5/23/08 at Yankee Stadium

When I arrived at Yankee Stadium at 4pm, I learned that the entire upper deck was sold out and that the cheapest ticket available was $95. Since I never buy tickets ahead of time, my normal course of action would’ve been to curse my way back to the subway and go home, but on this fine day, a friend of mine had an extra ticket and I got in for less than 20 bucks.

brian_greg.jpgBut wait…
Before the stadium opened, I ran into a couple of fellow snaggers outside Gate 6. One of them was Greg (aka “gregorybarasch” for those of you read the comments), and the other was Brian (wearing orange; aka “puckcollector”). Brian already had a ticket, but Greg didn’t. He was there with his father, and when they found out how much it was going to cost to get in, they left. As you can see in this photo, Greg and Brian each had a sheet with the rosters and face pics of both teams. I didn’t. It would’ve taken me half an hour to prepare one, and I didn’t think it was worth it for a game at Yankee Stadium which is always so crowded and noisy that it’s nearly impossible to interact with the players. Anyway, Greg generously gave me his sheet before he took off.

When the gates opened at 5pm, Brian and I ran inside at full speed. Initially, he had a head start because of his position behind the barricade, but somehow he got held up for a couple seconds. Did security look in his bag a little longer than mine? Was the guy who scanned his ticket a little slower? Did the ladies giving away the All-Star Game caps take their time with him? I don’t know, but whatever happened, it made a huge difference. I was just a few steps ahead of Brian as we raced through the tunnel that leads to the seats, and AS we rounded the corner and got our first look at the field, a lefty on the Yankees lofted a fly ball down the right field line that bounced off the warning track and plunked gently in the seats near the foul pole. I was all over it and felt incredibly relieved. The day before, it took me more than an hour to snag my first ball, and I was scared that my streak was going to end.

I think Brian’s family was trying to distract me. At one point, Brian told me that his sister had texted a message with my name it in to the text message board, and that I should look for it. What?! I didn’t even know there WAS a text message board.

“Yeah, right over there,” said Brian, pointing to the thin electronic board along the Loge facade across the stadium. Sure enough, there was a loop of text messages, sent in by the fans, that rotated every few seconds. For the first two minutes, my favorite was “i luv u robbinson cano” but that one soon got trumped by the following:

text_message.jpg

This was by far the highlight of batting practice. I managed to snag one more ball with my glove trick, only after Brian failed to pluck it off the warning track with his. I tried to let him get it. I hung back a bit and lowered my glove slowly, but Brian rigged his rubber band too tight and couldn’t get the ball to go inside the glove. Normally, this wouldn’t have been a problem. He just would’ve raised the glove back up, loosened the band, and then lowered it for the easy snag. But in this situation, there wasn’t time to mess around. Another kid (or should I say “brat”) with a cup trick quickly crashed the scene and started going for the ball. I didn’t mind not getting the ball if Brian got it, but there was no way I was going to let this other kid poach our prize. There are many rivalries in baseball–Mets/Phillies, Mets/Yankees, Yankees/Red Sox, A’s/Giants–but none is bigger than that between the glove-tricks and cup-tricks. Even this fall’s McCain/Obama showdown will pale in comparison. You have to understand…I could NOT allow this ball–a commemorative ball no less–to be stolen by the enemy, so I made a full-fledged attempt to snag it. My string got tangled briefly with Brian’s, but he worked with me to free it, and I was able to get the ball to stick inside my glove. As I raised my contraption with the ball tucked snugly inside, the other kid swung his cup from side to side and hit my glove in an attempt to knock the ball out. I swear…these punks with the cups better watch out. One of these days, I’m gonna pull out a pair of scissors and start snipping some string.

Brian managed to get a ball tossed to him by Ross Ohlendorf, and that was it for batting practice. The right field seats should have officially been declared a disaster area. Look at this photo:

Thumbnail image for horrendously_crowded1.jpg

I took this photo from the aisle behind the right field wall, or at least what was left of it. How the hell is one supposed to run for a ball or make eye contact with any of the players? Yankee Stadium is THE worst place to snag in the major leagues. I don’t care what anyone says. You’re wrong if you disagree. I don’t want to hear about how hard it is to get to the dugouts at Dodger Stadium or how crowded the foul lines become at Wrigley Field. Those stadiums are like Sesame Street compared to the House that Ruthless Built.

Left field was just as bad. I ran over there (took about five minutes to get from RF to LF) after Ichiro took his cuts, and this was my fabulous view for the rest of the BP:

horrendously_crowded2.jpg

At one point, I carefully worked my way into the front row to see if I had a chance to use the glove trick. So much for that.
A rather large Yankee fan in that row was eating a cheeseburger and drinking an equally large cup of soda. Although he had no desire to snag a baseball, he intentionally blocked me from passing in front of him, and he refused to let me through even after I politely said “excuse me.” I just needed to lean over a little bit to get a better look at the ball…

“You drop my soda,” he snapped, “and I’ll drop YOU.”

