7/22/08 at Yankee Stadium

By the time Yankee Stadium opened at 5pm, the line outside the bleachers was VERY long:

line_outside_bleachers_07_22_08.jpg

That’s right…the bleachers. I’d been there for the first time in my life just nine days earlier at the Futures Game, then went back the next day for the Home Run Derby. This was my first regular-season game in the bleachers.

I was the first fan to enter the stadium, and it paid off. See the guy wearing No. 30 in the photo below?

david_robertson.jpg

That’s David Robertson, a 23-year-old reliever who’s been pitching extremely well since first_ball_of_day_07_22_08.jpggetting called up last month from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. If you don’t know about him, you should–and now you do. Anyway, I’d never even been able to get his attention from the seats near the foul pole, but on this day, because I was right behind him and had the bleachers to myself for five whole seconds, I convinced him to toss me a ball that had sailed over his head and rolled onto the warning track…and yes, it was a Yankee Stadium commemorative ball. For the last few weeks, I haven’t seen a single ball being used by the Yankees that has NOT had this commemorative logo.

I managed to get one more ball before the Yankees
finished their portion of BP at 5:40pm. It was a home run that landed
in the gap between the bleachers and the outfield wall, and I used my glove trick
to fish it out. The pic below shows this gap, and although it’s kinda
hard to see from this angle, there’s a net hanging from a steel cable
in the middle:

gap_yankee_stadium_bleachers.jpg

The bleachers had remained pretty empty while the Yankees were on the field. Here’s what the section looked like from the last row…

bleachers_during_batting_practice1.jpg

…and this was the view from the aisle down in front:

bleachers_during_batting_practice2.jpg

Nice, huh? You’d think I would’ve caught about 19 home runs out there, but there was a disappointing lack of longballs. I didn’t count the ones that reached the bleachers, but I’d say there were no more than half a dozen…in eighty minutes. It was lame, and by the time the Twins took the field, the section was packed:

bleachers_during_batting_practice3a.jpg

Did you notice the kamikaze pigeon? That was pretty much the only thing that flew anywhere near me during BP, but it almost didn’t matter. Not only did I use my glove trick to pluck three more balls from the gap (the last of which I handed to a nearby kid), but I had a secret weapon:

zack_twins_gear.jpg

You know how I own baseball caps of all 30 major league teams? Well, I’ve started buying T-shirts, and this one with “Twins” across the chest helped convince both Carlos Gomez and Dennys Reyes to toss balls my way. Ooh yeah.

Being trapped 400 feet from home plate didn’t leave many options once BP ended, so I ducked back into the concourse and headed around to the LF bleachers. At least there were bullpens over there, and as soon as I reemerged in the seats, I saw a group of kids shouting for a ball that was sitting somewhere down below. I squeezed to the front and peeked over the railing, and sure enough, there WAS a ball sitting in the flowerbed at the base of the stands. Just as I started lowering my glove, two things happened:

1) A groundskeeper hurried over and grabbed the ball and tossed it to a woman who needed three tries to catch it.

2) Half the kids recognized me (from various interviews and articles) as “that guy who collects balls.” They were all really cool. We talked for five minutes. A few of them had caught balls earlier in the day. It was a snagging love-fest, and we all posed for a group photo:

zack_group_photo.jpg

The people sitting in the front row were so annoyed by the fact that we were blocking their view of…nothing…that they wouldn’t move. That’s why you can see the backs of their heads on the lower right.

On my way back to the RF bleachers, I took a photo of something that needs to be shared. Remember during the Home Run Derby when two fans ran out onto the batter’s eye to chase one of Josh Hamilton’s bombs? Remember when one of these fans eluded the cops and raced down what probably appeared to be an empty tunnel? Well, in case ESPN didn’t provide a good view, here’s what it looks like from the other end:

tunnel_gate.jpg

D’oh!

For the first nine outs of the game, I sat in the front row in right-center with the following view to my left:

view_during_game_07_22_08.jpg

Wow. Too bad there weren’t any home runs that landed in the bleachers, and too bad I had to move when the rightful/gloveless owner of that seat showed up. I only saw a handful of fans with gloves the whole night. Why? Because the so-called “bleacher creatures” are too busy being obnoxious to do anything else, such as catch a baseball or actually think about what’s taking place on the field; when Dennys Reyes made two consecutive pick-off throws in the bottom of the sixth, the fans’ outrage and obscenity was so severe that you’d have thought he took a dump in Monument Park.

When Denard Span took his position in right field for the Twins, one fan screamed, “HEY, SPAN, YOU SUCK!!! YOU EVEN SUCK ON THE VIDEO GAME!!! YOU’RE NOT EVEN ON THE VIDEO GAME!!! YOUR MOTHER’S A YANKEE FAN!!! Then another fan yelled, “Drink lotsa water, Spanny! Yer gonna be running around all night!”

i_love_ny.jpg
Later, when the peanut vendor made an appearance and shouted, “Hey, peanuts
here!” another fan yelled, “Don’t crush the nuts! Hey! Sack of nuts
here! Big nuts here! Are they salted or unsalted? He’s got salty nuts!”

