6/19/06 at Shea Stadium

“Zack Hample?” asked a voice outside Gate C. I looked up at a tall kid with a Mets cap and a glove. “The Baseball Collector?” he continued.


“That’s me. Are you Chuckster?”

Just before I left for this game, ‘chuckster’ (pictured here) left a comment on my previous entry to say that he was going. It was nice to finally meet him–and to have someone to talk to while waiting 40 minutes for the stadium to open.

He told me he started going for balls after he read my book, and now has 82 in his collection. “If my parents met you,” he said, “they’d say you owe them a lot of time.”

“Nice blog,” said another guy who told me he stumbled upon it recently and has been reading it regularly ever since.

A father and his young son recognized me from TV. They said they’d never gotten a ball and asked where they should go. I told them to head down the foul lines and mentioned that right field, while more crowded, would be better because that’s where most of the Mets would be hanging out. I told the kid to ask the players for balls–by their first names–and to say “please.”

There was a huge line by the time the gate opened at 4:40pm, so I bolted inside and raced up to my corner spot in the right field Loge. I figured I wouldn’t catch the most exciting balls there, but it was a safe place to go to make sure I’d get a few…and I did.

Billy Wagner tossed the first one from the grass just in front of the warning track. It fell short, smacked a railing, and bounced back down onto the field. Wagner got another ball and fired it 10 feet over my head. Luckily, I was still the only one there, so I had no problem chasing it down.


Several minutes later, Alay Soler tossed me a ball from the bullpen after his session with pitching coach Rick Peterson, and soon after that, Ramon Castro strolled into the ‘pen and tossed me another. That one had a nice big smudge on it.

The father and son had made their way out to the first row in foul territory in the right field corner. They looked up at me and waved.

“You’re in a great spot!” I shouted. The father looked relieved and gave me a thumbs up, and moments later, someone threw them a ball. I think it might’ve been Wagner, but that didn’t matter. They were thrilled. I saw ‘chuckster’ get one, too.

I managed to get one more ball in the Loge. It was thrown (of course) by Mets catching instructor Tom Nieto. How bad is Shea? For the first 50 minutes, there was exactly ONE ball that was hit into seats on the entire right side of the stadium–and THAT is why I focus on getting balls tossed to me.

The stadium was filling up. Along both foul lines, the first row was packed. It wasn’t even worth trying to get down to the Mets dugout. I felt lucky to have the corner spot, and I would’ve stayed there if not for one thing: Bucky Dent.


In the early 90s, I attended Bucky’s baseball school in Delray Beach, Florida. He had been a shortstop. I was a shortstop. We worked together on infield drills, and for a while, when he came to Shea as the third base coach of the Cardinals, he recognized me…but I never got a ball from him. Then he became an infield coach with the Rangers…but I hardly got to see him because I didn’t attend as many American League games. Then he started managing in Triple-A, and it was hopeless. I lost track of him for years. But NOW, he was back in The Show and briefly in my home town, serving as the Reds’ bench coach. The Reds were about Buckydentlogo_1to take the field for BP. I had to move closer to the action. I was wearing an old “Bucky Dent’s Baseball School” T-shirt for the occasion.

I headed downstairs, and only then did I realize that Bucky (real name: Russell Earl O’Dey) was pitching BP. That was bad. It meant I needed to run out onto the field to talk to him…but instead I waited like a fool. When he finished pitching and started hitting fungos, I headed back to the outfield to try to get some more balls. Total waste of time. Then Bucky abruptly finished hitting and disappeared into the dugout. I was pretty bummed, unsure if I’d get another chance to see him.


BP was almost done, and I was still stuck on four balls. I desperately wanted to get down to the first row behind the Reds’ dugout, but it was impossible. The crowd was three rows deep, and when BP ended, I saw Bucky walk out onto the field and pick up a few balls. Since I couldn’t get in front of the crowd, I had to elevate above it. I stepped on an orange seat, then got an extra foot higher by climbing onto the rusted arm rests.

I was really sticking out.
“Hey! It’s the foul ball guy!” someone shouted.
I was praying that security wouldn’t come over and make me get down.