“Thanks for asking nicely,” I said.

“You’re welcome,” he answered with fake charm.

I was so angry that I nearly went home. Right then. Right in the middle of batting practice. I came THIS close to storming right out through the tunnel and getting on the No. 4 train. I had no desire to be inside that disgusting mecca of rage and pompous entitlement. But I stayed. I don’t know why. I guess I was afraid that this would be the night when A-Rod would hit a home run to my spot in left field…and I also wanted to see if I could sneak down to the seats behind the Yankees’ dugout and get Jeter or A-Rod to toss me their warm-up balls after the national anthem. I decided that if I got kicked out, I’d go home.

national_anthem.jpg
Long story short: it took half an hour, but I made it. Jeter tossed his ball over my head to a guy my age with a button-down shirt and no glove, and A-Rod tossed his to a teenage girl five feet to my right.

I started the game in right field. Ichiro was due to bat first, and I thought it would’ve been pretty cool to catch one of his home runs. But no. He took three called strikes, and I immediately began my trek around the stadium to the left field side. Brian was out there. We both wanted to catch an A-Rod homer, but A-Rod struck out to end the first inning. Moments later, the security supervisor walked over to Brian (who had grabbed an empty seat 10 feet to my right) and asked to see his ticket and told him he had to leave the section. Brian, being a friendly young lad, walked over to say farewell (and to vent his frustrations). This was the worst thing he could’ve done. It didn’t occur to him that he was still being watched by the supervisor, so when he started interacting with me, it revealed the fact that I didn’t belong there either. I once made the same mistake at Shea Stadium and unintentionally got a friend kicked out as well. No harm done. Nobody went to jail. This is how we learn.

In any case, the supervisor didn’t say anything to me at the time, but I knew something was up because he kept looking at me whenever he walked by. I was a marked man, but as long as I wasn’t getting kicked out, I decided to stay. I could’ve gone back to right field for Ichiro’s second at-bat, but I just had a feeling about left field. Two lefties were pitching: Erik Bedard and Andy Pettitte. Most of the batters were right-handed. It was a fairly warm evening. The ball would be carrying. The wide aisle in front of me was emptier than usual. I had a feeling that someone was going to hit a home run in my direction, and even if it wasn’t A-Rod, it was going to be fun to catch it. I kept thinking about the likelihood of catching a home run, and more I considered it, the more obvious it seemed that it was going to happen. It was only 318 feet to the foul pole. I was sitting fairly close to the foul line, so it was probably 330 to the wall directly in front of me. Then there were about 10 rows of seats in front of the aisle. Add another two feet per row? So I figured I was, at most, about 350 to 360 feet from home plate. That’s not far. I reasoned that a righty wouldn’t even have to hit a ball that well to reach me. Three hundred fifty feet was a routine fly ball to the center fielder. All the batter had to do was hit a routine fly ball and swing a little too soon and pull it down the line. Why didn’t this happen all the time?

The Mariners, meanwhile, sandwiched three singles between three strikeouts in the top of the second and took a 1-0 lead.

Hideki Matsui opened the bottom of the inning with a single to center, and Jason Giambi followed with a walk. That’s when Shelley Duncan stepped into the batter’s box with a grand total of zero home runs and a .182 batting average. The fans sitting behind me started debating whether or not he should bunt, at which point I started having a bunch of thoughts that went something like this: Does this guy even know how to bunt? If he could, it would certainly help the team. Runners on second and third with one out? For Robinson Cano? That would be pretty good for the Yankees. Okay, I hope he doesn’t bunt. I hope he swings away and hits into a double play. Well, if he wants to hit a home run to me instead, that’d be cool. I could accept that even though it’d give the Yankees the lead. Alright, Shelley, go ahead, hit the ball to me. Fine.

And that’s exactly what he did. After a called first strike, Bedard threw a cutter down and in, and Duncan dropped his bat on it and lifted a high fly ball in my direction. I was out of my seat in no time, standing in the aisle, watching the ball, half-disbelieving that this was actually about to happen and half-annoyed that it was going to be THAT easy. The ball had the perfect arc. I judged it perfectly. I knew from the second it left the bat that it was coming right to me, and as the ball began its descent, I became hyperaware of everyone around me. The only challenge was going to be making sure that no one else reached in front of me. I sensed that there was an older man, about my height, without a glove, on my left, who was also tracking the flight of the ball, but not quite as well as me. From the moment the ball left the bat, I could have held up my glove like a target, and I wouldn’t have had to move it more than a few inches. That’s how perfectly I judged it. The other fan, whom I realized would be my only competition, seemed to have an idea of where the ball would land, perhaps within an area of several feet. But I was in THE spot. My feet were planted, and I didn’t reach up too soon. I didn’t want to reveal the exact spot where the ball would be coming down, so I waited and waited as the ball floated slowly toward me. It hung up in the air for what felt like two minutes, and finally, at the last second, I reached up above the other man’s hands and caught it effortlessly in the pocket of my glove. It was one of the easiest home run catches of my life. It was so easy that I felt guilty. I was ashamed to take any credit for catching such an easy ball. The stadium roared, and I walked quietly back to my seat. It’s such a cliché to celebrate a snag. Everyone does that. But how many zack_catches_duncan_homer2.jpg
times do you see a fan catch a home run ball and react like he has instead picked a piece of lint off his shirt? That’s what I did initially. I thought I’d stand out more by not reacting, and perhaps I did stand out to the people in my section, but then I quickly realized that this wasn’t the best way to get on TV. I was in my hometown ballpark. Lots of friends were probably watching, so I felt I should do something that would make the cameras focus on me. That’s when I held up the ball. Nothing fancy. Just enough to be seen.

