Awesome email

2 days ’til I fly to Toronto…
3 days ’til I set foot inside Rogers Centre…
4 days ’til I post an entry about it…

I’m not planning to post anything else between now and then, so let me leave you with one of the greatest emails I’ve ever received. It was sent two days ago by a young baseball fan who had recently picked up a copy of Watching Baseball Smarter. Here goes:

Dear Zack,

I just started reading your book yesterday and through 20 pages I have decided that my mom has to read this book so that I never have to answer another question during a game ever. I am a huge phillies fan, and it is not helpful when your mom is bombarding you with questions during the first half of the 5th game of the WORLD SERIES.

-Jeremy, age 13
Glen Mills, PA


  1. snagfan

    Looks like Sheff may be a Met. 4/6/09 Cincinnati is the place to be, fun livin is the life for me…

  2. popejonash

    Zack, Shef has just signed with the Mets according to sources. I know it won’t mean too much to you now, but I just wanted to let you know. Enjoy Toronto man.Ash

  3. ceetar

    well, who knows how much playing time this joke of a player will get. Sheffield might still be looking for 500 when the Mets get back to NY.

  4. baseballexperiences

    I just found out that Sheffield is on the mets, and i’m happy. The yankees dont have to deal with him, and i still get to watch him play and try to catch one of his homers. BTW im in Aruba right now where Andruw Jones kinda, and Sidney Ponson.


    Very cool email, Zack.

    I gotta say this, though…

    Is anyone else impressed with this kid’s grasp of grammar and punctuation?? He’s only thirteen and he can spell and punctuate better than…well… most adults I know (so sad). Kudos to him. Seriously, I think it’s awesome. I wanna know that kid!

  6. ladod4ever

    Well this is a great email…in my opinion of the sheff signing with the mets it’s ok for the mets if he produces and if he doesn’t the mets would just release him…zack it’s like the mets heard you because they signed him they want you to catch the 500 ball so the prayers were answered…what do you think of the signing??


    I just got back from Yankee Stadium. There is no report to give, and I will tell you why . . .

    Zack, or anyone else that does not have field level tickets that is interesting in snagging baseballs or autographs, STAY AWAY FROM YANKEE STADIUM. SERIOUSLY, IF YOU WANT TO “KEEP A STREAK,” STAY AWAY!!!!!! THIS IS A WARNING AND NOT A JOKE!!!!!!



    I did not have a field level ticket, and I did not get baseballs or autographs. I was almost going to bribe the guard with cash, but decided against it. Should I have done that?

  9. braves04

    Tonight was my first night back at Turner Field for the exhibition vs. Detroit. Within 15 minutes, I had already snagged four balls. While in left field, a ball sliced into the seats in foul territory. I went and waited for the rest of the stadium to open and quickly ran to snag it. Then, on my way to right field, an usher randomly handed me a ball! I guess he saw my glove, but it will definitely count.
    When I got to right field, I was shocked to be the first one there and snagged two more easter eggs.
    My fifth ball came when one of the Detroit coaches hitting pop flies hit one in the seats and two fans without gloves made a sorry attempt at it. Good start to the season!

  10. yankeekid

    Yankeesfan: So TRUE!!!
    I was trying to sneak down to the dugout or around field level before the game and they wouldnt let me do that! And it was before the game. BEFORE!!!!
    These new rules are stupid and horrible for fans that want to snag some balls.

  11. goisles

    Let me offer my own initial thoughts on Yankee Stadium. First, as a baseball stadium, they truly did a great job of making the place feel like the old stadium, but simply modernized. It’s not the same, but if felt like Yankee Stadium.

    As for ball snagging–I don’t think there is any doubt that you won’t get close to the dugouts or any sections where it costs three digits to sit unless yu have a ticket. We all expected that.

    As for field level and BP–it’s clear the Yankees have not decided what to do and will feel this out as they go along. At Guest Services, they said they were still discussing the issue and were considering having a section or two set aside for fans to get close to the field–although that sounds like it could be a disaster. Some ushers may allow greater access to their sections in the earlier portions of BP. They will play it by ear.

    On the plus side, the RF bleachers can still be reached by batters and the bleachers are not closed off from the rest of the Stadium. The mezzanine level in RF is also interesting because the upper deck will no longer swallow balls headed for that section. Also, since the gates will open three hours early, there should be good access for early arrivals. Tonight was the first game ever in the Stadium and still, there were not a ton of people there in the first half hour.

