Looking to take advantage of the buzz created by Yoenis Cespedes' impressive victory at the 2013 Home Run Derby, the Oakland A's have announced they will be giving the hometown fans the unique opportunity to watch their slugger take batting practice prior to all Friday home games remaining on the schedule.
The Oakland Athletics announced today the team will open gates to O.co Coliseum one hour earlier for all remaining Friday home games this season, affording fans the rare opportunity to watch 2013 Home Run Derby champion Yoenis Céspedes take batting practice.
All gates will open at 4:30 p.m. Friday, July 26 prior to the A's game against the Los Angeles Angels, with Céspedes scheduled to hit at approximately 4:40 p.m. Gates will also open at 4:30 p.m., two hours and 35 minutes before first pitch, on subsequent Fridays when Oakland plays Texas (Aug. 2), Cleveland (Aug. 16), Tampa Bay (Aug. 30), Houston (Sept. 6) and Minnesota (Sept. 20).
In doing so, the A's will become the only team in Major League Baseball opening the gates early so fans can watch the home team take BP. Obviously it's not something they can afford to do every day given the logistics and extra time concession workers and ushers would need to put in. Still, given the circumstances, this is a very cool idea that I'm sure will be well received.