Bad dream

Had another snagging nightmare last night. I used to have them all the time back in 1992 and 1993 when I went to games almost every night. Nowadays? Not so much. But last night, it was bad…

I was on my way to the new Shea Stadium. It was drizzling, and I was running late. The skies did clear up at the last second, but I couldn’t find my way into the ballpark. Every gate was the wrong gate. The gates were closed when I knew they should’ve been open, or they were designated for employees and media personnel. I saw an entrance way up some steps. Not just ordinary steps, but museum steps. Government building steps. A sea of steps. When I reached the top, I was stopped by a HUGE bouncer-type guy in front of the glass doors. He wouldn’t let me in and sent me back down and around the side of another building to where I could enter. I couldn’t find the place he’d been talking about. I asked some people for directions. No one knew anything. Just then, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a thick line of fans streaming into the ballpark. Hundreds of people were getting in ahead of me. I panicked. I didn’t know where I’d put my ticket. Turned out it was hiding in a seldom-used pocket, and I made it in, but then I couldn’t find the field level because the stadium was like a mall, with a gigantic concourse and stores and staircases and escalators and balconies and signs that seemed to lead nowhere. I saw one that said “Field Level” and had an arrow pointing to the left. I went left, but there were three choices of where to go, so I ran down an escalator, weaving in and out of the fans and shoppers who were just standing on it like they had nowhere to be. At the bottom, the space opened up to a lounge-type bathroom with leather couches in the middle and urinals against the walls. Dead end. I raced back up the escalator, and the concourse was completely different. No more “Field Level” sign, and I was trapped in a toy store. I made my way out and continued to sprint all over the place, back and forth through the concourse looking for signs, up and down stairs, in and out of stores, without any indication that I was even in a baseball stadium. Finally, I managed to find a runway and make it to the seats. I realized that I’d forgotten my hat of the visiting team. Batting practice was already well underway, and the stadium was crowded. I made my way down the left field foul line, once again struggling to move past all the people who were just standing around as if placed there by God to block me. I didn’t catch a single ball for at least an hour. It was dead. I was hatless, and the players were ignoring me. But then, right at the end of BP, a ball landed in my section, and a bunch of people scurried for it, and I saw the ball trickle out from below the pile-on, and I snatched it. Immediately, the whole section and then the whole stadium started to boo, accusing me of stealing it from a little kid. There weren’t even any little kids around me, so I decided to keep it. I looked down at the ball, and it was made of cloth. It was one of those mushy “ragballs” that gym teachers make kids use so they won’t kill themselves. I was stressing over whether or not to count this ball in my collection…

…and then I woke up.


  1. Diane

    Zack Zack Zack …. haven’t we told you numerous times …. no late-night snacks before bed???! :-)


    Dude, maybe you should see a psychiatrist if you have another dream like that.


    Holy moly. That IS bad.

    If that happened to you in real life, would you give up at the toy store?

    Remember to bring a bat to your next bad dream and just smash anything that gets in your way.

    Smashy, smashy.

  4. Zack

    If I were seeing a psychiatrist, such dreams would be more frequent and much worse.


    In real life, I’ve only given up once due to not being able to reach a stadium. I was on my way to Shea and got stuck on a broken down #7 train (at the Vernon Jackson station). I still could’ve gotten to the ballpark more than two hours early, but I was so pissed about missing the first few minutes of BP that I just got out of the subway and took a cab home.


    You have a very vivid rememberance of your dreams, I wish I could do that, just not with the bad dreams of course… Well, I have come to tell you that I committed a ballsnagger’s sin: I am going to opening day at Camden Yards next monday. From a baseball fan standpoint, I am elated to being going to my second opening day in a row. But from an aspiring ballsnaggers standpoint, I am aware of the fact that I could be shutout.
    Last year when I went to opening day at Camden, I had not yet discovered the wide world of Zack, so i got to the game during the national anthem, oops! Not this year though, I will be the first fan in the stadium (or at least i’ll try). Wish me luck everyone!


    I used to have nightmares about rainouts.

    So what was your best dream?

