The home stretch

All you baseball collectors out there…

Have you already achieved your snagging goals for the season? Are you almost there? We got about a dozen games to go, so this is your chance to make a late-season run.

Six months ago, my goal was to snag at least 200, and once I got there, I took aim at 3,200 total balls. Now that I’m just four balls away, I’m already hoping to reach 3,500 by the end of 2008. (I’m also planning–not merely hoping–to catch an A-Rod homer before the Yankees move into their new home. He better not opt out.)



    My dad might be there, or he might not. I don’t know. But even if he is there, I wouldn’t make him hold a spot for me. He has balls to catch too…

    As for goals, my 2007 goal of 200 balls is looking pretty hard to achieve at the moment. I have one game at Yankee Stadium, three at Shea, and possibly one at RFK for its final day of baseball. I need to snag 34 balls in those five games. And with my luck, it’ll definitely rain for three of those games. More importantly, I’ve set a much more long term goal. I’d like to have 1000 baseballs by the time I graduate in May 2011. It’s kind of a lofty goal, I know, but I’ve done the math. Let’s assume I end up with about 290-300 balls by the end of the year (I’m currently at 272). That means I’d need 700-710 balls over the next 3.25 seasons (I’ll count April and half of May of 2011) — an average of only about 215-220 balls per year. I might be able to do that…


    3200 my prediction is erik bedard if you go to yankee stadium this week if not…ruben gotay at shea against the nationals next week…

    im goin to either the 25th or the 26th at shea vs the nationals, then the last reg season game vs the marlins hoping for some bonus marlins items.

    and game 1 of the nlds at shea! do they use the comemmorative nlds balls in bp? im trying to go to 1 game per round at shea…and i have a shot cause i have like 15 emails entered in the drawing and only won once for the nlds…you planning on goin to any playoff games?


    Nice, I just got tickets to game 1 of the NLDS. With the fees, it was $57 for the upper deck. Ripoff, compared to the $10 I’m used to paying for regular season games, but oh well. I’m pissed though because if they somehow lose a ton of games and don’t get home field advantage, I won’t be able to go to the game because it’ll be on Oct 6th, and I’ll be out of town.


    just fyi erik bedard is injured and done for the year…too bad cause hes gonna be nasty for a while

    anyway, i wasnt to thrilled with my total this year of 22 and a high of 4 ina a game. but in response to that i did get my first career fould ball and i did wreck my previous autograph records by at least 100…anyway im looking foward for hockey season and hockey hotels so im beginning to buy cards for that…

    anyway best to all the snaggers out there for the rest of the season

    greg-i think you could do it. if you could get 4-5 at your yankee stadium game i think that youll have a great chance…

    anyway, z best of luck to you, keep the updates flowing and the great photos from jona!


    Zack, I’ve seen the glove entry before, but before i was commenting here.

    Greg, you forgot that you don’t know what the snagging situation in the new parks will be, and they will be packed, and expensive. 200 balls a year will be tough. And a Wensday night vs the Orioles in September should be pretty empty fo BP, so 4 or 5 should be easily reached, especially if your dad holds the corner spot. I also stand on the seat up against the wall behind the corner spot, and its easy for the players to see you there as well.


    Well, I got one in the regular season, maybe I can match one for the playoffs. I’ve got at least game 2 of the DS, 2 and 6 of the CS, and game 3 ofthe WS, providing of course the Mets make it that far.


    that would be so cool if you snagged 3200 on the 26th. thats the day that we go. if you got the e-mail


    I didn’t really have a goal, and although I’ve only snagged like 5 balls this year, I got over 1200 autographs, so I’m happy with that.


    I am close to 100 balls this year from all sources. Catches, throw ups, pick ups off the ground. I should make it to 100. If I were to go crazy and use a lot of Zack’s principles with the hat switch, going to the dugout after BP and the game, etc. I bet I could score 200 if I did that.

