The World Series is over, and my final ball-snagging stats are in.No flowery descriptions–just a bunch of categories and lists.

Let’s do this…

2005 TOTALS:
• 43 games attended (including three without batting practice)
• 8 stadiums
• 321 balls
• 7.5 balls per game
• Most balls at one game: 17
• Fewest balls at one game: 3 (twice)
• 10 game balls
• 4.3 games per game ball
• (3.4 games per game ball if adjusted for all the games I had to leave early)

• April — 20
• May — 38
• June — 49
• July — 36
• August — 79
• September — 94
• October — 5

• Shea — 199
• Yankee — 41
• Camden — 24
• Minute Maid — 19
• Citizens Bank — 17
• Great American — 8
• Fenway — 7
• RFK — 6

• Thrown — 214
• Hit — 52
• Glove trick — 49
• Found — 6

• Batting practice — 253
• Pregame (not during BP) — 37
• During games (not to be confused with “game balls”) — 23
• After games — 8

• 26 games attended
• 199 balls
• 7.7 balls per game

• 7 games attended (and I was miserable at all of them)
• 41 balls
• 5.9 balls per game

• 10 games attended
• 81 balls
• 8.1 balls per game (I figured this one out without the calculator!)

• 321 balls in one season
• 621 balls in two consecutive seasons
• 35 consecutive games with at least four balls (streak over…thanks a lot, Cincinnati)
• Most balls in one game at Yankee Stadium: 10

• 10 or more balls in back-to-back games at two different stadiums
• 10 or more game balls in back-to-back seasons
• Using my mom to get a ball (It was my birthday so that makes it okay.)

• 80th lifetime game ball — foul tip by David Wright on 5/31/05 at Shea Stadium
• 2,500th ball — foul tip by Marlon Anderson on 6/7/05 at Shea Stadium
• 100th ball of the season — hit by Jose Offerman in BP on 6/28/05 at Shea Stadium
• 400th consecutive game with at least one ball — 7/1/05 at Shea Stadium
• 2,600th ball — thrown by Brad Hennessey on 8/16/05 at Great American Ballpark
• 40th Major League stadium with at least one ball — 8/17/05 at Minute Maid Park
• 200th ball of the season — BP homer by Hideki Matsui on 8/22/05 at Yankee Stadium
• 50th lifetime game with 10 or more balls — 8/30/05 at Shea Stadium
• 1,000th lifetime ML/Bud Selig ball — thrown by Rheal Cormier on 8/30/05 at Shea Stadium
• 2,700th ball — thrown by Mike DiFelice on 9/20/05 at Shea Stadium
• 50th consecutive game with at least three balls — 9/26/05 at Citizens Bank Park
• 80th consecutive non-NYC game with at least one ball — 9/26/05 at Citizens Bank Park
• 500th ball outside of NYC — thrown by Tim Hamulack on 9/26/05 at Citizens Bank Park
• 300th ball of the season — thrown by Garrett Atkins on 9/29/05 at Shea Stadium
• Record-breaking 301st ball of the season — thrown by Clint Barmes two minutes later
• 10th game ball of the season — foul ball by Marlon Anderson on 9/30/05 at Shea Stadium

• Wes Helms’ batting gloves on 8/3/05 at Shea Stadium
• Ryan Speier’s glove on 9/29/05 at Shea Stadium
• 3 pairs of lineup cards from consecutive games, starting with 8/15/05 at Great American Ball Park when Randy Winn hit for the cycle.
• 61 autographs (not counting the managers’ signatures on the lineup cards) for an average of 1.4 autographs per game): Jeremy Accardo, Bob Apodaca, Tony Armas Jr., Clint Barmes (thrice), Heath Bell, Jose Capellan, Tim Corcoran, Rheal Cormier, Bob Costas, Jeff DaVanon, Trent Durrington (twice) Steve Finley, Julio Franco, Jeff Francoeur, Geoff Geary, Luis Gonzalez, Mark Grace, Danny Graves, Yamid Haad, Brad Hawpe, Jim Hendry, Brad Hennessey, Tim Hudson, Mike Jacobs (twice), Ted Lilly, Esteban Loaiza, Davey Lopes, Noah Lowry, Ryan Madson, Charlie Manuel, Kaz Matsui, Seth McClung, Melvin Mora, Juan Padilla, Jake Peavy, Andy Pettitte (twice), Boog Powell (twice), Jose Reyes (twice), Freddy Sanchez, Jae Seo, Ryan Shealy, Ryan Speier (thrice), Brett Tomko, Steve Trachsel (twice), Derrick Turnbow, Daryle Ward, Chris Welsh, Brad Wilkerson, Preston Wilson, Eric Young, and Gregg Zaun


