Chasing A-Rod’s 500th

Alex Rodriguez has 498 career home runs, and the Yankees are about to start a seven-game road trip against two lousy teams: the Royals and Orioles. I’m afraid he’s gonna tee off and reach the milestone before coming back to the Bronx, so I’m already thinking about driving down to Camden Yards on Friday if he rolls in at 499. Sadly, that’s the only game I can possibly attend before the Yankees’ next home game on July 31.
I don’t expect to catch A-Rod’s 500th homer. I’m just hoping for a chance to be there when he hits it, and if I am, I’ll have to figure out where to sit. But will there even be an empty seat? And if there is, will security be checking tickets 400 feet from home plate? I have no idea what to expect, so I’m using A-Rod’s scatter plot on Hit Tracker to help shape my preliminary strategy…


As for Barry Bonds and his 756th homer…whatever. He’s gonna hit it in San Francisco, and I won’t be there. My friend Brad will, and if he doesn’t catch it, I hope the ball somehow bounces back onto the field and disintegrates–or lands in McCovey Cove and sinks. Anyway, A-Rod’s going to pass Bonds in about seven years so who cares?

As for the near future…
If the weather improves, I’ll be at tomorrow night’s game in Philadelphia with my mom. The following day, there’s a chance I’ll be at Shea, but I won’t know ’til the last minute. The main issue is that I’d have to leave the game about two hours after the first pitch, so I’m not sure I want to go at all. This whole week is out-of-control busy so it might be a few days before I post my next entry.

(Here’s the latest review of my book, in case you want to check it out.)



    If A-Rod is on 499 on August 1st, I’ll be there, maybe even the 31st. I was just on the Yanks site, and tickets are hard to get anyway, and because there are on the first level of the Satdium they are very expensive.

    I was wondering about security too, and I tihink he’ll hit it in the Bleachers, or the visiting team’s bullpen.

    What would you want in exchange?

    I’d want an A-Rod/Jeter signed jersey, and bat, and a years season tickets.


    Oh, and I hope Bonds brakes his leg(or he is injured and out for the rest of the year) so he can’t get the record.


    I found out about the bleacher thing because a while back, I signed up for the “Flushing Flash”, which e-mails ticket updates to me. Once in a while, there are individual bleacher tickets for sale, sometimes even for free. Anybody can sign up (for free) at:

    By the way, doesn’t A-Rod have 498 home runs?


    yes, mister gregory barasch, he does have 498.
    zack must have his mind on other matters


    yeah, well bonds still rules! just because bonds used steroids, people still forgave him.


    It was SO great to meet you this past weekend. I especially appreciate you taking time out of your busy weekend to make that happen. Children are a reflection of their parents so your mom must be pretty special, too!

  7. Zack

    I’m not worried about buying tickets on the lower level. I’m hoping security won’t be an issue, and if it is, I’m hoping I’ll be able to work my magic. I’m not sure what I’d ask for in exchange. I might not even exchange it. I might keep it. Or I might sell it. But if I do exchange it, the negotiations will BEGIN with my being able to take batting practice on the field at Yankee Stadium. It doesn’t have to be with the team. It can be an off day. But without that, there’s no deal. As for Bonds, I kinda want him to break the record because it’d be pretty cool to own a home run ball that was hit by the all-time home run king. ***** I’m selfish.)


    Wow, yeah, A-Rod certainly does have 498. Just fixed it. Yikes. And thanks for the link.


    No excuses.


    There are some forgivers, especially in San Francisco, but I’d say more people hate him than like him.


    No no no, it was great to meet YOU. Really, I had a great time. Thanks for inviting me and being all-around cool.


    I’m more upset at Bonds for the way he’s been acting, and how he took a shot at Hank by saying he would be there for A-Rod. When ESPN did a series on him, he was in tears because he was saying that people dont like him cuz hes black. Thats not true. Most of America is over that, and they dont like him cuz he cheated, knowingly or not.

    I hate him cuz of they way he handled the situation, more tham I do for using steriods becasue everyones doing it.

    And I hate Selig worse cuz for 10 years he turned his back on steriods cuz they were good for baseball.

  9. Zack

    Me? Whaaa?


    Well said. It’s not a race issue. It’s a “he’s a bigtime jerk” issue. (I think.) Good point about the Aaron cheap shot.


    I’m leaving for Philly in 40 minutes. My goal is to get at least 10 balls…



    I would set up camp in LF behind the nettting by the bullpen and wait for a lucky bounce of the netting…

    The last two home games played in Yankee stadium that I watched on TV — landed directly on the spiderman netting that protects the bullpen!


