Barry Bonds 762 press conference

Last month, in case you missed it, I wrote a long article about Barry Bonds’ final home run ball and the fan who snagged it, then flew to Colorado for the press conference at which that fan–a 24-year-old from Boulder named Jameson Sutton–came forward for the first time. Naturally I took a bunch of pics (and received a few others), and here they are…

My stay in Denver started with a late-nite gathering at the Blake Street Tavern. I took a cab there straight from the airport and met the key players for the first time. Here we are in the pic below, from left to right: Robert Harmon, Jameson Sutton, David Kohler (the owner of SCP Auctions which is handling the sale of the ball), me, and Jameson’s brother Randy:

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Me with The Man:


My dinner (this stuff is important to document):

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While we were all waiting for the editors at Yahoo to get my story online, Jameson and Robert were using THE fake ball to recreate the battle for the real one:


Finally, I got the call, found a wireless connection, and pulled up the story on my laptop:


I read the story aloud as Jameson and the others looked on:


The next morning, on the way to the press conference, I got my picture taken across the street from Coors Field:


Jameson likes stripes. Here he is about half an hour before making his official appearance:


Did you notice the woman standing in the background? Here she is again. She might look sweet, but don’t mess with her. She had a gun, and she was guarding The Real Ball.


The press conference took place at the ESPN Zone. I arrived early while the media was just starting to set up:


Here’s another look at the cameras:


During the press conference itself, I roamed all over the room and took pics from various angles. Here’s one from the back:


Here’s another (with David, the auction owner, on Jameson’s right) from closer up:


CLICK HERE to see a one-minute video that I shot. Did you watch it? Good. Now take a look at Jameson holding up The Real Ball:


Robert wishing he were holding The Real Ball (after the press conference):


Close-up of The Real Ball:


Me in the background:


One last pic with Jameson before racing off to catch my flight:


The Real Ball is currently being auctioned online. There’s a two-week window for people to bid, and you can follow it all RIGHT HERE.

Two other unrelated pieces of news:

1) I’m in the current issue of Southwest Airlines’ official magazine. Check it out.

2) I’m driving to Boston tomorrow for a Watch With Zack game at Fenway on Tuesday. Red Sox home opener. Ring ceremony. Pretty good seats. Just hoping for at least one ball…


  1. gjk2212

    awesome. really awesome. question-if you ever caught a historic ball like that, where the current bid is 177,156, would you sell it? i know how you like to keep what you catch….

    also,what time are you planning on getting to fenway to ensure youre first inside, it most definitely will be a jammed batting practice, with opening day/rings. watch with zack on that day, good luck man!

  2. meikd423

    i have a really bad feeling about you going to fenway onj opening day. im actually kinda getting nervous for ya

  3. deleted

    Zack, is that a Macbook Pro I see??? Nice!

    Would you ever sell a record breaking home run? Say you have both the A-Rod ball that breaks Barry’s, and his last one (if you did, you should be given your own exhibit in the HOF). Anyway, if you had both of those, would you sell one for 1,000,000+ knowing that you would get to keep a home run from the home run king? I’d understand why you wouldn’t want to sell the only ball from a certain player, but what if you had two? Just curious.

    In Chicago… My consecutive games with at least one ball streak is at record levels! 3!
    If you didn’t know, batting practice at Wrigley is a REALLY tough place if you don’t have a bleacher ticket. I was lucky enough to have Jason Marquis throw one in my general direction, and reached for it and caught it. There was also one thrown by Soriano that I should/would/could have caught if I had been paying attention when he threw it… Oh well, that makes 4 on the season in 4 games. This could be my best year yet! (my goal is at least 10..)

  4. zackhample

    Thanks. I think I’d keep any ball worth less than $100,000 but anything above that, I’d seriously have to consider selling it. I don’t know. Without the ball actually in my possession, it’s hard to know for sure what I would do. As for Fenway, I’m actually a bit nervous about the plan. Game time is 2:05pm. I’m meeting the clients at 11:30am on Lansdowne Street. I think that might be the same time that the gates open. I picked that spot because if they’re late, I can still go for BP homers that clear the Monster.

    Don’t be THAT nervous. I’m sure I’ll find a way to get at least one ball. But it certainly won’t be a record-breaking day in terms of balls. That’s fine though…it IS a business trip after all.

    Nah, not a Macbook Pro. Just my old PowerBook G4. Anyway, if you saw my answer above to NJMETFAN, then you know what I’d do with a million-dollar ball. I really just want ONE A-Rod homer. Doesn’t need to be a record or a milestone or anything. Congrats on your own snagging. You seem to be on your way to double digits.

  5. utahsteeler

    Nice pics from Denver, Zack. Interesting thinking back on your story, you have a quote from Jay Alves, the Rockies VP of Public Relations. “We’re going to wash our hands of it”. This is the same jackarse who was in charge of the Rockies World Series ticket fiasco that we went through. I wonder how we can land high paying jobs with MLB clubs and make comments and decisions like this? I’ll tell ya what, everyone out West here, were ready to “wash their hands” of Alves during that ticket fiasco.

  6. boblheader

    Where in Utah are you? I’m in Orem. Got any trips planned? shoot me an email if you want so we don’t clog up Zack’s comments

  7. padreleigh

    “Trevor Time” is killing me. I’m ready to go to Orlando for the Rays games. Only a couple of weeks Zack. Good luck in Boston.