It turned out that YES never never showed me, but FSN did. My friend Michael Fierman (aka “tswechtenberg”) happened to tape the game and he emailed me the clip later that night. CLICK HERE to watch it.

shelley_duncan_home_run_ball.jpg
As soon as I returned to my seat, the security supervisor walked over and said, “Okay, you got your ball. Now you gotta go.”

I was so annoyed. I didn’t even WANT a stupid Shelley Duncan home run ball. I was there for one reason only: to catch an A-Rod homer, and now I’d blown my chance by catching this other ball. I tried to get the supervisor to let me stay. I gave him every excuse. I even told him about my first book. But it was no use. I was officially banned from the section…so I went back to the right field seats and stayed there for the rest of the night. I had considered hanging out behind the plate and simply going for a second game ball, but I figured I should attempt to catch a second home run. THAT would’ve been cool, but it wasn’t meant to be. The Duncan homer was the lone longball of the game, and I must say that it did feel pretty great to have caught it, especially when I saw the Jumbotron during his subsequent at-bats:

shelley_duncan_jumbotron.jpg

The Mariners trimmed the lead to 3-2 in the top of the third, but the Yankees answered with two runs in the fourth and eight more in the fifth. Final score: 13-2.

STATS:

? 3 balls at this game

? 106 balls in 13 games this season = 8.2 balls per game.

? 509 consecutive games with at least one ball

? 113 consecutive games at Yankee Stadium with at least one ball

? 4 game balls in 13 games this season = 1 game ball every 3.3 games.

? 115 lifetime game balls

? 4 lifetime game home runs (not counting Mel Hall’s home run in 1992 which bounced back onto the field and got tossed up to me by Von Hayes)

? 3,383 total balls

BONUS STATS — DUNCAN’S HOME RUN (courtesy of Hit Tracker):

? distance: 349 feet

? apex: 114 feet

? speed off bat: 100.1 mph

? angle off bat: 40.7 degrees

shelley_duncan_scatter_plot.jpg

0 comments

  1. "D" The Rockpile Ranter

    I love the look on the guys face in that picture just in front of you . It’s classic. I’m still trying to get that first home run ball. I was close to a couple on Saturday with the tickets that Dan hooked me up with..Enjoy those seats Zack when you get to Coors field. I’ll be about 15 rows up from where your sitting snagging the ones you miss…Congrats on that freggin awesome catch…Rock Pile Ranter

  2. puckcollector@optonline.net

    i hate every friking security guard ever!!!!! i was sitting EXACTLY where duncan hit the HR, then a guy kicked me out!! zack, you told me it sucks, well it doesn’t suck- it blows! then my sister goes, “hey werent you just sitting there?” YS can burn in hell, and i hope they put 8 tons of TNT in it and blow it up. f*ck the yanks. anyway heres my recap.Zack and I ran in when the gates opened at 5:00, and literally as soon as we ran in a ball was hit just foul, and zack was a step quicker than me and grabbed a nice commemerative ball. Jose veres was being an ***, and just wouldnt give anyone a ball. at maybe 5:30 a ball was hit on the track right where i was. i knocked it in, but zack was right there, so i rushed to put in my sharpie. in rushing, i put it in too tight, and couldnt get the ball to fit in my glove. Zack-2 Brian-0. then after The people next to me dropped the ball that Ross Ohlendorf tossed to the TWICE, i was pissed. then finally Ross threw me my first and only ball of the day. my dad commented that this was the deadest BP ever. i think there were only 2 balls hit into the stands the entire time.

    and on a side note, the guy who you were talking to in Bp in the neon orange got a foul ball in the 9th, and when i was hanging out in the escalator building overlooking the M’s pen, Jarrod Washburn(i think) got a guy ejected for heckling him.

    i thought security was nicer to kids than adults. im glad for you, but the guy shoulda kicked you out too. my problem was a kid sitting alone is obvously not in the right seat,, but an adult isn’t that noticeable. and you were ahead of my when the gates opened cuz i had my phone. security screwed me all night. at most parks you dont need to take your phone out. and how far were you from the row of seats behind you? would i have been able to reach in front of you from behind or no?