When a fan walked by with an “I love NY” T-shirt, another fan shouted, “New York hates you!”

It was like this all night.

At one point, the creatures spotted a fan who was both a) on the phone and b) wearing a button-down shirt and tie. Good looking guy. Young. Not more than twenty-five years old. Casual business attire. No penny loafers or tweed blazer or anything too conservative. Just a nice, relaxed, dressy look. Well, about a hundred fans started chanting in unison: “LOSE THE TIE, LOSE THE TIE…” which was followed by, “OFF THE PHONE, OFF THE PHONE…” When the young man failed to end his call, the fans chanted, “BUY BUY BUY, SELL SELL SELL, BUY BUY BUY, SELL SELL SELL…” Then one of the fans hollered, “At least loosen it!!!” Finally the guy loosened his tie, at which point the whole section chanted, “YOU STILL SUCK, YOU STILL SUCK…”

It was funny at first but got old really fast. Can you imagine sitting through all that trash-talking day after day? One fan had the right idea and listened to his walkman throughout the game. (I’m surprised he didn’t get made fun of for simply having a walkman.)

And oh my God, you should’ve heard what the creatures shouted at the few fans who were dumb enough to wear Mets gear. I can’t even repeat it on this blog.

Overall, it was a fun experience, and I hope to make it back out to the bleachers before the season is through.

Final score: Yankees 8, Twins 2.

the_six_balls_i_kept_07_22_08.jpgSTATS:

? 7 balls at this game

? 260 balls in 36 games this season = 7.2 balls per game.

? 532 consecutive games with at least one ball

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

? 3,537 total balls

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the Twins were using a combination of commemorative balls and regular balls. I wish I didn’t have to say this…BUT…please don’t email me and ask for a commemorative ball. I can’t count the number of requests I’ve gotten. It’s really getting out of hand. Sorry if this makes me seem greedy, but I truly love owning every single one of these special balls. I’m not interested in selling any, I’m not going to trade any, and I have no plans to give any of them away. Ever. Not even to my own future kids. I will take these balls to the grave and be buried with them. (Actually, I plan to be cremated, but you get the point.) If you’ve been reading this blog all season, then you know that I’ve started giving away balls at just about every game I attend, but those are regular balls, and I give them out AT the stadium (to kids with gloves who are trying hard to snag on their own). Once I take a ball home, that’s it. It’s not going anywhere. Especially commemorative balls. That’s just how it is. Some collectors keep every single ball. Others give most of their balls away. I fall somewhere in the middle, and I hope that’s okay.

0 comments

  1. boblheader

    Well done my friend.
    A couple things … #1 I envy the fact that you get to go to so many games. Being in Utah is H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E both the minor league teams have been out of town for a week and a half and I’m starting to lose my mind.

    2) I’d like to know how many commemerative balls you’ve got. I KNOW YOU KNOW THE NUMBERS. How many YS balls, Shea, Nationals etc.

    3) I need your address to send you the newspaper spread.

    Phill in Utah

  2. Jake

    Hey not bad for Yankee. I haven’t been to a game since the one in Denver on the 17th. I need to go to one big time. I thought I was going to the Cubs game yesterday (7/22) but it didn’t happen. Do you know/think that any teams besides the Mets/Yanks are using All Star balls?
    Thanks

  3. yankees42294

    good day at yankee stadium,i got David Robertson to toss me a ball too at the oakland game.Is there any chance your going to the the Tuesday Yankee game?

  4. thomasb.

    Well, I was in the left field bleachers last year when the Sox visited. That was a baseball experience. We were well over 500 feet from home plate, so all of the Yankees fans had nothing better to do than yell at the Red Sox fans. When a Red Sox fan came out of the tunnel “A$$HOLE, A$$HOLEx4”. It was like that all night. There was a family in front of me with kids who were no older than 7, and I heard the mom say to the dad “This really isn’t a family section”. I would not trade that Yankee Stadium trip for anything.

  5. zackhample

    EVERYONE-
    I just responded to all the comments on my previous entry.

    PHILL-
    Thanks. Sorry you’re suffering from baseball withdrawal. I know I complain a lot about the NYC baseball experience, but I do know how tough it is not to even HAVE baseball. As for the number of commemorative balls, I actually don’t keep an exact count. I’ll email you my address.

    DNESBITT14-
    Hurry up and get back to another game and tell me about it. The Yankees aren’t using All-Star balls…at least not that I know of. I think it’s just the Mets (for whatever reason). With all the snaggers who read this blog, I think we would’ve heard about it by now if another team were using these balls.

    YANKEES42294-
    Thanks. Are you talking about the July 29th game against the Orioles? If it doesn’t rain that day, I’ll be in the bleachers…and if it does rain, I’m not going.

    ROCK PILE RANTER-
    It’s either an experience to have…or one to avoid. But it’s definitely not a place anyone should be by accident.

    DB3PAR-
    Wow. That’s really all I can say.