    Please forgive me Zack, my finger accidently slipped on the keyboard and ruined my train of thought…

    A-Rod’s last two home runs landed on the netting!

    Good Luck!


    Hey Zack, I have tickets to all 3 of the Giants vs. Dodgers games after the Giants 7 game home stand. Bonds hasn’t hit three home runs in 7 days in two months so hopefully he will only hit a couple in SF. My tickets are in the right feild bleachers in the LAST row because i bought my tickets too late. To make it worse I had to buy the $35 all-you-can-eat deal because those are the only kind of tickets in right feild.
    Anyways, i was planning on snaggng a seat farther down the aisle in the “right center” part of the right feild bleachers and preparing to run down the aisle when Barry is up. Any other sugestions of where to sit that would increase my chances of catching a possible HR by Barroid?

    At the very least if he hits it, I can say I was at the game where Barry broke the record and everyone booed him.


    I had a really fun time at Shea tonight: eight balls. The suppliers of those balls: Moises Alou, John Van Benschoten, Matt Capps, Ronny Paulino, Jack Wilson, home plate umpire Larry Vanover, and my cup-trick. I don’t know who threw me my first ball. In fact, it wasn’t even thrown to me. Shortly after I got to left field when the gates opened, some Mets pitcher threw a ball from right-center field into the empty first two rows of blue seats. I HEARD it land, calmly walked over, and picked it up. Very cool. This was also the first time I’ve ever snagged (exactly) eight balls at a game. Fun fun fun.


    Hey I was just curious of how you got your ball from Matt Capps. In May, He tossed me a ball from inside the bullpen on his way out to pitch. I had a conversion with him from the end of batting practise until the 8th inning when he pitched a shutout inning. He was a really nice guy and I’ve been seeing his name pop up on this blog so I just thought I’d ask.


    zack…i was looking through your allstar photos, and in the one with the blimp i couldnt help but noticing they spelled russell martins name wrong. just thought that was kinda funny, especially at the allstar game.

  16. Zack

    I just got home from Philly a little while ago. I’m exhausted. There’s no way I’ll finish the entry before I go to bed tonight, and I have the busiest day EVER tomorrow (today, technically) including a potentially abbreviated trip to Shea, so I have no idea when I’ll have a chance to blog…but know that the entries will be coming as soon as I get a chance.


    Thanks. I didn’t snag 15, but I still had a great time.


    Are you talking about sitting *under* the netting? The few people who sit there are handicapped (or at least they’re supposed to be), and it would absolutely impossible for me to get those seats. Behind the netting is the visitors’ bullpen, and behind that is the bleacher section which is like 500 feet from home plate, so there’s really no place for me to go in straight-away left or left-center…or center…or right-center, since I refuse to sit in the bleachers. (And people wonder why I go for foul balls instad of homers.)


    Yikes, I’d hate to be trapped in the last row of the bleachers. How far is that from the plate? About 450 feet? Security is going to be sooooooo tight from now on at every ballpark when Bonds is playing, and I doubt there’ll be any empty seats out there. Maybe there will be, and if there are, you might be able to grab one since you’ll already be in the section. Your strategy of running down the steps is a good idea, but instead, you might just try hanging out BELOW the bleachers, down where those staircases lead. You might not be able to see the ball leave the bat, but if a ball lands there, there might not be nearly as much competition.


    Way to go. Sounds like a good day. Any update on whether or not you’ll be there tomorrow…er, today?


    Ha! You got some eagle eyes, my friend. I never would’ve noticed that in a thousand years. Incredible.


    Zack – I’m definitely not going to Shea tonight. But I might be going Friday.

    Evan – Nothing special about the Matt Capps snag. He just fielded a ball during BP, I yelled “Matt” and he tossed it to me. But he did toss a bunch of balls into the crowd, so I wouldn’t doubt that he’s a really nice guy. Cool story. What’d you guys talk about?


    By the way, the ball I described before (the first one yesterday), how would you categorize it? Thrown or found? I know it’s a minute detail, but I’m not sure what to call it.

  19. Zack

    Thanks for the update. I’d categorize the first one as “thrown,” even though it wasn’t thrown to you. You know that it reached the seats by BEING thrown, and I think that’s the key.


    I’m going to Shea today, and I’m going to have to leave the game early.

    In other news, there’s a softball home run derby coming to Shea this weekend. Check it out:


    We talked about how he got to the big leagues and just chatted about things we had in common.


    Evan – Cool. I’ve never had anything close to that much contact with a player.

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