  3. .

    yeah, security is always bummin. i’ve been waiting for this story since you posted that shelley duncan teaser a couple of days ago. whats good with thursday at shea? would be nice to finally say a simple, “hello.” to the infamous zack hample before he runs away and snags another for the collection but hey, there is a whole season in front of us. congrats once again and sorry but the no-no for arod :/ .

    “Just stand out there and stick your glove out in the air. I’ll take care of it.” – Mike Vitar (Benny – The Sandlot)

    represent! haha.

  4. pinetarman1@gmail.com

    Zack:

    I’m the competition and you better be ready for a tug-of-war! I’ve been training at Gold’s gym and can now bench press 400 lbs. Name calling will only land you in trouble and hotwater… Hopefully, next time, you pull out your scissors and try to snip my string. I’ll have you escorted out of Yankee Stadium (faster than you can say Jackie Robinson) by security and the New York PD for smuggling in a concealed weapon! Someone is going to get hurt in the next scramble for a ball.

  5. acsport79@yahoo.com

    Zack:
    Great Catch. However, A-Rod is struggling!! donnleanks is right. all you did is stick out the glove. Which would be easier, catchimg that ball or catching a foul ball in a completely empty upper deck?
    AC

  6. hockeyguy1011@aol.com

    Hey Zack, I posted this on your previous comment, but wanted to put it here again just in case you dont see old post comments after making a new post. Anyways, here it is, and again, congrats on the homer!!!…………………Hey Zack, long time no talk. First off, congrats on the HR ball. I’ve always wanted to catch one on the fly, haven’t done it yet (got a David Bell homer that landed in some knook at “Dolphin” Stadium once). Next, just want to throw it out there that even though I never comment, I still read every one of your entries, and have been since you set up this blog. And I also wanted to share with you some news that about two weeks ago when I got home from college for the summer I thought I’d go see those first place Marlins with their crowds of less than 11,000, and came home with a personal best of 10 balls in one game, including the very first foul ball of the game.

    Now to the juicy stuff. When I read this entry I went to YouTube to see if I could find the clip of Shelley Duncan’s homerun with you being shown catching the ball, and ironically enough, with all this anti-semitism talk, dug up this video.


    Anyways, I’m excited to read your next entry! Talk to you soon Zack.

  7. padreleigh

    Zack…

    You shouldn’t keep the Shelly Duncan home run. You should return it to him with a Star of David on it. From the Youtube video above he’s obviously and Anti-Semite. You should expose him as such because you said you can’t stand hatred like that, especially in a baseball context as well. We should also have another reason for hating the Yankees because of Shelly Duncan’s remarks just like you told us to hate “America’s Team” the Braves. I mean, he’s a player, not just some fan. Oh the horror of the Anti Semitism inside of Shelley Duncan. I can’t believe the New York Yankees would employee such an Anti-Semite like that. Call all the papers, alert the TV. Expose him Zack. Use your HR catch to get the facts about him out there. Boycott the Anti-Semite supporting Yankees. Well, that’s enough Anti-Semitism and baseball for me for one day.

    Zack, excellent catch by the way. I liked the video.

    Leigh

  8. 08isovernow

    Hey Zack, who is this m0ron pinetarman1? He really can’t be serious can he, was his post meant to be a joke, or maybe his mommy should supervise what he types on the internet a little closer? He is lifting weights so he can “out-cup-trick you”? Pinetarman, if you are reading this, turn off the computer, and say 10 times, “I am a huge moron”, and get to school, your 3rd grade class misses you.

  9. puckcollector@optonline.net

    leigh, talk about mood swing. you went from like a ton a sarcasm to “good catch”(and im saying that in a joking manor, not a criticizing one)

  10. puckcollector@optonline.net

    zack 2 things: did you find out who had the glove trick that we saw in left?

    and i forgot to tell you this, but when i sat down in my real seat i said to my dad: now that i left, a HR will land in my seat. well, i was close.

  11. puckcollector@optonline.net

    oh, last thing before i forget. something was up with the security guard. he walked by me like ten times before he said something, and then when he kicked me out it was in between batters and not innings. i hate YS.

  12. utahsteeler

    Hiya Zack….You showed the good and bad in this blog. GREAT job catching Duncan’s HR ball. What an experience to do that at Yankee Stadium! Good for you, shows using your mind, thinking things through works once in awhile. The bad…the rudeness, attitudes, hostility that seems to be building by others at the stadium. Pure nonsense to me, to treat others that way……I also LOVE how Puck Collector rants!! Makes me laugh and I can’t blame him.

  13. meikd423

    i just got back from shea tonight and i got my record breaking 8 balls! i got into the picnic area and security is soooooo chill about everything. i used the cup trick twice and both times the guy came down and was like “hey theres a guy that comes around who uses a glove on a string like that” and i told him it was zack hample. i even ended up talking to two marines and one gave his medal or something to taylor tankersley and they started talking for a long time and tankersley started talking to me too. it was really cool. and justin miller threw me a ball and kept saying that he loved my marlins hat. they all did and they all seemed so excited that they were in first place and actually had “fans” follow them on the road. it was a great night except for the fact that the mets lost.