  6. PSU532@yahoo.com

    Zack, glad to see you’re finally hitting the bleacher seats. I like sitting in the right field bleachers every now and then. Tickets are a bargain too. $12 seats compared to like $40 or so for nosebleeds in the regular seats.

    So did they rip on you for your Twins shirt, or did you not wear it during the game? When Piazza was still on the Mets, I sat out in the bleacher seats for a Mets/Yanks game, and I called my friend during a pitching change, and I was called every name in the book and told to get off my phone. It was kind of funny, I must say.

    Ever see what the fans do to fans of the opposing team during the YMCA chant?

  7. meikd423

    i can’t WAIT for the 28th so you can not only show me how to get a commemortative but even a regular ball in BP. yankee stadium is like the major leagues of ball collecting where shea is probably double a. i am NOT ready for the major leagues

  8. goisles

    This is Father Puck ghost writing for Puck Collector.
    We were at last night’s game–and I have a few observations about the bleachers at Yankee Stadium.

    First, I sat there once in early 1977 when they raised the upper deck seats from a $1.50 to $4.50 and said never again–the seats simply stink to watch a game–never mind the people.

    However, to the Bleacher Creatures’ credit, they 1) stay the entire game; and 2) never do the wave. Every wave dies in Section 37–and if it makes it past 37 one time–you know those who participate get so much grief they never do it a second time.

    As for the game lat night, we got there late because my job requires me to work 20 hours a day. Going to the ASG at 3 pm last week cost me 15 days of early nights. Indeed, today was the 40th anniversary of my first game at Yankee Stadium with my father (saw Mantle get an RBI in a 4-1 win over the Red Sox in front of about 20,000)–and I was supposed to meet him at the game but couldn’t because I had too many deadlines to deal with at work.

    In any event, BP in RF was insanely packed at 6:00 p.m.. However, my ex’s boyfriend has season tix for his company seven rows behind the visitors’ dugout and was there last night. So PC was able to smeak inside the ropes before the game started and get one commemorative ball from Carlos Gomes. Even the boyfriend got a ball using PC’s expert advice.

    PC headed back up to the seats, where evidently that Kamikaze pigeon pooped on his leg. I said it was good luck–and Puck did find $5 in the loge level.

    After the 7th inning, the boyfrined left and gave us his ticket stubs, so Puck was able to get a ball tossed to him at the end of the 7th by Justin Morneau–who has been on my Rotisserie squad starting as a minor leaguer draftee at 19-years old–so he is a longstanding favorite.

    The Yanks won–making this the first time in seven tries this season where the Yanks won when just me and PC attended. PC wanted to stay after the final out to get some more balls from the Twins coming off the field–but they were not in the mood and we eneded up getting ot the garage late, getting stuck behind an accident, and getting home about 40 minutes later than usual when balls are not an issue.

    August offers some ball snagging opportunities for PC. We’re headed to Nationals Park to see the Reds in August and the Metrodome later in the month where we’ll have seats in the home run porch for one game and about 6 rows behind the A’s dugout for another. I may even throw in a trip to Philly and Baltimore.

    Unfortunately, I have to go on a biz trip to Evansville Indiana for a week–and there’s not a sniff of real baseball within 90 miles.

    By the way–the Asian woman at the HR Derby got into the Stadium first and in my humble opinion, as a matter of law, should have been entitled to the desired spot–she got there first while you were a victom of bad luck. Had you discussed the issue previously and came to some understanding, that would be one thing, but the law of non-violent jungle rules in Stadiums–and especially so in the bleachers.

    Peace,

    Until next time.

  9. .

    The last time I was at Yankee Stadium in late May I sat front row, behind the Orioles bullpen in left field and the “bleacher creatures” were nowhere to be found. When the game was at least two innings deep, the bleachers were PACKED with people rockin’ Mets, Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, and a couple of other teams’ gear. The bleachers were silent and no chants, yells, etc. were heard. I’m trying to get back to Yankee Stadium’s bleachers one more time this season so, what’s good Zack?!

    Shea Stadium tomorrow…I also wasn’t aware it is KID’S DAY :/

    – Donnie
    http://donnieanks.mlblogs.com/

  10. thebigticket0021@aim.com

    speaking of Wrigley Field in the last post, Steve Bartman’s autograph is going for $25,000

  11. boblheader

    ZACH-

    WHAT!?!?!? You, the king of keeping your own stats does know the exact number of commemorative balls? That blows my mind. LOL. I’ll just have to be happy with the 1 or 2 games I get to go to in Denver or L.A. each year. Yeah, both teams are in town starting tomorrow night. So It’s back to taking dinner breaks behind the ballpark and listening to the game on the radio.

    I got your address … I’ll send that paper soon.

    Phill in Utah

  12. goisles

    Donnieanks, the true bleacher creatures are in Sections 37 and 39 of the RF bleachers and have season tickets. You won’t find them in LF by the bullpens.

