4/16/09 at Citi Field

I was stressed from the start.

Not only did I get a late start leaving my apartment but I didn’t have a ticket for the game. The subway was good to me, though, and got me there about 20 minutes early. Check out the view (including the last traces of Shea Stadium rubble) as the train was about to pull into the station:


I ran to the ticket window, asked for the cheapest seat, and was told that it was $42. This didn’t bother me until later when a) I saw a HUGE section of empty seats during the game way out in the left field upper deck and b) I read the box score and learned that this game was roughly 5,000 fans below capacity. Quite simply, the Mets are crooks and liars. They’ll SAY there aren’t any cheap seats available. They’ll TELL you that some cheap seats “might get released later,” but it’s a total scam. Clearly there were thousands of cheap seats available, yet they wouldn’t sell one to me. I hate them. I’m so angry about it that I’ve decided not to root for the Mets anymore. I’m officially done with them. They can’t treat fans like that and expect them to remain loyal. No way. (And for the record, the Yankees have been scamming fans for years. It’s disgusting.)

At least the left field seats stayed nice and empty for the first 10 minutes or so:


During that time, there was exactly ONE ball that reached the seats. It was a line drive homer by Gary Sheffield that hit a nearby seat and ricocheted back onto the field. Did Mike Pelfrey toss it back my way? Of course not. Fabulous start to the day.

The second group of hitters was better. They put a few balls in the seats, and I snagged two of them. I don’t know who hit them. I didn’t catch them on the fly. They weren’t commemorative. Just regular. But at least I was on the board.

The next BP group had a whole bunch of lefties (including Carlos Delgado), so I moved to “Death Valley” in right-center field. At one point, Mets reliever Sean Green jogged over to scoop up a ball, and just as I started to ask for it, a kid (who looked to be about 14) slid into a spot in the front row, just to my right. Green was off to the left, so I had the better angle. Green tossed the ball toward us. It was heading for the kid, and even though Green didn’t point at him to indicate that it was meant for him, I stepped back and let him catch it. Two minutes later, I got
sean_green.jpgLivan Hernandez to throw me a ball, and as it was sailing toward me, the kid tried to reach in front of me and snag it. I don’t blame him because I used to do the same thing at that age. I still managed to snag the ball and then said, “Hey, c’mon, I let you catch the last ball, so don’t try to steal one from me.” Turns out the kid reads this blog and just created his own blog. His name is Alex. His mom was there, and she told me that he’s a big fan of what I do, so it’s a good thing I didn’t rob him on the Green ball (and that the whole thing remained civil and peaceful).

Now, as for Mister Green, he ended up walking back over near the wall to pick up another ball, just as I was lowering my glove trick to pluck it off the warning track. I thought he was going to grab the ball and fire it toward the bucket, but instead he stepped back and looked up at me incredulously.

“How does that thing work?” he asked.

The ball was about six feet away from the wall so I said, “Move it a little closer for me and I’ll show you.”

Green walked over to the ball and gave it a little nudge with his foot. I kept lowering the glove, and as it was about to drop over the ball, Green moved so he could get a good view. Once I began to lift the glove with the ball inside of it, Green congratulated me and I thanked him. Turns out it was a 2008 All-Star Game ball:


I’d snagged six of these balls in 2008 when the Mets were using them during BP, but it was still great to get another. (If you want to see what a non-worn version of this ball looks like, click here.)

Okay, so it’s easy to use the glove trick to snag balls off the warning track at Citi Field, but getting balls from the bullpens is impossible. Check out the ‘pens in the following photo:


The first challenge is that there are two large white canopies blocking both ends, and the other challenge is that the seats directly above the bullpens are heavily guarded. There are some picnic tables up there. I don’t know what the deal is with that section. All I can tell you is that it’s totally off limits.