  14. sammywu17@hotmail.com

    Zack,
    Unfortunately I failed to get any lineup cards from Dusty. Who would have thought that he got rejected from Thur and suspended for next 2 games. The usher at the visiting team dugout seats area threatened to throw me out when I sneaked down at the first row on the bottom of the 9th inning on Friday. It was a game that there was rain delay and most of ppl left. I was actually doing a favor for padres. The stadium will at least looked “less empty” if there is a camera shot of a player coming to dugout. Last thing, I got hit by a HR. I basically screwed up my only chance in my life to catch a HR ball. The replay was especially excruciatingly painful to watch.

    However, I did well autograph-wise. I got Griffey’s auto, even though it is a crappy one. I got like 25 autos total. And I took cool pic with Dusty. I will write my story up in couple of days. I am going to Nats game again tomorrow, as a snagger. I want to that special ball and lineup card so bad. I don’t think it would be too difficult since the 2 worst NL teams are playing.

    Last thing, you must know that HOFer Gary Carter. This year he is the manager for a indep. league team in orange county area which is like 15 min from Angel Stadium. I think it will be pretty cool to get his lineup card.

  15. sammywu17@hotmail.com

    Leigh,
    The usher in the visiting team dugout area is a jerk. I think he is really responsible for the drop of attendance this year. I will see you tomorrow.

  16. padreleigh

    Sammy…

    I know that usher. I don’t like him either. You’re right, he’s the reason. Ha ha. Never mind that the Padres strike out every other other batter. Dang!! What HR hit you? Who hit it? I want to see the replay!!!

    Puck Collector…

    Was it sarcasm? Saying Seig Heil is a very serious thing. No, you’re right. I’m just messing with Zack and he knows it. You haven’t met me in person and Zack has. He knows my personality. It does make you think though. Hopefully, later this summer you’ll have the pleasure of meeting me in person too. I’d like to meet you and your dad. Take it easy.

    Leigh

  17. sammywu17@hotmail.com

    Leigh,
    that replay is so embarrasing I feel so incredibly ashamed and devastated that I’d rather not show. I look ridiculously retarded when the ball hit me. After that I just hopelessly see the ball escaped from me. It deflected from someone’s glove, hit my knee and bounced off. It is one of the biggest blow in my baseball collecting career. (The 2nd biggest blow actually. The biggest blow is actually missing joe torre yankee line up card last year. OUCH!!!)

  18. nycautographcollector

    well zack- im sorry your day was limited but im sure the Duncan homerun just completely made it better

    i was at shea last night and the hotel…security went bananas on us…and when the head guy told us “i have a knife” that didnt help…this one guy completely let this woman security guard have it. she claimed she was a retired NYPD sheriff. QUESTION #1: would a retired NYPD sheriff be working the daytime security shift at a hotel on MEMORIAL DAY? i think you get the point. Fortunately one guy’s entire family worked for the secret service and CIA and whatnot and we got a background check on her and she never worked for the NYPD at all! so we busted her on that…we never saw her again so they sent the security head back out and we told him that we all heard what he said and he went even more nuts and threatened to call police. QUESTION #2: would you think the NYPD has more important things to deal with than a bunch of guys trying to collect autos at a hotel? after i left he apparently ended up calling the cops and only got himself arrested for his threat earlier in the day. but im not 100% sure on this. thats what we heard. QUESTION #3: Do you love it when plans backfire on other people who cant just be normal reasonable people?

    anyway after the fun…we headed over to shea where it was a madhouse…since it was a holiday everyone had off from school and work so BP was nuts…as i got in the mets were stretching like they always are now…Sandy Alomar Jr, who is now a catching instructor with the team was sitting on the RF wall about halfway back to the OF fence…he wa stalking with guy conti…and when he paused in his convo i asked him for an auto which he was more than happy to do…very nice guy…the card was basically a head shot from like 1989 score and was a rookie prospect card. very nice…so he signed it at the top and turns around to me and goes “sorry that the auto is on top…but this face is too beautiful for blue marker” he laughed i laughed, i said thanks, shook his hand, and he headed to the pen…i got duaner sanchez on a card later…but no balls during mets BP…then i headed over to marlins side and quickly got a BALL #1 from logan kensing…then later in BP i got BALL #2 from Renyel Pinto and gave it to a kid who had his stolen by some idiot kid…they had tix for the dream seats and this kid kept jumping in and trying to get one and when Pinto threw one up there this kid stole it…he did it again…but the ball was just over his reach right to a parent (whom im surprised didnt yell at this kid for being in his very expensive dream seats) so i went over and in front of his father who said nothing yelled at him for doing that…he gave me attitude and when i told him that Fred Wilpon was my uncle and that id have him removed from the stadium immediately when he did it again his dad grabbed him and they went to their seats in the upper deck