  12. bigglovebob

    Those Yankee stadium rules sound horrible. A good way to ruin the total fan experience. I checked online the other night for one ticket to a Yanks-Twins contest this year. The “best” single available was above the Twins dugout 5 rows up. Not a bad seat, although usually when you are just talking a single you can do a bit better. Here is the kicker, the ticket cost $2,625. One ticket cost $2,625, ONE TICKET COST $2,625 PLUS FEES. Taking a family of four to Yankee Stadium and sitting in choice seats will set you back ELEVEN THOUSAND BUCKS!! That is insane. I hate the Yankees. They are no longer a team of the people. I make a pretty good living and those prices make me absolutely cringe. A guy with a annual salary of $1,000,000 dollars will probably net about $600,000 after taxes. Choice seats for a family of four would cost over $800,000 for a full season. That means a guy with a mil a year gig couldn’t afford season tickets in that section even if he spent his money on nothing else. Unbelieveable. The Yanks should be the favorite team for wine snobs and filthy rich executives and that is it. That is the people they cater to. They certainly don’t cater to the working stiff.

  13. padreleigh

    Hey Zack…

    Had an interesting day at PETCO today. They had the San Diego State Aztecs vs UC Davis NCAA game at 2:30pm then the Padres vs. Angels exhibition after that game at 7:00pm. I went a little early at 5pm to catch the end of the college game. A few minutes after I sat down some right handed batter for SDSU went deep right at me. It just got over my head but I picked it up off the ground easily as there weren’t many people there. It was a beautiful, brand new NCAA Mountain West Conference ball. Some dude from the Padres came out and wanted the ball because it was the kid’s first NCAA homer. I was fine with trading it for just another NCAA game ball with the Mountain West Conference logo, but before I could say anything the guy asked if I would trade it for a Tony Gwynn autographed NCAA ball (he’s the SDSU coach). Wow!! I have a few Gwynn autographed balls already, but could always use a few more. Right after the game the Padre rep came out with the ball and we made the exchange. It was another NCAA Mountain West game ball with Tony Gwynn HOF 07 autographed on the sweet spot. Not a bad day’s work. There was no BP after the NCAA game, but Chase Headley threw me a ball in between innings. That was it for the day. I like the Sheffield news for your sake. Have a good one.



    Yanksfan, you are seriously wrong! the stadium is GREAT! there are still ball snagging opportunities in other places besides field level, and the place is BEAUTIFUL!


    I first want to say the Yankee Stadium is an awe inspiring, jaw dropping, mouth watering masterpeice!