I had four baseballs at that point, and then I went on a glove trick rampage and snagged four more. When the Padres first came out and started throwing, no one was shagging in left field, so every ball that was hit deep rolled to the wall and sat there. One of the four was a regular ball (which I gave to a little girl who was standing nearby with her father) and the other three were Citi Field commemorative balls. The Padres, for whatever reason, were using them in BP, just as they’d done the day before.

While I was using the glove trick, the wind was blowing hard (from the foul pole toward center) and since it was such a long way down to the field, my dangling glove was being blown all over the place. It made things really tough, and on one occasion, my glove was twirling around so fast as I was lifting it up that the ball slipped out, but I did end up getting it on a subsequent attempt.


One more thing about using the glove trick at Citi Field…

So far, security has not said anything to me about it, but I’m pretty sure this will change. It’s just like Nationals Park. Remember when I set my one-game record in D.C. by snagging twenty-eight balls on April 10, 2008? At that point, there’d only been a handful of games there, so security was still pretty clueless and didn’t yet have a policy about ball-retrieving devices. As a result, I was able to reel in a bunch of balls from the left field bullpen, but I’ve heard that security doesn’t allow devices there anymore. I expect a similar change to take place at Citi, so if you’re going to use a device there, be smart about it. Don’t use it if there’s a guard standing nearby, and don’t fling your glove 20 feet out onto the field to knock a ball closer. Wait until the ball is right below you and then make your move with precision.

Late in BP, I met a really cool guy named Ben who’s been reading this blog regularly and leaving comments as “idemento28.” He is to jerseys what I am to baseballs. He doesn’t actually get them from players at games; he buys them but I was still astonished when he started throwing numbers at me. I’ll let Ben tell you about it himself in a comment.

I made it to the Padres’ dugout just before BP ended…


…but didn’t get anything there. I really wanted to hit double digits, but since I was still two baseballs short, it was going to be tough.

Cliff Floyd was talking to some people he knew down the left field foul line so I wandered over…


…and got him to sign my ticket:


Shortly before game time, several Padres came out and played catch in shallow left field, but because Citi Field was designed to keep real baseball fans out of the good seats, this was the closest I could get:


Not surprisingly, I failed to get David Eckstein’s attention, and he tossed the ball into the next section.


Once the game started, I decided to stay behind the Padres’ dugout until I got a third-out ball. It didn’t take long. When Ramon Castro popped out to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to end the bottom of the first inning, I scooted down the steps and got Gonzalez to throw me a ball (pictured on the right) on his way in. Unfortunately, because of how the ball was scuffed and grass-stained, I could tell that it wasn’t the actual game used ball. You know how the first baseman always catches a ball as he jogs in toward the dugout each inning? The ball he catches is the infield warm-up ball. It gets tossed from the dugout by the team’s first base coach. Gonzalez, as he tends to do, switched balls and kept the gamer for himself–kind of a letdown but I’m glad to say that the ball he tossed me did have a commemorative logo.

Okay, so…I had nine balls at that point and decided to head upstairs and go for foul balls. A few came close, but not close enough. Very frustrating. I took out my frustration on a nearby concession stand by paying $8.75 for a cheeseburger…


…which was painfully well-done and didn’t come with chips or fries or pickles or anything. Where’s all the great food that people keep talking about?

In the sixth inning I headed back down to the seats behind the Padres’ dugout. Even though there were lots of fans now running up to the front row every inning, I figured my best chance of reaching double digits was in that section.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Carlos Beltran grounded the ball toward Eckstein at second. I could’ve easily bolted down to the front row as soon as the ball left the bat, but there were a lot of kids with gloves, sitting on the edges of their seats, so I decided to hang back and let them all race up to the front. If Gonzalez wanted to roll the ball to them across the dugout roof, fine, they could have it. But if he decided to toss it a few rows deep, then I was gonna go for it.