    Puck Collector…

    I can’t believe Mark Ecko ( Real name Marc Milecofsky if that tells you anything about him) bought that baseball. I didn’t even know he liked baseball. That’s a cool idea he had about voting on the ball’s fate. What is the website to vote?



    Puckcollector – Thanks for the Yankee Stadium tips. If I can’t get the corner spot, I’ll use your advice. As for the new stadiums, I predict I’ll do better at CitiField than at Shea, and I know I’ll do better at new Yankee Stadium than at the current one. Plus, Philadelphia is only about 90 minutes away and Baltimore and Boston are within driving distance as well. Also, my dad and I are planning a bunch of baseball trips for next year, so I’ll see what I can do about 200 balls next year.


    my goal was 10 and I got 2…


    I have 2 games to get 8 balls, and one of them I have to miss most of BP… great.


    The O’s weren’t taking BP yesterday so the early part was just wasted, though we did get these cool AJ Burnett designed, AJ Burnett t-shirts. Then, as soon as I get to my seats in the upper bowl, they do a softball home run derby and several balls landed exactly where I was standing before. But o well, they weren’t MLB balls so…


    Hey danny, I was at the game 2 eh?

    It was pretty good during Jays bp anyway, I got balls from Johnny Mac and Jason Frasor and autos from Litsch, Guthrie, Burres, League and I got 2 of those large softballs and got em signed by 2 of the bomber guys.

    How often do you go to Jays games?


    I’m going to the 2 of the last 3 games at Dodger Stadium vs. the Giants. On Friday(-_-) I have RF bleacher seats and I plan to see Kevin from SF there while in pursuit of a Bonds dinger. On Sunday there will probably not be BP so I am going in the non-bleachers.ha. Additionally it is the last game at DS this season so they will throw some gear in the stands. A few years back when Gagne was still here(and on his streak) he threw his trademark glasses into the stands and 3 300 pound men jumped on them only to see them shatter before their eyes from the carnage. Maybe a glove this time??? I am hoping for 6-9 balls total in the pair of games. There will probably be in the high 40k’s both nights but what can you do.
    -Ethan, or anyone else on this blog, are you planning to go to any of these games?


    Puck Collector….

    Never mind, I found the website. I voted for asterisk* as well. Cool site. Today’s BP vs the Pirates was terrible.


    No balls for me today. The Pirates hardly hit any out. Maybe the luck will be better today. Next game for you?



    I got one ball at O’s BP yesterday. From Val Majewski (I think.) There was one ball on the warning track, and I went to use the Glove Trick, took 10 steps,turned around and a ball landed EXACTLY where I was sitting (standing.) It was much more crowded than the game on the 5th. Can’t wait for Friday. I have seats behind the Jays dugout. I think my goal was 50 balls, and I think I reached it but I’m not sure cuz my list is in my Dads scorebook, and I dont know where it is. I still have 2 games to reach it though. I might me at Shea on the 26th as well.

  17. albert

    Hola Zack, remember me? How has the season been, its been weird for me ive only been to 1 game and it was in April UGGGH too much work, but as you may remember I live in the bay area in CA and I did see you on KTVU,my opinion of you if i had only seen that one interview would be ARROGANT lol just kidding.I thought that was you at the Home Run Derby in the SHIRT i almost went but my buisness said otherwise my buisness is now worth about 15 mil. how much is you *BALL SNAGGING BUISNESS* worth? lol i can keep rambling but…


    Jimmy-the game itself was really exciting, but it was still disappointing at the end. You can see the Jays take BPs now? Well, I went a little too late, about 11:30, so I didn’t catch anything. Those bombers were amazing, weren’t they? This was only my second Jays game this year, the first was the Home Opener, I went on vacation during the entire summer so, but this is only like my 10th ever, so not often.


    Well you can only see like a little bit of Jays BP on weekend games, those bombers were good, considering the alminum bats and all. I got to a couple games a month, me and my buddies always bring O’s for Lyle Overbay so I dunno if you’ve seen me or not.

