8/23/06 at Shea Stadium

Ready for my shortest game entry ever? I got ONE ball all day, thrown by the newly acquired Guillermo Mota after his bullpen session with Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson. I was in the RF Loge. It was early. No other fans in sight. I called down. Guillermo tossed it up. And that was it. I didn’t get anything on the Cardinals’ side, even though I was color-coordinated and doing everything else right.


No balls at the dugout. No pregame throwing. No foul tips during the game, thanks to two starting pitchers–Mark Mulder and Steve Trachsel–who didn’t reach 90mph once all night. Things were so bad that I even got heckled by a peanut vendor. “You should stop collecting balls and start chasing girls,” he said.

Little does he know.


• 2 embarrassing to list


The Hample Jinx is unstoppable…
After getting spanked in four straight Minor League rehab starts, Gustavo Chacin returned to the Majors last night and got shellacked. He lasted just 1 1/3 innings and suffered the loss, giving up FIVE runs–including two homers–on six hits and three walks. (That’s a 33.75 ERA for those of you who are keeping score at home.) He threw over 15 pitches per out as his season ERA jumped to 6.32…and all for one lousy baseball. I hope it was worth it, Gus.


  1. thechuckster8@aol.com

    I’d just like to get credit for taking that picture, and for catching 4x as many balls as you! Tough game.

  2. Zack

    Yes, thanks for taking that lovely photo, and congrats on outsnagging me. Tough game indeed. Sometimes, that’s just how it goes.

  3. dodgerdude511@aol.com

    This thing is not letting me comment what I would like to!

    It says I am spamming!

  4. Zack

    Seriously?! That’s not good. Are you trying to post anything about mortgages or male enhancement pills? because things like that could get filtered. Who really knows. Are you trying to post anything out the ordinary? Lots of links, for example? Maybe you should drop Mark a like at the MLBlogoshere blog and let him know. In the meantime, can you paraphrase?

  5. drosenda@msn.com


    Dude, you caught a Bonds HR ball. If you walked away TODAY from snagging, you have won.

    BTW, I’m snagging this weekend at Ameriquest.



  6. boodleheimer1@aol.com

    ZEEE –

    Snagging/shmagging! One wants you to succeed @ your chosen hobby. But snagging success aside (you’re clearly the Sultan of Snag!), you are one verrrrry funny, thigh-slapping writer! Maybe your fortune lies in creating a snagger sitcom? Or writing a book on How To Snag? Wait. You’ve already done the book. OK, no prob; that still leaves TV Land for you to conquer.

  7. senoroctubre@boston-redsox.net

    ugh, one ball! oh well, ill be happy if i get one ball today at my first bp. i post tomorrow with results

  8. boodleheimer1@aol.com

    ZEEEE –

    If (I hope it never happens!) but if – just IF – you ever attend a game and (unbelievaby!) don’t acquire a single ball, you can sing the traditional ditty of lament the Queen sang about her royal husband who lacked courage, to wit:





  9. Nick

    Entry up.


    I had the same day two days ago that you had last night. Doesn’t it **** when you do everything right and it just doesn’t happen. Agh.

    Official 3,000th Ball Countdown:

    90 to go.

    Projection: April 27th @ Camden.

  10. gregorybarasch@yahoo.com

    One ball? One *******’ ball?!? I feel your pain, man. Hey, look at the bright side … you, uh, didn’t get shut out! Woo-hoo!

    Anyway, I’ll be back at Shea on Saturday against the Phillies – my fourth Mets/Phils game this year. I hope I don’t get recognized. ****.

  11. yanksfan61293@aol.com

    Hey Zack…

    Sounds like a very tough game.

    Anyway, how ’bout that book update you promised about 2 weeks ago…I didn’t bother you again ’till now because I realized you were on vacation and then you came back and wanted to get re-adjusted to our time zone, and a wedding to go to, but how about that book update now?

  12. Zack

    Good point. It still stinks to get just one, though. Good luck this weekend. I want to hear about it.


    Oh my. A sitcom. That might be a bit of a stretch, but hey, thanks for the suggestion. I’ll tuck it away in a safe place for now. I’m not familiar with this ditty. Perhaps it’s available for download on iTunes?


    I’d gladly GIVE this game to you if I somehow could. Hope today’s going well for you.


    Maybe I just had a bad Shea.


