Cost Per Baseball

Two years ago, I received the following e-mail:

“Are any of your balls that you caught for sell in bulk? I am interested in a couple of hundred for a huge wall mural display for a soon to be opened sports bar. Thanks-John”

My answer was simple: They’re not for sale.

I was once offered $200 for a single ball. That one wasn’t for sale either. I don’t go to games to make money. That’s what my job is for.

But still, I admit it’s fun to think about how much my collection is worth or, as someone suggested in a comment in my previous entry, what my “CPB” is.

MoneyballCPB = Cost Per Baseball.
How does it work?
Kind of like earned run average.
The better you do, the lower it goes.

If you buy a $16 ticket and catch two balls, your CPB is 8.00.

On Wednesday, I paid $12 for my Mezzanine seat and left Shea with six balls for a 2.00 CPB. The day before, I paid the same price and got seven. CPB = 1.71. That’s Roger Clemens territory.

My best game of the season came on May 31st when I got into Shea for just five bucks and caught 15 balls for a CPB of 0.33.

But here’s where it gets tricky. Do I add four dollars for the cost of my round trip subway rides? When I’m in Cincinnati (in nine days) and Houston (in eleven), am I supposed to factor in the money I’ve spent on flights and hotels? What about food? What about game balls versus practice balls? Is there any difference in value? Do I get credit for grabbing Wes Helms’ batting gloves? Do we need a separate stat called CPPOBG (Cost Per Pair Of Batting Gloves)? Or CPA (Cost Per Autograph)? How about CPLC (Cost Per Lineup Card)? I’ve gotten several of those.

How about if I shut up. CPB is a lovely stat. Thank you, Christopher, for suggesting it. I have no idea what my CPB is for the season, let alone my entire ball-snagging career, but it’ll be fun to play around with it.

In other news…
I skipped yesterday’s Mets game because it was “Sports Bag Night” and I thought there’d be a painfully large crowd. Friday night! Gorgeous weather! 48,000 people? Not even close. The attendance was only 34,728 and I feel like a total jerk.

My next game?
Tuesday at Yankee Stadium…if all goes according to plan.



    Hey Z,

    My ultimate CPB was in late June, where I got 4 balls on a Monday, and 6 balls on a Wed. at Ameriquest, and I had FREE ticket vouchers for each night. A perfect CPB of ZERO!!!!!!!!!!


    Every Dodger game I’ve been to has been free Club Level seats, because I have connections to the team. So, my CPB is zero.

    -About nine-ten foul balls

    -About 300-500 autographed memorabiia from players, coaches, and managers

    -A baseball bat from Jay Bell


    Zack man, you frequently overshoot on the attendance expectations. It’s not like you’d be getting shut out at a 48,000 crowd anyway, you should just go for it.


    Or do you subtract for enjoyment of game … or add if you didn’t enjoy the game?

  5. Zack

    I will. Thanks again.


    I haven’t gotten into a game for free since…I can’t remember how long it’s been. I’m jealous.


    If you’ve gotten in for free every time, that makes you the league leader in CPB.*****. I need some connections. And a bat. Yes, a bat would be nice.


    I also UNDERshoot. Remember my two U-turns? Merengue night at Shea and then that other weeknight game at Yankee when 51,000 freeekin’ people showed up. But you’re right. I should’ve just gone. But then again, I have so much other stuff going on (not to mention four games in four days coming up in Cincinnati and Houston) that I don’t mind taking an extra night off here and there to take care of it all and relax a bit.


    Worry not, dearie. I’ll keep this one to the blog. (Nice to see you on here again.)


    I don’t know. I’ll have to get back to you. By the way, I’m surrounded by jeets as I type this.


    Hey Zach! I just got back from Rogers Centre. The attendence was the highest this season at 48 000 (The jays average just under 20 000 a game) Anyway, I was amazed to speculate how in the world you manage to run around the isles, almost all stadiums are packed with ushers ready to check your ticket. I couldnt even move to better seats, let alone be anywhere near the 40 so foul balls =( There was no BP, anyway keep up the good work, im sure your efforts will be embraced one day in more then simple subtile ways.

  7. Zack

    Well that’s what you get for going to see the Yankees. :-)

    Shea is the only place where I can get away with standing during the game. There are a couple of runways/ramps where there aren’t ushers, and conveniently, those happen to be the best place for foul balls. At any other ballbark, I just try to pick out an empty seat near an aisle and then take off as soon as the ball leaves the bat. Of course, I can’t always find an empty seat where I want to be, so it’s a constant struggle.


    I def. know you were here. Nicky is crooked … the cars are not at the right angles and mini Jeets was knocked over.

  9. Zack

    Whoa whoa whoa, I definitely did NOT knock over BabyJeets…and the Nicky? I was nowhere near it. I even kept my backpack on the floor so as not to harm any of your glorious artifacts. It is possible that something of mine touched the cars and caused them to roll ever so slightly, but I can’t even think what that might have been. Now…there WAS another individual who leaned over the cubicle wall to tell me something—this person shall remain nameless—and accidentally knocked the Jeter calendar out of one of its two holders. But after I reprimanded this person, he/she replaced it with great care. I’m at a loss.

    (For those of you who have NO idea what I’m talking about, jeetsmeister and I are co-workers, and I occasionally use her cubicle…with great care, even though she now doesn’t think so.)


    I will gladly sell 200 baseballs …..please , please take them off my hands. The first think I think after I catch one is ..Great….now what am I going to do with it…The total is most important to me now. I think Ive sold 2 dozen ….given away 4 dozen…..and used a dozen to play catch(that is what they are good for…catch :) And I still have another 4 dozen or so from this year alone… please ….buy my baseballs.

  11. Zack

    You’re funny. But don’t you feel weird telling people that you’ve caught a certain number and OWN a different number? What if someone asked you to prove it? How many balls do you actually still have in your possession?

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