9/30/07 at Shea Stadium

This game was painful. It feels stupid to be writing about it four days after the fact, and quite frankly, I’d rather not even have to think about it. But the story must be told–and I apologize in advance for making it brief…

I went to the game with Clif and Gail. Remember them? They were my Watch With Zack clients five days earlier. This second game with them wasn’t an official Watch With Zack outing. They had an extra ticket (and bleacher access). I’d been planning to go anyway (and had enjoyed their company), so when they invited me to tag along, I gladly accepted.

Gail parked the car at Shea at around 10am and then hurried over to GATE C to hold a spot at the front of the line. Clif and I wandered and got some good looks at the construction of Citi Field.


Shea opened at 10:40am, and when we ran inside, this is what we saw:


It was an appetizer of pain. The field was set up for batting practice, but there weren’t any players in sight. I headed down to the front row of the Marlins’ dugout. Head groundskeeper Pete Flynn walked by. I asked him if the teams were planning to hit, and thankfully he nodded.

Fifteen minutes later, a few Mets players trickled out of the first base dugout and began playing catch. I ran over and barely found a space in the first row as Ruben Gotay finished throwing. I asked him for the ball in Spanish. He flipped it high in the air right to me. I reached up for the easy catch. Clif gave me a high-five, and we headed out to right field. He got two balls thrown to him along the foul line, just short of the DreamSeats, and I got two more tossed up to me in the Loge. The first came from Lastings old_ball_09_30_07.jpgMilledge and required a bit of running on my part. The ball sailed over my head and landed in a tunnel, and I chased it 30 feet into the empty concourse. The second ball (which was one of the zack_clif_bleachers_09_30_07.jpgoldest balls I’d snagged all year) came from bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello, and I had to reach way over the ledge to make the grab.

When the bleachers opened at 11:40am, there was only half an hour left of BP. Clif (aka “goislanders4” to those who read the comments) got one more ball, and I’ll let him be the one to share the details. I ended up snagging two more. The first was tossed by Brett Carroll, and the second–my fifth and final ball of the day–was a homer that landed in a crowded patch of benches.

Clif and Gail and I hung out in the bleachers for the first few innings.


Clif and I ran around the Loge until the seventh inning stretch.


Then we all snuck down to the Marlins’ dugout.


I was hoping to snag some bonus items, and I was in a great spot to do so, but it wasn’t meant to be. After the final out, someone on the Marlins tossed a cap into the crowd, and I managed to get my hand on it for a split-second before someone else snatched it away. I was furious, and to make matters worse, Fredi Gonzalez gave the lineup cards to the guy in the “VERGA” jersey after telling me earlier that he keeps them.


Let’s not even go into detail about the game itself. Tom Glavine gave up SEVEN runs in the top of the first inning, and it was practically over before it started.


• 311 balls in 39 games this season = 7.97 balls per game.

• 494 consecutive games with at least one ball

• 321 consecutive games at Shea Stadium with at least one ball

• 3,272 total balls

• 1 very long winter for Mets fans


  1. memiller67@netzero.net

    Just finished reading all of your blogs, took good notes, glove is set up for the glove trick, backpack is ready, purchased several New Era “opposing” team caps, Alliance Red rubber bands (only availble at Staples.com), Log Book, Blue sharpies and blue ink pens. All I need now is April 2008 to arrive so that I can have a full out SNAG assault on Comerica, Cellular Field and the Rogers Center next season. Will be heading to Tigers Spring training in March 08′, hopefully I can snag some balls there (won’t count in the master count though). Trying to decide if I want to purchase (1) season ticket at CoMerica next season (or just buy at the box office before the game) so that I (1) Am guarenteed a nice seat behind the visiting team dugouts (for end of inning balls, batting gloves, bats, lineup cards etc…). (2) Do not have to pay scalper prices…(3) Don’t have to waste valuable pre-BP wait time at the Tigers box office..Man I wish I would of brought my glove to the games this season. Before the game in Right field I could have used the glove trick 50 times..Oh well I will be ready for next season…Keep blogging Zack..Great info..

