Updated books

updated_cover.jpgMy publisher just sent me a few updated copies of my book, Watching Baseball Smarter. Not sure when they’ll actually hit stores or be available on Amazon, but at least they now exist. (Back in December, in case you missed it, I posted an entry about the update itself and all the work that was involved.) Check out the new cover…

In other news:

1) No games for me this week despite the fact that both the Mets and Yankees were playing at home in perfect weather. The Red Sox series was sold out; I wanted no part of it. And as for the Nationals series across town, I just didn’t feel like going. Shea is lame. That’s pretty much what it came down to.

2) In five days, I’ll be flying to Orlando for three games at Disney World, so get ready for a few more monster blog entries.

3) Several months ago, a writer with the LA Times Magazine got in touch and asked a bunch of questions about snagging baseballs at Dodger and Angel Stadiums. (Remember?) Well, the piece finally came out, and of course nearly all the info I provided got cut, but that’s just how it goes with these things, and actually, that’s a big part of what motivated me to write my first book. Anyway, if you want to see the piece, click here.


  1. padreleigh


    What do you expect from someone from LA? I hope you learned your lesson. Nice 22 inning game last night (THAT WE LOST!!! UGGHHH!!!) I left after the 12th inning because I had to go to work. It would have hurt more if I stayed for the whole 22.


  2. gjk2212

    i love shea so much, as a stadium. because it homes my mets, and i have had some of the best memories/moments of my life there. but your right, it is lame in snagging terms. and security. last sunday and tuesday, i went to the bleachers unquestioned, got some balls, and was politely told to leave after an hour. fine. yesterday, i hadnt even gotten down the ramp when THREE guards stopped me and told me the picnic area wouldnt be open until gametime. maybe they realized what i was doing. i dont know or care. as pissed. when i walked back up to the regular stadium, i saw luis in the rf loge. i really didnt wanna deal with him, id only been in 15 minutes and 2 bad things had happened. i hung on the field level, and its good i did. within 5 minutes i got balls from scott schoeneweis, duaner sanchez, and john maine. all the pitchers were throwing and somehow none of them saw me get the other balls. mets bp ended and i went to the nats dugout. nick johnson threw me a ball, and aaron boone signed my ticket. manny acta flipped me one, so i had 5. at the end of bp, i had THREE balls taken from me. acta saw my nats hat, i guess forgot he already gave me one, and tossed one to me. this tall guy leaps in front of me, slides on the dugout, and catches it. i never had a chance. so acta sees this and tosses another one. a spanish man knocks me from behind, i almost get knocked onto the dugout, and he gets it for his kid. then manny tries with a third ball, and this same tall guy, again, leaps, doesnt even catch it, but knocks it back onto the field. i was absolutely fuming. the most frustrating moment as a collector so far, ever. honestly, i had 0 chance on any of these. it was horrific. so i got 5. i shoulda had at least 6, maybe 7 because ray king made a terrible throw and missed me by 10 rows. i stayed all 14 and saw a great mets wild pitch walk off win.

  3. puckcollector@optonline.net

    i woulda yelled at the second guy and told his hid that he was a terrible dad, but wow, that REALLY does su*k

    Phil HUghs: learn how to pitch!! u r killing my fantasy team!

  4. .

    I finally got the chance to read you book on Snagging and it was pretty good. Hopefully soon I will get a chance to read the latest!

    One of these days I will write a book or two!

    Stop by and say “HI” and read about what it is like to be a clubhouse manager in Minor League Baseball!

    Inside The Clubhouse
    Inland Empire 66ers

  5. zackhample

    Aw c’mon, it’s not just an LA thing, but anyway, I’m so jealous that you were at a 22-inning game, and I can’t believe that you left early. The longest game I ever attended was a 17-inning, 1-0 Mets win over the Cardinals at Shea in 1993, I think. And yes, I stayed for the whole thing. I did once see 23 innings of Major League Baseball in one day, so THERE. It was a doubleheader (also at Shea) at which the first game went 14 innings.

    I didn’t say I won’t miss it…

    Wow, that sounds awful. I’ve had some incredibly frustrating moments too, of course. The worst one was probably when I got a bat after the game at Yankee Stadium, and security swooped in the SECOND I got it and made me give it away to some little kid who wasn’t even paying attention. I didn’t even have a chance to see which player’s name was on the bat, and my hands were covered with pine tar.

    You have Hughes? Oy.

    Good to see you’re still alive.

  6. deleted

    Zack, it looks like I just missed you. I might be going to the Cubs game tomorrow, and I just bought some string to make my own glove trick. Quick question, how do you keep it from getting tangled in your mitt?