    Today started out just like last Sunday at Citi Field- cold and rainy. I got to the stadium at 2:30, and I was so jittery and anxious to finally get inside Yankee Stadium. My dad and I grabbed a bite to eat, and while he took a lap around the stadium, I waited at Gate 8, which is the center field gate. At 3:55, 5 minutes before the gates were scheduled to open; they tried to unlock the gates. And guess what? The door in front of the turnstile that I chose was broken! My hope to be the first fan inside Yankee Stadium looked like it would be ruined. Luckily, when the gate next to me swung open, the guy who lined up behind that gate had to step back, so I was able to swoop right up to the turnstile. I was the first to scan my ticket in the new stadium, and when security finished ?checking? my bag (yes your bag gets inspected AFTER you scan your ticket), I bolted up the stairs (I will give directions on how to get to the outfield seats from Gate 8 later in this entry.) as I was running up the stairs, all I could think about was Greg telling me to take two stairs at a time while running up stairs last Sunday at Citi Field. It paid off, as I was the first fan onto the concourse behind the bleachers, which allowed me to be the first fan to get a look at the Stadium. I then ran all the way to the end of the bleachers and down a flight of stairs. That put me on field level, where I then made a right, so I ended up under the bleachers. A few yards later, I was sprinting down the steps into Monument Park, a few seconds ahead of the crowd behind me. As I got to Monument Park, you could see Joba Chamberlain warming up in the Yankees bullpen, and it occurred to me to try to get his warm-up ball, but security quickly told me not to stand around, and to keep moving. After I was done taking pictures (which weren?t that special because I already have my pictures with the plaques when they were in the old Stadium,) I headed back up to the field level; concourse, where I was told by an usher that tickets were needed to get into field level seats for BP. My dad and I then began walking around the field level concourse, which will be accessible to all fans. The prices at the Stadium actually aren?t that bad. Pizza is only 5 bucks (cheaper than Citi Field) and I think the only prices that got raised were beer prices. I then checked out the extremely spacious bathrooms, which were like the size of 3 bathrooms in the old stadium. As we were walking behind home plate on the concourse, we realized that the Yankees put up a giant black curtain on the concourse to prevent fans from standing on the concourse and watching the game from there. Past the Great Hall (which isn?t that great and feels like it belongs in a mall/airport) there was a giant replica of the ?art? next to the words Yankee Stadium on the Gate 4 entrance. The ?art? is a giant eagle with baseball bats in his claws, and you can even see the ?art? on last year?s commemorative logo. Also, there is a fruit stand right next to it, and you can buy an orange for like 2 or 3 bucks. As we went up the escalator in the Great Hall, my dad and I both said to ourselves how nice security and the ushers were being. Every where we went someone was saying ?Welcome to Yankee Stadium! Enjoy your visit!? hopefully this attitude will continue throughout the season, and it?s not a one time thing. We then headed to the upper deck to a get a view of the frieze up close, and it is amazing! Looking out from the last row, the ballpark really did feel like Yankee Stadium. HOK really did a wonderful job on this New York Ballpark. I bet they spent all of their time designing Yankee Stadium, and that?s why Citi Field has so many quirks, and oddities. From the last row, you can see inside the old stadium, and in some places, the outside is starting to be boarded up, the way Yankee Stadium was when in was under construction. I also got my first real look at the MASSIVE scoreboard/Jumbotron thingy in center. Not only is the screen the biggest one that I have ever seen, and the clarity is amazing. I felt like I was standing right next to the players when I was looking at the pictures of them. As I started to make my way down, I was about to head down the staircase, when a squirrel jumped out and scared the crap out of me. The thing was just running around all of the aisles, and hopping all over the seats. Also, the cup holders have advertisements on them! Leave it to the Yankees to do that. My dad and I then headed down the staircase in right, to the bleacher seats. The obstructed view bleacher seats are AWFUL! But at least the Yankees put TV?s on the wall so people can see right? Well kinda. There are TV?s, but they don?t have the YES network feed showing, but the scoreboard feed, which for the most part is just a picture of who?s batting. But more importantly, we realized that if you buy a five dollar obstructed view bleacher seat, you CAN get to the rest of the ballpark! Also, I think the bleachers will actually be good for snagging. Not only can homeruns reach the seats, but they are elevated above the crown, making it a lot easier for players to spot you if you are in the right spot. The corner spot closest to the foul pole in the bleachers will be great for snagging, and so will the corner spot in the main level. We then walked on the field level concourse under the bleachers, where we saw one of the security supervisors. I can?t describe him, but anyone who was at Yankee games last year would recognize him if the saw him. I asked about the backpack rules for this year, and he said that it would vary day by day, just like last year. We then headed to the Yankees Museum, where they had a giant ball wall, with autographed balls from tons of present and former Yankees. The Babe Ruth autograph looked like it was forged, but the display was really nice. They also had seats form the old Yankee Stadium(s). We then went to Guest services and asked about the BP rules. They told us that there had been a ton of complaints, and that after opening day, they will have a section in the outfield designated for people who want to watch BP, but don?t have tickets in the outfield. Also, when I asked where the Steiner store was, they didn?t just tell me where it was, but one of the workers escorted me there! It was great! They were so friendly. While we were waling there, he was telling me how yesterday at the workout day, Cody Ransom got lost and couldn?t find the 30,000 square foot clubhouse! We looked at the cool but extremely overpriced stuff in the Steiner store (although prices were lower than last year), then headed to our seats section 420c row 3 seats 10 and 11. They were great seats, but they were right under the face, so water was dripping on me periodically throughout the game. The game was nice, but still meaningless. Robinson Cano hit the first home run, into the first row of the right field bleachers. The guy who caught it was in a Georgia hat, and I don?t think he got the ball authenticated. In one of the team stores, they were selling Yankee Stadium grass seed, and they even had a fridge where you could buy steak! We saw Mariano pitch, and then we left. Yankee Stadium is truly great.