As Bucky made his way in, I screamed my head off and got his attention and pointed to my shirt. He waved. I held up my glove and flapped it open and closed. He pulled a ball out of his back pocket and underhanded it to me over everyone’s head…but it was falling short. I was stuck on the arm rests and couldn’t move. I reached forward as far as I could, nearly losing my balance, and was about to catch it in the tip of my glove when someone reached up and swatted the ball away. I didn’t have time to cry. Bucky saw what happened and tossed me his other ball, putting a little more muscle into it. It was heading a bit to my left, but it had the distance, and I reached out and made the catch. I pumped my fist at him and yelled “Thanks!” He waved again and disappeared into the dugout for good.


I caught up with ‘chuckster’ who managed to get a second ball. We both got Brandon Phillips autographs before the game. He got him on a card. I got him on my ticket stub.

The game started, and I decided to head back up to the right field Loge, just in case Ken Griffey Jr. happened to jerk one down the line. His next homer–No. 548–was going to tie him with Mike Schmidt for 11th place on the all-time list.

I entered the Loge and walked through the runway toward a small patch of empty seats near the foul pole. A security guard asked me where I was going. I told him that I actually had a Field Level ticket, and I asked politely if I might be able to sit in this section instead.

“I don’t want you around here,” he said.

“Me personally?”


“Why is that?”

“I have my reasons.”

Small twinkie, perhaps?

Six innings later, Griffey hit a long home run to straight-away right field, which is exactly where I would’ve been sitting IF THERE WERE SEATS OUT THERE. But in the monstrosity that some people like to call Shea Stadium, there’s nothing but tar and weeds in front of that gigantic, ugly scoreboard.

Small patch of empty seats aside, the stadium was ridiculously crowded. I think it was the largest crowd I’ve ever seen there on a weeknight. Yay! The Mets are in first place! Lucky me.


It was SO crowded that I actually went to my own seat. Someone was sitting in it. It wasn’t even worth asking her to move.

I roamed. Bronson Arroyo was pitching a gem. It drizzled for five minutes around the seventh inning, sending thousands of “fans” scurrying for the exits. That was nice. The Reds won, 4-2, and I got a ball at their dugout after the game from first base coach Billy Hatcher. The end.



• 6 balls

• 92 balls in 11 games this season = 8.363636363636 balls per game.

• 438 consecutive games with at least one ball

• 64 consecutive games with at least two balls

• 2,844 total balls…moves me ahead of Charlie Gehringer (2,839) and into 42nd place on the all-time hits list. Next up is Brooks Robinson (2,848). If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click here.


  1. boodleheimer1@aol.com

    Ball Guy –

    I LOVE the phrase & figure “8.363636363636 balls per game.” It’s sorta as if the throws you caught are pi in the sky. Too bad you didn’t get to speak with Bucky. But there’s got to be a way – and I bet your singular brain will figure it out – like said brain inventively conceived the glove trick. Go for it, dude, and please report back to us the way it happens!

  2. drosenda@msn.com


    I am looking for a scouting report on Kaufmann Stadium, home of the Royals. We will stop there on July 3 on our way back from my homeland, Minnesota. I assume you’ve been there. They have a goofy layout in the outfield, so I’m just curious as to what you think.


  3. thechuckster8@aol.com

    Hey Zack great entry, but in the future I might not want to see you too often. No offense. At least I didn’t get shut out, and I’m perfectly satisfied with 2 balls and 5 autographs (2 of Phillips, Felipe Lopez, Todd Coffey, Elizardo Ramirez, all on baseball cards).

  4. Chad

    Nice post as always. Wow six balls on a crowdy day, in your book I read you were suggesting not to go on weekends you proved yourself wrong!

  5. Zack

    Thanks for the kind words. I’d really like to avoid Shea for a while, but I might have to go back tomorrow because of Bucky.


    I’ve been everywhere, pal! (Almost.) Kauffman’s layout is more simple than goofy. Like Shea, there’s not much seating in fair territory, so you’re gonna have to rely on other strategies, like begging and the glove trick. The best thing about Kauffman is that the crowds are small and security is actually friendly. It’s a great place to get a foul ball during the game. Play righties and lefties differently by running back and forth to opposite sides of home plate. When I did that there back in 2001, a few guards asked me what I was up to. They’d never heard of a fan doing that, so when I told them, they laughed and wished me luck.


    No offense taken. Sorry I couldn’t decide between left and right field. I know I was considering going to left, but when the gates opened, I just had to run to my regular spot. Glad you made out okay despite my presence. Five autographs! Wow. I didn’t realize that. Congrats. I realize that I forgot to ask you your real name. Is it Charles? Or do you go by Chuck?