    so did i…i met friends in the upper deck, and my friend russ went with this girl from college who lives in NYC…it was her first game and i gave her my other ball as something to remember it by…i got down to the marlins dugout after the game but there was a crowd and i couldnt get anything…

    that was it: 2 balls 19 autos

    mike jacobs x3
    luis gonzalez x3
    taylor tankersley x6
    matt treanor x5
    sandy alomar jr. x1
    duaner sanchez x1

    i going again on wednesday…hopefully that will be better

  19. braves04

    I can’t believe that crowd for BP. I thought Saturday’s at Turner Field was large, but nothing like that!
    Speaking of Saturday, I was 3rd in line at the gate closest to left field. I quickly raced in, but no easter eggs. The 2nd guy in behind me quickly had a homer hit right at him and got Greg Norton to toss a ball, even though Norton had been ignoring my polite requests. Both were training balls, so I didn’t feel as bad lol. One Brave hit one into right field on a bounce, but a few minutes later, some concession worker went and got it before that section opened. I guessing this is why I can never find too many eggs.

  20. jfunk@mvcds.net

    Does anyone else here find pinetarman1’s comment to be creepy? it kinda sounds like he’s stalking Zack.

  21. puckcollector@optonline.net

    jonelli:is wilpon really your uncle? loved the security story.

    Utah: glad my rants were funny.

    My question is why did pinetarman use Jackie Robinson and not some other guy like Ruth (since he was in YS) and still why use Robinson. i might be overthinking it but, hey just saying.

  22. nycautographcollector

    puck collector: no not at all…i actually couldnt even tell you what he looked like…haha but that kid was just pissing ME off to no end about it…he jumped on a chair next to me and tried to push me out of the way so i pushed the seat up and he got the message not to come near me

  23. meikd423

    hahahaha who the hell is this pinetarman? wow. what a freak just hiding behind his screen and acting tough on a keyboard. damn, get a life.

  24. nycautographcollector

    haha…scissors are not cosidered a concealed weapon by any means…and yankee stadium security wouldnt throw him out for cutting it…theyd probably just thank hi for pointing out the physchos who may run onto the field later in the game when theyre drunk and realized they just spent $72 on 9 beers

  25. nycautographcollector

    also…”smuggling” has nothing to do with that…it would be “carrying or posession of a concealed weapon”

    and no you cant bench press 400 lbs. cause not even football players bench 400 lbs.

  26. zackhample

    ROCK PILE RANTER-
    You mean…you’ll be 15 rows back, catching the ones that miss ME.

    PUCK COLLECTOR-
    I agree with everything you said about Yankee Stadium being less than perfect. What row are you talking about? Are you talking about reaching from the row behind the main aisle (where you were sitting at the start of the game) into the main aisle and robbing me? If that’s what you mean, then no. You wouldn’t have been able to. I was standing right behind the last row in front of the aisle when I made the catch. I have no idea who was using the glove trick in LF. Funny about the scissors not being a banned item.

    DONNIEANKS-
    It’s highly doubtful that I’ll be at Shea on Thursday. Looks like my only game for the week (potential milestone chasing excluded) will be tomorrow in Philly.

    AC-
    It would always be easier to catch a ball when the seats around me are empty.

    HOCKEYGUY1011-
    Thanks for re-posting. Sometimes I don’t always go back and check old entries for new comments. Thanks for the “congrats” and it’s nice to know that you’re still keeping up with this blog from afar. I appreciate it. Cool that you got a David Bell homer, but yeah, now you gotta try to catch one on a fly. Ten balls in one game for you?! Welcome to the Double Digits Club. If Shelley Duncan really said that, then I would be very disappointed. BUT…I really can’t say for sure if he DID say it. It could’ve just been two random syllables that sounded like that, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and just forget about it.

    LEIGH-
    You’re a dope. :-)

    JIMDELHOMME-
    You’re the best. (And by the way, I have a pretty good idea of who “Pine Tar Man” is because I have this nifty little tool on my blog that lets me see the IP address and location of everyone who leaves a comment, as well as other info…)

    UTAHSTEELER17-
    Thanks for reading the entry and weighing in.

    GOISLANDERS4-
    Eight balls! Awesome! Congrats on making history for yourself and for having some quality interactions in the process. I’m gonna have to book a “Watch With Clif” game so you can teach me how to sneak into the picnic area.

    SAMMYWU17-
    Wait wait wait…you got hit by a home run DURING the game?! I’m really sorry to hear that. At least you got some autographs. Griffey must be hard to get.

    JONELI24-
    That’s an *insane* story. Thanks for sharing. It just goes to show that there are jerks everywhere in this city, not just at Yankee Stadium (although certain places do seem to have higher concentrations). Good thing there are people like you to balance it out. Hilarious about Alomar. I love it!

