5/2/2013 10:00 A.M. ET
A's fans open Season 2 of 'Bucks on the Pond'
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
This is the 46th season that Oakland has played home games in its current ballpark, a longer run than all but two other American League clubs -- the Red Sox (1912) and Angels (1966).
Josh Daugherty of Fremont, Calif., figures he has been going to A's and Raiders games at what is now O.co Coliseum for 26 of those years, since he was a baby.
"The atmosphere is so relaxed and chilled out," he said. "It's cheap, and just the nostalgia. I've been going here my whole life."
But in all those years of going to A's games over and over and over -- from the days of the Bash Brothers through the 20-game winning streak and then last year's stunning AL West championship -- Daugherty never experienced anything quite like what happened on April 17. That was the day Oakland jumped on Houston for six quick runs in the first and proceeded to sweep the Astros for a second time in the young season.
And it was the day he and his four friends walked through the gates and suddenly found themselves starring in the Season 2 premiere episode of the hit MLB.com game show "Bucks on the Pond."
They might even have won some bucks in the process, but you are going to have to watch the show for yourself to find out.
"Bucks" is hosted once again by Jeremy Brisiel, and you might be a part of it this season when you least expect it. Fans at the ballpark interact with MLB.com's studio through the magic of technology in conjunction with game action inside. In creating a new experience for fans, MLB.com is giving people a chance to earn bucks while they spend bucks at the ballpark.
Contestants are asked a trivia question -- general knowledge and baseball -- on each pitch during a half-inning of baseball. Get the question correct and win money. Get the question wrong and it's a strike. Three strikes and you're out.
The questions' difficulty and value increase with the number of outs in the on-field action: $5 easy questions to start, $10 medium-difficulty questions after one out, $20 hard questions after two outs. If the contestant lasts longer than the team's at-bat, they win the bucks in their bank.
Fans are chosen randomly by the "Bucks" crew, and new episodes will be released every Tuesday and Thursday this season.
Daugherty, who works as a part-time on-air talent and producer for 1590 KLIV, NBC's all-radio news station of Silicon Valley, showed up with a "hodgepodge" group that included friends Chris Heineman of Newark, Calif.; James Gluth of Fremont; Meghan Hager of Los Angeles; and Corey Clifton of Knoxville, Tenn.
"I actually saw the game show as we were walking and I thought it was awesome, but we were walking toward our seats," Daugherty said. "Then one of the guys asked us if we want to answer some questions, and I'm like, 'Yeah, I love being in front of the camera.'"
When you win bucks and your team wins games, life is good at the ballpark. The A's already had put together one nine-game winning streak before this taping, and they would go on to ensure they finish the month of April with a winning record for just the second time in the last nine years (also 16-11 in 2008).
"I was amazed we even got as far as we did last year," Daugherty said. "I'm still kind of pinching myself and hoping we do as good if not better this year."
These contestants are solid at geography, they know their "Looney Tunes" characters and they show aplomb at bird calls. They knew when to caucus and when to just go for it. Watch the show and be on the lookout, because the MLB.com/bucks crew will be coming to your ballpark at some point.
"Just have fun with it," Daugherty advises other fans who might be invited on the show. "Even if you don't know the questions, just embarrass yourself, have fun."