    Thanks. Last night, of course, wasn’t a weekend, but it sure felt like one…if that’s what you’re getting at.


    Almost every usher and security guard recognizes me. It’s awful. Dozens of them give me a hard time. Some leave me alone, and a few are actually nice. I’m always on the lookout at Shea, and it stresses me out like you wouldn’t believe. Thanks for reading.


    Great idea. I suppose I’ll wait until I pass him…unless you think I should give him a heads up now.

  6. Nick

    Wow, that WAS packed. I’ve never seen a stadium so crowded on a Monday night. But then again, it’s summer.

  7. thechuckster8@aol.com

    My real name is Charlie/Chuck. People call me both. I think I would’ve gotten a ball or two more if I was in the RF Loge, but I didn’t want to compete for balls with you. In my opinion, the left field mezzanine is the best place to get balls, and you should spend all of BP there.

  8. Zack

    Wish I could check it out, but I’m at work. Hopefully, some other folks will be able to follow it.


    I’ve known a few Charlies who HATED being called Chuck…but based on your email address, I figured you were cool with it. Sorry again about the RF Loge issue. I don’t know if you backed off as a strategy or simply to be nice…but I appreciate it. It’s just one more example of why Shea is so tough. In a good stadium like Camden, for example, there are MANY good spots. You don’t need to be THE first fan to enter the ballpark. But at Shea, too much success depends on whether or not you can get to a specific seat. I hate it. Interesting suggestion about the LF Mezzanine. Can’t wait to get back to Shea and try it out.

  9. andy5353@aol.com

    Jimmy-Here is the series for your Jays to show us what they
    got.Atlanta Is 13.5 games back…Compared to the Jays 3.5 games back…At least your Jays are better(this year) than the Atlanta Braves.


  10. bergin42@msn.com

    zack is there anyway to get a picture on a comment because i just took a pic of all my auto.d balls and my balls from games? also..have you ever considered getting one of you cleaner oml balls signed? also if barry bonds was signing autographs and you just caught a ball that was clean and you didnt label it yet..would you have him sign it on the sweet spot to sell or keep?

  11. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    Todays gonna be a slugfest

    Towers (1-8) vs Sosa (1-9)

    My opinion is dat its gonna be a close game, but I don’t think I can guarantee a win tonight because we have to go without the DH rule and the Jays are real horrible against NL teams in NL parks. The true test will be the next series vs the Red Sox, then we will let the smack talking begin!

  12. Zack

    I don’t think you can put a picture into a comment, but if the photos are on a site somewhere, you could simply share the link. Would that work?

    I’ve never considered getting my baseballs signed, except my 1,000th and 2,000th balls by the players (Pedro Borbon, Jr. and Joe Roa) who threw them to me.

    Interesting question about Bonds. The answer: I would not get the ball signed. I’d get a ticket stub signed because that’s what I collect. One time at Yankee Stadium, Dave Winfield was signing, and I didn’t have any stubs. I did have a few balls in my bag, but I wanted to leave them pure, so as he moved down the line and got to me, I simply shook his hand and watched him move on. Even though he ended up in the Hall of Fame, I don’t regret my decision. Balls are balls. Autographs are autographs. With milestone balls as exceptions, I prefer to keep my two collections separate.



  13. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    By the Way the Jays are 7-4 vs Boston so far this year with the Jays outscoring Boston 69-60.

  14. Carl

    Well, you should definitely leave a comment on Brooks Blog reminding him that you are about to pass him, maybe he’ll send you a special ball or something.

    Have you ever gotten a ball in the mail? and would that count in your ball collecting count? Maybe Brooks can send you the tie breaking ball. Just an idea Collecta.

    I went to a baseball camp too when I was a kid, but instead of Bucky, the best we could do for instructors was Brian Doyle and Ken Clay



  15. Zack

    I didn’t realize the Jays were playing that well against the Sox. Very impressive (unless they did most of the damage against Clement).


    I’ve never gotten a ball in the mail, except for a 1993 World Series ball that a friend sent as a gift…but that didn’t count in my collection. The only way a ball from Brooks would count would be if he were to give it to me AT A GAME. Interesting thought, though. Brian Doyle…nice.