• 2,752 balls
• 89 game balls
• 507 balls outside of NYC
• 14 game balls outside of NYC
• 40 major league stadiums with at least one ball
• 746 players and coaches who’ve thrown balls to me (including 82 new ones this year)
• 606 games attended (scientific approximation…didn’t keep track early on cuz I’m thtupid)
• 54 games with 10 or more balls

• 427 total consecutive games with at least one ball
• 53 total consecutive games with at least three balls
• 290 consecutive games at Shea Stadium with at least one ball
• 97 consecutive games at Yankee Stadium with at least one ball
• 36 consecutive games at Shea Stadium with at least four balls
• 30 consecutive games at Yankee Stadium with at least two balls
• 80 consecutive games outside of NYC with at least one ball
• 75 consecutive games outside of NYC with at least two balls
• 8 consecutive seasons with at least 100 balls
• 7 consecutive post-season games with at least one ball
• 7 consecutive seasons with at least one game ball
• 7 consecutive seasons with at least one game in which I caught two game balls

• 1,107 major league
• 1,060 National League
• 523 American League
• 34 no-logo balls (awful)
• 13 from the 2000 World Series
• 5 from the 2000 All-Star Game
• 4 from “Serie de los Expos de Montreal
• 3 from the 2001 World Series
• 3 from the 2002 All-Star Game

NOTE: I caught the World Series and All-Star Game balls in subsequent years during BP.

• 1990 —- 4
• 1991 —- 14
• 1992 —- 128 (9)
• 1993 —- 218 (14)
• 1994 —- 201 (6)
• 1995 —- 273 (8)
• 1996 —- 177 (5)
• 1997 —- 59
• 1998 —- 192
• 1999 —- 251 (7)
• 2000 —- 163 (6)
• 2001 —- 134 (5)
• 2002 —- 149 (5)
• 2003 —- 168 (4)
• 2004 —- 300 (10)
• 2005 —- 321 (10)

• Average season: 172 balls including 5.6 gamers

• 1990 —- n/a
• 1991 —- n/a
• 1992 —- n/a
• 1993 —- 25,061
• 1994 —- 25,044
• 1995 —- 21,111
• 1996 —- 19,675
• 1997 —- 21,409
• 1998 —- 26,949
• 1999 —- 30,116
• 2000 —- 29,524
• 2001 —- 26,678
• 2002 —- 34,421
• 2003 —- 28,407
• 2004 —- 28,094
• 2005 —- 34,075

• Average number of fans who get in my way every game: 26,965

That’s pretty much it, at least for now. I could go on and on and slice-n-dice my stats a thousand different ways, but it’s almost 7am. I should probably start thinking about going to bed.



    What? No win-loss record for teams in games where you caught a ball?

    Can’t wait til next season.


    Oh man…not even a small section dedicated to autographs?

    I’ll be posting my stizats in a bit.


    Here are my complete stats:
    2 Balls, 11 games (didnt try until the end of the year)

    Both balls were at Safeco Field

    #1 – 4/22/05 Thrown to me from Cleveland Indians pitcher Jason Davis. Cought the ball above the hand operated scoreboard by right field foul pole.

    #2 – 9/30/05 Thrown by Oakland Athletics pitcher Huston Street!!!, field level, right field foul pole area.

    I broke my previous record of 5 games in one year attended by going to 11 games (not bad for a 17-18yr old that lives 30 miles from the stadium.

    I feel bad for not trying hard enough because there were many more opportunities. I actually had several dreams about getting baseballs at the stadium during the season.

    I also visited 3 minor league parks around the northwest. Which i received another ball. Cheney Stadium (2 or 3 times, live 15mi. from it) also attended a portland beavers game in Portland, and a Yakima Bears game. Overall i would call it a good year. I hope to break my game and ball record at safeco next season.

  4. Bob

    great stats man. It’s great collecting them, but there’s nothing like catching one that’s been in play. Only happened twice for me, one minor, one major league.But both memorable for sure.

    How the heck do you keep all those stats anyway?



