Pyramid of baseballs

Way back in high school, when I had fewer friends and more free time, I decided to build a pyramid of baseballs. I knew I needed something around the bottom layer of balls–something to containĀ them so the whole thing wouldn’t collapse–so I built it in the narrow hallway outside my bedroom. The walls held the side edges of the pyramid in place, and I used other stuff to hold the front and back. It was pretty lame, and to make matters worse, I took just ONE photograph (with a non-digital camera), then scanned it way too small and eventually lost the original, so this is my ONLY surviving image:

early_lame_pyramid.jpg

Well, I built a new pyramid last week, and this is the story…

It started with a 14-block walk to Mike’s Lumber & Hardware on 88th Street between Broadway and West End Avenue. I was with my girlfriend Jona (who took the photo below) and my friend Brandon (who you might remember from earlier blog entries such as this and this and this):

pyramid1_street.jpg

I had decided that the best way to contain the bottom layer of balls was to build a wooden frame. That way I wouldn’t be a prisoner of the hallway or any other location, and I could make it as big as I wanted. How big? The bottom layer of my first pyramid was 13 x 13 (baseballs, that is) and I wanted this one to be bigger. I did the math, figured out how much space and how many balls it would take to make it 20 x 20 and decided to go for it. Naturally, I brought 20 balls with me to the lumber store and laid them out in a straight line so we could measure precisely and make sure to get the wood cut just right. Brandon took the photo below, and you can see Jona looking on:

pyramid2_hardware_store.jpg

I asked one of the guys in the store if this was the wackiest thing he had ever worked on for a customer. He told me that two giddy women had once come in and requested wood for a replica stripper pole. (Gotta love New York City.)

Anyway, we carried OUR wood back to my parents’ place (where I still keep most of my baseballs), and I began putting the frame together:

pyramid3_building_the_frame.jpg

Brandon was practicing his knuckleball grip while I was struggling…

pyramid4_building_the_frame.jpg

…and let me tell you, it WAS a struggle:

pyramid5_building_the_frame.jpg

(What can I say? Carpentry has never been a strength.)

We lined up the 20 balls to make sure they were going to fit…

pyramid6_building_the_frame.jpg

…before I screwed in the last of the L-brackets:

pyramid7_building_the_frame.jpg

Poor Brandon was tired and picked a beautiful place to nap:

pyramid8_building_the_frame.jpg

The frame was finally finished:

pyramid9_building_the_frame.jpg

Then came the fun part:

pyramid10_bottom_layer.jpg

Brandon helped me line up the balls into 20 neat rows of 20:

pyramid11_bottom_layer.jpg

Here’s another shot of us working on the bottom layer:

pyramid12_bottom_layer.jpg

Here’s Brandon taking a break to send a very important text message:

pyramid13_bottom_layer.jpg

The bottom layer was done, and Brandon insisted that I share this photo of it:

pyramid14_bottom_layer.jpg

It was time to work on the second layer:

pyramid15_second_layer.jpg

The dumping method was quicker:

pyramid16_second_layer.jpg

Then it was on to layer No. 3 (check out the Apple IIGS in the background):

pyramid17_third_layer.jpg

Jona helped for a bit…

pyramid18_construction.jpg

…and I kept at it:

pyramid19_construction.jpg

Here’s a shot of one side of the fast-growing structure:

pyramid20_construction_balls.jpg

I stopped to admire it when it reached 13 layers–the final height of my first pyramid:

pyramid21_construction.jpg

Finally, it was done:

pyramid22_zack.jpg

Brandon took lots of photos of me…

pyramid23_zack.jpg

…in different poses:

pyramid24_zack.jpg

(Okay, Brandon, you like the Padres. We get it…)

pyramid25_padres_cap.jpg

Brandon suggested that I break out my old summer ball jersey:

pyramid26_zack.jpg

The following photo was also his idea:

pyramid27_watching_baseball_smarter.jpg

How cool a batting tee would THIS be?

pyramid28_zack.jpg

Here’s a photo that makes the pyramid look really tall:

pyramid29.jpg

Here it is from above…

pyramid30_complete_from_above.jpg

…and here it is from below:

pyramid31_from_below.jpg

Eventually I took a bunch of photos with my own camera. Here’s one…

pyramid32.jpg

…and here’s another:

pyramid33.jpg

And that’s pretty much it.

Total number of baseballs used in this pyramid: 2,870.

Don’t forget to send me your photos.

56 comments

  1. gregb123

    It’s a shame there had to be a training ball so close to the summit. A damn shame… Other than that, the pyramid is glorious.

    I’ll be working on my photo this weekend (I hope). It’ll probably suck.

  2. districtboy

    That pyramid is super cool. Maybe it could be the background of your next snagging-related book. Anything special about the top ball; 724? I’ll try to get a picture to you soon. Was that the Greg Norton bat you were teeing off with?