    Check out Cabbie’s blog. He’s got a GREAT entry with a gigantic list of all the sons of former Major Leaguers who are currently in the Minors.

  16. andy5353@aol.com

    jimmy-I’ll look forward to those series in september hopefully your Jays won’t be ahead of boston by then…

  17. andy5353@aol.com

    Cabbie-by the nice blog i did not know there was that much FAther-son connection

  18. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    No I’m just saying when the next Jays-Sox series starts we’ll be smack talking a lot… I know I will. Anyway the Jays have only faced Clement like twice. However I’m really looking forward to this weekend the Jays vs Mets. Going to the games on Friday (Halladay vs Glavine) and Sunday. I really can’t wait for that matchup and on Sunday my friend has to do a humiliation because he lost a prank war with my other firend. SO far we’re thinking he paints his ******* blue and writes a sign on his body and wears tear-aways so he rip off his clothes every half inning and dance.

  19. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    O yea and if anyone else has any other ideas, that would be greatly appriciated.

  20. andy5353@aol.com

    Jimmy-I am good at smack talking the jays…Boston is a little harder to smack talk

  21. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    OOO now we just need a Yankee fan and we can start a three way triangle of smack talking. I hate the Yankees so much, and I especially hate it when all the Boston and Yankee fans come up north, with their dumb new yorker accents, just makes me mad and their so pushy dam new yorkers. No offense to the Mets fans or anything, I love the Mets but not when they come up north later this week.

  22. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    I don’t think so cause Mets don’t really face those teams and yea.. I think u know what I mean.

  23. ramones18@cox.net

    since i am a die hard red sox fan, i know Bucky Dent not by his name, but by Bucky ******’ Dent

  24. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com


    let the triangle of smack begin… personally I really hate the yankees and hope they don’t make the playoffs.

  25. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    80-82 without Halladay and Koskie for a long time.. not bad after winning 67 games the year before.

  26. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    Wow I never thought I’d spend so much time on blogs, but here I am posting comments… Anyway I hope to keep the ball snagging up cause I’ve never tried to get balls before I saw this blog I used to always want a ball to just plop in my hands… but after this blog I went to a game (without BP) and got 2 balls! wooo anyway ummm yea I hope I get one of those special balls from the Mets later this week going twice so if I don’t get one I’ll be mad.

  27. andy5353@aol.com

    Jimmy-So much for my smack talk about the Jays what do you know….They are winning

  28. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    Not anymore Downs screwed up. Told u Jays are bad at interleague play.

  29. yanksfan61293@aol.com

    Zack- my question was are you allowed to go down to the dugout (not on the field, i mean by the dugout in the stands) during BP and what are good places to get balls there during BP and Yankee autographs!!!??? THANK YOU!

  30. andy5353@aol.com

    yanksfan- GIve up on your stupid yankees they are not going to be in the playoff ok?????Boston will be..

  31. andy5353@aol.com

    Yanksfan-You got that all wrong the yankees ****.
    Red sox Rule!

    Jimmy-How are the jays doing?


  32. yanksfan61293@aol.com


    2006 Predictionn (AL East)- Yankees and all other teams in the AL East overtake the Red Sox (even the Devil Rays do better!!!!) but the Yanks win the division, with the Sox in last place.

    Now that that is straight, don’t be stupid! ;)

  33. andy5353@aol.com


  34. yanksfan61293@aol.com

    Yankees did not lose today…they are winning right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!******* THE RED SOX

  35. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    its tied now close game bases loaded 2 out and schowenweis strikes out the batter tied at 5 after 7.

  36. andy5353@aol.com

    Jimmy-THis yankee fan is getting mad at me I think
    GOOO JAYs!!!!!!!!!


  37. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    Lol i hate the yanks… The Jays have the best media I remember they had an ad for a yankees series where they had a poster of the yanks hat with bird poo on it cause their ****!!

  38. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    6-5 Jays freaking Adams is slow gets tagged out at home on a sac fly.

  39. andy5353@aol.com

    I am rooting for the Jays to win and the yankees to lose after I pissed Yanksfan off now I need the yankees to cooperate….Go Jays

  40. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    WOOOO dats right GO JAYS GO! and Yanks can **** ****. go Phillies time for a comeback.

