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A's fans look to win cash on 'Bucks on the Pond'

Shelby Cardoza's mother called into KTRB 860-AM, the ESPN Deportes radio station in Modesto, Calif. They were offering a pair of free A's tickets.

We have them to thank for episode seven of the hit game show "Bucks on the Pond."

"My mom called the station, but it was a Spanish station, and no one else called in, so I won the tickets," Cardoza explains. "I had lots of fun on the game show. I love being on TV."

Cardoza majors in business at Modesto Junior College and this should go toward class credits, because she capitalized on the opportunity like it was all planned: Zero money invested in game tickets and a chance to win some bucks. So far, no one has lost in Season 2, either.

She gave the extra ticket to her friend Priscilla Moreno of Newman, Calif., a nursing student at Merced College, and together they teamed up for answers before a game at Coliseum. The latest episode was released on Thursday, taped outside the Bar & Grille entrance.

"Free tickets," Moreno said of her good fortune after playing the game. "She asked me to come with her, because I'm pretty much her only girlfriend who likes baseball. It was so much fun. I'm definitely a little more shy than Shelby, but definitely a lot of fun."

"Bucks" is hosted by Jeremy Brisiel, and you might be a part of it this season when you least expect it. Fans at the ballpark interact with's studio through the magic of technology in conjunction with game action inside. In creating a new experience for fans, 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.

Topics covered in this episode include American history, "Game of Thrones," retired A's numbers, calendar, music awards, global geography, A's stats, zoology, world history, geology, personal hygiene, Kentucky cities, Europe, band singers, animated movies, A's history and '80s music.

After nailing a question about erosion, Cardoza explained: "I'm taking astronomy, so we're learning about the earth." Even A's players would be ribbing her after that one. But to their credit, this pair got more of the baseball questions right than wrong, and strangely enough, we often find that it's the baseball questions that pose problems on this show.

No matter what, these contestants, who both work in retail while in school, could not go to their seats as losers. It would be an even better day than usual.

"Usually I come to A's games because my whole family comes to them. I come with them and support the A's," Moreno said. "The atmosphere is amazing here. It's always so much fun."

Fans are chosen randomly by the "Bucks" crew, and new episodes are being released every Tuesday and Thursday again this season.

It was the second show of the season involving A's fans, following the Season 2 premiere in which five fans combined to win 210 bucks.The "Bucks" crew has been to more than half of all Major League ballparks and is working its way through the full list. In addition to the Athletics, teams visited include the Angels, Astros, Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Marlins, Padres, Red Sox, Reds, Royals, Orioles, Tigers, White Sox and Yankees. Bookmark and be on the lookout for the "Bucks" crew at your ballpark.


Mark Newman is enterprise editor of Read and join other baseball fans on his community blog.
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