    Aaron
    http://districtboy.mlblogs.com/

  3. gobuccos25

    read your blog for a while but i’m a first time commeter

    this is amazing, nice work

    nate mcclouth with a gold glove this year! he definitely wouldn’t have had it without his good hitting year though, or else jack wilson would’ve had about 5 gold gloves right now. just sayin’

    -gobuccos25

  4. evanbaseballboy

    Hey zack it’s me Evan from Atlanta. All I have to say is 2 words. WOW and HOW! I’ll send ya a pic soon.
    Evan

  5. bloggingboutbaseball

    Cool, Zack! Did you have to tear it down soon after these photos were taken?
    I’ll send you a pic of my collection soon!

  6. rickymcentire@yahoo.com

    that’s awesome zack! you and brad and jona did a freakin amazing job! the ancient egyptians could’ve used some advice fromyou.

  7. tracycollinsbecky@yahoo.com

    Cool pyramid Zack.Padreleigh is proud of youBrandon.You need a laser light on top like the luxor in LasVegas. you cheated with a blue thing in the middle.is there a mummy in there ?Cat die?

  8. baseballexperiences

    Awesome pyramid. It’s crazy how big it is and that you only used about 2 thirds of your baseballs! Hopefully the yanks can get sabathia and or peavy. I don’t like the mets, but I respect them and hope they can get help in that bullpen. Cause we all know they need LOTS of it there.- Joe

  9. puckcollector@optonline.net

    oh and clif, not all the people who would get $ from obama are lazy bums. i bet some work just as hard as people who make more than 250 but they didnt get a good education, and dont have a great job. i think its sad the positions some o them are in but taking $ from others isnt they way to fix it. i bet if the “poor” people were on the other side of it they wouldnt want to give away the $ they earned, even if the other people did need it and work hard

  10. puckcollector@optonline.net

    oh and the stock market has its biggest 2 day loss ever. i wonder what recent major event happened that may have contributed to this? jk

  11. stros_bro

    Come on Zack, no electric drill/screwdriver???

    I guess those sort of things are more normal here in Texas.

    Impressive pictures btw.

  12. puckcollector@optonline.net

    omg! if only the isles could be like obama and hold a late lead! 3 out of 4 games that theyve blown a two or more goal lead in the third!

  13. snagfan

    Zack,

    That was totally cool. Give some Kudos to your girlfriend. She must have the patience of Jobe to put up with your baseball “passion”.
    Gives me some ideas….

    Mike in Detroit

  14. nymetsgrrl94

    Don’t complain about not being able to hold a lead after the Mets season! Anyways, that is awesome! I WISH I had 1/4 as many baseballs as you put in the pyramid. But I did have a dream that instead of collecting baseballs everybody was collecting special quarters, so I guess that would make you rich.
    -Ellie

  15. braves04

    PUCKCOLLECTOR-
    Thanks to your Islanders for the collapse in the 3rd tonight. We finally had a good weeknight crowd here in Atlanta and I was there with some first timers.
    The best part of the night was that Mike Comrie flipped me my FIRST snagged puck. It was a practice puck, the equivalent of a MLB Training Ball lol. I thought of you and Clif immediately, since you’re both Islander fans. Great 3rd period ;)

  16. nm_rockhound@yahoo.com

    Zack, that pyramid is super cool! The picture that just shows balls (and balls only, 21st pic down) would make a really cool wallpaper for your desktop. You can also make money by having people pay you to “write” their name in baseballs…like what you did with OBAMA. Just a thought. I’ve also been busy front-facing your book all over Albuquerque. It’s always good to go back a week or two later to see that your book is still front faced, but a sad sight to see that not enough of your books are being sold. Keep up the great work.

  17. padreleigh

    Zack….

    Great idea about the pyramid. I love it. Awesome actually.

    Brandon….

    GREAT HAT bro. Keep the faith!

    Leigh

  18. puckcollector@optonline.net

    mike comrie is a girl but congrats on your first puck.

    the isles holding a lead in the lead in the 3rd- now THATS Change We Need

  19. jacoby1993

    hey zack
    i enjoyed this post, because it was unique.

    i wonder how high it would be ifyou had it by 30×30 or something like that :)

    can’\t wait till spring!

    question: what are you planning to dowith your baseballs when you die? hmm? pass it on to your children ifyou will have any?

    GIN

  20. Alex

    wow thats big.

    working on the photo. Is it ok if I use a little more than just baseballs? I met Ted Kopple in a store with my friend. He was nice I got his autograph.

  21. zackhample

    EVERYONE-
    Thanks for checking out my new-and-improved pyramid. I’ll answer all your comments soon. Right now I’m literally spending every free second working on another baseball-related project.

  22. baseballexperiences

    Your right puckcollector, if that’s the comm. on the ball thats terrible. They should have a whole view of the stadium like last year.- Joe

  23. meikd423

    damn, ugly and not creative. same as the yankees commem. of last year. except last years was just not creative

  24. zackhample

    EVERYONE-
    I’m doing a radio interview this evening at 8:20pm ET, and you can hear it by going to the following web site…

    http://www.hogsnow.com/page.php?jock_id=4655

    …and clicking the “LISTEN LIVE” button on the upper right.