    No game tonight for me, and that’s a good thing because it’s been pouring here in NYC. Anyway, I’m fed up with Shea. I wouldn’t have gone tonight even if I were free.


    I’m gonna check out your entry later tonight. Maybe even sooner than that. Interesting prediction. Still might be a tad on the early side, but we’re getting there.


    Yeah. Painful indeed. I guess I’m not an optimist. I’m not thinking, “At least I got one.” I’m thinking, “Holy ****, what a lousy **** stadium. **** that place. I can’t **** believe I only got one **** ball. If the **** Mets weren’t in first **** place, this wouldn’t be happening.” You won’t get recognized. Don’t worry. And even if you do, you haven’t done anything obnoxious (that I’ve seen, anyway), so you have nothing to worry about.


    Oh yeah. That. Any day now. Maybe this weekend, or soon after.


    Your being shut out for 30 years puts it all into perspective, but anyway, NICE PICS! I have one of Comiskey taken from across the street, almost exactly like yours. I love the panoramas…and the shots from behind the scenes at Miller Park. All good stuff. Thanks for the shout-out.

  13. alistair_mendonsa@hotmail.com

    HAHAHAHA only 1 ball, from the baseball collector. Kidding. Tough luck what was the streak of getting at least 2 balls at? Anyway off to see the Royals and Jays 2morrow hope I can get at least 1 ball.

  14. bergin42@msn.com

    hey zack, i had a decent day yesterday..i got the 2nd best spot and i was able to get garret atkins on a card, who was really nice, he signed 10 baseballs for a guy who was just going to turnaround and sell them on ebay, after that i got clint hurdle and clint barmes to sign cards. and i am an autograph getter, im not that crazy about balls but i got one from aaron cook and then i almost got todd helton, after that dissapointment, the game was played and was a good one brewers one, and in the ninth inning i yelled to brian fuentes and showed him a sharpie and his card and he nodded and said yes..Oh yea!.. at least i thought..turnbow strike.game over, fuentes starts walking out of the bullpen i yelled he turned around and threw me a ball..i would have much rather got a card signed but a ball is nice to..so i got 2 balls 3 cards signed, and my dad even caught a ball in bp while just sitting and eating nachos in our bleacher seats..haha

  15. Zack

    Go ahead. Laugh all you want. I deserve it. The streak, as Logan said, died at 74.


    I might need to hire you as my spokesperson.



    So let me get this straight…I bust my butt all day and manage to get ONE ball. Meanwhile, you and your dad get THREE without even trying. Life is so unfair. But hey, congrats on the nice day.

  16. trueplaya_202@hotmail.com

    Zack life is unfair yet you have 2910 baseballs? But you getting only 1 ball helps me out cause now i know even the best have bad days. To me 1 ball is good :)

  17. Brady

    Hey Zack, I’ll be doing the interview on Sunday, and I hooked up a phone at the paper that has a recording button on it or something so I can just transcribe it later instead of typing while I talk, makes it a lot easier. I’ll be putting the interview on my blog at http://inthecards.mlblogs.com and in the newspaper, which if you’ll e-mail me your address I’ll send a copy of it to you once it’s published with it in there. Sorry you didn’t get many baseballs, that *****. I had a baseball one time that Jim Edmonds threw to me, and I was walking up the steps of the old Busch and it fell out of my hand and my best friend stole it from me…he still has it, too. I was so mad. Haha. I looked through his room for it the other day, no luck. He probably lost it, and for me it would be sitting in a glass case or something haha…better luck next time, man. Talk to you on Sunday.

  18. Zack

    Yeah, the filter is pretty strict around here, so watch out! Good news about the phone. Thanks for making that happen. I’m looking forward. I’ll email you later with my address. Funny (and yet tragic) story about the ball from Edmonds. Talk soon…

  19. Nick

    Wild night at Camden…

    There was a Zack impersonator there. He was getting EVERYTHING. Read my entry tomorrow to hear the whole story.

    (I feel like a News program)

  20. tom@xsfx.com

    Hey I met you at shea… was hanging with the photographer that took yer pic… better luck next time man

  21. Zack

    Was this other guy really big? As in, large? As in, gravitationally challenged? The last few times I’ve been there, I saw some HUGE dude grabbing everything in sight. It was quite impressive. And annoying.


