Julio’s Pork Sandwich Athletics Game
Not too long ago I sat down with my neighbor and fellow baseball crony, Julio. He’s an Oakland Athletics fan born and raised, and to this day remains the real deal. I asked him to look back at his experiences at the Oakland Coliseum and share one of them. He didn’t hesitate and launched into this amazing tale.
“It was the year 2000,” he said. “I got off of work early due to a dental appointment. It was a mid-week day with about a week to go in the season. The A’s were only a couple of games in or out of the playoffs.”
“I was driving away after my dentist appointment when I got this craving for one of those ballpark barbecue pork sandwiches that I liked. It was pushing 4 o’clock, slightly more than three hours after the 12:35 pm game started. It was about the seventh or eighth inning and I was driving by the Coliseum and thought maybe I’ll get in. So I walked into the souvenir shop pretending like I was going to buy something and after a few minutes walked right into the stadium for free.”
“I got a seat down by the third base line about ten rows up. The game went into extra innings. There was practically no one there! There was about a week to go in the regular season and there were maybe ten thousand people in the stands. The game ended up going about fifteen innings. In the end I got about seven or eight innings of baseball for free, just by driving up and walking in.”
A short time later I researched Julio’s game. His recollections were very close to what occurred on that fall afternoon. The fourteen-inning contest between the Angels and the Athletics occurred on Thursday, September 28, 2000. The Angels nudged one run across the plate in the top of the first. Both teams scored two runs in the fifth, with the Athletics tying the game 3 to 3 after they got a run in the bottom of the eighth. From that point on, Julio saw five scoreless innings of play. In the top of the fourteenth the Angels scored three runs off Athletic’s reliever Scott Service. Angels reliever Troy Percival made the lead stand up in the bottom of the fourteenth and the Angels got the win, 6 to 3.
Here Julio, all smiles after recalling this adventure. We’ll be talking with him again, and this time, Julio will be looking ahead to the 2013 season.