    LSTHRASHER04-
    Yeah, seriously, whenever you’re stressed about the Ted being packed, just think back to this blog entry and you’ll instantly feel better. Sorry about the no-egg situation.

    GREG-
    I was tempted to go, but then I thought, “Shea Stadium…ew.”

    JFUNK-
    Excellent question.

  27. meikd423

    i just wanted to put this out there, with the whole racist shelley duncan thing, seig hiel means sure victory in german. he might speak german and just said that and didnt mean to sound like hitler or anything. i mean, they were celebrating sure victory.

  28. gregb123

    goislanders – That’s not exactly true. Although “sieg” does mean victory/win, the verb “heil” means “to hail”. It is not an adjective in that case, and even it were, it doesn’t mean “sure”. More importantly, anyone who knows German would never say that phrase unless they meant in the Nazi context. I didn’t mean to shoot down your theory; I know you were just throwing it out there.

  29. gjk2212

    i DID go to shea tonight, and somehow i didnt do bad. i went in at 440, and no mets were throwing anything or hitting anything into the seats. so i was more than happy when the marlins came out, under dark clouds, and 515 to throw. i had some old marlins white bp jersey, an old miguel cabrera that my friend had given me for the night. to look more like a marlins fan. anyway, i threw it on and quickly had my first ball from 3rd base coach bo porter. then, there was a ball just laying on the ground, and when i called for jorge cantu, he spotted my jersey and lobbed my it. trevor had made his way down the lf line at this point and when i looked over i saw him talking to taylor tankersley. i took some pix, and i saw taylor come walking back towards the dugout. he went in, and emerged a half second later with a ball. he went back out to trevor, standing alone in shallow left, went into the photo booth, shook trevors hand and gave him an absolutely brand new ball. im talking box to taylors hand to trevors glove. anyway, it was cool and i got some great pix. trev came over and told me his whole convo with tankersley. he asked if trevor was a met fan, and he said well yeah but i would really like a ball. taylor apparently was completely understanding because apparently he had done the same thing as a kid and had around 200 balls from his youth. ok, now back to the rest of the night. out in left field, logan kensing threw me my third ball and matt lindstrom threw trevor his 2nd because he said “please”. heres where it got weird. the marlins were hitting, and it was like 545. the grounds crew came from the bullpen and ordered everyone off the field. now it started raining, and everyone took cover. it was pouring. for some reason, in the chaos of covering the field and removing the cage, cody ross and jeremy hermida came out to throw in front of the dugout. ross threw me a high pop up over some screens, and then we went for cover too. it was 555 and bp was done. so we went up, ate some sandwiches, and used tix we found earlier to get back in the field level. matt treanor and mike rabelo were throwing, as well as pierre arsenault with starter andrew miller. rabelo gave trevor, now wearing the marlins jersey, the ball. we headed to the dugout and i missed by one person getting a hanley ramirez auto, but we each got fredi gonzelez. when hanley finished throwing, trevor got his attention and hanley threw him a one hopper from the far end of the dugout, his 4th. nothing after that, but johan/the mets got a win. all in all, a decent night. 8 balls combined and an auto each. acceptable losing alot of bp.

  30. deleted

    Quick recap:

    Got 2 balls, gave one away. Average back up to 1 ball per game. If I had a Dodgers hat, I’m SURE I could have got 3 balls, probably 4 or 5. I met Kelly (who was a watch with Zack client). I was 4 seats and a row behind the spot where the ball that was used for the last out was tossed.

    And for the record Zack, Wrigley Field security does NOT like the glove trick. I had the perfect opportunity to get my first ball via the glove trick (as well as bring my single game total up to 3…..) Just a warning if you come out here this summer.

  31. sammywu17@hotmail.com

    Zack,
    Griffey is nearly impossible to get. What happened was that that day there was a Griffey’s offical fan club from CIN. They were allowed to take pic and get auto from him. One of the fans helped me out. I heard so many horror stories about Girffey during the trip.

    Went to the Nat game last nite. Turned out they don’t use that special edition Nationals Park ball for BP on the road. They used that cheap training ball, no wonder they suck. I snagged one by asking a coach. I still suck at catching BP balls, even there was so few ppl at PETCO last nite. I did get good autographs, 2 ryan zimmerman, young, ayala, cordero and perez. During game, I got a game ball. It was pretty crazy. Adrian Gonzalez fouled a ball that bounced like crazy and hit some strange placed finally landed on the CONCOURSE RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. You have been to PETCO you must know that field level concourse is pretty far from the playing field. It was pretty cool. After game, I saw Tony Gwynn. He just walked right to his car, it was a tiny little sport car. I am shocked that nobody recognized him.

    Here is what happened on that HR ball. The ball didn’t land on my area. I ran like 20 feet. The ball deflected from someone’s glove then hit my left knee. The light make there ball really hard to judge and there were so many kids running for it I was afraid to crush them.