  8. snagfan

    Very cool that you are in the Southwest Airlines Mag. Tigs 0-6. Watched the 13-2 blowout last night. And that was our ace = we are in in trouble…Tried the glove trick at the COPA last night, scored (3) balls that way before the ushers asked me to stop. They said,”Nice ingenuity, but I am going to have to ask you to stop”. I said OK , No problem. Bobby Seay threw me a ball, Jose Contreras threw me a ball (I gave it to a boy next to me…Have to keep the ball gods happy w/ good karma..). So I had (4) in the bag. Ran over to the Sox dogout to try and go 3 for 3 on getting a ball from the BP catcher. Mark Salas came through again for me after BP wrapped up..For a total of (6) snagged, with (5) brought home in the bag. I did not snag during the game. I went and watched the game up in my seats (Upp Infield Box Sec 330).
    A fun day…My dad brought his glove and caught (2) balls and gave them to little kids..Very Cool. Oh, BTW I have a hex on Nick Swisher. He tried to knock the ball out of my glove by throwing a ball at my glove as I was raising up ball #3 with the glove trick…..

  9. zackhample

    Interesting. I had no idea that other people were upset with Alves. I was annoyed at the time that he wasn’t willing to help me, but it DID end up making for a fun quote in my story.

    It makes me sad to see him struggling. I can only imagine how you feel. Just a couple weeks indeed. Can’t wait!

    I hate it when ushers feel the need to regulate how many balls I’m allowed to snag. If they’d seen you giving them all away to little kids, though, I bet there’s a better chance they would’ve let you keep going. Sorry to hear that about Swisher. My guess is that he’s just a prankster/joker and not actually a bad guy. Your Tigers ARE in trouble, and I’ll be seeing them face Dice-K tomorrow at Fenway.

    I’m leaving in a couple hours. Driving up to Boston. Staying with a friend who lives like half a mile from Fenway. I’ll be out on Lansdowne Street tomorrow by 11am, going for home runs before the gates open. After that? Wish me luck. There’s going to be a HUGE crowd, but at least the weather’s supposed to be perfect (though chilly).

  10. gjk2212

    good luck at fenway…cutting it close with the gate opening time though lol

    ill be at shea by 930 for gates open at 1040…im aiming to be the first one inside shea all year in its final year, and unless the line starts over an hour before the gates open, i have a shot.

    im so pumped, except i lost my phillies hat. im beyond pissed, i taped a phillies “p” to a red nationals hat…you cant tell from a distance, i hope they cant tell from the loge corner.

  11. gregb123

    Back from Yankee Stadium. BP was frustrating, but I managed four balls (including another commemorative ball — this one is a lot nicer because the rubbing mud is less splotchy — from home plate ump James Hoye after the game). The other three balls were from Brian Bruney, Joba Chamberlain, and my cup-trick. The Chamberlain ball was kinda cool. I was in the process of pulling up my cup-trick with a ball inside. Joba walks over, pulls out the ball, inspects it, then inspects the cup-trick. He nods approvingly, looks up at me, and then places the ball gently back inside. He didn’t push it in hard enough, so the ball fell back out onto the warning track before Joba tossed it up to me. Other than that, standard stuff. (But the Rays were really stingy. Meh.)

  12. gjk2212

    back from shea…went to rf loge to start and some security guard named luis said “this is my section this year, and from now on nobody can stand in the corner. you must stand one section over.” so i moved. little kid comes with dad, stands in MY spot, and gets a ball. i go to the aisle to try to get one from the bullpen, and as i go to call to dave racaniello, luis tells me anyone shouting at the players for balls he will have removed from stadium. nothing during mets bp cause of freakin luis. greg, zack, and other shea-goers-heads up, if he really is there all year, hes a %*#^.

    went to lf loge and they have no problem with you in the corner. as i said i lost my phillies hat so i went neutral. got one from ramon henderson cause i knew his name lol. crowded day day at shea, tough bp…

    goislanders-i think i saw you in the lf loge. you got the ball from kendrick cause you DID have your phillies hat, and you got the home run ball that hit the rail and was thrown back up. how many more did you get?

    zack, how was fenway?

  13. gjk2212

    yes. hes horrific. or at least he was today. and the little damn kid got a ball from nelson figueroa 2 mins after i moved. i was in line at 10, 3rd one in the stadium, all out sprinted to the rf loge to the corner, and this kid calmly walks up and gets a ball. so frustrating. why li, do u know him?


    he can’t kick you out for yelling at the players. ask to see his boss and see what he tells u.

  15. gjk2212

    yeah i know, it was beyond ridiculous. not even section. stadium.

    i got free front row tix for tonights mets game, right behind 1st….im hoping for a shea commemorative…anyone else going to shea tonight?

  16. zackhample

    Very cool about Joba and the cup trick…and man, another commemorative ball?! Nice work.

    Luis is an out-of-control, power-hungry jerk. He’s been hassling me for years (thought never until an hour or so into BP), and he must be stopped. I’m going to call the Mets today to complain, and I encourage you to do the same thing. Fenway was…well, you’ll see. I’m working on the blog entry right now. Won’t be done for a number of hours. Might go to Shea tonight if I finish early enough. If not, I’ll be there tomorrow (assuming the weather’s nice).

  17. gjk2212

    yeah im in school…assuming my mom can pick up the tix, ill be at shea tonight with trevor…im calling in a little while when i have free time….yeah it was 2 minutes into bp…who should i call? customer service?

    anyway, hope i see you tonight,if not, well meet eventually through the season…


    I haven’t seen this Luis guy, but I can’t say I’m surprised that a rude usher was at Shea. I swear, all of these guys have been working at Shea since it opened! Hopefully they all retire, and there’s a new breed of ushers at Citi Field next year.

    Zack, you’re going to have a field day at Camden Yards this year. Only 10,500 were at the Orioles 2nd home game!!!

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