  13. thet206kid

    I hate the bleacher creatures, they are so annoying,, it was funny when they were yelling Melkys name and as he turned he missed the ball,, I went to the mets giants game a cple weeks ago and i saw so many people with Yankee shirts and no one said boo to them,, Shea has a more family atmosphere to it,, when i go to yankee games people are always making me get up cause they either need more food or go to the bathroom or whatever and god for bid if I have to sit by a bunch of retarted teenage girls that everytime jeter comes out, makes a play, bends over or whatever else, they start screaming,, u know that high pitched scream that you want to choke them,,

    http://thet206kid.mlblogs.com/

  14. braves04

    The chants for the guy on the phone were great! I get free tickets in high-dollar seats sometimes and can’t stand all the business discussions. At Thrashers hockey games, we call them “Tea & Crumpet” seats.

    I love that you’ve snagged 22 balls in your last 2 games with no training balls. I’m actually overjoyed when I get a standard since the Braves use the cheap ones.

  15. meikd423

    donnie
    im goin to shea tomorrow too and kids day is SO annoying cause you can hear a delayed screaming echo through out the stadium whenever a weak fly ball is hit

  16. padreleigh

    Hi Zack…

    This post makes me realize how lucky I was not to have spent the money to even come to NYC this year. That’s just ridiculous behavior and I love how it’s all supposed to be ok just because it’s in New York. Not cool at all. That kind of stuff doesn’t even happen to Dodger fans here in SD. Says alot about Yankees fans and the attitude of the people there. You can all have it. Man, I hate crap like that. Just go to the game and have fun. Geeze.

    Leigh

  17. meikd423

    WHOA!!!! this is a little off topic but david banner just came out with his new rap single, “get like me” and barry bonds is in it. it was wierd seeing it at first but kinda cool. i saw it on tv and decided to look it up to see if it really was him and it is



    you can see him at about 48 seconds in and 52 seconds in he swings an imaginary bat.

  18. scoeaj25

    Hey what up, Zack

    This is my 1st post on your blog. I am a long time reader and 1st time poster. And you have helped me a ton on the tips to snagging some baseballs. My name is Rob 25yr old from San Diego and I love my Braves and the Marine Corps. But I am sure you get a ton of request for the commemorative balls you always get at BP. When the Mets were here I tried to get some Shea ones, but no such luck I got just regular balls. All I seen from the Mets and Nats when they were in town were regular balls. So I know someone way out on the westcoast is going to have a tough time getting a commemorative ball when they come once a year. And then the Yankees don’t come at all. But wanted to post this site I ran into.

    http://www.anacondasports.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10551&storeId=10201&productId=163671

    You cant get any commemorative ball you want on there from this year. If you look to the left they have the Yankees, Mets, All-Star game and Nats. Sorry if this has been posted before. And I know a lot of people want to get the balls themselves at the games. But when all else fails and you can’t get any like myself. Well here is your next easiest way, buy them for 19.99 plus s/h. Hope it helps and you can pass it along to the folks who ask you day in and day out. But thanks for all your great reads you put on your blog. Myself and a lot of my Marines at Camp Pendleton, Ca love reading about the games you go to.

    Semper Fi
    Rob

  19. dodgerduder

    Hey Zack!

    The bleachers at dodger stadium are worse, because they fans arent even smart enough to come up with creative chants…
    I’m going to be in NY in five days! My yankee stadium game is Aug 31 against the Angels. I am so torn of what to do, because I have to catch one of the farewell balls! But I also want to see monument park? Now that you said the twins were using the balls, should I stay for the Angels portion of BP to try and catch one? It is the first game of the series… hmm
    I’m also going to be at Shea on Aug 6 against the Padres. I’m not too worried about catching one of the commemorative balls there, I don’t think it will be as hard.

    –Ethan

  20. fedhead18@aol.com

    First comment. First ball collected Monday Night at Yankee Stadium.
    Sitting down the third base side, 6 rows back. Got the sweet tickets from a friend. But one problem the net was up so it was hard getting the twins to come near my area.

    Then I saw Brian Buscher (i was sitting near a twins fan and he told me his name) standing behind third base. He was just called up a week or two before the All Star Game. A ball was hit to him and he was just holding on to it. So I start calling his name and asking for the ball. He looked over and said that the ball was his. I said you have plenty of baseballs out there and I have none. Then he walked over to me and showed me the ball. It was the Commemorative Yankee Logo ball. He was going to keep it since it was his first game in NY and all.
    I asked if he could hook me up with another ball. He said he would if he saw me when he came back out right before the game.
    I go back to my seat, 6 rows back. Right before the game he comes out to warmup and I yell his name. He looks up and gives me a signal of throwing. He warmed up with Brendan Harris. Right when they are done throwing. He turns right around and slings the ball in my direction. I stand up and make a catch over the Yankee server taking a order. No competition. No one was expecting it. Everyone was in shock.

    Great guy. Even though I’m a Yankees fan.
    Just thought I was share my story.

  21. fedhead18@aol.com

    First comment. First ball collected Monday Night at Yankee Stadium.
    Sitting down the third base side, 6 rows back. Got the sweet tickets from a friend. But one problem the net was up so it was hard getting the twins to come near my area.

