Ticket stubs & index cards

Last month, I talked about documenting a collection.

Now, after having made a recent trip to my parents’ place and retrieving various ball-snagging goodies from my past, I have something else to say/share…

When I first started catching balls, the only thing I did to keep track of my collection was to clip my ticket stubs to index cards and jot down the details. Here’s my first one.


June 20, 1990…a historic day in the life of Zack. As you can see, I didn’t know how to spell “caught,” but I must’ve figured it out fast because I got it right after my first Phillies game on October 6, 1991.


I remember that game well. I was there with my parents and a guy named Steve Mandl who coached baseball at George Washington High School. He had some superstar kid on the team that he wouldn’t stop raving about. We all laughed at him when he told us that the kid was gonna be a future All-Star and a Hall of Famer. What a quack. I wonder what ever happened to that kid. His name was Manny something. But anyway, yeah, Cone struck out 19 batters. There was only one inning when he didn’t fan anyone and, coincidentally, it came right after he slid hard while running the bases. I got my ball after the game. I was standing in the front row along the 3rd base line (didn’t know anything about going to the dugouts) when the Mets relievers started walking in from the bullpen. Whitehurst tossed the ball to me on one bounce off the rubberized warning track. Lucky lucky lucky.


I started getting a little fancier as I started catching more balls. Believe it or not, Yankee Stadium was actually better than Shea through 1993 when both places were still opening just 90 minutes before gametime. (This $15.20 ticket would now cost $90. How I miss the good ol’ days.) Over the next few years, as I began to document my collection in other ways, the ticket stubs and index cards no longer had a purpose, with the exception of “fun.”


I must’ve been challenging myself to see how much writing I could cram onto one index card.


I kept the tickets/cards going for a few more years, but eventually, it became a burden. There were just too many stats and streaks and averages and totals and records to keep track of. Consecutive games with one ball. With two balls. With three balls. With two balls at Shea. With two balls at Yankee. With one ball not at Shea or Yankee. National League balls. American League balls. Major League balls. Most balls in a game. Most balls in a game without batting practice. Most balls in a game without batting practice outside of New York City. Most balls at a post-season game. In two consecutive post-season games. In two consecutive regular season games. Most game balls. Most game balls in back-to-back games. In a week. In a month. Most practice balls in a week. In a month. In a season. Most game balls in a season. Most National League game balls in a season. Most National League game balls in two consecutive seasons. In three consecutive seasons. Most American League game balls in three consecutive seasons. 100th ball of the season. 100th National League ball of the season. 200th ball of the season. Consecutive seasons with 200 balls. With 100 balls. Most balls in one homestand. Most times wanting to rip my hair out. Most times wanting to rip my hair out without batting practice. Most times wanting to rip my hair out without batting practice at Yankee Stadium. AAAAAHHHHH!!!!! I decided to ignore this stuff on a game-by-game basis and just deal with it all at once after each season. Anyway, I was moving out of my parents’ place and didn’t have room for boxes full of ticket stubs and index cards in my teeny new apartment.

Of course, now I’m buried in them all over again.


  1. drosenda@msn.com

    Hey Z,

    Well, I’ve been to 2 games at Ameriquest. They did NOT have BP today, before the 12:20 game. Dammit. But, I still squeezed out 3 baseballs. On Friday night, I got 2. The main stoyline of these games though, was the HEAT. Oh my GOSH, it was 100+. My wife wins the wife of the DECADE award for going with me, and going again tomorrow.

    I’m too tired to write a ball by ball recap, but dude, the highlight was a warmup ball I snagged near the end of today’s 11 inning marathon. Michael Ryan was picking up a between inning outfield ball, I called out, he fires it up to me. There’s a guy next to me (gloveless), and the ball almost doesn’t get to me. I had to reach over the railing, and beat the other guy and gravity to snag it before it fell behind the wall.

    The moral of the story is, bring a glove, and also, have some mad skillz.

    Oh yeah, I also talked about Twins prospects with pitching coach Rick Anderson. I came into the park, and nobody was around near the bullpen. Nice guy, also gave me a ball.

    Here’s to BP tomorrow, Dan

  2. Zack

    Thanks. I figured that you (of all people) would get a kick out of it. But binders? What for? My apartment is small. (Of course you wouldn’t know that because you’re a punk and still haven’t come over to visit.) They’d just be one more thing taking up space.


    Sorry to hear there wasn’t BP. Imagine how many balls you would’ve gotten if there was. It’s always a great feeling when I’ve been in a ballpark for like six hours and then get a ball at (or, in your case, near) the end of the game. Nice going. (Nice wife.) Mad skillz indeed. Looking forward to more of your ball stories soon…

  3. drosenda@msn.com

    Hey Z,

    Yeah, easy on the wife comments. HA. Did you like the way I spelled SkillZ?

  4. thegroceryman1@yahoo.com

    To be more organized and to be able to convienently look through the stuff. Also with all the ticket stubs you have for autographs, you could put them in different binder sections by team so you wont need to look through anything when you’re going to a game.

  5. Zack

    I like your zpelling very much.


    What about Guinness?


    My mess is actually quite organized, but I hear ya. Someday I’ll do it. Looking through my stubs before each game takes no more than three minutes. I have one small stack from each of the last few years, and I flip through them quickly. I’ve thought about putting my autographed stubs into albums, but I don’t know how that would work because lots of them are signed on both the front and back. Any suggestions?

  6. dodgerssteven91@yahoo.com

    No, I meant for you to enter, “Most Baseball Games Gone To” in the Guiness Book of World Records.

  7. Zack

    Ahh, gotcha. But there’s no way I have that record. I’m sure there are people who’ve had season tickets for half a century and have been to 4,000 games. I’ve only been to about 590.

  8. ceetar@gmail.com

    I assume that you’re aware the Yankee one was a preseason game. The prices may have been different for that.

  9. zackhample

    Yes, pre-season. I decided to count those balls in my collection because it was a game at a major league stadium between two major league teams. However…I no longer attend (or count) balls from those types of games.

  10. Rusty

    Hi, I’m Rusty Banks, Content Director of Stubstory.com and I found your website today. I was curious about the possibly of integrating some of your ticket stubs and the stories behind them into what we are doing.

    Would you take a look at http://www.stubstory.com and see if you’d care to share some stories?

    When you have a second – can you shoot me an email to talk about whether you have an interest in having your stories appear on Stubstory.

    I’m looking forward to hearing back from you.


    Rusty Banks

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