an A+. It was great escaping “Giants Country” for a few hours and having a day focused on the A’s and only the A’s. It’s been too long since we had something to look forward to and you could feel the optimism coming from all around. The excitement for baseball in Oakland may be at an all-time high and I think all of us (fans, players and managers/coaches) are looking forward to repeating the magic from the 2012 season.