    Then I saw Brian Buscher (i was sitting near a twins fan and he told me his name) standing behind third base. He was just called up a week or two before the All Star Game. A ball was hit to him and he was just holding on to it. So I start calling his name and asking for the ball. He looked over and said that the ball was his. I said you have plenty of baseballs out there and I have none. Then he walked over to me and showed me the ball. It was the Commemorative Yankee Logo ball. He was going to keep it since it was his first game in NY and all.
    I asked if he could hook me up with another ball. He said he would if he saw me when he came back out right before the game.

    I go back to my seat, 6 rows back. Right before the game he comes out to warmup and I yell his name. He looks up and gives me a signal of throwing. He warmed up with Brendan Harris. Right when they are done throwing. He turns right around and slings the ball in my direction. I stand up and make a catch over the Yankee server taking a order. No competition. No one was expecting it. Everyone was in shock.

    Great guy. Even though I’m a Yankees fan.
    Just thought I was share my story.

  22. aefeq

    Zack,

    Great post about the “Bleacher Creatures”. Last year I was lucky enough to get a seat on the right field bleacher platform. During the game, the rest of the stadium started doing the wave, but when it got to the right field bleachers, we all just sat on our hands. The people in the rest of the stadium booed us and started chanting “We Got Beer, We Got Beer” (The bleachers are alcohol free). Pretty funny stuff and for the most part, I thought the creatures were funny too, although it does get tiring to listen to that stuff as the game progresses.

    On a separate note, I really hope people stop bothering you about the commemorative balls. The people asking should just pay the 25 bucks and buy one if they really want one. LEAVE ZACK ALONE!

    Lastly, I am off to Rogers Centre on Tuesday. Any good snagging tips for there? Yes I will be wearing my Tampa Bay helmet!

    Brendan

  23. 15222xc

    Hey Zack,
    I have two questions:
    1) How long after the game do players start coming out to the parking lot ?
    2) Do you put the balls you snag into carry-on or into normal baggage check-in and do you have any problems with security if you take them carry-on ?
    Thanks,
    Jonathan

  24. snagfan

    Zack,
    Congrats on getting a ball from Reyes. He pimps me every time I have asked for a ball both in Spanish and English this year at the COPA.

    Mike in Detroit

  25. zackhample

    PSU532-
    Yeah, well I bought this ticket on StubHub and basically paid $40 if you include the 10 percent commission and FedEx shipping. I was surprised that no one said anything about the Twins shirt during the 45 minutes that I wore it during BP. I took it off after that. That YouTube footage makes me sick.

    GOISLANDERS4-
    You snagged a home run DURING the Derby; I’d say you’re ready for The Show. Can’t wait ’til next week. I hope we get good weather.

    FATHER PUCK-
    I saw a lot of fans leave the bleachers early, including one of the longtime regulars out there. But probably most of the people leaving were tourists. There were definitely a LOT of those. I’m still waiting for MY seventh-row hookup. Maybe next year, at the new ballpark. Never mind the five bucks; getting pooped on is never a good thing. I still respectfully disagree with you about the Asian woman.

    YANKEES42294-
    I got mine on StubHub, but apparently you can buy them at the regular ticket window if they’re not sold out.

    THEBIGTICKET0021-
    I seriously doubt anyone would pay that. That’d put him up there with J.D. Salinger and Jesus Christ.

    PHILL-
    I know my exact number of MLB balls, NL balls, AL balls, All-Star balls, minor league balls, training balls, etc. But when a ball says “official major league baseball” and happens to have a commemorative logo…then I don’t keep a separate tally for it. Perhaps I should, but I’d have to go through ALL my baseballs, and I don’t have the time to do that right now.

    METSFAN2001-
    Yeah, that was hilarious about Melky’s error, although I’d blame Melky more than the fans. Funny about Jeter, too.

    LSTHRASHER04-
    Tea and crumpets…nice! I haven’t seen a training ball in quite some time, I’m happy to report. Maybe they’ll come out with red ones next year. If they’d at least change the color of the stamping, that would make it tolerable.

    LEIGH-
    The bleacher creatures were insulting tourists and making them feel completely unwelcome. Save your money. Spend it elsewhere.

    ROB-
    Thanks so much! I’m glad to hear I’ve been able to help, and I appreciate the link you provided. That will definitely come in handy.

    ETHAN-
    Do you mean July 31st? If so, there’s a chance I’ll be there. Not sure, though, because I have to wake up EARLY the next day to drive to Boston. If it were me, I’d go for the ball and skip Monument Park. Or try to do both. Enter Gate 2. That’s the left field gate. Try to snag a ball in the first 10 or 15 minutes, and then if you do, you can get on line and visit the park. I might be at Shea on August 6th. Nothing is definite, though. I probably won’t know ’til the day of, but I *do* have it on my calendar in pencil.

    FEDHEAD18-
    That’s an awesome story. I love it when stuff like that happens. Thanks for sharing…and welcome to the comments section.

