Baseball storage

I snagged 311 baseballs this year, and I’ve been storing most of them in a duffel bag under my bed.


QUESTION: Where are the rest of the balls from this season?

ANSWER: Over the course of the season, I gave some away to my Watch With Zack clients. I gave others to random kids. I gave a few to friends who’d done huge baseball-related favors. And when the bag got full, I started keeping balls in my dresser…specifically the underwear drawer…because it happened to have more room than the shirt drawers…I swear.

Here’s a closer look at the bag.


Earlier this afternoon, I removed 70 balls and put them in my backpack.


Then I went to my favorite hardware store where my friends Tito and Carlos had four 32-gallon barrels waiting for me. (Big thanks to The Man, Mike Okun, for placing a special order for the barrels and giving me a good price.)


I schlepped all four barrels to my parents’ building, then took two of them up to my old room in their apartment…


…and brought the other two down to the basement storage lockers. (VERY creepy down there.)


Then I went back upstairs and dumped three different bags of balls into the first barrel:

1) The blue duffel bag that had been sitting on the counter two pics above
2) My backpack (which weighed about 25 pounds)
3) A small canvas bag that had been tucked into the corner by the mirror


The drawers (there’s a fifth drawer not pictured here) hold 144 balls each. The other five barrels hold 400 balls each, which means the sixth/newest barrel probably has about 350 balls in it. I still have more than 200 balls to bring over from my apartment. Those will fill the sixth barrel and take me nearly halfway into the seventh, which I’ll fill in 2008. With the eighth and ninth barrels in the basement, I now have room for another 1,000 balls, and if I continue my current pace, that’ll take me about four more years. Then what? Retirement? More barrels? I have no idea, but it’s nice to know that I’m all set for a while.

Before I headed back to my place, I closed all the drawers and snapped the lids back on the barrels and covered them with an old blanket.


That’s how the room normally looks. Someday, perhaps when I get a larger apartment, I’d love to make a proper display for all the balls and invite everyone who reads this blog to come over and take a look. But for now, the best I can do is share photos like these.

(Big thanks to my parents for continuing to house my collection.)



    Thta’s a lot of balls. What’s a proper display? Instead of wallpaper, an entire room coated with baseballs? Instead of a flower centerpiece on the dining room table, a bowl of baseballs? Instead of a coffee table, a glass container filled with them?


    to all in the last blog post who were asking about the fan packs:

    thats where i went to get most of the email addresses

    ive rec’d from

    indians, athletics, dodgers, mariners, red sox, and many from other sports. my laptop is running out of batteries and my charger is broken ill go into more detail in a little while.

    thats a lot of balls.


    ok, friend returned the charger.

    so far

    indians-game magazine, 2 pocket schedules, tattoo, 4 oversized cards(aaron fultz, jake westbrook, joel skinner, cliff lee)

    athletics-2 oversized cards(huston street, rich harden)

    pirates-9 oversized cards(wilson, duke, bay, castillo, bautista,sanchez,grabow,

    paulino, laroche)

    dodgers-calendar, team card set, giant sticker, lip gloss?

    mariners-6 uncut normal cards(putz,betancourt,hernandez,lopez,johjima,ibanez)team sticker set, safeco field poster, lage sticker, johjima giant card

    brewers-fan guide,giant villanueva card, normal koskie card, magnet, gameday magazine.

    red sox-bracelet, schilling glossed photo, personalized letter, fenway dirt.

    giants-email pdf attachment with puzzles and stuff

    other sports teams-pistons, shock, bills, cavaliers,browns,tigercats(cfl),

    mavericks,u of arkansas, mystics,kings(nba), rattlers(afl),saints,stars,penguins.

    on the way-colts, raptors, t-wolves, mets, ny giants.

    ok that was really time consuming and long but im really bored.


  4. Chris

    WOW! Nice pictures Zack! You collection looks great!

    Are you going to the All-Star game next year?



    I got 2 baseball questions that reallly puzzle me since I watching baseball. Just wonder if you know the answers.

    1) Here is the scenario:

    A starting pitcher lasted 4 and 2/3 of inning. His team scores 1 run in the first inning. Score is 1 to nothing when the starter got pulled off. For the rest of 4 and 1/3 of innings, 4 different reliefers come up and finish the game. Final score 1 to nothing. So who get the win?

    2)Everyone knows that left hand pitchers have great advantage against lefties. But why doesn’t it apply for right hand pitchers? A lot of left hand pitchers can throw curve ball that can move across from lefties’ shoulders and drop down to strike zone (zito’s curve for ex.) But for right hander, why is that no one doing that?Instead, curveball from right hander are 12-6 curve.


    I always enjoy seeing your collection grow Zach. And it would awesome if we could really see it some day too. Thanks for the invite :)

    I’d love to hear more about your autograph and baseball card collection too in a future post.