    Hey. Thanks for dropping a line. Nice to have met you (both). I appreciate the good luck wishes. I can use ’em. I’m having all kinds of self-doubt after this loathesome performance.

  22. Nick

    You didn’t sneak down to Camden tonight, did you? That would be a dirty trick. You should come down either September 22 or 23 for the Twins-Orioles. I’ll be there for a little one on one, mano y mano, head to head competition.

  23. senoroctubre@boston-redsox.net

    no balls or autos yesterday. only papelbon was signing for some kids with a snap, crackle, papelbon poster.
    for me it was more about going to the game, because it was only my 3rd game ever. Lifetime totlas: 1 ball in 3 games. (game ball)

  24. jimmyjoejoejrchabadu@hotmail.com

    Going to the Jays Royals game later hope to get some balls. I woke up this morning and looked outside and it rained overnight. I thought I’d never be happy about having a dome instead of an open air stadium.

  25. kandiman20@yahoo.com

    Ouch, dude – I hope I didn’t jinx you by saying you’d catch 8 ;)


  26. dliebers@gmail.com

    Hey man-

    I was also at Wednesday’s game and heard someone yelling behind me near the Mets dugout, “This is a disaster! I’ll be lucky to get 3 or 4 balls.” Sure enough it was you, I was going to introduce myself buy you were gone really quickly, and you looked pretty angry anyways. For me it really ****** as I drove 3 hours to the game only to see that noone signed any autographs and balls were really hard to come by. Anyways, see you.

  27. senoroctubre@boston-redsox.net

    plus i was excited to get to the game and i accidentally forgot my glove

  28. Zoe

    Well, every great pitcher throws a really sour game once in a while–so why not baseball collectors too? Now you’ve got something else to commiserate with Petey about during your friendly chats.

    I was supposed to go to the game Saturday until I realized it’s a night game–and a huge, can’t-miss birthday party for my best friend. Frustration! Not sure when my next game will be, but gotta meet you so I can have another great pic for the blog!


  29. richard.snodgrass@comcast.net


    Uh oh….maybe this is the start of Zack’s snagging slump. Perhaps a shutout is coming up. lol.

    Which brings up the question…Is there a Mendoza line in snagging? ;-)

  30. Zack

    No balls? Forgot your glove? Oh dear. I didn’t realize (or perhaps I just forgot) that you’d only been to two other games in your life. You’ll get the hang of it. I had to go to like 10 or 20 games before I got my first ball.


    Good luck. Sometimes I wish the New York teams had domes.


    I don’t believe in jinxes, except for the Hample Jinx, so don’t worry (unless you ever intentionally knock a ball out of my glove).


    Aw man, I’m sorry we didn’t get a chance to meet, but maybe it’s just as well. I was in a **** mood ALL day starting at about 5:15pm. I just knew early on that is was going to be a “disaster,” and I was already wishing that I’d just stayed home. I had (and still have) so much other stuff to do. It wasn’t worth it to put it all on hold for ONE ball. You drove three hours to get there? Yow.


    Why not all OTHER baseball collectors? Keep me posted on your Shea whereabouts. We really do need to meet. I just hope it’s on a day when I’ve snagged more than one ball so I have something decent to show the camera.


    A shutout is NOT coming. Don’t be silly. Interesting question about the Mendoza line. Perhaps averaging under one ball per game? What do you think? What do other people think?

  31. gregorybarasch@yahoo.com

    I think your theory about the Mendoza line for snagging is just about right. If you have less baseballs than the number of games you’ve been to (as long as you are trying to snag, of course), you should be under the Mendoza Line of Snagging (or MLS). Therefore, if your average is less than one ball per game, you’re under the MLS. I gotta stop rambling like this…

  32. Zack

    Nice. But now I’m thinking that perhaps the MLS should be two balls per game, since the Mendoza Line in real life is a TWO hundred batting average.

  33. Nick

    Entry from last night’s game is up now. Juuuust under 1,000 words.

    Oh no, don’t make the MLS 2 balls! I’m at 1.8! 1.89 at Camden lifetime, though.

    You really are good at this stuff, Zack. Averaging almost 8 balls per game. What is you career average per game?

  34. Zack

    Cool. I’ll be checking it out later. My lifetime per-game average is well over four balls per game. More on that in a bit. I’m actually gonna post a quick “Mendoza Line” entry, so hold off on your comments ’til it’s up…

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