    BRENDAN-
    I’ve heard the “beer” chants before. I’ve also heard the creatures yell, “Box seats suck, box seats suck,” to which the people in the box seats yell, “Bleachers can’t afford ’em, bleachers can’t afford ’em.” What I don’t get is that all these people are supposedly Yankee fans, and yet there’s still all this hatred between them. Rogers Center…there will probably be as many BP homers that land in the second deck as the lower deck. You should have glove/cup trick opportunities from the lower deck above the bullpens. And the last time I was there, the Field Level closed to ticket holders only 45 minutes before game time. Also, it’s really tough to catch foul grounders during the game because the ball boys gobble them up. That’s about all I remember. Hope it helps. You could always ask Chris Los for advice if you still need to know more. :-)

    JONATHAN-
    I’m not an autograph expert, but I’d say about half an hour or an hour after game time. As for traveling with baseballs, I never let them leave my possession. Every now and then, I’ll get searched by airport security, so I make sure to have a copy of my first book on me so they can see I really AM a baseball collector and not some crazy person who’s trying to conceal something in the cores of baseballs.

    MIKE IN DETROIT-
    Thanks.

    DONNIE-
    You had a ticket and skipped the game?! I watched it on TV and heard the announcers mention that there wasn’t batting practice.

  26. meikd423

    yeah, but the drby ball was PURE luck. i mean, a little skill went into it like knowing where to stand. but i was helped A LOT by security only being nice to me and letting me stand there while making sure that everyone else was in their seat. but BP at yankee stadium is like the mlb of collecting because of the all out mob of fans that will do anything to get a ball.

  27. meikd423

    oh, and thats smart with the shirt. these days, just having the hat gets the job done about 88% of the time. a few players are starting to realize when someone asking so intently for a ball isnt actually a fan but just trying to trick them. so the shirt idea is smart. i once wore a shirt to a batting practice (reds) but having one shirt over the other made me look all puffy.

  28. goisles

    Ghost writing for Puck Collector again.

    The clock is ticking on those 7th row seats because I believe they become 14th row seats next year, BEHIND, the Iron Curtain of the really expensive seats. Btw, the Yanks announced today that “relocation” plans for the new stadium are being printed and will be out shortly. I hope I’m not on the roof.

  29. tracycollinsbecky@yahoo.com

    HI.you canwatch the yankee roll call on you tube.I also like the YMCA you are so gay .

  30. karent

    You guys are right, every time Yankee fans come over to Shea they act like they have no sense. Zack nice move with the shirt and hat switch. See you at Shea man. If anyone else is going to the Mets game I’ll be on the Loge all week. See you there.

  31. dodgerduder

    Awesome! Thanks! Yeah it is the 31st. I was thinking about going to boston the next night as well. . but i doubt i’m going to be there. Im excited to see you in action! Your right about Monument park, I’m sure they will be building something cool in the new stadium..

    Do you know where the players entrance/ what time?

    IM PSYCHED!

    –Ethan

  32. gregb123

    goislanders – Are you going Saturday? I’m going unless it rains. So I guess I’ll see you at Gate C?

  33. thet206kid

    I wish I was going to a game in the Mets and Cards series but I have work :( I will prob go to the series when they return either on Aug 5th or 6th vs San Diego,, I know its early but is anyone else going?

  34. .

    METSFAN –

    I am definitely going August 5 vs. SD. The only thing keeping me from Shea for the Cardinals series is the vacation I’m on in Ocean City, MD right now or else, I’d be at Shea the entire weekend.

    – Donnie
    http://donnieanks.mlblogs.com/

  35. aefeq

    Zack,

    Thanks for the Rogers Centre tips! Actually, I think I will use your advice and ignore Chris Los if I see him there. My son and I will be sitting in the first row right over the visitors bullpen so I’ll have the glove trick ready!

    Off to Toronto…

  36. meikd423

    greg
    yeah i’m going to shea saturday. i know a pretty good way to get into the picnic area so i’ll try that but it cuts into about 10-20 minutes of the beginning of batting practice though. its almost worth it though for how good the bleachers are.

  37. gjk2212

    puck-tomorrow is womens night or something, $30 for bleacher tickets

    could you help me? i got in there beginning of the season but i cant seem to anymore. the place is a snagging goldmine. i cant count how many balls land there when nobody is there. ill be at shea tomorrow, meet you both at gate c i guess?

  38. meikd423

    yeah, security has been tough at the picnic area, but if there is a security guard, than try to get in but if its a mean guy, than get caught and just act cool with it, say sorry and go to the loge for about 10 minutes and then head back. hes almost ALWAYS gone. he thinks that if he stops you once, you’re not gonna come back so he takes a little break. this has worked for me 3 times this year. its great. but you have to keep an eye on him, isntead of running around for balls and he eventually leaves after about ten to fifteen minutes (that seems like an hour). thats why i said my way of getting in takes about 10-20 minutes away from bp. its worth it though cause you have to actually try to not get 5 balls in the picnic area

    oh, and the weather is supposed to be PERFECT. im talking, not a single cloud ALL night.

