Buried treasure

One of many uses for 800 baseballs…


My mom took this pic on Thanksgiving. (It’s also on my own site. Apologies if you’ve already seen it.) The girls, ages 8 and 12, are the daughters of longtime family friends.


  1. kayleexxx@aol.com

    What is up with the sox and japanese players? They just signed Lefty Reliever Hideki Okajima to a contract.

  2. riyeff.dave@mail.da.state.wi.us

    OK, Zack…Something for you to review…..here’s my lifetime stats….1st ballgame…Yankee/Red Sox game in 1960(Ted Williams still playing!)
    1st ball ever-in 1997, thrown to me between innings at County Stadium, by the mariners right fielder(not buhner,I forget the guys’ name).

    Lifetime total…(14).

    (3) foul balls, all at Wrigley, in 2003 and 2004. The 3rd one was a hard shot to the first row of the upper deck, just to the first base side of the plate. i caught it backhanded,with my mitt, leaning out over the rail a bit…I’ll never forget that one.

    (10) in batting practice, beginning in 2004.

    (1) thrown to me (see 1st ball)

    Streaks…1 foul ball in 3 consecutive visits to Wrigley.

    At least two baseballs a year, since 2003.

    Most in a year…6, in 2005. Most at one game…3, in 2005.

    Stadiums where I’ve gotten a ball….County Stadium, Wrigley Field,Miller Park, Jacobs Field, and PNC Park.

    We all enjoy reading your stories and stats, I figured you might enjoy reading some, too. Have a good one, man. Happy Hanukkah to you and your family, and a Merry Christmas season to you, as well. -Dave

  3. yanksfan61293@aol.com

    Well…they Yankees released their 2007 schedule and ticket prices. My family got the Sunday Season Ticket Plan. Anyway, last year they didn’t even bother to release a gameday price on their most expensive ticket (then $115 for the season ticket)…this year they did, and its $400!!!! The season ticket price for it is $150. Sweet Jesus!!! At least the tickets that my family reserved are “only” $50 per game, and that’s with our season ticket plan “price downer thing” kicked in. I can only imagine what the prices of the concessions will be…

    I don’t think that the average middle class fan like me will be able to afford the Yankees after this season.

  4. Zack

    I love it. Thanks for taking the time to type it all up. You got three foul balls DURING the game in three consecutive Wrigley visits? Wow.




    That is truly insane. But that’s what you get for being a Yanks Fan. You have a whole team of All-Stars and future Hall of Famers, so you gotta pay up to see that kind of talent.


    There’s a card of his 724th? Cool! But why? It wasn’t a record-breaking home run or anything.

  5. richard.snodgrass@comcast.net

    There’s a 725, 726, 727…as well as every other homer.

    Topps has been doing this for Bonds the last couple years, so there is an insert of every single homer.

  6. Zack

    I had no idea. Thanks so much. I don’t have an eBay account, so I’m gonna see if I can get a friend to bid on this for me.

  7. richard.snodgrass@comcast.net

    They’re cheap. Have your friend grab a couple. Only a buck or so…plus a couple for shipping, of course.

    Put one in your wallet. Then you can pull it out and say…

    “See that ball in the picture…I own that.”

    …doubt it says caught by Zack Hample on the back though ;)

    …it usually lists the date, park, opponent, inning, pitcher, men on base, and outs.

  8. johnjamahoney@hotmail.com

    I was just looking at your website, is that the cover for you book? IT looks great, I like the quote from Keith Hernandez.

  9. Zack

    Will do. It keeps sounding better and better. (Do you want to buy it for me and drop it in the mail? I could write you a check or stick a few bucks in an envelope.)


    You’re ahead of the game. I was planning on talking about this in my next entry. That IS the cover, BTW. And thanks. It went through a few versions. I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. I feel sooooo lucky to have gotten that quote.

  10. tswechtenberg@gmail.com

    hey i love that new book cover zack…you can’t beat a really nice b&w photo. hope you sell a million…well 999,999 ( i already ordered it)

  11. Zack

    Oh my GOD. I hadn’t seen that before. Hilarious!


    Thanks. But the copy you ordered does count toward the million, ya know. Or do you mean 999,999 MORE?


    I’m probably going to post the new cover in an entry tomorrow, so hold onto your cover-related comments just a little longer…

  12. riyeff.dave@mail.da.state.wi.us

    Hi, Zack….just read your reply…Yeah, I got the 3 foul balls during the games in 3 consecutive visits to Wrigley. unreal, I know! I went to ballgames for 43 years without getting a foul.I got the 1st one on opening day in 2003. Up in sec. 427-bottom of the 6th..damian miller hit one up and it slammed into an empty seat in the row in front of us. i jumped over and scrambled. I got it..euphoria!! Then, on July 31,2003, we’re back at Wrigley, sec.427 again. Rich Aurilia in the top of the 5th. I’ve got my glove and he hits one over me and out of reach. I wheel around and go into a crouch, hoping for a kick-back. The ball bounces off the gut of a guy 3 rows back and kicks straight back. it bounces lightly off the leg of a guy who never stood up(if he had, he’d have gotten it)and I catch it on one “hop”. I gave that ball to a kid in our group…my buddy had caught a batting practice home run on waveland before the game and gave it to his son…now his sons’ buddy had one,too Then, on May 6,2004 we’re in sec 425, 1st row. Top of the 8th,Danny Bautista rockets one up, right to me . That’s the one I described in the previous email. The streak ended at an April game in 2005. Unreal experience, and maybe the baseball gods were smiling on me for the 43 years of baseball fun/foul ball drought. it sure was fun!

  13. Zack

    That is simply amazing. Great recap of the action! Wrigley’s not an easy place to snag. I’m surprised there was even an empty seat there on Opening Day, but hey, cool. Did that ball have an “Opening Day” logo on it? I only got one of those once, but it was from a random batting practice late in the season, and the logo was almost entirely worn off.

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