    I disagree on Yankee Stadium has tougher security than Dodgers. Here is the breakdown on the dugout area: There is a bleeping concrete wall. There is an mean-*** usher guarding the dugout door. There is also a usher in the dugout area, plus a few security. How about asking ppl who had the dugout seats when they left in late innings. Sorry, the ppl who have those seats have invisible stamps on their hand. There is no way in hell to sneak into the dugout area in dodgers stadium.

  32. sammywu17@hotmail.com

    One more thing, I am going to Blue Jay during weekend. Who was the coach that give you lineup card? I am so obsessed to lineup card now and now I totally understand how hard it is to get them after countless failed attempt this year. BTW, I did snag one retarded item over the Angel dugout this year, Garret Anderson wristband

  33. padreleigh

    Sammy Wu….

    I saw the video of you getting hit by the ball. Kevin Kouzmanoff right? On the beach? That wasn’t that bad. With your height you have to get in there and catch that on the fly. Maybe next time. Adrian Gonzalez’ home run tonight was just to my right. Ughh. Kouzmanoff’s went into the upper deck above me. Anyway, I got four today in BP. That’s enough for me. Doubled the average and added Josh Banks and Jason Bergmann to my list. Talk to you later.

    Leigh

  34. puckcollector@optonline.net

    yesh, that was the row i mean. you looked closeer to it in the video than you apparently were. okay, that makes me fell a little bit better, but not much. jumping down and competing with you would have been tought.

    goisles: you’re cliff!? i never realized that. you had a watch with zack game last year right?

  35. puckcollector@optonline.net

    yesh in my last comment mean yes, and that was REALLY cool about trevor and tank. well, he has a 121 ball lead on me, so now i have to catch him.

    Sammy, while dodger stadium is harder to get to the dugouts, YS is harder to get (and stay) everywhere else. security extends way farther into the outfield, and there is also security in the lodge level (not that it really matters)

  36. pinetarman1@gmail.com

    Zack:

    Baseball and airport security go hand in hand… Scissors are classified as a cutting instrument. You can forget about bringing your hockey stick, lacrosse stick, bow and arrows, ski poles, golf clubs, and pool cues to your next game!

  37. sammywu17@hotmail.com

    Leigh,
    I think I will 2 games for the Tiger series. And you are right, it was the Kouz HR. What happen was that for every left hand hitter coming to at bat. I pose my outfielder position. How would have though Kouz hit a HR on right field.

  38. charlie@baseballstuff.mlblogs.com

    Oh, Zack, so sorry, but can’t actually go to that Indians game :(

    I was really looking forward to you coming. Maybe in a few years here or I’ll come to NY soon.

    Say hi to Jamey Carroll for me…

  39. Evan.bizzz@gmail.com

    Sammy-
    A few years ago at Dodger Stadium my friend and I made it our goal to get to the dugout. We asked people in the dugout seats for their tickets and they gave them to us. We were so happy and thought we were about to get in when all the sudden, like you said, they shined a light on our hands and realized they weren’t our tickets. NOT GOOD. Somehow we wormed our way out of getting in trouble, but I have yet to sneak into the dugout club.
    Evan

  40. sammywu17@hotmail.com

    puckcollector,
    Dodger Stadium dugout is not hard to get in, it is flat out impossible!!!. Moreover, the baseline seats are restricted, too.

  41. sammywu17@hotmail.com

    Leigh,
    I am glad that the HR ball is not from Griffey’s 600. Moreover, at least the ball did not hit my coconut and bounced into someone’s glove. I think I will also go 2 marlin game, 1 phil game in PETCO.

  42. zackhample

    EVERYONE-
    I went to Philly last night and snagged more balls than I got at my last three Yankee games combined. I’ll have the entry up at some point this afternoon.

    GOISLANDERS4-
    Hmm…

    GREG-
    Thanks for the info.

    NJMETFAN-
    Congrats on having a solid day despite the rough circumstances. Are you serious about Tankersley?! I totally need to ask him about that.

    CUBS BASEBALL-
    Cool, nice work. And thanks for the heads-up on Wrigley Field security. If/when you see Kelly again, tell her I say hey. I could also email her to say it but I think it’d be funny if it comes from you.

    SAMMYWY17-
    Yeah, but the reason why Yankee Stadium will always be the worst place to go in all of Major League Baseball is because of Yankee fans. I forget who gave me the Jays lineup card. Sometimes it’s a coach and not the manager.

    PUCK COLLECTOR-
    It’s “Clif” with one eff because it’s short for “Clifton.” That trophy video is too funny.

    CHARLIE-
    Bummer! I’m really sorry we won’t get to meet. But this isn’t the last time I’ll be at Coors Field…and you’ll probably be in NYC at some point too.

    EVAN-
    That sounds awful.

  43. gregb123

    Hey Leigh, were you close to Scott Hairston’s home run last night? It looked like it went right to your section. Hopefully you were at the game!

  44. nycautographcollector

    pinetarman-my mom brings scissors on the plane all the time for knitting and like arts stuff that she does…not small little scissors, big normal size scissors

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