  41. andy5353@aol.com


  42. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    bottom of the 9th 2 out runners on 1st and 2nd HOWARD UP 7 RBIs… LETS MAKE IT 10!

  43. andy5353@aol.com


  44. yanksfan61293@aol.com

    yeah sure whatever…yanks rule

    I am 13 years old, so i am going to be in an hour…gotta pack for tommorows game at Citizens Bank Park still, so bye!

    good night

    PS Zack!!! I need your email be 7:30 tommorow morning!!

  45. andy5353@aol.com

    Jimmy-did they win I did not know that yankee fan was only 13 years old oops!

  46. andy5353@aol.com

    Yay………Him only being 13 years old does not stop me from smack talking his yankees though

  47. andy5353@aol.com

    YAnksfan-I had fun(smack talking your yankees) tonight will do it any time
    (i am sure jimmy did too) we hate the yankees ….did not know you were that young though oops…

    Tell us about your game when you get back


  48. Zack

    No, I never thought I’d get more comments than balls. This is crazy. Nice spheroid, by the way.


    You can get down to the dugouts at all times at Citizens Bank Park. That’s one of the many nice things about it. During the game, some ushers might check your ticket at the top of the stairs…but you can always try the next staircase. Usually, there’s a way down. They’re not THAT strict, although this IS the Yankees we’re talking about. At the very least, you’ll be able to go wherever you want before the game. There are LOTS of good places for balls. If you have a glove trick-type device, right field is better. But left field is the place to be if you want to catch a home run. Just make sure you stay at least 8 or 10 rows back. When the whole stadium opens at 5:35pm, go straight to the Phillies’ dugout, and you should be able to get a ball or two as they come off the field after BP. Yankees autographs? That might be tough. I’d expect a mob scene. Get a spot in the first row where the wall is low in shallow LF, along the foul line. After BP, that’ll probably be the best spot. During BP, if you’re willing to sacrifice ball-snagging opportunities, you could go the Yanks’ dugout (on the 3rd base side) and try to get autographs there. The whole stadium is good. No matter where you go, there are opportunities if you’re paying attention. Finally…GOOD LUCK!


    That was fun (I suppose) for a day, but it also got a bit out of hand. I don’t want to shoot down all team-related commentary, but let’s try to keep things a little more focused on snagging baseballs…and let’s also try to be NICER to each other. Okay?

  49. thechuckster8@aol.com

    I may be going to the Mets game Thursday, but I’m not going if you’ll be there. Then again, its a day game. Also, can you tell me about security in Baltimore, Philly, and Pittsburgh?

  50. Zack

    Come on. You’re telling me that *I* single-handedly ruin all of Shea Stadium? I doubt that. But I’m flattered. Anyway, I’m not going to Thursday’s game…but I will be there tonight. As Nick says, the security in Baltimore is pretty lax, though during the game, some ushers are protective of the sections near the dugouts and home plate. Same thing with Philly. You won’t get hassled at all, but the area directly behind the plate is strictly off limits and even has its own entrance. That’s annoying. Not sure about Pittsburgh. I’ve only been to one game there, and that was five years ago. As I recall, it wasn’t too bad, but I can’t give you specifics.

  51. andy5353@aol.com

    Zack-I am sorry…But,yes I do
    agree we can talk Nicer to each other…..We can still talk baseball and about indiviual teams talking nicer I will try my best to do that


  52. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    Yup Ted Lilly on the mound tonight and then the return of Burnett tomorrow!

  53. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    Maybe gotta study for an exam… but probably its only drama.

  54. andy5353@aol.com

    Jimmy-Drama??I was taking drama but dropped out cause of the teacher,I did the same for foods class

  55. andy5353@aol.com

    Zack-Okay I should be studying
    for my Physical education final tommorrow but no I refuse TO….ANYWAY



  56. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    Zack- Any last tips or advice for me, going to the mets- jays game friday and sunday. Like when should I head to the dugout for balls like how many minutes before bp ends and does Manny Acta usually hang out near 3rd base?

  57. andy5353@aol.com

    Jimmy-You do not sound like you aare studying but I am not either?????

  58. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    Tru, I can’t study I swear I had ADD I can never pay much attention to things and besides its drama, gonna be real easy, just gotta watch out for math which is my last exam on friday, then let the summer begin.