    Thanks again for taking us with you on this fun adventure.



    best hardware store in the city for sure!

    if i’d known where the balls were i woulda stolen at LEAST one


    I think I need to buy like 16 gallon barrels, cuz the drawer that is holding my 60 plus balls is full, and I have no room for 32 gallons.


    Hey zack Its darron from st.louis WOW thats alot of balls i snagged 12 this year but im only 12 and only went to 31 games went to 6 batting practices all being when the visiting team comes off the feild for a 7:25 game at 6:25 except one only got three at the dugout during bp and got punched in the back for an albert pujols 3rd out ball tied my record of 2 set this year twice kansas city and the pirates and this is the first year i really started looking at this website so and missed a foul ball by 1 centimeter it hit the edge of my glove but i was on tv and this website bye for now

  10. Zack

    Thanks for noticing. :-)

    I like your ideas for making displays. When the time comes (could be months or years), I’ll be sure to post a whole blog entry about it and ask for everyone’s suggestions. I’ve thought about the wallpaper idea. Mainly, I’d want to have my few dozen favorite balls in plastic cubes, plus lots of barrels I could dump out and play with. Beyond that? Not sure.

    GJK2212-******, that’s a LOT of stuff.


    I think it looks less ugly that way.


    Thanks very much! I’m not sure about next year’s All-Star Game. It’ll be tempting to go because I live so close and won’t have to pay for flights or hotels, but I hate Yankee Stadium so much that I almost don’t see the point of dealing with the security nightmare.


    1) Usually, in a situation like that, the reliever who completes the fifth inning will end up being the one who gets credit for the win. The decision, though, belongs to the official scorer.

    2) Righty-on-righty curves are DEFINITELY challenging for the hitter. (I know because I was never able to hit ’em.) I think it has to do with a couple factors. First of all, there are far fewer lefty pitchers, so lefty hitters are always thrown off when they see one. Secondly, lefty pitchers naturally have more movement on their pitches. And third, lefties are more likely to throw sidearm or three-quarters than righties, so that increases the angle at which a curveball would cut laterally to a lefty hitter, which of course makes it harder to see/hit.


    Thanks so much. Really appreciate it. I enjoy having all you guys stick with this blog long enough to see my collection grow. Autographs and cards, huh? Perhaps I’ll get into it this winter if I’m not busy writing another book.


    Nah, you wouldn’ta done that.


    You know it, baby.


    You don’t have room for a single 32-gallon barrel? Does Father Puck make you live in a closet? I didn’t even know there was such thing as a 16-gallon barrel. That’d be a pretty small barrel.


    Next year, you need to try to get at least three balls in one game and break your record. Hang onto to the rest of your “fiinal stats” for now. I’ll do a whole entry about mine after the World Series and you can post yours in a monster comment.


    I think this should be a very interesting World Series. I’m picking the Rockies in six games. Just a gut feeling. What do you think?


    Hey Zack….

    That is a lot of balls my friend. You definitely have cool parents to let you store stuff at their place. It’s really smokey all over San Diego right now. Fire everywhere. Just like 2003. I’m glad it’s not baseball season, because they’d cancel games. Hopefully, they’ll get it all put out in a few days.



    Zack, what do you do about special balls? HR Derby, Bonds HR, milestone balls, any other notables?

    I bought about 6 of the wood and glass steiner cases, UV protected glass too, from ebay. I have 3 of them with balls in them, plan on another from the first year at the new Nats ballpark next year.

    Oh, and don’t get me started on my tribe… I even just hate them making the post season now. I’m just such a wreck the entire time. Maybe without them in the series, I can just enjoy watching a baseball game and I hope my friend Jamey Carroll gets a lot of PT. He is about the hardest working player in baseball and a **** nice/good guy to talk to.



    how in the world did you get into tiger stadium?????!!!!!!!

    im going to detroit in november to visit my aunt and go to a giants football game. if i could go in there id go nuts!!

    how did u manage that???

    awesome, really awesome.

  15. Zack

    I think the Red Sox will win the World Series in NO MORE than five games.


    My parents are waaay cool. I’m totally aware of that fact.


    Did you take those pics of Tiger Stadium? I just figured it was just something random you stumbled across online. Either way, I really enjoyed them. As for special balls, I keep most of them in the drawers and barrels (out of the air and out of the light).


    No No, not my pics, didn’t mean to infer credit. I go to a Nats board and someone posted an OT message about Tiger Stadium. Apparently Tiger stadium’s days are winding down and the city is nearing a deal to demolish it, in spite of conservationists efforts. Recently, either the city, or private interest group who manages the stadium, allowed journalists/photogs into the stadium for a walk around. The hope was to chronicle the stadium and its state before it is claimed by winter and eventually torn down.