  7. Zack

    I can’t always remember my dreams in such detail, but the baseball ones tend to burn into my psyche. GOOD LUCK at Camden. As difficult as it will inevitably be, you have the potential to take this season’s lead. If I were you, I’d get there four or five hours before gametime and then buy a program and just sit down right at the gate and kill the time. Once you’re in, get down to the front row in the right-center field bleachers and look for loose balls. Then try to get one thrown. Then hang back a couple rows in case one lands there. Then, after the section fills up (which won’t be more than a few minutes), stay at the BACK of the standing room only section, at least for the lefties. You won’t be able to see the batters, but you’ll be in the perfect spot when homers fly over the heads of everyone who’s standing at that tall ledge at the front. Let us know how you do.


    Rainouts? Why rainouts? My best dream was probably the one where I was a player and got to GIVE balls to everyone. In another dream, though, I was in a stadium all by myself, like, before the gates opened up for the public, and balls literally started raining down into the empty seats all around me. That was pretty cool…and actually, that very thing happened to me in real life at Tiger Stadium back in ’99, but I was forced to return all the balls except one. (The Tigers have struggled ever since as the Great Hample Jinx struck again.)


    yea, i got 38 autos. but that was in only 6 games that i went to where i didnt get any in the 2 mets-yankees games, a mets-cubs game where i arrived about 25 minutes into the game (traffic) and the fact that it was a day game doesnt help. and then in oakland (traffic and the fact that my grandma held us up because she had a 23 minute bathroom break right before we left.)

    but as of right now im probably going to one of the friday night marlins game and the next friday night brewers game.

    ill keep you posted

    also, i have to get you a picture of the 05 ASG ball. my camera kinda got messed with so im getting it fixed.


    Thank you for the good luck and advice… They use special balls on opening day, dont they? I set a goal for this year back in one of my comments during last season… i cant remember it now, i think it was around 30…

  10. Zack

    23-minute bathroom break…I love it! I can picture you pacing back and forth with a stopwatch. 38 autos = impressive. Get me that pic whenever you can.


    You’re welcome. Hope it helps. I can’t remember your goal either. As for Opening Day balls, I’ve never caught one (because I avoid big crowds, and obviously, Opening Day is always sold out), but I guess we both got our answer.


    Thanks for the link. Never even knew such a ball existed.


    ****, I hope I come away with one of those balls, I got one commemorative ball last from the Nationals inaugural season, those are pretty nice, Zack you got two of them right? Well, if I get one, I’ll be sure to send a picture to you and you can show everyone if you’d like.

    Only 6 more days until I’m in the season lead! (knock on wood)


    Hey, Zack, believe it or not I just inherited a 1948 Scrabble game. It even has a Scrabble dictionary from that era inside it. My dad passed away earlier this month and I found it tucked away through time. The other night if fell off a table and eight tiles on the floor showed letters, and I was trying to arrange them to see if it was some kind of sign. “RED MOUNT”, “DRUM TONE”…it was driving me crazy. Thought you would appreciate the Scrabble story…and let me know if you know any Scrabble collectors.


  13. Zack

    The good news is that there will probably be some leftover Opening Day balls that get thrown into the BP buckets. So even if you (or anyone else reading this who happens to be attending Opening Day) don’t get one of the prized balls that day, there’s still hope. I actually got about half a dozen of those commemorative Nationals balls. Maybe even more. I cashed in toward the end of the season when they came to Shea.


    I didn’t know there was a Scrabble dictionary before about 20 or 30 years ago. Wow. Are you sure that the game is actually from 1948? I looked at the one on eBay, and it seems like it has the original copyright date but was actually manufactured later. I’ve visited the headquarters of the National Scrabble Association (way out on the end of Long Island), and they have an EARLY version of Scrabble…like, the inventor’s prototype. That was pretty nifty. Not sure how much yours is worth, though, but I guess it can’t hurt to poke around some more online. I’m planning to go to the NYC Scrabble Club in two days, so I’ll ask around. Doesn’t look like there’s an eight-letter word that you could’ve formed with those tiles.

    But there are lots of two- and three-word combos. I like “NUDE MORT” the best. But if Cecil Fielder comes out of retirement and plays at Shea, I’ll switch my top pick to “ROUND MET.”

    Really sorry to hear about your father. Hope you’re doing okay…

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