    Tell me if your going to another game.


    Hi Zack…My goal was to get my first ever ball at a Major League game, and I accomplished that. I also got some foul balls and a game winning playoff ball at minor league games. Besides snagging baseballs, the best part was enjoying a great summer at ballparks, relaxing and enjoying the beauty of the game. I also picked up your first book on this week! Keep up the great blog…..Jim

  21. Zack

    Sorry for the delay in answering comments. Things have been pretty busy lately, and soon you’ll see why…


    Wow, you’re really looking way ahead, and with a specific time line. When I first decided to go for 1,000 balls, I didn’t pick a year when I hoped it would happen. I just started snagging like crazy and knew my milestone would eventually come.


    Interesting prediction. Guess we’ll see. I think I’m gonna be at Shea on the 26th, but I’m not sure yet. I’ll probably know by the end of the week. MLB used to have special balls for each round of the playoffs, but now, unfortunately, it’s just the regular “official ball” from the regular season that gets used…and for that reason, I probably won’t even try to go to any playoff games until the World Series. Here’s what the LDS balls used to look like, or at least what the ’99 ALDS balls looked like:

    And the ’99 NLCS:


    Wow, that’s a lot of money for a “cheap” seat.


    …and I was there for the foul ball! Congrats on breaking your autograph record, even if the ball total is disappointing.


    Ahh, gotcha. How could Yankee Stadium have been MORE crowded that it was on September 5th? I don’t even want to imagine that. You should keep your own snagging lists, and I recommend keeping them on a computer because it’s much easier to update. Just make sure you back everything up so you won’t lose it all if the computer dies.


    Go for the match. You can do it.


    That would be very cool, but I’m probably going to be well past the milestone before then.


    Twelve hundred?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    I humbly bow to your autograph collecting wizardry.


    Not sure about my next game. Maybe on the 24th at Shea. Good luck reaching the century mark, and when you do, I expect a full report right here in the comments section. :-)


    Hate to say it, but your odds of reaching double digits aren’t looking so good. Still, if you end up having a monster game (which is always a possibility), it could be done.


    Oh man, that sounds incredibly frustrating. Sorry about that.


    Do you have a photo of the softballs?


    Kevin will definitely be there. Funny story about the Gagne glasses. Hope you get some bonus items on the last day.


    Wow, hey, good to hear from you again after all this time. What line of business are you in? My “Watch With Zack” business isn’t worth quite as much as yours.


    Good stuff. I’m amazed that you were able to find my first book. People email me all the time, asking where they can get a copy, saying they’ve searched everywhere and come up empty, and I have no idea what to tell them other than recommending a couple of web sites including one that specializes in used books.


    yes indeed you were there…i must admit i am more of a autos guy than balls, but i still like to get balls (not like that, cause i know someone is thinking it)

    anyway just some highlights from the autos this year:

    brian roberts x2

    carl crawford

    tom glavine x2

    billy wagner x2

    moises alou

    aaron harang

    trevor hoffman

    greg maddux

    jake peavy x2

    adrian gonzalez x3

    morgan ensberg x10

    mike piazza x2

    nick swisher

    joe nathan

    ian snell x2

    kelvim escobar

    jeff francoeur x2

    an many many many more

    and almost getting run over by jimmy rollins…remember that zack?

  23. albert

    my job is working, im the 2nd in command at the CIA lol no i work for which is worth alot, im not exactly sure the exact amount, somewhere in the millions, i had fun yesterday going through your whole season, i havent looked here since last offseason so i was way behind.

  24. albert

    and btw im starting an EBAY buisness selling baseballs, baseball cards, and all kinds of sports memorabilia


    Yeah, I know I should keep a better list, but this year I’ve been too lazy. I keep a list with hockey pucks, though. And my Mom realized that friday is Yom Kippor, so Yankee should be emptier, or at least emptier for BP, so I’m physed. I just hope this cold goes away by Friday. I can’t smell, and I can’t blow my nose, so I’m hoping my sinuses clear up a bit. On the 5th I found a spot on the wall easily at the Stadium, but on Monday, it was one of those jam packed aisle games, so I couldn’t really move.