  7. zackhample

    I just wrap it up in a neat little ball and then tuck it inside my glove…so my glove hand is actually on it the whole time when the string is not in use. It’s not the most comfortable thing in the world, but it works pretty well.

  8. deleted

    Awesome, just pure awesome. It works PERFECTLY. And even better, there’s a little “nook” (or cranny, depending on your definition) where I can store the ball of string without feeling it at all.

    Tomorrow night I’ll tell you how I did.

    Thanks SO MUCH for the help!

  9. pujolsisahero5

    Hey zack its darron from st louis today i did not do very well only bringging in 1 ball but i was happy with it the kids next to me that was trying to get a ball is a differnt story those kids were the worse ive ever seen somebody acted trying to get a ball these kids were cussing yelling hey you number 99 and so on telling the players what to do being little jerks about it the one punched me in the side when i caught the ball this is one of the things they said to a player trying for a ball “Can i get a ball i ride the short bus” i looked over at the kid and said “you probably do ride the short bus you stupid little jerk”the usher ask what the problem was so i told them these kids were little jerks this just happened to be my season ticket usher from last year needles to say she made them go to there seats so one ball six little jerks none of those kids got a ball
    bye for now

  10. gjk2212

    wow, a bat! thats terrible…much worse than mine lol…ive never gotten a bat so theres probably no way i woulda given it to a random kid..if anything i would gave it to trevor to make it look good, then taken it back later…guess you didnt have that option though. you shoulda just hit security with the bat and ran lol-headine of the post the next day

    “man flees yankee stadium with bat, leaves security injured”

    hahahaaa you would be going back there for a while(or ever)…which i guess really might have been a blessing in disguise haha

    whens your next game gonne be? i wont be going again til friday at shea, then monday too.

    i was trying so hard to get to washington wednesday, but its not gonna happen. no ride. do you know if theres an easy way there by train?

  11. tracycollinsbecky@yahoo.com

    zack- the 22 inning game was good for foul balls on 1st base side at petco,6 hours ,it was 1 minute shy of other padre record ,,i didn t leave early,,the field level were doing the angels in the outfield arm flapping,radio broadcasters were saying the fans are losing it ,we had 3 seven inning stretches,,,,,the noise was deafening to the surrounding condos and apts next to stadium,people were sleeping at 1 am,,at the end only about less than thousand stayed from 23 000,,you could have broke a foul ball record for 1 day ,,,,,,mine is 1 foul ball and one home run. and 2 caminitis in one game 1 lf ,1 rf…..i caught…….the other record is 4 home runs in one game..but it was all homers that landed in the under construction left field sect at anaheim back in 97?nobody was in the dirt construction area 2 ball from toronto and 2 from angels just bounced all there and after the game i snuck down there ,,does that count?……..how are yankees losing to the orioles ? you there?

  12. meikd423

    im just about to leave for washington. im going to their new ballpark on wednesday to see johan pitch.

  13. jberg08@gmail.com

    If the Mets and Yanks are using commemerative balls this year would every stadium use them in their last year? Thanks Zack and good luck this year catching baseballs.

  14. deleted

    Bah, there goes my 3 game streak. I KNOW I could have gotten a ball if I has a Pirates hat… And there were 2 balls that the glove trick would have worked perfectly for, but the pirates got them both very quickly. That also drops my average below 1 a game….. I HAVE to get 2 next time…

  15. zackhample

    Oh no! Sorry you lost the streak. I remember when I saw the Pirates at Yankee Stadium a couple years ago (or whenever it was). They were always pretty quick to take balls off the warning track. Cool video. Makes me wish I were at Wrigley.

    That’s pretty bad. I guess it just goes to show that there are lame fans everywhere.

    Funny. (But only in my fantasy.) My next game will be on Tuesday in Orlando.

    That’s crazy…four home run balls from one game?! Yeah, I guess that would count, although I might have to give you an asterisk. The Caminiti thing is even more impressive, I think. I don’t know what’s going on with the Yankees, but they’re in trouble. Hughes and Kennedy need to step it up or else that team isn’t going to the playoffs.

    Cool! Good luck, and please let me know how it goes.

    I know. I’m really bummed about that. So much for catching one of his homers next week…unless the Rays sign him.

    I think so. Good question. Maybe I should visit the Metrodome next year…?

  16. braves04

    Hey Zack, longtime reader, first time commenter. I just received the revised edition of your book from Amazon.com with the updated info. Can’t wait to get started on it…

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