Well, sure enough, Gonzalez under-handed the ball HIGH in the air as he approached the warning track. I was standing on the staircase about five rows back at the time. I could tell that the ball was going to fall a bit short, so while dozens of fans all around me were jockeying for position, I moved down a couple steps and got as close as possible to where it was going to land. I wasn’t able to get directly under it, so I had to jump and reach to my glove side. The ball hit my glove, and I would’ve caught it, but someone bumped my arm and caused me to bobble it. The ball popped up about a foot, and before anyone else had a chance to react, I snatched it in mid-air with my bare hand, and let me tell you it felt great. Double digits! Citi Field pwnage! The ball (pictured here on the right) was clearly not THE ball that Beltran had hit, but once again, it had the commemorative logo, so no complaints.

In the bottom of the eighth, as I was casually sitting in foul territory on the third base side, I heard an announcement that Gary Sheffield was pinch hitting. What happened next? I had one of those ohmygod moments, jumped out of my seat, raced up the steps, sprinted through the concourse, and barely reached the left field seats in time. This was my view as Sheff was stepping into the batter’s box:


Did anyone else in the section have a baseball glove? No. Did Sheffield hit his 500th career home run to my staircase? That would also be no. He worked the count full and then walked.

The night ended well because I got to see Heath Bell in action. Heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Padres were clinging to a 6-5 lead. When Bell’s name was announced, the entire stadium booed him mightily and several fans near me screamed insults and obscenities that I can’t repeat here. I was wearing the cap that he’d given me on 8/31/08 at PETCO Park, and I cheered like hell. (Sorry, Mets fans. He’s my guy. I gotta root for him.)

Daniel Murphy led off by grounding out to shortstop Everth Cabrera on an 0-1 pitch.

That brought up David Wright.

Heath leaned in toward the plate, dangled his right arm, and looked for the sign:


***TIME OUT***
Did you notice all the empty seats behind home plate? It’s really sad. The best seats in the stadium were practically empty because a) most people can’t afford them and b) the people who CAN afford them don’t care enough about baseball to stick around and see the suspenseful end of a three-hour game. (Do you understand why I don’t like Citi Field? Is it making sense now?)
***TIME IN***

Wright worked the count to 3-1 and then launched a deep fly ball to an even deeper center field. Jody Gerut tracked it down and made the catch. Two outs.

Carlos Delgado came up as the Mets’ final hope. He took the first two pitches for strikes, then took the next two to even the count. Heath kept pumping in fastballs after that, and Delgado kept fouling them off. He fouled off four in a row, then took a ball to work the count full, then fouled off ANOTHER pitch, and finally took a called third strike on the 11th pitch of the at-bat. Classic duel. Heath got him. Game over.



• 10 balls at this game (9 pictured here because I gave one away)

• 50 balls in 6 games this season = 8.3 balls per game.

• 575 consecutive games with at least one ball

• 340 consecutive Mets games with at least one ball

• 100 consecutive games with at least two balls

• 21 different stadiums with at least one game with 10 or more balls• 3,870 total balls


• 81 donors (click here and scroll down for the complete list)

• $16.10 pledged per ball

• $161.00 raised at this game

• $805.00 raised this season for Pitch In For Baseball


  1. bloggingboutbaseball

    Zack, I just saw the highlights on ESPN… Sheffield hit #500! At least you pwned Citi Field in just your second time snagging there! No small task! Congrats on that!
    Carlos Delgado might get to 500 this year… Are you going to start planning for that one, too?

  2. ladod4ever

    You didn’t see bell during bp???so like I told you in the last entry are you gonna tell players during bp that you catch baseballs for charity and do make them feel guilty if they don’t contribute and for they won’t think your lying take evidence about the charity….that’s so sad about the empty seats at shea;[

  3. baseballexperiences

    Is citi getting emptier every night? Its a shame those corporate a**holes go and dont even watch the game. They waste all of those seats, i mean they should have to only be allowed in the suites so the seats are full. Congrats on all the money raised for charity. I hope you reach 9000 on May 8th. That would be awesome!