    1. None in yesterdays short BP game….. ugh

    2. a monster day at Wrigley is only had by the very lucky, or the very pushy.


    Hey zack,Its darron and i have a few more games to go to but i reached my goal of ten ball my offical count was 12 1/2 but thats pretty good considering that i never get to go to bp the players hardly ever give balls out at the bullpen but i did set my new personnal record i got 2 balls twice this year and the two new security guards are jerks they say its in efforts to keep the players safe but i know that im the reason for the new rule becuase every 1/2 inning when the opposing team is in the feild there i am yelling HEY CAN I HAVE A BALL o and for that 1/2 on my ball count it was becuase of a frontier league game that i got a foul ball in but i have yet to catch a foul ball in a mlb game and this season i have figured out a way to get to the better seats i just go over and tell the usher that i lost my ticket somewhere in the stadium ha works every time i got a few autographs this season including Zack Hample told 12 people about watch with zack and told 26 about the website and for hockey season ihope to go to 5 games and get three pucks the Blues give them away during puck practice every game so bye for now


    Hey Zack My name is Ross and I wanna just say that over the weekend I received my first ever ball at the NY Mets game on 9/16/07. I went next to the Phillies Bullpen and asked for a ball and before I knew it I had a ball in my hand so if u get a chance please respond!!!


    Hey Zack it’s Sal. I found your Hample Jinx absolutely hysterical. My Red Sox fan roommate got a kick out of it. I’ll give you a list of people to jinx once the time comes..Peace


    Hey Zack ignore that past email address i used to post..any responses just email this one that im using.

  31. Zack

    That’s an impressive list, and yes, I remember The Rollins Incident well. (BTW, he’s about to break to the single-season at-bats record.)


    Thanks for catching up on my season amidst your busy schedule of running your businesses.


    Hope you feel better soon, and I hope you get a small BP crowd on Friday. I won’t be there because my writing group is meeting that night.


    1. Bummer.

    2. That’s usually the case at most ballparks, but Wrigley IS especially tough.


    Oh well, in that case, whatever. Only 800? Please. That’s nothing. (I’m kidding. That’s still extremely impressive.)


    Not too shabby. Good idea about “losing” your ticket stub, and thanks for mentioning Watch With Zack to people. Remember, if any of them book a game with me, I’ll give you $50.


    Congrats! And welcome to the club. :-)

    Shea Stadium can be a really tricky place to snag, so that makes it an even better accomplishment.


    Good to hear from you! I’ll write more soon, but for now, as you know, I have some work to do.


    I have something big in the works. Stay tuned. I hope to blog about (part of) it within the next 24 hours…


    Hey David:

    When I get home from school, I’ll givwe you all of my puck tips. It’s not that hard to average 2 per game if you get there early and know what you’re doing.


    Hi Zack and Everyone!!!!

    I had a VERY EXCITING GAME tonight. I got to BP a little late. I was close on a few BP homers, but no cigar. The Pirates weren’t throwing any balls up either. Very stingy BP team. Anyway BP was a total bust. No balls whatsoever. Anyway, the game went down to the wire. The Padres had two on with two out in the bottom of the 9th. Scott Hairston came up and delivered a clutch WALK OFF HOMER right to my section and…….I GOT THE BALL!!! The ball landed to my left and a scrum (sorry Zack!!) ensued. I was on the outside of the pile and went low to see if I could see the ball at all. I thought I had no chance at getting it though. As I was bending down the ball just popped out and rolled RIGHT TO ME. I reached down and snagged it a half second before some other guy did. The crowd was going wild! I was going wild! What a game! Like I’ve said before, NEVER GIVE UP ON GETTING THE BALL until someone comes up with it. You never know where it will roll!! It was really funny because after I came up with the ball there were still about 7 guys in the same scrum looking for the ball for about a minute longer. They kept at it even after people were telling them that I had the ball. Funny stuff. That was my second “gamer” HR on the year. I caught Ryan Braun’s first Major League homer on the fly back in May. It was also my 6th career game HR in my 8 seasons out here in San Diego. It doesn’t come close to our local super snagger TC though. He has 7 gamers this year and 7 gamers last year. I know he’s coming up on 200 career over the last 20 years. He’s the man. Anyway it was a good feeling getting that walk off everyone. It was only one ball, but definitely my best snag of the year. Take care…