    Hey Zack, congrats on a great year, here are my stats:

    Balls: 11

    Games*: 9

    (*that number is without the games I went to BEFORE I found your blog, hence I wasn’t at the game for balls)

    Games: 12

    Balls per game: 1.2

    # of Stadiums: 2 (RFK, Camden Yards)

    Avg. Attendance: 29400

    Most balls in one game: 3 (July 19th at RFK)

    Shutouts (games w/ no balls): 2 (i cried all the way home)

    Minor League Stats:

    Games: 2

    Balls: 1 (game ball, caught foul ball)

    Teams: Frederick Keys, Savannah Sand Gnats

    they are both Class A ball so they weren’t exactly throwing them into the stands…

    well Zack those are my stats for this year, thanks for all of the tips, i think everyone found them helpful. it was tons of fun following your blog everyday all the way from april to october! Looking forward to next year, my goal is 25 and 10 games

    thanks again


    2005 TOTALS:
    1 Game, 1 Ball

    August 20th, Red Sox at Angels

    Caught Foul Tip ball by Chone Figgins

    Attendance at game: 44,014.

    Autographed by Chone Figgins on September 24th.


    2 Games, 1 Ball

    My first game was when i was in 4th grade, and sitting in the nosebleed section, and not coming to batting practice.

  7. Zack

    To heII with wins and losses. Those don’t exist in my world. As for next season…I can wait. I love having a chance to do other things during the winter.


    I didn’t get enough autographs (or keep detailed records of when/where I got them) to write anything about it here. I barely averaged one per game this season. Anyway, get crackin’ on your stats. I want to see them. Now!


    Thanks for posting more info about your stats. How DO you get to games? Do you drive? Or does someone else give you a lift? Getting to more games, obviously, is the key. I once slept overnight in Cheney Stadium. Totally legal. I was there to visit my friend, the head groundskeeper.


    Thanks, I appreciate it, and congrats on your two gamers. I keep track of all these stats by updating various lists every time I come home from a game. One of these lists is a ball log with the details of how I got each ball, along with all the dates and stadiums, etc. I still had to do a lot of research and math to post everything in this entry. It wasn’t ALL just sitting there, waiting for me to write up.


    After reading your stats, I realized that I neglected to write up some of my numbers for this year…like most balls in one game, number of stadiums, etc. I’m not home right now, but I might add a few stats tonight. I’m glad that my blog inspired you to start collecting…but you didn’t really cry when you got shut out, did you?


    Very cool that your first ball was a foul DURING a game by a such a good player. My first gamer was my 20th lifetime ball.


    I’m waiting…


    Hi Zack,
    Your stats are very thorough. It is incredible how you can keep track of all the balls you get at a game and know the source of each one. With so many players and coaches (especially when no name or number is showing) that is no easy task. I look forward to reading more next year. Anyway, my numbers are as follows:

    Games: 9

    Balls: 2

    -Both were BP home runs that I got at Rogers Centre in Toronto. The first was hit by Josh Bard of the Indians while the second was hit by Eric Hinske of the Blue Jays.

    -I did a terrible job of planning games this year and went to quite a few afternoon games with no batting practice. However, I did accomplish my goal this summer of going to Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park which was a lot of fun.



    lol I didnt cry why I got shutout but I was very upset, but there’s no crying in baseball…collecting

  10. Zack

    When I say that 746 players and coaches have thrown me balls, what I really mean is: “746 players and coaches THAT I REMEMBER AND CAN IDENTIFY have thrown me balls.” I hardly kept any stats until the 1993 season, at which point I’d already collected 146 balls. When I first started compiling my list of names, I combed through every ML roster and wrote down all the names of guys who’d thrown me balls…that I could remember. No doubt I’m missing a bunch. In recent years, I’ve gotten balls from unrecognizable players whose numbers weren’t showing, guys who will forever be unknown to me, so that’s cost my list lots of names as well. So my lifetime stats are not 100% complete. Anyway, yeah, you gotta plan your games better next year, but at least you got a couple of balls this season…and you got to visit three historic stadiums. Not bad.


    Okay, I figured, but I had to make sure. I’ll admit that I’ve shed a few tears over the years at games, when I was much younger and certain ushers and security guards were REALLY picking on me and going out of their way to make my life miserable. They still (try to) do it to me all the time, but I don’t cry anymore. Now I just make fun of them in my blog and write even nastier stuff in my journal.


