“Why I’m Exhausted” by Zack Hample

Three games in three days is life-consuming, at least the way I do it. When I go to Shea, I have to leave my apartment by 3:30pm, and I’m usually gone for close to eight hours. Then I eat dinner. Then I check my voice-mail and e-mail. Then I shower. Then I update my web site and ball log and refrigerator magnets and various other lists/thing. Then I photograph the evening’s interesting balls. Then I scan my autographed ticket stubs. Then I look through all my photos from the day and decide which ones I want to use. Then I edit them. (When there are little girls sobbing in the background and security guards surrounding me along with hostile fans threatening to kick my ***, I airbrush them out.) By this point, it’s about 2am…and THEN I start writing my entry. That usually takes about two or three hours. Sometimes four or five hours if I have a lot to say. Then I spell-check. Then I edit. Then I think of more stuff to say and type it in way too fast and often misspell it and important words. (Like that.) Then I insert photos. Then, if I get around to it, I brush my teeth. Then I check my e-mail again and read the day’s box scores for about 40 minutes. By this point, the filthy pigeons on my fire escape are cooing in the morning light, while city buses 40 feet below are screeching in the morning commute. Then I go to bed. Then I wake up about five hours later so I can get all my stuff done (including fixing all the typos that my dad and my friend Brooke point out) before running out the door for Shea. If there’s time, I’ll get a sandwich on the way. I usually stop at this scuzzy little deli near the subway. It’s not very good, but it’s quicker than walking the extra block to Subway (the restaurant), and it’s less messy than dealing with pepperoni pizza on the #7 train. Lately, my sandwich of choice has been a fried chicken cutlet with melted cheddar on an onion bagel. But usually, there are no onion bagels, so I alternate between poppy and sesame. By this point, it’s usually 3:46pm, so I have to run to the subway and then run IN the subway and then run FROM the subway to the Shea Stadium ticket office. And then my Day O’ Snagging begins anew. So that’s why I’m exhausted.
(But happy.)


  1. dodgerssteven91@yahoo.com

    Wow, it was very alerting for me to read how much time you spend so that many baseball fans can enjoy your blog. I found your blog after surfing the MLBlogs website, and I remembered reading in Time For Kids about this man who had like 2,000 baseballs. When, I opened your blog, I saw your picture, the same picture and I started reading your adventures. I was very amazed by the detail, and soon enough I got the courage to respond back to you, even though I don’t even know you. So, I just want to thank you for making a great blog.

    Just, one more thing, out of curiosity, how kind are the Dodgers when they come to Shea? I would like to know how the team treats the fans in New York.

  2. wolfe2@gmail.com

    Take a day or a week off from doing it. Seriously, I think it will be good for you. You’ve done a great job in delivering us an excellent blog to read.

    I found it like two weeks ago, and I haven’t stopped coming here and posting comments…It’s pretty amazing how dedicated you are.

    Thanks Zack, for keeping me more informed about baseball!

  3. doppychico89@yahoo.com

    They are right Zack. Ive been following your blog almost daily since April… this season has been much more fun because of your advice and insight on ball snagging that we can all try. Keep it up!

  4. evilsnare1@yahoo.com

    Good job Zack. Whats your total ball update for this season? How much do you average a season? Also, DONT stop and take a week off (as wolfe2 said) only 9 more games to go this season! And im sure you wont go to yankee stadium in the playoffs.. or will you ?? lolzz

  5. Zack

    You needed “courage” to write to me? Sheesh…well, I’m glad you finally did. It’s been nice having you read my blog and comment on it. When I was in Time For Kids back in 1999, I was only up to 1,285 balls. Are you sure you have the number right? Maybe they did another piece on me and I don’t even know it. As for your question about the Dodgers, I noticed that you already found my answer in the comments for that earlier entry.


    I might take some time off after the regular season is over, but I’ve managed to blog every day since I started this thing, and I want to see if I can keep it going just a little bit longer. Anyway, thanks. My e-mail address is ZackSnags@aol.com, but if possible, ask some of your questions here…perhaps some other people might like to get in on the discussion.


    Thanks! That’s really nice to hear. I’ve enjoyed have you–and everyone else–check out this blog. This season has been more fun for me, too, as a result.


    You got THAT right.


    I’m up to 289 balls so far this year; just 12 more and I’ll set a new record. I’m about to write an entry about that within the next hour or two. My season average (since I started doing this full-time-ish in 1992) is 193 balls. I agree with you about NOT taking any time off from the blog…at least not yet. Just another week to go, as you said. As for Yankee Stadium, the only way I’d go is if someone gave me a ticket. I suppose I’d even pay face value to get in, but that place is crazy enough during the regular season. I don’t really see the point. During the post-season, I actually like to WATCH the games, and that’s hard to do when I’m running around all game. (Now let’s see if the Yanks even make it to the playoffs.)


    You’re welcome.


    I don’t deny it.

  6. nablaw@cox.net

    You da man!! Nice to see how some players are still a bunch of spoiled brats and won’t throw a ball to the stands. They don’t pay for it so what do they care? I’m heading to the Mets Fantasy Camp this coming Jan and plan to bring 2,000+ balls back on the plane in one shot!! Keep going and ..LETS GO METS in 06′

  7. Zack

    Man, I’m jealous. I can’t wait to go to the fantasy camp, but I think you have to be at least 30 years old, right? I still have a couple more years to go. Have fun! (And bring back some balls.)

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