May 16

Wednesday, May 16 is going to be a busy day.

At 1:00am ET, I’m doing a live, in-studio interview with “The Joey Reynolds Show,” and yes, you read that right: one o’clock in the morning. It’s a nationally syndicated show, so if you’re on the west coast, I think you’ll be able to hear it at 10pm on Tuesday the 15th, but I’m not sure about that. It might be aired on a delay, so your best bet is to sportiva_cover2.jpg“listen live” online. I do know for certain that in New York City, the show is on WOR 710 AM.

Later in the day, at 7pm, I’ll be giving a speech and doing a book signing at the Ocean County Library in Tom’s River, New Jersey.

In other media news…
There’s a short review of my book in the current issue of Yankees Magazine, and there’s a slightly longer article about my baseball collection in a Japanese magazine called Sportiva. I have no idea what it says–I’m waiting for my half-brother (who knows nine languages) to translate it–but based on the vertical “3000” in big lettering over my photo, I’m thinking it must have something to do with my 3,000th ball. Any guesses?

UPDATE (as of 2:30pm on May 15):
It turns out that I won’t be doing the NJ signing tomorrow. Several things have come up, including a taped interview which my publicist feels would be much better for the book. If the signing is rescheduled, I’ll keep you posted.



    To answer your question from the last entry, security was nowhere in sight up in the Loge. For righties, I had a great seat along the aisle, and for lefties, I stood in a runway (where I caught the foul ball). I only saw two ushers all day (including the one I beat to the ball), and I never saw them say a word to anybody.

    Also, I’m leaving for Shea in a few minutes.


    Zack, do you have any advice on how to get batting gloves and other collectibles besides baseballs? Or is it just being in the right place at the right time?


    I just got home from Shea, where I snagged seven balls, uncluding two with my cup trick.

    This is purely a hypothetical question, but I’ve always wondered what to consider the following situation if it ever happened. Say someone hits a home run at Shea and it plops into the gap behind the wall in left/right field and you went to the game the next day and snagged it with your glove trick, and you were somehow sure that it was the home run ball, would you count that as a game ball?


    “the product of his torment” ? ***? still, a positive review… good going.

  5. Zack

    I’m surprised about the lack of security. That’s a good sign. SEVEN balls on a Sunday afternoon game? Wow. Congrats. What’s your season total up to? As for the hypothetical question, yeah, I’d count it as a game ball. I’ve thought of that before.


    You either have to get to know the players (which is tough) or you just have to hang out near the dugouts and ask ask ask ask ask ask ask ask ask ask ask ask ask…


    Thanks. That line didn’t offend me. (Should it have?)


    I am still trying to figure out how the heck my RED SOX won today!6 runs in the 9th inning that was a great game! AND the yankees lost! I got one question Zack Can you tell me why the mets all shaved their heads?


    the mets shaved their heads because they are a cool team that wanted to show some solidarity after a couple of losses. they obviously have a lot of fun together not only on the field but in the clubhouse as well
    and your sox today were absolutely amazing

    they did have a little luck but they really showed they have guts



    This season, I’ve snagged 61 balls in 12 games (5.08 balls per game) including Spring Training, which I am. Without Spring Training, 45 balls in 9 games (5 per game).

    I have a nice streak of 39 games in a row with at least one ball, and 26 consecutive with at least two. (Both stats include Spring Training.)

    I also have a streak of 33 straight non-Yankee Stadium games with at least three balls. Stupid Yankee Stadium.


    there was a little luck with the dropping of the ball on the final hit, ,but besides that my sox had pure skill and clutch with the usual great players.


    Zack-I’m sorry, but please do not encourage people to ask for batting gloves/bats from players at dugouts. There is a regular at Shea who is very obnoxious, loud, and rude when it comes to asking players for equipment.

  11. Zack

    The Mets shaved their heads because they wanted to look like me. :-)


    Well said.


    So if we take Spring Training out of the equation, then I have a slight lead on our season-long competition. But that’s cool if you want to include those balls. Yankee Stadium really is stupid.


    Very clutch.


    Seriously? Who? That’s not good. But what am I supposed to tell people who ask me? Should I lie and say that the upper deck is the best spot because the Pepsi Party Patrol sometimes shoots batting gloves up there with their air cannons?


    Yes. In all seriousness though, I don’t have a problem with you giving that advice, but I just hope people who read this understand common decency.

  13. Zack

    I hope so too.

    When I give people advice on asking for balls and autographs and other items, I usually remind them to say “please,” so hopefully that’ll help.


