The $20,000 ground-rule double

First of all, happy birthday, Cal.

Secondly, did you hear about this? On Saturday, Jorge Posada ripped a ground-rule double for his 1,000th career hit. Posada wanted the ball, so a Yankees official approached the fan who caught it and Jorgeposada2offered an autographed bat and ball in exchange. The fan said no and demanded $20,000. Posada said no and that was the end of it.

If I had caught that ball, my requests would have been simple:

1) I want to meet Posada after the game and return the ball to him myself.

2) I’ll need a replacement so my collection won’t be one ball short, and I’d like Posada to write the following message on it: “Dear Zack, thanks for catching and returning my 1,000th career hit. With respect from one catcher to another, Jorge Posada.”

3) I would like to take batting practice on the field at Yankee Stadium. It doesn’t have to be with the team. You guys can be in Canada for all I care. All you have to do is provide the balls and someone (Kevin Brown, perhaps?) to pitch them. Thank you.



    I’m no expert on how much writing can fit on a baseball, but…can that much writing fit on a baseball? And if so, wouldn’t it be pretty smushed? I don’t suppose anyone would be willing to re-enact Zack’s fantasy autograph (factoring in, of course, the size and style of Posada’s scrawl). All for the sake of science, of course.


    Need to Know in New York


    I see you’ve thought about this already. It’s good that you’re prepared. You wouldnt ask for anything else though? Bat(s)?


    How much would season tickets cost at Yankees Stadium? If it’s reasonable I’d ask for that, but I’d definitely give the ball back to him. Maybe meet him and stuff too, but $20,000 is a little steep I think.


    Wow, 20,000 is wayyyy to steep. I would the same things as you. I would probably even settle for taking BP in Yankee Stadium. Alright, Ive asked you this before, but I was wondering if there is anything specific to do. Im going to a game at Miller Park on Friday, anything that can almost guarentee me a ball?


    ^ Bring a glove, know all the players, be alert, be mobile. Same thing almost everywhere.


    You know Brown is 4-7 with a 6.50 ERA, you might put the hurt on him. Nothing like paying $15,714,286 for a 40 year old dude to toss batting practice. The Yankess are all class!

  7. Zack

    I thought about that and determined that it would be possible if Posada would be willing to take his time and write small. Remember, he’d be using a fine-tipped ball-point pen and not a magic marker.


    I’d ask for a LOT more if the ball were actually worth something to anyone else besides the player. But Posada’s 1,000th hit? I don’t think that would bring too much money on eBay so it’s not like I would have any leverage, you know? But if I were to catch a 500th home run (or a 756th home run), ho ho ho…


    I’m not sure what the discount is for buying a season ticket, but we can do some crude math based on face-value prices and approximate the cost…the cheapest seat in the ballpark (not counting the bleachers) is $20. Multiply that by 81 home games, and you got $1,620. I don’t know what the average ticket price is at Yankee Stadium. Maybe $50? That would be $4,050. But what about those plush $90 seats right around the dugouts? That would be $7,290…but why settle for one seat? You’d want to be able to take three of your friends to every game, right? Four season tickets at $90 apiece would be…$29,160. Nice!


    The Grocery Man has once again offered some wonderful/generic advice, but there are other things to know about Miller Park. It’s a special place, and you can really work it if you know what to do. First of all, go to the restaurant called Front Row Friday’s at about 4pm and get yourself a table on the narrow terrace that overlooks left field. They’ll let you stay there for an hour, and you can actually get balls during that time (before the gates open!!!) because there’s no netting or anything. Second, make sure you have some sort of contraption that you can lower to grab baseballs that are out of reach. There’s a gap right below the terrace at Friday’s and another gap behind the right field wall as well. Finally, during the game, try to sit in the last row before the wide aisle in front of the press box in the second deck. If you can find a spot there, it’s like a guaranteed foul ball. Maybe two or three. Miller Park might be THE best place for balls in the majors. I got 17 balls at my only game there back in 2003, including two foul tips during the game. Good luck. Let us know how you do.


    Brown might have a 6.50 ERA, but he could still make me look stupid if he tried. I wouldn’t want to try to hit his sinker. I just threw out his name because I figured he’d be good at grooving 60mph fastballs and because…what else is he doing these days?

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