Life, media, and upcoming games

On Monday the 16th, there wasn’t a game in NYC. On Tuesday, it was raining. On Wednesday, I had a date. On Thursday, I wrote for Tonight, I’m hanging out with a friend who’s much cooler than Shea Stadium could ever be. Tomorrow, there’s a day game. (I don’t do day games.) On Sunday, I’m meeting with my writing group.

I’m going to Camden Yards with my friend Sean. Potential milestone: The foul ball I caught on 4/11/07 at Shea Stadium was my 99th lifetime game ball. I’m hoping to reach the century mark in Baltimore.

I’m going to a game in Philadelphia. The good news: I’ll be doing an in-studio TV interview with Comcast SportsNet, which is the Phillies’ cable network. The bad news: The interview is live (on a show called “Daily News Live”) and will be taking place during batting practice. More good news: It doesn’t start until 6:15pm, so I’ll get to snag for the first 75 minutes. More bad news: The studio is across the street in the Wachovia Center. More good news: I’ll be getting press credentials, so when I make it back to Citizens Bank Park, I’ll be able to sit anywhere I want (excluding Charlie Manuel’s lap).

I have 2,973 balls right now. I’d like to be at 2,990 by the time I drive home from Philly, but that might be pushing it.

Aside from Comcast SportsNet, there’s some other media stuff in the works:

• Earlier today, I taped a phone interview with KPUG 1170AM in Bellingham, Washington. It’s supposed to air between 6:30 and 7:30pm ET.

• Later today, at 6:10pm ET, I have another radio interview. This one is with KZNE 1150AM in College Station, Texas, and I think it’ll be live.

• My college newspaper is running a Q&A with me today. (When I get a copy, I’ll scan it and put it on my site.)

• Tomorrow night starting at 11:30pm ET, I’ll be on “The Tim Kuda Show” for an hour. You can listen live on Tim’s web site (and don’t forget to check out his MLBlog).

• On Tuesday the 24th, I’m being interviewed for a newspaper in New Jersey called the Ocean County Observer because of this.

• On Wednesday the 25th, an article about my baseball collection will be appearing in a Japanese magazine. I’m not sure what the magazine is called, or if the piece will even be in English, but I’m supposed to receive a copy by the end of the month, so we’ll find out soon.

Yankees Magazine is running a review of my book in its May issue, but I don’t think the mag will be covering my 3,000th ball.

Time to pick up my laundry…



    Wow Zack, you have a crazy next few days. That Comcast interview sounds cool, but if they were smart, they would have the reporter interview you live from INSIDE the stadium as you were either doing the glove trick or asking for a ball in Spanish or something. That’s Philly for you….

    Have you scouted out the Yankees April/May schedule for your potential 3,000th ball?

    With the year A-Rod’s having, having a ball from him for 3k would be appropriate.

    Too bad Houston wasn’t playing the Mets earlier than September at Shea. It would be ironic if you got 3k from Biggio before he got 3k hits!


    Hey Zack, hows it going? I remember you telling me wayyyyy back, probably four years ago, about an upcoming book you had in the works. It must be pretty exciting to see that it’s finally finished and released; I’ll be getting my copy soon. Anyway, I thought I’d show you that you have had the ultimate honor bestowed upon you, and now, it is safe to say, you have made it. I promise you I wasn’t the one who created it, but you have your very own Wikipedia article on you. Here is the link:

    Congrats with the book release, I’m glad to see that your work has come to fruition. And, I’m not sure if you know anything about Tropicana Field, but I might have to try that place out a few times next year as I will be attending the University of Florida (!!).

    Enjoy the Wikipedia stardom…

  3. Zack

    Yeah, I was hoping that Comcast would interview me in the ballpark, but that’s just not the nature of the show. Meanwhile, yes, I’ve been doing lots of planning for my 3,000th ball. I won’t get it until May.