  4. Howie


    The good food is in right field in the “Taste of New York”. There is shake shack, blue smoke, and a bunch of other stuff. You would have been close to #500 if you were there tonite. Tough luck :(


  5. braves04

    I can’t believe how empty those seats were in left field at the start of BP. Wish I had that luck on Wednesday, but the Braves’ 2-for-1 outfield promotion really hurt when going for BP home runs.
    Our cheeseburgers finally come with fries as part of a $9.00 combo. Since I get a free Coke (calling it “pop” is sinful) from the designated driver booth, I can splurge for it lol.
    I’m likely attending my first AAA game for the Gwinnett Braves on Tuesday, but gates open just 75 minutes before game time! There’s a deep centerfield berm, but not much else for home runs.

  6. cubs0110

    $805 already? NICE!

    I think it’ll take off even more if Heath donates something.

    Congrats, as always, on double digits.

    I just got a ticket for thursday’s Cubs game (already had a tuesday one), I’m looking forward to that week. I don’t have any tickets to the sox games, but I’ll probably get some, since the cell is much better overall for bp.

  7. padreleigh

    Hey Zack…

    Nice getting to double digits!! I hope they bring some of those balls back to SD. You have to love Heath Bell. He did it again tonight. No game here until next Friday. Ugggh.


  8. .

    Zack, congratulations on your first double-digit night at Citi Field! The quest for Sheff’s 500th has come to end tonight my friend, and I can’t believe I decided to stay home from the game. Bummer. I believe I’ll be headin’ over there Sunday to see game 3 of the Brewers series, if all is well. I tested out the glove trick for my first time earlier in the day, and after working out a few kinks because my glove isn’t “made” for the trick, I got it to work. We’ll see how it fairs at the ballpark in a couple of days and all next week. Thanks for the tip.

    – Donnie

  9. cookandsonbats

    if you’re giving up on the Mets and need a team to root for, I suggest the Mariners.
    before reading your “time out / time in” comment, I looked at that picture and immediately noticed all of the empty seats. the pricing is ridiculous, even more ridiculous at Yankee Stadium. and $42 for tickets in the 400 level (any 400 level, any stadium) is also ridiculous. i just got upper deck tix in baltimore for $9. that’s more like it!

  10. gjk2212


    went to citi tonight..2 cup trick balls during bp and thats it

    then in the 3rd inning, i almost got thrown out of the stadium..i was playing 3rd out balls and when i went to go down the aisle for one, a guard grabbed me and made me go up the steps with him, took me to some head security guard, and they both were demanding my ticket. apparently, if you dont have your ticket on you, they have to remove you from the stadium. i didnt think i had it because it was a print at home so i usually just toss those when i get in. luckily i found it in my bag, and the head guy was pretty cool about it, while the other guy was totally awful. good thing i got to stay, one staircase away from 500! damn..if he went just 1 section more towards cf..plus the mets win on a walk off! thrilling..ill be at ys monday and citi next friday, sunday, and monday…

  11. districtboy

    It is sad how similar Citi Field is to Nationals Park. NOBODY buys tickets for the Presidents Club (behind HP), but the Nats fill up them up modestly with Marines and army vets. And by the way, I went to my first game there yesterday, and I was dealt a steak through the heart when the Red Porch, where I had my own special corner, was suddenly restricted. I don’t give a crap if the right field seats are now open 90 minutes earlier, I want My Spot and I don’t care if having only rich “fans” in the RP gives the stadium an “exclusivity upgrade”. God, sometimes…


  12. ramones18

    Hey Zack long time no talk,
    Congrats on your first double digits snag of the season
    Three things though to mention:

    1. my family is moving to Boston in the summer so if I choose to go along ill be able to catch in some games at Fenway, I was there this past week and got to take a tour that went on the field!
    2. if you need a team to root for, I might be biased to suggest the red sox, but its your choice :D
    3. thirdly you probably already saw Sheffield hit #500? looking forward to your post about tonights game!

