Associated Press

Just a quick update (before I run off to my writing group) to let you know that the Associated Press story just hit the wire. USA Today already picked it up, and you can read it here.

In other news…
The Palm Beach Post recently ran a separate Griffey-related story about me. Check it out.

Gotta run. More later…


  1. .

    iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. I think the Coors Field, Associated Press write-up was rather delicious and to the liking of my taste buds…


    nice write up from USA Today. ur right. he really was intrested in the hobby, and it showed


    The palm beach article was good. but seemed to describe the homer differemntly than you did on the blog. also what balls combined are worth 50 grand?


    i finished reading your first book today and you said that you got a ball in all 4 levels at shea. How did you get one from the upper deck and mezzanine?


    just found out im goin to the mets yanks game sat. no clue where my seats are, and im with my uncle so ill prob get there late, and leave early, which means no balls.

    can i get behind the dugouts after the 3rd out without being stopped?

  6. gjk2212

    puck-youre gonna need to get on the field level 1st. besides that, your free, but either get down and stay after bp, or find a way to sneak. left field all the way down the line sometimes isnt guarded. go as far as you can in the loge and take the ramp down, you may get in. dont be really obvious though, theyll know youre not sitting there and kick u out.

    joneli from the prev. entry…i got jerrys auto same way same place yesterday, i was the 2nd one he signed for after that kid..reenactment was funny!

    goislanders-ive been kicked out the last 2 times i went in there, its so great for bp. i love it. ive never gotten less than 6 in there.

    i went to shea with my 7 yr old sister yesterday. i was trying to use her as an attraction to get balls thrown to me. duaner sanchez looked at me when i said “for my sister, please!” in front of the rf triangle on the field level. this guy with his 2 kids was next to me. duaner underhanded it and i sensed what was coming. the guy reacher out and so did i, but his arms were just longer. it was clear it was coming to me, i got the point and everything. the whole section booed. duaner stared. he waited to see if another ball would be hit to him, but after awhile he left. finally, a ball got hooked down the line. a guy sitting in the blue seats, a vendor or something at shea, he worked there (thats how he got blue seat access, i saw) jumped on the field, grabbed the ball, handed it to me, and left. maybe late 20’s, hispanic, corn rows, nicest guy. it was awesome. upstairs, i saw tons of all star balls in the bullpen during bunt practice, and i almost got pedro to throw me one, but he chose a field level kid. anyway, some random mets coach i have no idea who threw me a regular one. in left, i stood on a seat in the second section over from the line, in the slanted section, and made a backhand stab from jose vidro. there was a clearly visible ball in the triangle, and i asked a woman if someone had dropped it or something. she said no, theyd been scheming on how to get it but security had threatened ejection so they had stopped and forgotten about it. i pulled out my cup and easily got it. people were impressed. it was cool. when i looked at it, though, it was an “official league” ball made by rawlings. clearly a kid had dropped it or something. waxy cover and all. the 9 yr old next to me didnt know it was fake, he had a glove, so i gave it to him. his dad thanked me. it feld good. then brandon morrow flipped me a ball at the dugout. 4 balls, not counting the fake, and a jerry manuel auto. eh, decent. i wanna go to the picnic area again, but now im gearing up for the derby!


    Great article(s), Zack! The media attention is well deserved. Keep doing what you’re doing.

    : )

  8. padreleigh


    Want to hear a sad story? Khalil Greene hit a HR two seats behind mine and the section was pretty empty. Too bad I WASN’T THERE!!! I don’t do day games because of my work schedule. It was hard to watch the video. Oh well. I’ll get one this year.


  9. zackhample

    You’re hilarious. Thanks.

    Glad you think the writer was interested. I agree. As for the “50 grand,” think of it this way: 3,000 baseballs multiplied by $10 each equals $30,000, and you KNOW that I have lots of balls worth more than $10.