    Yea I know who the obnoxious batting glove kid that the chuckster is talking about. When I saw you on that wednesday the second home game of the season he was the kid standing next to me with a bat and pretty much a suitcase full of items to get signed. If you spent all of your time getting autos at shea like the chuckster, me and others you will want to kill the kid by now. Im calling him a kid but he is the same age as me 15 but he acts like he is 5. Are you going for any cubs games? I will probably be there on tuesday All my best, zach


    Zack, I know you usually go to weekday games, because the competition for balls is much less, but I’d be curious to see what would happen if you were to attend either this Saturday’s Mets/Yanks 3:55 PM game, on Sunday’s 8 PM game.

    How many balls do you think you could get with the stiff competition of a subway series crowd?

  16. Zack

    I think I know who you’re talking about, and yeah, actually, I’m heading to Shea in less than hour.


    Got a ticket for me? I’d be happy to go and show everyone what I can do. I’d still probably get at least half a dozen balls at either game. But you’re right…I do usually avoid the games with the biggest crowds.


    Hilarious! Good for Rickey!


    Ha, I actually read Sportiva on a semi-regular basis, though I haven’t bought it in a few months since the end of last season when they ran the Shinjo stories after the Japan Series. (Cute cover though. Everyone loves Masahiro Tanaka.)

    I don’t have time to translate the entire article for you right now, but the thing above your picture says something to the effect of “he seized his 3000th ball during the wonder/miracle mania of chasing Matsuzaka!”

    Skimming over it, it starts out explaining about Matsuzaka-mania, but shortly goes into “and then there’s some crazy guy yelling ‘heeeey, can you throw me a ball?’ that guy is Zack Hample, who has gotten 2961 baseballs already.” talks about your glove trick a bit and your notoriety at Shea Stadium. there looks to be a quote saying you haven’t gotten any baseballs from Japanese players except Kaz Matsui? that seems to be wrong. also there’s a quote at the end saying something about how your love life is just fine, even though baseball is your biggest hobby.

    Oh yeah, and they call you “King of Snag” at the end too :)

    sorry I don’t have time to translate more of it right this minute, but if you don’t manage to find anyone else to do it for you, I can try to get around to it sometime soon.



    Yeah, for the friendly competition, we shouldn’t count Spring Training, but I am including those balls in my collection.

    I know that kid you guys have been talking about. Is he the chubby one with a Spring Training-style Mets hat and uniform? If so, I always see him on line at Gate C. He’s very annoying. Yesterday, I had a small incident with him. At the Brewers dugout at the end of BP, I asked bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel (who was in charge of dumping all the balls from the buckets into the bags) if he could toss me one of the balls. The kid was right next to me with his big-*** briefcase when Hanel picked one out of the bag and threw it up to me. The kid reached in front of me and snatched it. He had heard me ask Hanel for it, and knew it was being thrown to me, yet still grabbed it with his bare hand two inches in front of my glove. Luckily, I was able to “convince” him it was mine, and he reluctantly handed it over, but come on, that’s obnoxious.



    Nice article in Sportiva! I don’t understand the whole article, but I want to know how/why you gave them that picture of me in the lower left corner. I couldn’t find my name anywhere in the article, but thanks for the publicity!



    thanks for the advice zack and i won’t be like that kid at shea that is loud and obnoxious. ill also be sure to say please and be polite. thanks again


    Zneu-Killing him might be a little harsh. (Are you geese from the shek boards?)
    Also, does anybody know how early the parking lots open at Shea, and where I could park if I got to the game this Saturday (3:55 start) around 10-10:30?

  22. Zack

    Thanks so much. Still no word from my brother, so your partial translation is much appreciated. I’ve gotten lots of balls from Japanese players, and I told that to the reporter, so if your translation is right, then the magazine made a big error. Hmm…


    Yeah, that’s pretty obnoxious. I don’t know about the Spring Training gear, but I think we’re talking about the same guy. Yesterday at Shea, he was so overzealous about getting players’ autographs in those two rows of blue seats that he was barging past fans who were sitting there and smacking into their knees before they could move to let him through, and he nearly caused two people’s drinks to tip out of the cup holders. Then he blatantly tried to get in my way when I was waiting for Matt Murton to toss me a ball. That kid is out of control and must be stopped. He’s going to ruin things at Shea for all collectors.


    Some things are better left unsaid. But I will say that you’re welcome.

    RED SOX-

    You’re welcome, too. If you read my new entry (5/14/07 at Shea Steadium), you’ll see that “please” can get you far.




    I know nothing about the parking situation at Shea. Sorry.

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