  13. PSU532@yahoo.com

    What’s up Zack? Long time no talk. Sorry I haven’t had a chance to comment in months. I just got back from the Mets game tonight. I was actually sitting in the front row in left field, so I had a pretty good view of Sheffield’s 500th. It had the excitement that was similar to when I was at Manny’s 400th HR game (where I met you).

    I can’t believe they told you the cheapest ticket was $42. What the heck? They should have some $15-$20 seats in the upper deck, not $42 seats!

    So Citi Field definitely has some things to work on. My big pet peeve is that neither scoreboard provides you with the current batter’s day so far! Every other stadium (and even Shea used to) would say “1 for 3, single” or something to give you information on previous at-bats, but Citi Field rarely does that on either scoreboard!

    Also, the ushers checking tickets is very annoying. In the 3rd inning, I was carrying a bag, a beer, and a sausage, and the usher demanded to see my ticket, so he literally had to hold my sausage so I could fish it out of my wallet!

    Then the guy next to me was complaining that he was 62 years old and because he didn’t have ID on him, they wouldn’t serve him a beer!

    My other pet peeve tonight was that my friend and I both wanted a Carvel helmet cone and both Carvel stands in left and center field ran out of ice cream in like the 7th inning! How is that possible?

    My next game is Tuesday against the A’s. My tickets were only $16 each including fees! Can’t beat that!

  14. zackhample

    I was *not* at Citi Field for Sheffield’s 500th career home run. Even if I had been there, there’s no chance I would’ve caught it. It was not hit to the staircase where I would’ve been standing, so whatever. I’ll have to answer comments later. I gotta get to sleep. I need to wake up in six and a half hours to head to Yankee Stadium. I’m sort of looking forward, sort of nervous, and sort of disgusted with the place already. Not sure when my blog entry about it will be up. Possibly by this time tomorrow. Possibly not ’til Sunday or even Monday. I have a packed weekend ahead of me, so we’ll see.

  15. .

    Oh, how delicious it is! Go to Citi Sunday, and stop horsin’ around! Good luck this afternoon in the Bronx! Hopefully your post is up so I can scout the report you write up for Tuesday’s game. Again, Hample, good luck!

    – Donnie

  16. jerseyboy


    First off, thanks for mentioning me…..I think. I’m not sure I like being put on the spot haha. I’ll tell everyone, including you, more in detail about my jersey collection. Anyhow, let me first respond to a couple of things about you entry. Well, first, it was great to finally meet you. We’ll definitely see more of each other at “Sh*tty Field.” I got there about 5:10, had to rush to the box office, and demanded the cheapest ticket, and I actually got the “cheapest” ticket for the game, which was a $23 “outer promenade” ticket. So yeah, they screwed you. Not at all shocking. Remember when I mentioned to you how much I agreed about your hatred of the stadium? Well, when I went to that college game, I turned to one of my friends, while I was on a rant about how much I hated this place, and said to her that all season I was gonna come to Mets games, and lots of them, and wear a jersey of the other team to every game. Well, if you noticed, you saw me in the Padres hat and jersey at 6:15, and still wearing it at 10:15. I did the same thing with the Brewers today. I, as well, now hate the Mets. I can’t deal with them and all their corporate, overpriced garbage anymore. I’m outraged by them. I wanna live in Oakland, where they have like $1 Friday’s. Or Florida, where I buy a fishbowl ticket, sit where I want, and no one cares. I still will be carrying a Mets hat and jersey with me for ballhawking purposes, but don’t plan in wearing it (except vs. the Cardinals, Yankees, Braves, and Phillies). Cause other than those teams, I don’t think I hate anyone more than the Mets right now. And I mean, it’s more than that too. The Game 7 loss in ’06 was a heartbreak. The collapse in ’07 was pitiful. And last year, was indifferent. The team has no heart. It’s sad. I can’t root for that. Who would want to? I’m going for the young exciting Marlins. That is a fun team!! Oh, and sorry you missed out on Sheff. He hit it like right to where you predicted too. Never pass up a baseball game, anything can happen. You know that.

