Let’s face it., for the baseball fanatic there just isn’t much happening during the winter months. Lucky for us, there’s FanFest, a great way to get excited for the upcoming season by meeting the current roster of players, coaches, and a few alumni too. This year we had the opportunity to attend the Oakland A’s FanFest held at Jack London Square and we must say it was a swingin’ good time. The A’s organization put together a full itinerary of events that kept us busy for the entire afternoon. Here are a few highlights from our trip.

A’s Walk

What makes FanFest great is the opportunity to meet players and coaches, as well as, the alumni that have made us fans over the years. A’s walk allowed fans to line the streets of Jack London Square and greet the players as they arrived. We were able to take pictures, wish the players good luck for the upcoming season, and even exchange high-fives as they walked by. Oh, and did we mention that we all got high fives from Rickey Henderson? Rickey Henderson! Rickey’s DNA is on our hands! That made the trip to FanFest worth it alone.

Autographs

If you get excited for player autographs like we do then there may be no easier way to collect a hatful then at FanFest. With autograph booths set up all over the place, you should be able to make off with a nice bounty. There is one problem, though. The lines for autographs at these events can be extremely long. Since these events are only for a few hours you probably don’t want to be wasting all of your precious time in line. We have a solution to this problem. Take your time, walk around, and look for secret autograph booths that are not marked on the official FanFest map. These booths will typically have no lines and with players rotating every 15-30 minutes you will have more autographs at the end of the day then you know what to do with. If there is a particular player’s autograph you are hunting for be sure to ask around. Security and even the volunteers working the event are usually in contact with each other and generally, know the rotation of players. Just by asking we were able to find out the future location of players, beat the crowds, and be first in line when those particular players arrived.

Photographs

Another great facet of FanFest was the ability to take pictures with our favorite participants. If you are like us you love meeting major leaguers. Being able to take a picture with one not only captures that moment so you can enjoy it forever but it looks pretty cool when we share it on our Instagram account. Several photo stations were set up so fans could get a quick snapshot with their favorite player. Plus, there was even a station where Stomper, the Oakland A’s official mascot and the Hall of Fame Racers were posing for pictures. We did both. What? You know we love mascots. Here is another tip and a way to kill two birds with one stone. For some reason players will sign an autograph for you and gladly take a picture with you as well, But, here’s the oddity. If you stand in line for a picture they will not sign an autograph for you. Better to wait in line for the autograph and get a picture then. Less standing in line means more FanFest fun.

Free Food

Honestly, taking pictures with players and collecting autographs really builds up an appetite. Not to worry though, the Oakland A’s had us covered. The food trucks that line Championship Plaza outside the Oakland Coliseum during the season were at FanFest delivering free food and drinks to the fans for the duration of the event. Needless to say, we got our fill. Just be warned the food went fast and when they are out they are out. So, get there early and often.

Fee Free Tickets

When purchasing tickets fees add up. With an additional fee of $10 charged per ticket for a family of four, that’s an extra $40 charged to your final bill. We hope you are not hungry because you just spent your dinner money for the game on ticketing fees. FanFest though presented a great opportunity for A’s fans to lock in tickets to the games they wanted to attend with no fees added. All we had to do was purchase the tickets during FanFest through the MLB Ballpark App.Thanks to this offering we saved enough money to purchase tickets for another game that we had not initially planned on attending. More baseball equals winner! This was definitely a service we hope everyone took advantage of. It’s money kept in your pocket unless you are addicted to baseball like us at The Hardball Network and used that saved money to attend another ballgame.

Leave us feedback:

How did we do? Are there any highlights from the Oakland A’s FanFest 2018, that we missed? If so, please leave a comment below. We want to hear from you. As always please like, share, and subscribe to The Hardball Network. It’s almost as fun to do as FanFest.

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