    Mike in Detroit

  2. cubs0110@aol.com

    Today I had the EASIEST virtual waiting room of all time…. got my 4 tickets to the NLCS in under 6 minutes. Score.

  3. gjk2212@yahoo.com

    this game was terrible. i watched it until the last out. it ******. im so upset about the mets. at least the phils are down 1-0 series and 6-3 in the 6th now. post on the afl i wana see you plans. or email me.

  4. puckcollector@optonline.net

    Man, I love these 6:00 games, and the day games. I can watch the end without having to stay up til 11, which is great for me cuz I have to get up at 6 the next morning for school. I might be at Yankee for BP on Sunday, but it’s still up in the air. I don’t want to deal with thousands of fans, and I want to relax and enjoy my first post season game ever. But i still want a ball.
    I hate when I walk into Yankee on a Sunday, and the cages are up, but no one is taking BP.

    Opening night(hockey) in 2 days!!!! 50 pucks, including 10 gamers is my goal. I can’t wait to see all my stadium “friends.”

    You should have done the ticket lotteries, and just sold the tix.

  5. cubs0110@aol.com

    Is there any other team that has VWR’s besides the Cubs? or is everyone else on “lotteries”?

  6. gjk2212@yahoo.com

    i had a vwr for mets and phillies playoff tix. but to get them you had to win the lottery in the 1st place.
    puckcollector-are you goin to the islanders opener at the coliseum? i cant go but im goin to a bunch of islanders games this year. lemme know when your goin.

  7. Zack

    You read ALL my old blog entries? Man, that must’ve taken a while. I’ve written over 265,000 words since April of 2005. You won’t lose any BP time buying tickets in person on the day of the games as long as you get there about an hour before the stadium opens. Just buy the ticket and THEN get on line at the gate. Easy.


    Are you trying to make me jealous? :-)


    Mwahaha, and now the Phillies are down two games to none. I’m not quite ready to post about the AFL. I still have a few things to discuss with my friend Brad.


    So I guess you’re not planning to watch the Cubs and Diamondbacks tonight? That’s a shame. While you’re sleeping, dream about the Cubs winning. I need them to win at least one game if I’m gonna go to Wrigley on Sunday for Game 4, and right now, it’s still a possibility.


    I just realized that I mentioned Brett Carroll on this blog two years ago. He’s in the entry I wrote about a minor league game in Greensboro two years ago. Check it out:


  8. cubs0110@aol.com

    Zack… I have my own “method” Nothing fancy, but it takes into account that I have access to potentially 8 computers (only used 5 today)

    I thought the way I read the disclaimer that if you had multiple VWR’s open, your order would be canceled, so when trying to buy NLDS ticket(s) I had 1 open per comp. THEN out of frustration I opened about 50 or so windows and got in in under 10 seconds.

    So THIS time I opened around 200 or so windows and got in in 6 minutes.

  9. cubs0110@aol.com

    So you’re going Sunday? Too bad I don’t have tix for that day… And unlike normal days, SRO tickets have already been sold.

    I guess I can ask the box office on saturday, but do you think they’ll release ANY tickets the day of the game?

  10. Zack

    Sneaky. I like it. Still not sure about Sunday, but I should find out soon. I doubt anything will be released, but who knows? I’m not an expert when it comes to playoff tickets.

  11. fatherpuck@optonline.net

    I have one remote ball snagging story from tonight’s otherwise forgettable Yankee game.

    While I decided to sell my tickets for Cleveland, the guy who sits next to me, AK, decided to take the train and see both games. Tonight at BP, Shelly Duncan hit a HR that rolled out onto the concourse to the left of the LF bleachers near AK. He expected a herd to be chasing the ball, but no one followed and the ball rolled through a crowd oblivious to what was at their feet. The ball finally came to rest in front of a woman roughly 60-years old. She looked down somewhat surprised and as she bent down to get it, her eyes caught AK watching her–and face said that she instantly realized this was BP ball that he was tracking. She then quickly grabbed the ball, but instead of walking away, she headed over to AK and gave it to him . Btw, Zack, you may not recall, but he was the guy hamming it up with Ouck Collector for pics after Saturday night’s Baltimore game.