    Good memory. If I mentioned the book to you that long ago, you were probably one of the first people to hear about it. I was briefly on Wikipedia last year (I think) until someone deleted it. I didn’t know I was back on there until I saw this comment from you. Cool stuff…though I think “stardom” might be a bit of a stretch. Thanks for everything and congrats on your college plans. I only went to one game at The Trop back in 2000, so I can’t remember too many details.


    Thank you, Sir.


    Sounds like your busy!!!! I’ve been busy lately with baseball and school so no time for any games. My games have been goin g well. I’ve almost had two homeruns now. Both of the hits have been over 300 feet so I can feel it coming…. Anyway, have fun over the next busy few days.


    omg the red sox just killed mariano rivera, hes having a very off year but a-rod is on fire.


    I was at the game at Shea tonight. I got five balls, but I would have had several more if 30 minutes of batting practice wasn’t wiped by the Jackie Robinson ceremony. Still, a good night.

  7. Zack

    Being busy is fine as long as it’s a Good-Busy, and so far, that’s what it is for me. You doing any strength-building exercises to turn those warning track fly balls into dingers?


    A-Rod is not human.


    Nicely done. Do you know if the game balls had a special logo?


    No, the balls did not have special Jackie Robinson logos. I got two game-used balls last night (an inning-ending strikeout from Brian McCann and an umpire ball at the end of the game) and they are just like every other official ball. I think that there were never special balls. The place I originally heard this from was a sports talk radio show whose hosts aren’t especially reliable with information, so I shouldn’t have really expected them to be right.

  9. Zack

    Aha! Well, in that case, I’m glad I didn’t schlep out to Shea. I suppose it’s possible that the ’42’ balls do exist, right? Maybe they were strictly used ON April 15.


    Yeah, I considered that possibility as well. Either way, I didn’t get one. Hopefully if they do exist, the Mets will use them during BP the next couple of weeks.


    Zack, I was bored for a few mins after the Mets game and before the Yankees game, and I was on Amazon, and I saw that your new book is ranked #713, which is phenomenal. Can you share with us how many you’ve sold so far?


    Funny moment during the Yankees-Red Sox game. They have a microphone on the home plate ump, and in between innings, he gave a game ball to a little kid in the front row. He made him hold up his right hand and take an oath. (I figured it was to not sell the ball on Ebay). Actually it was to never boo an umpire. haha


    Oh yeah, I saw that today! That was hilarious. This kid was like 10 years old, and the ump goes over to the stands between innings and makes the kid promise never to boo an umpire’s decision, then gives him a baseball. Unfortunately, I think he was just playing up to the FOX cameras/microphones. But still, it was very nice and very cute.


    yeah, i liked it when mccarver wondered out loud how long it would take for the kid to break that vow

  15. Zack

    I wonder if the A’s and Orioles will be using them on Monday.


    I’m not exactly sure how many have sold at this point, and anyway, I don’t think I’d be allowed to share that info. I can say, however, that the book has gone into a fourth printing, so that’s a good sign. (Did you see how high the book was briefly ranked on Amazon after the NPR inteview aired a couple weeks ago? Crazy stuff.) I saw the ump give the ball to the kid. Funny stuff but…


    …I think you’re right about the whole thing being done for the camera.


    I’m officially setting the over/under at 15 months. That’d be around next year’s All-Star break.


    hey, im going on a trip in july out to cleveland, pittsburgh and somewhere else relatively close but i dunno where we should go..any suggestions..any suggestions for a good ballpark out east with easy access to players outside the stadium, because last year at minneapolis i got a ton of autographs outside the stadium so that was Philadelphia worth going to and is it safe around the park there?


    Zack, congrats on the fourth printing. That’s great! Quick question, since Hispanics love baseball, has your publisher ever mentioned anything about printing the book en espanol? Just a thought….

  18. Zack

    I actually like them. What can I say?


    Cool. The area around Citizens Bank Park is very safe, but it’s in a BIG sports complex with a few other stadiums, so there’s not much else to do within walking distance. I don’t know about the autograph scene at various stadiums. I can only tell you about the balls.


    Thanks! The publisher has been thinking about foreign rights for the book, so yes.


    Less than 12 hours until I leave for Camden Yards…

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