    Like I said, not my pics, but a very cool look at something that I consider priceless. I value our heritage, am often awed by the bravery and heroic influence of past generations, and highly value both material and sentimental keepsakes of Americana. Appreciation and understanding of a time when life was a harder but far more simplistic helps me to better grasp where we have been and where we are today. I guess that is why my house is 120+ years old too :)

    You might be able to get in still for $20. Check this out

    And it looks like demo actually started.


    Everything’s still on fire. This is not good. They’re using Qualcomm Stadium as an evacuation center. I bet they cancel the Chargers home game this coming Sunday just like last year.



    Leigh: I hope SD is okay, and my dad says that the Padres are coming to NY this year. Go to their website.

    Actually, mother puck(er), if you tick her off; JK, makes me live in a 10 by 12 closet, with a bed, desk, and dresser. No room for 32 gallons. But my dad’s apartment has plenty of room.(It’s not really a closet, so don’t call like the child welfare committee.)

    The 9 day layoff killed any hopes for the Rockies. Bo Sox in 4. If there is a game 5, the Rockies, and Broncos will be placing on MNF, so that could be a big dilemma for sports fans.


    alex, thats so interesting about tiger stadium.

    id probably be too scared to pay off some guy and hope not to get caught.


    yea i probably will plan out my season from opening day until may 20. which is my birthday and i get my license.

    the braves released the tentative schedule. the mets are playing at turner on may 20-22.

    i take my test for driving at 8 am. i hope to be outta dmv by 930ish. get to the airport by 1030. hopefully get to atlanta in time for birthday bp.

    lol i love how i plan out may in october. but i hafta or my parents wouldnt allow it, haha.

    puckcollector/fatherpuck-got the jersey today, looks great, trevor was so excited.

    thanks alot. tell me what you want me to do about shipping.


    Puck Collector loves his Mom, as he should. What’s amusing to a kid, however, could get me in lots of trouble!!!

    The pictures of Tiger Stadium are awesome! That was where I started my annual baseball trips and got perhaps my biggest disappointment for batting practice. The Tigers were playing the Cardinals and Mark McGwire long before the steroid debacle, but McGwire didn’t take BP! How I longed to see a ball crushed over the roof, but it wasn’t meant to be.

    With apologies to anyone from Detroit, that was also the lousiest place I ever visited. Downtown Detroit looked like a bombed out deserted European city during WWII. My friend and I vowed not to return for 20 years–even with the new Stadium.


    awesome!!! i wish i had that bedroom.


    how do you get the stuff from the teams? do you have to click e-mail at the bottom or the link that says help/contact us. i wasnt sure

  22. Scott

    even though i love the baseball collection, i think i just about died when i saw all the topps wax boxes and collectibles from my youth haha

    oh by the way, this is scott form chicago, we spoke a few times before. chad and myself wound up with 31 balls this year. we’re on our way to 4000! haha


    goislanders-use that link i provided in the beginning of these comments. it has most of the emails. otherwise just click contact us. ive gotten stuff from about 20 mlb teams, and i started requesting last weekend. every day my mailbox is full. not all baseball, from all sports. email me and i can give you most of the specific email addresses is contacted.

    it really is cool tho, get lots of cool stuff. im gonna try to get most of it signed next year.

  24. Zack

    Beautifully said. I think we can all appreciate that.


    Are you gonna go check out Q-Comm and reminisce about old snags? Seriously though, that’s scary. Any update for us?


    Yes, I suppose 10′ x 12′ would be a bit small for barrels. But what about other rooms in the house? I think a barrel would really spruce up the foyer.


    I hope you pass the driving test on the first shot. A bunch of kids at my school failed because the instructor was power tripping worse than Shea Stadium’s ushers, but somehow I managed to squeek by and get my learner’s permit.


    Uh oh, hope you’re not in trouble. Just so you know, I *do* have the power to delete/edit comments (although I hardly ever do…maybe once a month). I agree about Detroit. The area surrounding Tiger Stadium was depressing, at least when I was there in the late 90s, and it seems that things haven’t changed.


    The sad thing is that *I* wish I still had that bedroom. It’s practically the same size as my current apartment.


    What’s up?! Good to hear from you. The days of wax packs were a special time. 31 balls? Not bad at all. Too bad you didn’t make it to Shea or Citizens Bank this season. I mighta been able to help you get about one-third of that total in one day.


    Yay! Thanks for noticing. BTW, you’ll be happy to know that I handed a Scrabble beatdown the other night to a friend. He’s not rated, but still, he’s smart enough to be a climate scientist at Columbia and good enough at Scrabble to have once beaten me. Final score: 498 to like 240, or something. I bingoed with REMITTED for 95 points on a T.W.S. and later plopped down OCEANIc for about 65.

  25. Devery Van De Keere

    Hello. I work for a under-financed baseball team in Austria and we desperately need good baseballs. I want to buy some of your baseballs. Are you willing to work out an agreement?


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