    If you want to get from Gate 8 to the seats, here is what you need to do. When the gates open, you run up at flight of stairs. When you get to the top, you can go right or left, or straight. Going straight will put you on the field level concourse under the bleachers, but today, going straight was not an option because it was blocked, but I asked a security guard later and she said that it will be open in the future, and today somebody just made a mistake. Once under the bleachers, just pick a side left or right, and find a staircase, and your in field level seats. If you cannot go straight, the go up one of the side staircases, and you will be on the bleachers concourse. You can either chose to snag from the bleachers, or you can run to the end pf the concourse and go down the stairs onto field level.

    Today if you had a bleacher ticket, you could go to the main part of the ballpark, but if that rule is changed, there is a way to get around it. Just run all the way down to the right field end of the bleacher concourse, and head to Monument Park, run in one end, and out the other, and the exit puts you under the bleachers on field level.

    Did I forget anything dad? If anybody has questions just leave a comment and I will try to answer them.

  17. goisles

    Puck, you pretty much covered it.

    I should add that OF aisles have the same railings that Zack “railed” about in Citi Field, but they did not jut out.

    The number one problem with the Stadium is affording the better seats. Will there be opportunities to get value on StubHub–particularly in late April and May? Perhaps.

    The cheap seats are not bad. While the grandstand starts at a much higer level (like Citi, some balls may make the first rows) because there are less rows, the last row in the grandstand is comparable in height to the old Yankee Stadium–plus the OF corners are not cut off the way they were in the old Stadium–although I can’t see many (if any) foul balls flying into the grandstand down the lines–these will all go into the 200 level.

    I think the bleachers at $14 are not that bad. With access to the rest of the Stadium, decent sightlines, and way to escape to the caged confines that defined the old stadium–these are a mjaor step up. And if you’re just interested in seeing the game–for lesser opponents yo can probably go up into the GS if and grab a seat if that’s your preference.

  18. braves04

    Puck- Good to hear the first home run went to a Georgia fan. Go Dawgs!
    I forgot to mention that one of the five from last night at Turner Field was an International League game ball. With the Braves’ Triple-A team moving to metro Atlanta this year, there may be more out there at the Ted. Looking forward to snagging at a different stadium, too.

  19. raysrenegade

    Have a great time in Rogers Centre.
    At least Miguel Cabrera is still with the Tigers, and you might be able to get his first HR ball of the year.
    Iknow you might have this already, but I put it here just in case for you.
    The batting practice schedule, subject to change, is as follows. Please note it’s not uncommon for either the Blue Jays or that day’s visiting team to cancel batting practice.
    Game Time Jays BP/Infield Gates Open Visitor BP/Infield
    12:37 p.m. 9:50 – 11:10 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 11:10 – 12:05 p.m.
    1:07 p.m. 10:20 – 11:40 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 11:40 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.
    6:07 p.m. 3:20 – 4:40 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:40 – 5:35 p.m.
    7:07 p.m. 4:20 – 5:40 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 5:40 – 6:35 p.m.

    Have an awesome time in Toronto.

    Rays Renegade


    Puckcollector, don’t get me wrong, I LOVED YANKEE STADIUM! It was beautiful, and unlike what Zack said about Citi Field (which I have yet to visit), it was not a bunch of “quirks haphazardly put together.” It truly was Yankee Stadium.

    But tell me how do I get autographs there without getting into those field level seats?

    I was in the bleachers and I could see maybe how you could snag some balls there.


    Oh, and by the way, I just said those remarks BEFORE I read your whole story. It’s funny how we thought alike . . .


    Yeah, that’s how you get autos at Yankee Stadium w/o field level seats. You buy them at the Steiner Sports store on field level

    (that’s just a joke.)

  23. .

    A Phillies fan?! Eh…I can deal. But, Game 5 of the 2009 World Series??!!! Awesome! Must have been some experience. I kind of felt the same way last season when I had brought my sister to her first Mets game. The constant nagging. But, she was chill.

    – Donnie

  24. goisles

    Biglovebob- I don’t disagree with your underlying disgust that Yankee seats at field level are obscenely expensive, but a full season Legends Suite is roughly $850 a ticket and unlimited dining (except you have to pay for alcohol–not even two freebies)!.