    Now as for my jersey collection:

    Well, I have a very large jersey collection which I can’t even tell you how it started (though I know my first jersey was a Magic Shaq in size 14-16 when I was 9), or how it has gotten this far. I have over 1400 jersey’s. I honestly don’t have a fully updated count, as I just don’t have time to do it, and never planned for it to get this big when I started. The number may honestly be greater than that, but I have more than that number that are accounted for. I have over 550 baseball player jersey’s accounted for, 500+ football jersey’s, 100+ basketball, 250+ blank baseball, and who knows how many more. I haven’t marked down a jersey I’ve gotten since about the start of 2008. When I buy jersey’s, I usually buy 8 or 10 at a time. I buy a lot on eBay. NOTE: I DO NOT deal with this fake crap!!! I can spot a fake a mile away, and they disgust me! Some guy was wearing a “Mitchell and Ness” Beltran from 05 at the game yesterday. SO FAKE!!! I wanted to smack him, except that he was literally 3 times my size. I have the obvious, like David Wright in a Mets Home, Road, Alternate (Black), Home Alternate (Solid White), and Road Alternate (Black “New York”). I have obscure ones, like an Orioles Albert Belle, a Phillies Mitch Williams, a Twins David Ortiz (cause I KNEW he’d be good when he got to Boston!!), and so many more. Mike Piazza was my favorite player, and my most recent listed count was 40, but that doesn’t include a couple additional San Diego jersey’s, any of the Oakland jerseys, of which I have all, and some others, I’m sure. I have all his All-Star jersey’s since 1997. I have a home and road jersey for every team in baseball and football.

    Now, additionally, a jersey is not complete, without a hat (New Era fitted hat, specifically). And I have over 750 of those bad boys. My last count, which was more than 2 years ago, I had 77 fitted Mets hats. The number has got to be 100. I have every single baseball team, almost every football and basketball team, some college, some hockey, a whole bunch of minor league teams, and then so many more designer and brand hats. Like I have a bunch of Kidrobot and Mishka and other clothing brand hats. For those who don’t know, the New Era company has a flagship store in Manhattan, and I’ve been told by the manager that I am the biggest shopper in the store. I’ve also been approached by a very respected website manager about doing a feature on my hat collection. Needless to say, i have a big collection. And for hats, it really all got crazy for me, like went from about 150, to what it is now, a few years ago when I was a summer camp counselor and my kids loved that I wore a different hat every day. So I kept buying more and wore different hats all summer long. My job which I currently work at, my kids will tell you since the start of the school year, I haven’t worn the same hat twice. Just a bit of a background.

    Anyway, thanks again Zack for including me in your entry. I’m heading up to Boston in about 20 minutes, so I won’t be seeing you till you return from Chicago. Have fun at Shea today, good luck at Yankee next week (I’m making my appearance on Tuesday), and see you soon.


  17. ceetar

    I was behind you to buy a ticket (although I walked away and came back 5 minutes later) and they told me $92. I laughed and walked away.

    Apparently they hold some tickets back for Game Day Sales. (I’d checked mets.com and the cheapest available at 2pm online was the second cheapest section)

    Since I didn’t need to be in at 4:40, I waited for game day sales, and/or Stubhub (I’m not sure exactly which window, or if all the windows, can do stubhub once 4:40 comes around, but there are pretty much always face value type seats for the average game. I think you can use those computers to pick them up if you buy in advance(or these days, from an internet enabled phone while standing there), but i’m not 100% sure on that. (Also, stubhub now has e-tickets, which means you could buy certain tickets before you left and print it out. no messing with pick up windows or anything)

    I got a cheapie, $23, section 504 row 4 when the windows opened. So I guess they’re holding back game of day sales to make sure walk up people have a shot at..you know, walking up without having to pay $90? This is actually a good thing the Mets are doing. Personally, I wished they opened the game of day sales before the gates opened, and i know you do too, but they don’t seem 100% on how and what they’re doing yet. I wonder if this is how they’ll eventually do standing room too.