  59. andy5353@aol.com

    I see..Jimmy- so are you talking jays tonight or studying?????I can never pay attention either I studied for my physical education final I have tommorrow for 5 minutes-probably will be easy so I am done now

  60. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    kaylee- I’ll probably be on and off cause I heard theres some Greek Mythology questions on the exam and I don’t know anything about it, but I will be talking Jays on and off and I cant wait for this weekend to come, gonna be all Jays.

    Friday- Jays and Mets

    Saturday- Gonna see Lyle Overbay in an autograph session

    Sunday- Jays and Mets

  61. andy5353@aol.com

    I do not like studying I just cannot focus and watching 5 baseball games and studying just dosent work very well I quit

  62. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    Wow we keep leaving runners on base and what was Zaun doing in that double play?

  63. andy5353@aol.com

    Ok I see I am with you I hate studying

    No point in studying if you can not focus anyway


  64. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    Dats tru I havent studied yet, only thing I’ve done is get my stuff out.

  65. andy5353@aol.com

    Jimmy-Okay lets keep those zeros under atlantas column and the jays can have another inning like the 3rd inning

  66. andy5353@aol.com

    i am not that far yet..i do not even know what to study for an physical education final

  67. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    On my Phsy Ed exam it was mainly like the rules of games and labeling basketball courts etc. And some things about drugs and human bodies… basic stuff, but drama dats different gotta know the Greek Theatre and like Greek history and stuff, pretty garbage, but only 2 more days till summer and I can focus on baseball!

  68. andy5353@aol.com

    Francour just hass to hit the ball every time does not he ever strike out

  69. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    Yup, but Jays don’t need anymore runs the way Lilly is pitching.

  70. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    Well I’m not studying and they’ll probably put BJ in.

  71. Zack

    Wow, that’s a lot of comments. I was gone all day…and…wow.


    The best time to get autographs is before the gates open. If you arrive super early, you can get the players as they enter the stadium. If you’re just going for baseballs, then yes, just show up when the gates open…or even a little before the gates open to make sure you’re first in line.


    Manny Acta is usually busy during BP. He pitches, hits fungos, etc. I’m not sure what time the Mets will finish BP…probably at around 6:15pm, so head to their dugout a little before that and try to get into the front row. Other than that, I have no additional tips for you. I think you should have all the info you need by now.


    Please throw a brand new All-Star ball to Jimmy. Thank you.

  72. Nick

    Wow, Manny Acta reads your blog now? It’s insane how fast your popularity is growing. ;)



  73. andy5353@aol.com

    Zack-I hope you do not mind all of the Blue jays talk me and jimmy are using your blog to do…anyways we toned it down tonight…..No smack talking tonight we will try to keep it that way from now on.I heard from jimmy Jose reyes of the mets hit for the cycle tonight.
    Anyways hope you did not mind the jays talking between me and jimmy tonight.


  74. flarakoo@aol.com

    zack i would have had a streak of 2 consective games with you also being there(5/3 vs. pirates,stood in an upper box for almost the whole thing), but you just had to go the day before and the day after. I went to shea tuesday and made it for bp, i got nothing (i got pics, ehh)knowing spanish didn’t even help with castro, sanchez, soler, the pedros and maybe el duque being close by and throwing balls into the crowd, being in crowd of kids didn’t help(blanking out on faces and names doesn’t either). i guess for next time i’ll have to read your book and buy a glove(like this kid that nearby “i’m too much of a man to need a glove”)i’ll try to not be lazy and post the pics so by tonight or tommorrow they should be up http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v618/flarakoo/

  75. flarakoo@aol.com

    also have you ever been thrown a (weighted baseball?) when i got there for bp soler had thrown a guy a ball but then asked for it back, i think the guy said it had extra weight to it, and sliver sticthes from the glimps i got of it.

  76. Zack

    Ahh, wishful thinking…


    Cool. Glad that makes sense, but really, no harm done.



    Now THERE’S a different kind of streak. Sorry to hear that nothing was going your way during batting practice. These crowded games are tough. You just gotta keep going and keep trying and keep refining your strategies as you figure out what does and doesn’t work. Looking forward to checking out those pics. As for the weighted ball…no, I’ve never gotten one, but I know the fan you’re talking about. His name is Evan. Supernice guy. We were talking about that ball yesterday outside Gate C. It was just an exercise ball that Alay tossed him to prove that he didn’t have a regular ball to give away. Evan then returned it. Still cool though.