    I often wonder as a matter of tax law if the Yankees can donate the unsold tickets at face value and receive a tax benefit–or how much of a tax benefits partners in the partnership receive.

    Still, it’s probably cheaper for the millionaire to fly or drive his family of four to every Yankee road game and put them up at a hotel than it is to see every game at Yankee Stadium!

  25. Alex

    Puck, I agree with you it is a great stadium with oppurtunites to get stuff, and for anyone who wants a way to get into the field level seats, here is a tip. They now have staircases underneath the bleachers, and those lead to field level. I went over there a couple of times, and the usher wasn’t at the top, he was patrolling the middle. So all you have to do is walk down the aisle, and go into the seats and he won’t check your ticket. It worked for me. And I saw the guy who caught the ball, he got carted off by security and maybe gave the ball away. Oh, and the guy wasn’t wearing a hat.

  26. gjk2212 not excited for new ys at all, it sounds to me like youre gonna be looking over your shoulder all of bp. anyway, i had an extremely enjoyable night at citifield.

    i left school at 130. which technically isnt even early as a senior :D anyway, i drove from nj to the stadium in straight downpour. fearing no game, it stopped just as i parked! i was 1st in line at the lf gate, where everyone waiting there found out (and bitched about) the sheffield signing. anyway, i was at the same spot i lined up for the college game, so i wasnt first in since they made lines on the sides. i get up to the turnstile, and no tickets would scan. literally, 40 people were standing on top of each other while ppl behind the gates were running around, and ended up giving the old scanners and doing it manually, like last yr. anyway, with no bp i wasnt optimistic on my snagging chances. some random sox pitcher started throwing with a coach, and when they were done, the pitched ignored my request. when he went to run, the coach threw me it, who i later learned was gary tuck (i think.) that was legitimately the only on field action for another half hour, when dustin richardson threw me a ball. the mets players just before gametime went to throw, and the only one left with a ball while coming to the dugout was jonathon malo. i went back a few rows as the front was packed, and got a perfect loft. some yankee fan almost robbed it and wouldnt stop whining. i stayed over there and the first 2 innings were a waste, as ramon castro took a k ball to the wrong end of the dugout and carlos beltran threw one into the outfield seats. david ortiz flew out to dan murphy to end the 3rd, where several kids wanted the ball. the absolute only reason i was down there was for a citi commemorative, and when murphy threw me the ball, i was very dissappointed. whatever. i went to the sox dugout after the game and got nothing, even from the guys in the pen. i asked the only ballboy down there if any balls were lying around, and 2 minutes later, while making sure nobody was still in the pen, a ball came from under the roof right to me. sweet. so 5 balls. not bad. and yes i count them

  27. yankees42294

    yea i dont think the mets werent using commemorative balls at the exhibition games, my friend got dustin pedroias ground rule double yesterday and he said it was a normal ball. im guessing there waiting for their home opener to break em out.


    i saw a guy sitting in the spot where the ball was hit about 2 innings later. he was showing everybody the ball,and he did had a hat on when i saw him

  29. goislanders4

    citi field bp was really good yesterday (even though it was a day game). i got there at the end, but you can go anywhere in the stadium like at shea last year. the left field seats are stretched out so there was plenty of room to run even though it was some what crowded. plus, getting to the dugouts during the game will be as easy as washington or philadelphia. citi field is a lot better than you explained zack. especially the seats in right center field, in between the bullpen and apple. that place was empty cause everyone goes down the line, or to sraight away left.


    The email is precious. Just precious. Fortunately I bought and read your book before buying it for my boys! :)

  31. gjk2212

    i went to the workout day today at citi, and wow what a mob. the only time ive ever experienced that many ppl during a bp was last yrs hr derby. there was no chance for any balls, and when the mets left the field to end the days festivities, i had nothing. i spotted a ball everyone had forgotten in front of the seats in dead center. i ran over and everyone was scheming on how to get it up, and i pulled it up in my cup in 15 seconds. felt awesome.

    clif-i totally agree with you. citi is really not bad for balls, since in the 2 times ive attempted snagging there i already have 6 total balls. dugout access is too easy. im pissed there was no bp friday because of rain, yet there was yesterday. whatever. its much better than zack described it, snagging wise at least. i have a feeling im really gonna like it on cold april nights, even this yr, when nobody goes early. as for ys, not so much.

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