Boys’ Life


Just thought I’d share the latest “article” about my collection. It’s from the June 2006 issue of Boys’ Life (the Boy Scouts’ official publication), and I love it. It’s simple and punchy and cute, and they didn’t mess up any facts or misquote me. If there’s one thing I’d change, it’d be my own answer to “WHERE TO SNAG A BASEBALL.” I named Turner Field as the best stadium–and it IS quite a snagger’s paradise–but I’m starting to think that Camden Yards is even better. Turner has an expansive section of outfield seats and a huge gap behind the outfield wall, which is ideal for the glove trick. But the stadium is symmetrical and doesn’t offer variety. Camden, on the other hand, has a standing-room-only area down the right field line, a bleachers section in right-center WITH a gap in front of it, and a huge patch of seats in left…and it’s fantastic for foul tips during the game. In any case, here’s the piece:




    Good job, Boy’s Life! And that likeness of you is uncanny—love the hat-stacking.


    Zack –

    Terrific article. Glad to see stardom finally landing on your capped head! But you better be wary of The Boss, because if you keep dissing his beloved team, he’s apt to send his shovelmeister Howard Spira out to dig up dirt to discredit you Winfield-style.

  3. Zack

    Yes, it’s a remarkable portrait. I’m tan. I got the chiseled jaw. My hands and legs are a bit puny, though…but look at that hair! I forgot I had so much hair!


    “Stardom” might be a bit of an exaggeration, but thanks. I’ll take it. Meanwhile, I said nothing bad about the Yankees. I merely stated facts about the stadium, pointing out the limited access. If The Boss has a problem with that, he should consider tweaking the rules to make the place more fan-friendly. But with 4 million people passing through the turnstiles each season, there’s no reason why anything will change.

  4. Nick

    Where do you label your balls? On the other side of the seam next to the sweet spot?

  5. Zack

    Actually, I don’t label my balls in THAT different a spot…just on the other side of the stitches. Basically, if you’re looking at the logo, turn the ball to the right…and then right before the stitches…that’s where I write the number…if that makes any sense. If you look back at my old entries, you’ll find some photos of labeled balls.


    HEY MAN,

    Going to the Jays White Soxs Game Sunday, just wondering if you’ve got any tips to get ball like from White Soxs players/coaches.

    Thanks man hope the balls keep rolling in. :) :) :)

  7. Zack

    I really can’t tell you anything specific about the ChiSox because I haven’t seen them in person in quite a while. I’ve gotten balls from Jeff Nelson (when he was with the Mariners), Alex Cintron (D’Backs), Jim Thome (Phillies), and Scott Podsednik (Brewers). Coaches Art Kusnyer and Tim Raines have also given me balls…but what does that mean? That you should focus on these guys? No. Just practice basic strategies. Ask the Latino players in Spanish, make sure you can recognize the rookies, etc. Sorry I can’t give better advice.



    I hate weekend games. Zillions of kids and others. Oh well, I still managed a good day of 3 at Ameriquest. 2 were from the pickup device, and one was from the BULLPEN CATCHER. Like you said in your last post, good basic strategies WORK! I researched the A’s bullpen catcher’s name (Brandon Buckley), and when I saw a number not listed with coaches and players, I knew I had a match. So by the dugout, this odd #59 guy is loading balls for warmups. “Brandon”, and he looks up, BINGO! How can he NOT throw me a slightly used TRAINING BALL????????

  9. Zack

    Fantastic! I love it. But I have to know…where did you find this guy’s name? Divulge the research secrets, will ya?

  10. John

    Hey Zack … cool article! Hey, I need a ruling on a ball I got tonight. Streak ended or still going? Check out my latest post

    As for Jimmyjoejoejr’s question about the Chisox. my suggestion is go own the right field line. When the Jays ere here in Anahiem the right field line was a busy place! Scott Downs and Scott Scchoenweiss are good bets on getting a ball from the Jays and with the White Sox Podsednik or believe it or not Michael Barrett’s punching bag A.J …. I got one from him when the White Sox were here as well!



    I did a Yahoo search “oakland A’s bullpen catcher”. Seems simple, but it worked.

  12. Nick

    I’m going to the Nationals-Dodgers game tomorrow. I hate RFK, why do I torture myself.

  13. Zack

    Which ball? The one the player tossed that you then gave away to the kid? That’s not for ME to decide. I mean, personally, if I don’t own a ball, I don’t count it in my collection, but if you do, that’s fine.


    That’s it?! I’ve tried the simple Yahoo/Google approach, only to end up with out-of-date info. Hmm…


    I used to torture myself, too, but now that I’ve been to over 600 Major League games, I’ve become more selective. The Dodgers, as a whole, were pretty rude last time I saw them. They were actually taunting the fans during a rain delay as they sat in the dugout…so good luck. Get Andre Ethier’s autograph, if you can. He’s gonna be huge.


    Happy (would-be) 109th birthday.


    Thanks for the advice John your right about Scott Downs he’s a real nice guy (gave me my first ball) and he always signs autos. However The Rogers Centre is bad for seeing Jays BP, cause they only let the gates open when the Jays are almost done BP so its always the visitors you have to bother for balls.


    Hey Albert, you think you could email me some pics of the balls you snagged, or any pics you took of you/and the balls at the game? Also, how’d you miss Zack?

    PS who tossed you the balls?

    PPS you should update your blog with the outings you have.


    Haha. I see where mstadlens going with this, and I would have to say I wholeheartedly support the suspicion here…

  17. Zack

    All right, we’re not on a witch-hunt here. Besides, it’s not fair to assume that Albert packed his camera, or even owns one.

  18. John

    Zack – Tonight I finally got to #4,700 overall. That is the total that includes MLB games, spring training games/workouts as well as minor league games.

    My totals are about balls caught, snagged, retrieved or whatever you may call it. Having kids and being divorced dictated the sale of a portion of the balls that I caught over the years. I also, about once a year, find a little league or charity to donate baseballs too. Over the past 4 years I have donated almost 1,000 to little leagues as well as giving some of the nicer balls to charitable organizations to use for autograph signings where they have a Major Leaguer come in.

    This is just what makes our Hobby so much fun. Some keep and collect and some sell, donate, give away or even play with the balls they get.



    Hey Zack

    Only got 1 ball from the White Soxs- Jays game from Jim Thome. Would have gotten another one but some **** stuck out his glove right in front of mine and caught a foul ball. Also I had a good chat with Man Soo Lee but he didn’t give me a ball which got me ticked but o well 1 is still good for me.


    i dont know if youve heard already, but bonds got 715. i dont have anything against him and i dont belive he did steroids. but i do know that whoever caught that ball is gonna be rich


    Ramones, are you kidding???? Barry Bonds is a steroid using freak. That ball is worthless. Let him pass Aaron, then you can talk about a valuable ball. Needless to say, Ramones comment is easily the worst one ever made on this blog. BOO to Barry forever.

  22. Zack

    Congrats on your latest milestone. That’s awesome.


    Thome tossed me one at Shea in 2003. Nice to get a ball from a (potential) future Hall of Famer, huh? Congrats to you as well.


    I respect your opinion, but the whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing doesn’t work here. Not for me. Sorry.


    Needless to say, you could be nicer.

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