  77. yankaknick@hotmail.com

    First time poster, long time reader.

    Hi Zack. You have a great blog and I love reading your entries. I recently got a copy of your book from a friend and now I have already gotten 13 balls in just 3 games. I just wanted to thank you for giving me and I’m sure many others a new and fun hobby. I don’t get to Shea as much as I’d like to, but I hope to bump into you the next time I go.


  78. kandiman20@yahoo.com

    Hey Zack…

    Too bad you didn’t have a chance for Griffey’s 549th last night. Hopefully, the ushers were nicer to you than last time. Great game, crappy ending…Btw, I got so much (insert expletive here) after the game for wearing my Wagner jersey…


  79. thechuckster8@aol.com

    Yankaknick-You don’t want to run into Zack. He’s too good at snagging.

  80. andy5353@aol.com

    Zack-I am going too the angels
    diamondbacks game tomorrow night…I am sitting in right field two rows from the field thanks to my friend..I dont know how much closer i could get…I will let you know how it goes.


  81. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    How much does your book cost in Canadian mmoney and what stores sell em?

  82. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    Tomorrow their still in Atlanta, return of Burnett.

    Wow Zack you get more comments than David Wright.

  83. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    O yea and good luck today getting balls. I’m predicting 3 for u.

  84. Zack

    Thanks so much. Nice to finally hear from you after all this time. I’m glad that my book has given you a new hobby and immediate results. VERY glad. That’s awesome.


    Is it you? THE Evan from 4pm at Gate C? It has to be. How many other Evans are there with Billy Wagner jerseys? That really was a shame the way the game ended. When Billy gave up that single to Phillips, I let out a booming, “NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!” One usher in particular was awful. He should be fired and arrested. But I had a great time overall, and I’ll have the entry up in a few hours. It’s LONG. Beware.


    55,000 seats. Only one Zack.


    Nice seats! That should be a good time. Definitely let me know how it goes.


    The book is out of print, so your best bet is to look for it online at abe.com or amazon.com. There should be a few REALLY cheap copies floating around.


    No game for me today. I went to Shea last night, and I’m in the process of writing it up.

  85. andy5353@aol.com

    Ok zack I will definitly let you know how it goes….I am going to try for Jose Valverde’s autograph even though He acts like he cannot hear you…It is worth a try though……I really want Luis Vizcaino’s is he nice??
    P.s.I will try those sites for the book



  86. andy5353@aol.com

    By the way…..are not all your game write-ups long..How much llonger are we talking

  87. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    Geez Zack I was talking to Kaylee, the world doesn’t revolve around you!

    Jks… looking forward to the new entry.

  88. Zack

    Vizcaino was pretty cool about tossing me a ball a few weeks ago at Shea. Not sure if he’s a good signer, though. All my write-ups ARE long, but this next one is just absurd.


    Yeah, yeah…


  89. andy5353@aol.com

    Okay….Does anybody know how nice Johnny Estrada is I want an autograph from him tommorrow but,I do not know what he is like?

  90. Zack

    I’m not sure about Estrada. Maybe someone else here knows?

    I just did a major edit…the next entry is still long, but it’s no longer “absurd.”

    It’ll be up soon, possibly within an hour, but I’m watching Pedro right now…

  91. Nick

    Why not post a really long entry? Gives us more to read and more to comment about. I mean, it’s not like you don’t get enough comments anyways.

    In other news…

    The Yankees lost to the Black Stars on the pitch in Nuremberg. At least we scored our OWN goal. I must say though, the Ghana players sure did dive a lot. What’s up with that? Ahhh, go Brazil!

  92. Zack

    Ohh, don’t worry, I’ll post a superlong entry before you know it. Not this time, though. I wrote the first draft REALLY fast last night until 6:15am, and when I started combing through it this afternoon, I realized that some parts simply had to go. Trust me, it’ll be a much better read this way…but thanks. It’s nice to know that you’re interested in checking out what I have to say.

    I know nothing of soccer. If there were soccer balls to be snagged, I’m sure that would change.

  93. Zack

    Pretty crazy, huh?

    I might not make it because I’m ABOUT to post my new entry, and when that happens, I’m guessing all new comments will go there.

  94. mstadlen@aol.com


    great job snagging too zack, i dont think i mentioned that before

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