    The guy who will be interviewing me is a college freshman named Brady Holzhauer. He’s a former MLBlogger, and he once wrote a VERY long article about me for his local newspaper in Arkansas. Here it is in case you want to take a look:

    http://zackhample.com/baseball_collection/media/stuttgart_daily_leader.htm

    I’m still planning to answer comments soon. I’ve just been really busy lately…

  25. meikd423

    i think it’ll be the one on the site and not wikipedia cause the sites says inaugural season which all new stadium commemorative logos say

    and i like the new nationals look

  26. puckcollector@optonline.net

    goisles: as a n isles fan i have programmed myself to hope and pray for the better of two choices

  27. puckcollector@optonline.net

    greg- thats really cool but i got all excited, thinking that there was an article on my “breed” of collecting

    also greg, kenny mayne has a new webshow its called the mayne event. check it out on espn.com

    zack- final stats?

  28. gregb123

    Puck — Glad you liked it; sorry it wasn’t specifically about puck collecting. So did you pretty much know everything the guy said? And know that I know about puck logos, I have so many questions for you. How many different varieties have you snagged? What’s the nicest one you have? This really makes me want to go out to a hockey game just to get one.

    And thanks for the Kenny Mayne heads-up. I knew about that show, and I knew it started tonight, but I would have completely forgotten, so thanks.

  29. zackhample

    EVERYONE-
    Time to finally answer these comments…

    GREGB-
    Thanks for the UniWatch heads-up. Still looking forward to seeing your pic.

    AARON-
    Nah, nothing special about the top ball. The bat was my Cliff Floyd bat.

    GOBUCCOS25-
    Thanks for leaving a comment. It’s good to hear from you and nice to know that you’ve been reading.

    EVAN-
    With a little help from my friends.

    BLOGGINBOUTBASEBALL-
    Yeah, I took it down that night.

    RICKMCENTIRE-
    Thanks!

    AC-
    Because I’m awesome. And so is she. As for taking down the pyramid, we just threw all the balls back in the barrels. It went fast…only took an hour or two.

    TRACYCOLLINSBECKY-
    Thanks. No cheating involved.

    JOE-
    Thanks. It *will* be interesting to see where these big-name pitchers end up.

    STROS_BRO-
    My tools suck.

    KAYBEE-
    Much appreciated.

    MIKE IN DETROIT-
    Thank you. The kudos have been passed along.

    ELLIE-
    Quarters, eh? Hmm…

    SIXTO-
    Heh, those are long gone.

    HAPPY YOUNGSTER-
    Everyone should know some cops…but yeah, I do feel lucky to have friends who will do stuff like that.

    NM_ROCKHOUND-
    You are The Man. Thanks yet again for all your help with my books.

    LEIGH-
    I knew you’d like the hat.

    CALILION-
    Word.

    PUCK COLLECTOR-
    You’re right. I don’t want to look. I want to be surprised. My final stats will have to wait until I have more time and am in the right frame of mind.

    ROCKPILE RANTER-
    Wow, that’d be amazing to have my balls in the Hall. :-)

    GIN-
    Glad you enjoyed it. Maybe someday I’ll build a pyramid 30 x 30. I’d like to keep the baseballs in the family…maybe pass ’em along to the kids I hope to have someday.

    ALCO24-
    I got the photo…very cool.

    METSMAINMAN-
    The pyramid didn’t last beyond that one night.

    YANKEES5221-
    Thanks! Cool that you heard it.

    PSU532-
    Cool, cool, cool. Thanks.

    CHLOE333-
    I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for checking it out.

  30. puckcollector@optonline.net

    i did know about alot of comm. pucks, and that teams do use them. i have snagged 8 “types” of puck. the nicest is the retro game puck that i snagged 2 weeks ago.
    if you want you could prob. come to a game w. my dad and me. shoot me an email if your really want to.

  31. Alton Peavy

    Very interesting what you have done. I am a business broker I have met several clients who are collectors. I
    Sold a business for a gentleman
    Whose mothers aunt was married to Grorge Gojum who was a fire chief and professional bowler. Rode Jack
    Dempsey party train close friend of Walt Alston mgr Dodgers Alston I bought the collection and now have bought 8 collections. I did a web site

  32. larry peavy

    Check my site. What you think. Lot of rare balls. Just contacted by Arizona buyer may buy my Collection. Sent from my iPhone

    >

  33. larry peavy

    I have a ton of items yet to load. Last purchase had 61 Mantle 50 DiMaggio 30Duke Snider 275 ba Balls 30 bats

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  34. Zack Hample

    Sounds like you have an amazing collection of stuff — and lots of great experiences in the process. I wish you the best of luck in selling and/or cherishing all of it.

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