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Picture this (literally) if you will, a stadium where the first game was played April 17, 1968 when 50,219 fans ushered in a new era of  baseball on the opposite side of the bay.  Imagine sitting in the left field nose bleed seats during the 1972 world series as the Oakland Athletics played the Cincinnati Reds, eating $0.35 hot dogs and enjoying the smile on your dad’s face because he only paid $24 for two tickets. Fast forward to the 1980′s and watch the bash brothers McGwire and Canseco sweep their rivals from San Francisco in four during that ill fated shaker of a series. Countless playoffs, a 20 game win streak and even a movie later , the A’s are still surprising everyone after forty four years.  The last week will go down in Athletic lore as the men in green and gold pulled off a an American League West title against the Texas Rangers and pushed the Detroit Tigers to game five of the American League Division Series.  The same Tigers team that hit 103 home runs on their home turf.

As a photographer, you sit in those cramped (if you are six foot five) seats on the field photographing the action.  Inning after inning, errors, grounders, hits, high fives.  You try and make a decent story telling image at every game, something that will tell the tale of the contest.  In the playoffs every play is magnified times three.  Every pitch somehow has a meaning to the outcome of the game. Photographically you try to get every play, even though you get blocked  half the time, or you may simply miss the moment.

On Wednesday night the A’s rallied to beat the Motor City Men in dramatic (and predictable) fashion.  The game seemed to drag early on.  Don’t count those A’s out, everyone kept saying.  The bottom of the ninth rotated on a dime.  The fans were at a fever pitch even with two outs.  Deafening to everyone except the players, the  stadium was rocking, the vibration of stomping and voices yelling could be felt as a rush of air toward the field.  If in a dream, Coco Crisp took a cue from the baseball gods and lined a single to right field and scored Seth Smith from second to give Oakland a 4-3 victory and their 15th walk-off win of the season, a major league best.

No choking on the photo here, everything seemed to come in to focus.  Now on to game five and another heart attack.  Meanwhile, here are pictures from the last few games.

Coco Crsip celebrates his game winning hit in the bottom of the ninth to force a game five against the Detroit Tigers, Wednesday Oct. 10, 2012.(Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Josh Donaldson crosses the plate after scoring the tying run on a Seth Smith double in the bottom of the ninth against the Tigers, Wednesday Oct. 10, 2012 during the A's come from behind victory to force a game five in the ALDS in Oakland. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Seth Smith, (who scored the winning run) left and Stephen Drew celebrate the A's win over the Detroit Tigers Wednesday Oct. 10, 2012 in the bottom of the ninth inning 4-3 to force a game five in the ALDS in Oakland. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Seth Smith glides to home plate with the winning run after a Coco Crisp walk off single to force game five in the ALDS against the Detroit Tigers, Wednesday Oct. 10, 2012 in Oakland. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Grant Balfour pumps his fast after pitching a scoreless ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers, Tuesday Oct. 9, 2012 to remain in the hunt during the American League Divisional Series in Oakland. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Coco Crisp makes a spectacular catch in centerfield to rob Detroit's Prince Fielder of a home run in the second inning, Tuesday Oct. 9, 2012 during the A's 2-0 victory in the ALDS in Oakland. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Grant Balfour, Derek Norris celebrate their victory over the Detroit Tigers, Tuesday Oct. 9, 2012 in Oakland. .(Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Stephen Drew fields the ball cleanly during the A's victory over the Detroit Tigers, Tuesday Oct. 9, 2012 in Oakland. .(Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Josh Donaldson of the Oakland A's reels a in sharp grounder off the bat of Nelson Cruz in the fifth inning for an out during the A's American League West title against the Texas Rangers 12-5, Wednesday Oct. 3, 2012 in Oakland. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

George Kottaras of the Oakland A's misses a fair ball on a Mike Napoli pop fly in the second inning during the A's American League West title against the Texas Rangers 12-5, Wednesday Oct. 3, 2012 in Oakland. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Yoenis Cespedes, left and Josh Reddick celebrate the Oakland A's American League West title against the Texas Rangers 12-5, Wednesday Oct. 3, 2012 in Oakland. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Pitcher Grant Balfour and catcher George Kottaras celebrate the Oakland A's American League West title against the Texas Rangers 12-5, Wednesday Oct. 3, 2012 in Oakland. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Petaluma's Jonny Gomes of the Oakland Athletics celebrates the American League West title against the Texas Rangers 12-5, Wednesday Oct. 3, 2012 in Oakland. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Josh Reddick is doused with Gatorade and beer after the Oakland Athletics drilled the Texas Rangers 12-5 to take the American League West, Wednesday Oct. 3, 2012 in Oakland. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Jarrod Parker celebrates the Oakland A's American League West title with his girlfriend against the Texas Rangers 12-5, Wednesday Oct. 3, 2012 in Oakland. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

-Kent Porter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

2 Comments

  1. Tina

    Just an FYI your last picture on this page is not of jarrod Parker it’s tommy Milone ha

    December 3rd, 2012 1:02 pm

  2. weather

    Tina,

    I was given the name by A’s PR people so I had to trust the source. Thanks for the heads-up.

    kp

    December 6th, 2012 9:23 am

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