  39. gjk2212

    yeah, i heard. im gonna try that. plus there are soooooo many great cup areas in the bleachers its nuts..

  40. meikd423

    alright, i’m gonna be there at about 4 so if theres already a a bunch of people there can you guys like, save me a spot on line or something

  41. gjk2212

    yeah i should be earlier but the latest ill be getting in line is 4…im goin with my dad and i think im gonna get ihm to hold the corner spot down the lf line for me on the field level..

  42. meikd423

    yeah, just in case security sucks in the bleachers. i’m probably gonna run around to right field and try to get an all-star ball

  43. meikd423

    yankees42294
    its kinda tough unless you are familiar with shea. if you aren’t a regular there, than theres no other way to describe it to you other than in person

  44. gregb123

    njmetfan and goislanders — It was fun hanging out with you guys tonight. Sorry the umpire thing didn’t work out, Clif. Hopefully we’ll be at the same game again sometime later in the year.

  45. gjk2212

    greg-nice parking next to you.

    i hafta take a break from shea for a while. my last few games there have sucked. idk if in not in the right places or what, im doing what ive always done and its worked for me before. unless i get picnic area tickets, im done there. i hafta to go philly and baltimore and washington.

  46. meikd423

    njmetfan
    yeah, same here with the whole shea isn’t working out. it sucked, i didt get anything last night. i’ve never really been up to the loge for bp that much and when i got to the picnic area, it was packed since tickets were for sale. everything didnt go so well. plus, when i was in the loge, i didnt ask for balls unless i saw it was all star and that didnt work out. whatever.
    Greg
    i’ll probably see you again at shea. even though i always seem to go whenever you’re not there. but that was fun, sitting behind homeplate for 5 extra innings.

  47. gjk2212

    yeah at least i was able to salvage one, to keep my streak going. from kyle lohse up in the loge, normal ball terribly misstamped. i didnt think i could cup trick that ball from the loge, so i tried to get into the dreamseats, but then greg got it. that was an all star ball, right?

  48. meikd423

    kyle lohse was an a-hole to the fans in the picnic area. him and adam wainright were running back to the wall and pretending to watch homeruns go into the bleachers and scaring the fans like that. it was funny but he did get me at one point.

  49. li7039@yahoo.com

    goislanders, im a regular at shea i think i saw you last night in right field. Could you tell me how to get into the pinic area? i have tickets in the lodge for every saturday home game.

  50. meikd423

    li7039
    were you the guy who had the glove trick? its usually pretty easy to get into the picnic area. just show up right as the gates open to shea, and run across the field level concourse to left field. once you are all the way in the outfield, the only way you can go is left, so go that way and you will see a thin, tan ramp that goes up and also goes down. go down this ramp and when you are at the bottom, you will see a big gate thats open and usually a guy sitting on a stool near this gate. just put your head down and pretend to be talking on your cellphone or something and sometimes, the guy won’t say anything. if he does, your in the picnic area concourse. just keep on walking straight and you will go past the back of the visitors bullpen. then you see the steps that lead up to the bleachers. then you are there.

  51. gregb123

    njmetfan — Yeah, it was an All-Star ball. If I hadn’t gotten it on the try I did, I would have let you do it.

    I’ll be in the Yankee Stadium bleachers this Tuesday. Is anybody else going?

  52. li7039@yahoo.com

    no i was not the one with the glove trick. I was siting in row A of 33 with the Rangers hat on. Im not the go all out ball hawk like you guys but if a fly ball comes my way i can catch it.

    Who had the google shirt on. If you post here that made me lol when i read the back of it.

  53. dp33hs@aol.com

    hey zack been reading ur blog lately and wow im amazed of how kool of a life u live thats always been my dream to catch a foul ball even though im only 15 it feels like i have dreamed of it for a thousand i actually went to a game july 25 to see my team the cardinals against the mets but unfortunettely they lost i also went to BP because of you and also unfortunettely didnt get a ball but stood 6 inches from jason isi but didnt have a pen but even thaugh i came up empty handed from BP it was still a blast, calling out the players names and say hey ” ” toss me a ball ,so i thank u for recomending BP

    but now my question im planning on going to another game at shea but i notice u r at the bleachers at BP how do u get in there cuz im dyin for a ball but i never have bleacher tickets so how can i get in ther w/o bleacher tickets for BP also how do u even get tickets for the bleachers i just cant find any though thanks please reply im begging u and good luck Snagging Baseballs Zack

  54. Kylie

    Wow. Sounds like the Bleacher Creatures suck.
    Guess what I drove past a few days ago? Guilford College! I saw a sign for it and was like, “Why the heck does that sound so familiar?” Well, now I know!
    Keep up the awesome snagging and storytelling!
    Kylie — http://kylie.mlblogs.com

  55. zackhample

    EVERYONE-
    Sorry for the gap between entries. I haven’t been to a game in nearly a week, and the last few days have been particularly rough/busy. I’m going to be at Yankee Stadium later today (Monday the 28th), and I have some other games planned for this week as well.