    There were some players on the Mets (including John Franco, I recall) who were having a competition during BP to see who could throw a ball through the little space on top of the RF foul pole. Naturally they missed a bunch of times and the balls ended up landing in the upper two levels of the stadium. I ran up and got them. It was SO much fun.

    The advice from “njmetfan” is good. There’s not a whole lot I can add to that. The ushers behind the dugouts generally won’t stop you, but just be smart about it. Hide your glove, and don’t run down the steps right in front of them. Not every staircase is guarded.


    That’s really frustrating about the Duaner ball and the fake ball that you reeled in. I’m surprised that the All-Star balls were being used in the bullpen, but maybe those are just THE balls that the Mets are using now.

    I appreciate it.

    That’s so sad…I don’t think I can take it. Sounds like my entire month of June.

  10. meikd423

    i was at that game and got into the picnic area. at first, the lady who usually likes me and lets me in said that she would on any other day but it was a day where there was a private party. so i left and went back later to see the entrance unattended. basically, all im trying to say is if you arent allowed a first time, go back and check later. you might get in. i ended up with 6 balls and 5 were with the cup trick. also, the mariners were using the shea commemoratives so a mariners guy hit a ball into the gap in the centerfield end of the bleachers and when i got it, it was a brand new, only used one time, commemorative. so yeah, the picnic area is basically the best place ever.


    oh, i was only thinking like historic balls, not the value of the balls as if you bought them in Modells.

  12. pujolsisahero5

    Hey zack it me darron im going to the mets cardinals game on 7/1/2008 here in st.louis i own a mets shirt so how nice are mets players about giving balls away to “fans” also with the all star game baseballs are they like rejected ones from the factory or are they nice also with final season balls what are the chances of getting a good one thanks

  13. meikd423

    mets players are all a.s.sholes. as for the commemoratives, they are usually either really dirty or really clean

  14. boblheader


    I work at the local newspaper here in Provo, Utah and we are using the AP story. I am the designer of the page and was wondering if I could get some up to date stats (If you’ve gone to any games since the Mets-Mariners game) I can update the stats up until 1 a.m. EST Saturday night/Sunday morning. I’ll check my email and here on the blog for any updates. I also want to do an infobox. If you have a few big name players that have thrown you balls that would be awesome. I ‘ll email you (and mail you the actual page if you want) a pdf of the page so you can put it up here or on your website.

    Phill in Utah

  15. boblheader

    One of the cutlines for the photos says that you are marking the player and the date on the ball. That’s not true right? You just mark the career number. Right?

  16. zackhample

    Are you talking about the entrance that separates the street-level concourse INSIDE Shea from the outdoor area that leads to the picnic area? I still can’t figure it out.

    Hey, a ball is a ball, and it’s worth money. I see that I did answer you twice up above. Oops.

    I’m not sure what the deal is with the All-Star balls, but as for Mets players, the nicest ones (in terms of throwing balls into the crowd) are Pedro Martinez, Mike Pelfrey, Billy Wagner, Ramon Castro, David Wright, and Marlon Anderson.

    Cool! I haven’t been to any games since that one Mariners game at Shea, and I definitely won’t be at any games until Monday at the earliest. I have my own All-Star team of guys who’ve thrown balls to me, and they are:

    1B — Albert Pujols
    2B — Craig Biggio
    3B — David Wright
    SS — Ozzie Smith
    C — Mike Piazza
    OF — Tony Gwynn
    OF — Rickey Henderson
    OF — Ichiro Suzuki
    SP — Greg Maddux
    RP — Mariano Rivera

    I’d love it if you could mail me a copy of the paper. Thanks so much!

    By the way, the cutline is incorrect. (I haven’t seen any of the photos. Any chance you can send them to me?) YOU are correct that all I write is the number on the ball.

  17. pujolsisahero5

    hey are you going to buy a personelized brick for the citi feild fanwalk just wondering cuz i think its cool the cardinals did the same thing

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