    Thats pretty cool that you got to stay overnight at cheney, any way you can hook me up? heh.. About getting to games, i usually went with a group of 4 or 5 friends and one of us drove. I myself drove 3 games. Heres the great thing: free parking every game, we parked about 5 blocks away just past the krispy kreme. Alot of the games we went to were for the
    promotions (statue nights, cap nights), or later in the year when we wanted to watch Felix. Which makes for an excellent game.


    Sorry for not visiting in a long time, and great season for shagging baseballs! Here are my stats…
    60-100 autographs,

    and sadly no baseballs in 2005.


    My Stats:

    Games: 20


    Average balls per game: 0

    SHEA: 13 Games, 0 balls

    YANKEE: 2 Games, 0 balls

    CITIZEN’S BANK: 3 games, 0 balls

    PNC: 1 Game, 0 balls

    RFK: 1 Game, 0 balls

    GAMES WITHOUT A BALL: 87 (since September 1998)




    My Stats:

    Games: 24

    Balls: 79

    Average balls per game: 3.29

    Average BPG (attending BP): 3.76

    Balls Per Stadium

    Safeco Field: 21 Games, 60 balls

    Shea Stadium: 1 Game, 8 balls

    PNC Park: 1 Game, 10 balls

    Yankee Stadium: 1 Game, 1 ball

    Game Balls:

    Foul Balls: 1

    Home Run’s: 1 (Adrian Beltre’s 15th of the year)


    Game Balls: 9

    Total Balls: 359


    I refuse to post an imperfect list of statistics. I’m still in the process of properly formulating mine. Stay tuned.

  16. Zack

    Unfortunately, I no longer know anyone at Cheney Stadium. Sorry. You should try going to more games by yourself…that is, if accumulating baseballs becomes more valuable than socializing. The way I see it, even with all the games I attend alone, I still have over 325 nights per year to see all the friends I want in a non-baseball context.


    Thanks, but like I’ve been saying, I can wait. A little time off to relax and do other things can be a good thing, you know? ( I didn’t feel this way until I went off to college and discovered girls. Funny how that works.)


    Once again, there’s no need to apologize. It’s nice to hear from you whenever you get a chance, but don’t sweat it. What does “60-100” autographs mean? Are you saying you don’t KNOW how many you got? Next year, your assignment is to catch at least one baseball.


    What was the other game?


    I’m glad you decided to make an appearance for this entry. Seventy-nine balls?! Nice work. I like how you organized everything…types of game balls (congrats on the Beltry HR), games/balls for each stadium…very easy to follow. If you go to 40 games next year, you might reach #500. But that’s a lot of games, especially in a city where there’s only one team. I’m sorry you only got one ball at Yankee Stadium, but I’m glad you got to see how tough it is firsthand. At least you didn’t get shut out. 10 at PNC is stellar!


    I think I speak for all of your fans when I say: “We are getting antsy.”


    Zack –

    How dare you not include the glove you got from Russ as a milestone? I’m appalled!




    In your tips section, awhile back you mentioned that most fans are not ready to catch foul balls off of a bounce. Then you went into some comparison of how you should play it like a fielder does.

    My question for you is, do you actually watch the games or do you just pay for a ticket to chase foul balls around?

    Remember that some people are actually there for the game.

    It is only a 4 dollar baseball at most, lucky I think not, crazy probably, and might I add missing the point of the game.

  19. Zack

    I love the site. (Just noticed that you shared the link in an earlier comment. Whoops. Sorry.) It’s great that you’ve put something like this together. I just sent a message to you on there about the most historic ball I ever caught…even though it wasn’t REALLY “historic” in the grand scheme of things.


    You’re right. I am unworthy. But I’ve done my part to make up for it by adding a mention of the glove to this entry in a new section called “OTHER ITEMS COLLECTED.” It’s right above the photograph.


    I watch as much of the games as I can. Some days, I’ll see almost every pitch. Other days, I’ll miss entire half-innings if I’m looking for a place to sit or trying to avoid evil ushers—and that’s okay because my priority is getting balls and I’ve come to accept that missing part of the game is part of MY game. I realize that many people go “for the game” and not for balls, but if you were to ask 1,000 gloveless fans if they would like to go home with a ball, I’ll bet that 998 would say yes—and yet they’re so surprised when a ball finally comes their way. I’m just saying: “People! Even if you’re not an obsessed maniac like me, you still need to consider that a ball MIGHT come your way, and when it does, use a little common sense to give yourself a better chance to snag it.” And by the way, major league baseballs cost a lot more than four bucks. The TEAMS pay more than that per ball, even when they purchase thousands at a time directly from Rawlings. For the average fan, a ball will cost anywhere from $10 to $25. And don’t forget that a game-used ball is far more valuable, if not on eBay, then in terms of happiness.

