Back from Costa Rica


The Rawlings baseball factory was a bust, but I did pick up some valuable information during my week in Costa Rica. Thanks to some fellow tourists staying at our resort, I learned how to ask for a ball in Swedish and Finnish.
With CAPS indicating where to put the emphasis, the Swedish request sounds like this:

“CAS-ta heet BAUL-en ar doo SNELL.”

And in Finnish:

“HAY-ta PAHL-oh-tahn-eh KEE-tose.”

Are there any Swedish or Finnish ballplayers? No, not yet. But just you wait. In fact, no, don’t wait. Learn these phrases now so you’ll be prepared. I’d learned the request in Korean long before there were Korean major leaguers…and let’s just say it’s been rewarding.

In addition to Swedish, Finnish, and Korean, I can ask for a ball in Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Urdu, Russian, Bulgarian, Turkish, Gaelic, Serbo-Croatian, Albanian, Hebrew, Yiddish, Swahili, Italian, Vietnamese, Thai, Tagalog, Greek, and American Sign Language.

If you’re fluent (and I mean fluent) in any language I haven’t just mentioned or used, we need to talk.



    yeh i cant wait to go to Costa Rica… 35 days until pitchers and catchers report… u gettin excited?


    Baseball in Sweden isn’t really that big. Here’s att picture from the swedish final:

    Not that impressive. Just some “hills” with benches. Maybe it was 100 spectators at that game.

    By the way, the proper spelling for you phrase is “Kasta hit bollen, är du snäll.” ;)

  3. Zack

    Actually, I haven’t been thinking about baseball at all, except for my own writing and a few headlines I’ve caught in the news. Remember, I love the off-season because it’s exactly that. Time off…a chance to recover and pursue other things that get neglected from April through October.


    That’s awesome. Thanks for the pic (kind of lame, yes, but baseball is baseball) and the spelling lesson. I didn’t bother to learn the spelling becuse I figured I’d never need to read or write the phrase. But THERE it is. It’s a beautiful language.


    I am deciding whether or not to join MLBlogs I don’t know if I should or not… Help me out here

  5. Zack

    Yes! Go for it. I’d never blogged until I started this one in April, and I got the hang of it quickly. Very easy to use…also addictive, so watch out. Lots of hits (as it IS directly connected to Great network of baseball fans/insiders. Hmm, what else…

  6. Gabriel

    Hey Zack,

    Have you ever snagged any baseballs from Spring Training?

    I’m heading down to Florida for a few days to watch the Yanks at Legends Field – are the players more apt to toss balls to fans in this more relaxed atmosphere?

    Also, any tips for soliciting a photo with Steinbrenner (I’m gonna try the impossible!).





    Hi Zach, you really weren’t kidding when you said you were fascinated with your balls!!! By the way did the Texan girl in Costa Rica get to see them?

    Great website, I have some photos to send you when i have organised a link.

    Neil and Milla

  8. Zack

    I’ve only been to Spring Training twice, back in 1994 and 1995, and yes, I snagged a WHOLE lot of balls. But…I don’t count those as part of my grand total. I get so many balls thrown to me during the regular season that it’s hard to imagine the players giving even more than that during the spring. I mean, every time the players use a ball to play catch, it always ends up in the seats when they’re done. If anything, there’ll just be less competition in Spring Training. I do know that guys sign many more autographs during preseason, but getting Steinbrenner has got to be tough. Maybe try to get him on his way into or out of the ballpark? Legends Field is a tough place, though, with poor access to the players. It’s sectioned off, as I recall. If you’re in the outfield, you’re IN the outfield. Know what I mean? Good luck and let us know how you do.


    Wow, what a great surprise to hear from you! And now, you finally understand the fascination. The lovely Texan (Laura) did not get to see them, but supposedly she’s coming to NYC in a few months, so who knows. She and I have been e-mailing. Can’t wait to see your pics. I’ll shoot a few your way…

  9. Zack

    Yeah, that 81 is sick. Of course, when I see that number from now on, I’ll still think “half a baseball season” instead of “Kobe.”

    Fluent Hebrew, huh? It’s only a matter of time before you get to use it at MLB games.


    say it in scottish if you want to be really obscure, yet at the same time homely and ‘inclusive’ …hey c’mon mister, geez ra baw, eh, ya bas

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