    You going to the playoffs this year? I heard you were at the Giants/D-Backs game. Are you going to blog about it?


    Reached my final goal of 100 back on Sept. 8th (Rays-Jays…perfect matchup for a ballhawk). I came into the game needing 5 for 100, and got a personal-record 12. At that point I decided to quit while at the top of my game.


    Leigh: Wre yoou in a gray shirt?


    1. Get to the arena early, and take a lap or two around the rink, and look in the first 2-3 rows for any pucks lying around.

    2. Stand behind the benches, and wait for a trainer to come out. The teams will have the pucks stacked up on the wall, and ask for one.

    3. Find a spot to the right or the left of the goal judges booth, and be prepared for any pucks that drop down from the nets. Go the the visitors side. Its often less crowded.

    4. After warmups, someone will pick up all the pucks. Note here they exit the ice, and go there. Ask for a puck, just like you would ask for a baseball.

    5. If you can, move down to the lower level towards the end of the period. Note which ref picks up the puck, and stand on the glass. Try to make eye contach and mouth the words “puck.”

    Have fun!

    And BTW Zack, Im felling much better for tommorow.


    I have heard that you were in arizona at the d-backs giant game . Man you get around every where . If you did go hope you enjoyed it .


    Leigh, what did you do with Braun’s homer?

    Did the Brewers/Braun try to bargain for it?

    If you still have it, are you going to sell it once he’s a superstar?


    Puck collector,

    NO grey shirt. I was wearing a blue, Padres jacket. You can’t see me real well in the video, but I come in from the left side of the screen at the very end of the clip.


    The Padres management came out and wanted the ball because the Brewers requested it. They was a lot of drama because I threw a “fake” ball back onto the field. They threatened to kick me out if I didn’t give them the real ball. So, I called their bluff and said Ok, i’ll get kicked out an keep my ball. There was more drama. It left a bad taste in my mouth. Padres management were real jerks that night. In the end I got taken down to the Brewers dugout, got to meet Braun. He gave me another signed ball, a signed bat and three tickets to the next day’s game. He was very nice.


  40. Zack

    Ohmygod, that is AWESOME! Congrats, congrats, congrats! Wow. One of my dreams is to snag a walk-off homer someday.


    Man, how’d you find out about Arizona? I tried to keep it a total secret. Well, at least I succeeded until I was actually there. If you know anything about how my snagging went, please don’t say anything here. I want it to be a surprise. As for the playoffs, I have no idea if I’ll make it. If the Mets reach the World Series, I’ll try hard to get a ticket, but otherwise, probably not. Too expensive. Too much stress. Not enough balls. And I can get a better view on my TV.


    Twelve?! Very nice. But what do you mean by “quit”? Quitting just for this season? Not forever, I hope.


    I don’t plan to collect pucks anytime soon, but it was still very interesting to read your tips. Good luck tonight in the Bronx. Let me know how it goes.


    …and how did YOU find out? From hinthorn’s comment up above or from another source? As I told hinthorn…please don’t reveal anything about my Phoenix snagging if you happened to hear from someone there how I did. I want it to be a surprise when I blog about it. And yeah, I do get around. :-)



    HAHA, nice move on that :)

    But that’s awesome that you got to meet him and got some signed stuff.

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