  12. joneli24@yahoo.com

    i noticed in the link that you mentioned the game of pepper and how major leaguers dont play it anymore…well i have an answer. apparently in the early 1900s players played all the time and it got rather competative. i dont know who or what team but apparently there was a hige fight in a game and baseball banned it from being played by its players…fun fact that i thought youd like to know

    but anyway, im already planning for my hockey hotels and when the preliminary schedules come out im starting my planning for next year…3 and 1/2 months thankfully for next year. may 12th to august 25th…nothing to do…no real job other than being a little league umpire. $50 a game 4 games a week…better than working at my local camp. do some 7:30 night games after coming home from the hotel…

  13. evan.bizzz@gmail.com

    Yeah, I love San Diego, I frequently go to La Jolla during the summer to surf, and my aunt has hookups at the Hyatt Regency so we stay there a lot. O yeah I am from Santa Monica.


    Speaking of San Diego, my dad said that I might be able to go to SD for a Watch with Zack and then take the train for ANOTHER one in LA! The Padres schedule has not come out yet but, I have a few Dodger dates to talk to you about.


  14. padreleigh@hotmail.com


    Santa Monica….nice. I actually work in La Jolla. I work for the Hyatt’s competition though. The Hyatt a nice hotel, but mine is better. Ha ha. They let the Raiders stay there a few years ago when the Super Bowl was here. Ughh, Raiders. Booooo. We had the Buccaneers at our place. Do you ever surf Torrey Pines State Beach or are you a Wind N Sea/La Jolla Shores guy? You should try to do SD with Zack. Something different for both of you.

  15. Zack

    Can’t say I remember this guy, but ****, what a story. It’s amazing how laid-back people are about snagging in places other than New York, Chicago, and the Bay Area.


    Cool, I never heard that story before. I always assumed that pepper wasn’t allowed because it causes the players to tear up the field, and because they’re at risk of getting hurt (by the ball). Little league umping sounds like a good combination of fun and stress. Watch out for the crazy parents.


    That’d be awesome. Why don’t you send me a private email, and we’ll keep the discussion going there…


    Something different indeed. Thanks.

  16. dodgerdude511@aol.com

    What a great season

    Im thinking about Driving to AZ if the Rockies are Playing the D Backs. That would be exciting.

    So you may be coming out to Dodger Stadium?? Gotta let me know!!

    Any Playoff Games coming up??


  17. puckcollector@optonline.net

    FatherPuck: You yell at me for typos and now im “Ock Collector.” Shame Shame.

    Gjk: I’m goin on Monday as well as Saturday.

  18. Zack

    Hope you get to see some NLCS action. As for me? There’s still a chance I might be going to Chicago on Sunday for Game 4 at Wrigley, but the Cubs actually need to win a game first, and even then, it’s not a guarantee. Dodger Stadium is a possibility for next year. I’ll definitely let you know…


    Yeah, you tell him!

  19. ceetar@gmail.com

    Well. Lovely..I guess the Mets saved me money this year (NLDs, 2 NLCS, 1 WS tickets I had for my season-plan) At least you had a good year.

    It’d be amazing if we had a Diamondbacks – Rockies NLCS. There probalby wasn’t a person in America that predicted that before the season started.

  20. gjk2212@yahoo.com

    puckcollector-i was thinking about going monday but im so far i cant just too far away..i usually go to games at the meadowlans even tho i hate the devils…but now their moving to newark. im too far from hockey it *****.

  21. padreleigh@hotmail.com


    That was a sweet Tribe jersey. Major League, great movie.


    In a way, Ceetar is on to something. By Trevor Hoffman choking, he saved me a bunch of money. My playoff tickets were like 700 bucks. Now, that money goes to next years tickets and I don’t even have to worry about paying for next year. It’s already done. I’m considering going to PHX if the Dbacks make the WS. I’ve seen enough of the Rockies and Dbacks during the year. The WS would be special though.