  20. Julie

    2005 Stats

    Baseballs recieved:

    #1 4/7/05~Joey Eischen (Nationals)

    #2 5/19/05~Jason Isringhausen (Cardinals)

    #3 6/26/05~Doug Mirabelli (Red Sox)

    #4 7/3/05~Blaine Boyer (Braves)

    #5 7/17/05~Todd Jones (Marlins) He wrote on the ball too… “Thanks for coming out! Todd Jones 50”

    #6 7/21/05~Jason Phillips (Dodgers)

    #7 8/6/05~Matt Wise (Brewers)

    #8 8/17/05~Joey Eischen (Nationals). He came over when I was cheering and asked “Weren’t you here before??” :-)Its not an ordinary ball, its stamped w/ the Nationals logo and it says 2005 Inaugural season!

    #9 8/21/05~Ryan Vogelsong (Pirates) He tossed me a ball and the people next to me knew him from college and they got him to sign it for me. :-)

    #10 8/17/05 Joey Eischen (Nats) And he remembered me from April, haha.

    #11 9/11/05 Antonio Alfonseca (Marlins)

    #12 9/13/05 Mike Lieberthal (Phillies) He hit it in batting practice and I got it but got it signed by Kyle Davies, Jorge Sosa, and Wilson Betemit for my mom.

    #13 9/15/05 Marcus Giles (Braves)

    #14 9/15/05 Chipper Jones (Braves) Its his 3 run homer ball that was hit into the Phils bullpen and Blaine Boyer of the Braves got it for me.

    Other items recieved:

    7/3/05-Batting gloves from Marcus Giles

    Autographs on baseballs:

    Todd Jones(Marlins)

    Ryan Vogelsong(Pirates)

    Brandon Duckworth(He signed an old Reading Phillies AA ball that I had from when he was with them)

    Kyle Davies, Jorge Sosa and Wilson Betemit(Braves)

    Autographs on tickets:

    Geoff Jenkins and Chad Mueller(Brewers)

    Jack Wilson and Dave Williams(Pirates)

    Ron Villone and Jim Mecir(Marlins)

    Autographs on my Braves(Marcus Giles) jersey:

    Chris Reitsma, Adam LaRoche, Jorge Sosa, Marcus Giles, and Ryan Langerhans.

    Pictures taken with:

    A.J Burnett and Josh Beckett(Marlins)

  21. Zack

    Thanks for posting all of your stats in such detailed fashion. I love it. Very interesting that the openly homophobic Todd Jones would write “Thanks for coming out.” But anyway, yeah, Jason Phillips is one of the all-time nice guys…and so is Mr. Eischen. I’m not surprised that you got three balls from him. Aren’t those commemorative balls COOL?! I consider myself very lucky to have gotten a few. Congrats on getting Chipper’s HR. Good luck getting it signed. I can’t imagine he’s easy. (In terms of autographs, that is.)

  22. Julie

    Id love to get the Chipper ball signed. But I bet I could since my neighbor has very good ties with the Braves and he helped scout Chipper. Bet he could get anything I want signed for me, I just never asked.

    Oh and I only got 2 balls from Eischen. When I copied and pasted my ball info onto here, I erased something and double posted one of the Eischen stats. I bet when I get to see him next year I can get another ball. Now I have a Nats hat I got for $1.00 at Wal Mart! That alone will help.


  23. Zack

    Wal-Mart. Evil! Evil! Evil! (Of course, if I could buy a Nationals hat there for a buck, I would too.) I think it’s time to ask the neighbor for a little charity. After all, Chanukah IS right around the corner…


    That is crazy! COuld you post some more languages on. I’ve gotten 2 game balls, and 7 BP balls. the 2 game balls came from yankee stadium tossed by vernon wells, and fenway park, hit by david ortiz. it was awesome. congrats again. it is amazing what you do

  25. Zack

    Whoa. How’s THIS for a delayed reply. I don’t check my old entries too often, and I’m guessing you won’t be checking this one again, but anyway, thanks.

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