    GOISLANDERS4-
    See you very soon. Yay!

    YANKEES42294-
    I’d sit right behind the aisle anywhere along either foul line. There’s a tunnel just to the first base side of home plate that’s also pretty good.

    FATHER PUCK-
    I’m dreading the new stadium.

    TRACYCOLLINSBECKY-
    I’m shaking my head…

    KARENT-
    Thanks. Hope to see you soon at Shea. Maybe August 6th? Not sure yet. If I go to Philly on August 5th, I might not have the motivation or energy to go to Shea the next night.

    ETHAN-
    It’s almost impossible to get players to sign on their way in/out of Yankee Stadium because of the set up of the barricades. They’re positioned waaaaaay back from the actual entrance, so you can’t get anywhere near the players. BUT…since you asked, it’s near Gate 2, which is the left field gate.

    SAMMYWU17-
    Yup, you got it, and I already wrote back.

    BRENDAN-
    Cool, can’t wait to hear about it.

    GREG-
    Did you say…Yankee Stadium bleachers on Tuesday?! Versus Baltimore?! Crap…me too. We’ll have to share the glove/cup trick balls, or something.

    DP33HS-
    Thanks very much for the comment. Sorry you didn’t get a ball at BP, but I’m glad you still had fun. Are you asking about the bleachers at Shea or Yankee? At Yankee, I just bought the ticket on StubHub a couple weeks in advance. At Shea, it’s much trickier. The bleachers there are reserved for big groups…of like 100 or more. You simply can NOT buy individual tickets except for a small handful of games.

    KYLIE-
    Guilford! Cool!

  56. meikd423

    Very Soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i usually go to bed at around 1 in the morning and wake up at 12 but this morning, i went to bed at four so i could wake up later and not have to wait that long to get to yankee stadium.

    my plan will be to not look at any of the balls that i get until game time. then ‘ill look and hopefully see a commemorative………..hopefully its not a shea commemorative ha that would suck.

  57. padreleigh

    Hi Zack…

    Once again, so close, yet so far. A guy caught Khalil Greene’s homer tonight RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME! Uggh. He’s a good guy though and it was his first so I’m not that sad about it. Still ofer the season on game homers. Had a bad day in BP too. No balls at all and I left my 50.00 Padres sweatshirt on the trolley by mistake. Sweet, huh? It’s gone. Some homeless dude will be warm tonight! Well, anyway, look forward to your next post.

    Leigh

  58. joshscards

    Zaaack-
    I’m in need of a good 8-9-10 ball day at Shea from you.

    I read you went to Yankee last night, can’t wait to read about it.

  59. braves04

    Man, last night was terrible at the Ted. I stayed in left for BP and had a few close calls, but no luck at all. Pujols and Ludwick put on a show, but every HR went to the sections on either side of me. About 65% of the fans there when gates opened were Cardinal fans. Without them, I would’ve had a few. A 12-3 loss, Chipper and Hudson on the DL, and I’m almost ready for hockey season. Should be some good snagging chances once school starts back.
    Oh, the Braves Clubhouse Store at CNN Center had foul balls for sale for $50. Anyone know of another team store selling game used balls?

  60. zackhample

    GREG-
    Yeah. Sigh. But I think we made it work.

    GOISLANDERS4-
    You should’ve considered the possibility of getting a ball DURING the game. Eh?

    LEIGH-
    Wow, there’s a day to forget. Sorry about that.

    JOSH’S AUTOGRAPHED CARD COLLECTION-
    Hopefully I can hit double digits again soon. Maybe on August 5th in Philly? I plan to be there with my mom if the weather’s nice.

    LSTHRASHER04-
    That sounds pretty bad, but yeah, there are always a ton of Cardinals fans. Don’t talk about hockey just yet. We still have some great baseball ahead of us, even with those guys on the DL.

  61. malacari360@verizon.net

    i was looking up information about the new yankee stadium a few weeks ago, because i was getting ready to go to the first exhibition game in the new stadium. i went and the new stadium was great. the bleachers have access to the entire stadium. just some advice, dont sit in 239 or 201 because they are obstructed view, but if you plan on walking around the entire time then go for it because they are only $5 seats!. i was at this yankees vs twins game and also sat in the bleachers. i was also at the phillies nationals game you went to on august 19. i sat in the first row right where one of the pictures were taken for that post. i love this blog and plan to read it every time you go to a game.
    – joey

  62. malacari360@verizon.net

    hey its joey again from the previous comment. i was reading one of your other entries and you started talking about the glove trick again. I have seen this mentioned by you 1000 times now and just realized something. I saw you doing this at this game. I remember telling my bother look over their someone has a glove tied to a string and they are trying to get a ball. we tried to get a ball from the visitors bullpen but the guy that was taking them never threw me one. My cousin accidentally dropped his glove into the visitors dugout and one of the players threw it back up. I am 100% sure that was you who we saw.

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