  22. joneli24@yahoo.com

    oh yes i know…my friend did it this summer (i couldnt cause you had to be 18 and i was only 17) but i would go all the time with him and watch and then play after the games on the field so i know all about the crazy parents/coaches etc.

    any cool plans for this offseason yet?

  23. Zack

    There’s no way anyone predicted that.




    Would you just buy a ticket on StubHub?


    I might work on another book this offseason. I might look for a bigger apartment. I might do both. I might do neither. I have no idea.


    You da man.

  24. padreleigh@hotmail.com

    Manny is killing my Angels ALCS hopes. Ha ha. Yes Zack, I think I would just buy a single on Stub Hub or Ebay and fly over for the day. Only a 45 min flight and a quick cab ride.


  25. sammywu17@hotmail.com

    I was watching History Channel’s last night. On a show called Modern Marvels: balls. It showed Rawlings’ Costa Rica factory. Don’t know if you know that.

    Manny just crushed my hope of going to the playoff game.*****!!

    And that bug thing in Jacob, the sickest home field advantage of all time. they should be called “ralley bugs”

    Oh yea, what is your next book going to be about?

  26. padreleigh@hotmail.com


    I saw that episode before. It’s pretty cool huh? Those green, training balls are made in China. I wonder if they are made the exact same way as the ones from Costa Rica? Zack do you know? Is the China factory on Formosa or in mainland China? I think minor league balls are made in China too? Zack?


  27. anne_doula@yahoo.com


    Minor league balls are made in China. I know because ive snagged a few in Round Rock,Texas and it says made in China near the stiches.

    BTW would you reccomend PETCO park as a park to take in a ballgame?

  28. mister.chad@yahoo.com

    Hey everyone, it’s Chad.
    I used to have a blog “Charge the Mound”

    Totally forgot about this site till today! GO DBACKS!

  29. dodgerdude511@aol.com


    You can Fly SD- LA (Or is it just orange county??) Who does this beautiful thing??

    Zack- I got my NLCS tickets for game 6 today… heres for both teams winning at least 2 games!!

    (and the dbacks not dropping 3 straight games)


  30. cubs0110@aol.com

    Crappy game. Got a free sign, free towel, an extended my continuous games streak to 2.

  31. padreleigh@hotmail.com

    Anne Doula…

    I’ve taken in about 250 games at PETCO and I like it. I think you would too for a visit.


    SD to PHX is about a 45-50 min flight on Southwest or US Airways. From the airport it is a 10 min ride to Chase Field. When the game is over, you repeat the same steps in reverse. It’s a few easy travel day from SD. Cost is under $150 and even cheaper if you book in advance. My ticket to Dbacks WS game could cost more than the travel expenses.


    Sorry about the Cubs. At least you won your division AND actually were in the playoffs. Something I can’t say happened with my team. Last time I saw the Cubs look that bad was 1984.


  32. puckcollector@optonline.net

    I got my first two pucks of the year last night, and saw a great Isles win! Nothing special, the trainer gave me my first, and security the second, but they made me give it away to a little girl.

    I’m not even bothering with BP at Yankee. It’s gooing to be a mob, so I’m just gonna wander the stadium.

  33. padreleigh@hotmail.com

    Puck Collector….

    Congrats on the two pucks. You’re off to a good start. Nice of you to give one to the little girl.


    Not sure if anyone is interested but as of five minutes ago there were tickets available in both Arizona and Denver for the NLCS. I went through the team’s websites. I’m skipping the NLCS and hoping for the World Series in AZ. If there are any Rox or Dbacks fans get your NLCS tix fast.


  34. cubs0110@aol.com

    Are those stadiums even going to be sold out? Especially Arizona?

    When Cubs tickets went on sale, they sold out in under 40 minutes, and THAT’S only because everyone couldn’t buy at the same time due to the virtual waiting room.

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