    The seats behind home plate..honestly, i don’t care if there are seats or people there. whatever. Shea was never fully full either. most places aren’t. If they want to move people down in that section to fill in the tv emptiness..but the whole point was that people would want to get up and walk around, so they shouldn’t be worried about empty seats.

    Thursday was also very cold. The subset of ‘fans’ willing to pay that money, get those tickets at work, or wherever, and then sit in the cold for hours? heh. not big. The ability to stand will always make the stadium look emptier too. There were probably thousands of people standing during the end of that game. I’ve heard Yankee stadium is even worse with the empty seats (and their most expensive seat is more than 5x what Citi’s is.)

    I heard a rumor, and while i don’t trust the source much, I figured I’d bring it up. Someone told me that they had their ticket checked and then removed from the section of seats behind the dugout during batting practice? (This rumor was from last night). I could’ve sworn i saw people behind the dugout, I see some in my pictures, but maybe those are ticketed people? There is a much bigger group down the line a bit. Not having legitimate ‘full access’ to the stands during batting practice would kind of piss me off.

    Wow, this is a long rambling comment. Almost should’ve made it into a blog entry myself. I’ll be back at the park Sunday. There seems to be some frustration with snagging/bp, but from a fan/watching perspective, I couldn’t be happier with the place.

  18. ceetar

    also, one thing I forgot to mention. I don’t know if the “Left Field Upper Deck” also known as Promenade Reserved, was’ sold out’ I know they said 37k or something so I’d guess not, but there were a lot of people up there earlier in the game. I think they fled due ot the cold and the ability to stand and watch elsewhere and that that is probably the worst section in the park to watch from.

  19. puckcollector@optonline.net

    yesterday (4/17) a Yankee was the same as Shity Field. all the good seats were empty, but the rest of the stadium was packed. it was the second game in the stadium and the attendance was only 45,000.

    my dad thinks the yankees are selling all of the expenive seats on stubhub UNDER face value, just to get some money for them, and to make the ballpark look full.

    and if i had seats behind home plate, and i had access to a nice warm bar, with tv’s and a view of the field, i would sit in the bar, not in my seat, especially on those cold april nights, so that also contributes to why those seats are empty.

  20. .

    BEN – Please, PLEASE, take a picture of your entire collection. I understand it will take forever to organize everything (if it’s not already in tact) but, it’ll be worth it. Plus, you’ll finally know your grand total and you can stop saying “around” 1500 collected authentic jerseys and “around” 750 new era hats. That’s crazy man! Keep it goin’!

    – Donnie

  21. PSU532@yahoo.com

    My bad, we were at Manny’s 500th, not his 400th. It was too late last night when I posted that message!

  22. Charlie

    That’s really too bad about the seating situation in Citi Field. Good for you, not being their fan anymore, maybe you should write them.

    Anyway, i was going to play catch the other day, and I grabbed a baseball out of the bucket, and it felt odd, like a major league baseball. I examined it, and saw a faint WBC logo on the bottom, and I believe the stamp said it was a WBC ball from 2006. I have no idea how I got it, I am guessing from Rockies’ BP over the last couple years, because i don’t remember anyone buying one in my family.

    Pretty cool, huh?


  23. cookandsonbats

    FYI, last ngiht I tried to buy tickets on mets.com to the 4/25 game at Citi Field. The cheapest they would give me were $60. Today, I tried again and they gave me the actual cheapest tickets, $15/ticket — plus, $5/ticket convenience fees, plus $5 per order processing fee. Total for two tickets in section 526 = $45. I can live with that.

  24. zackhample

    The new Yankee Stadium is a beautiful/difficult place. I took a TON of photos there today, and I’m about to start going through them. My entry about it will probably be done sometime between 24 and 48 hours from now. Get ready…

  25. dannyz

    Hey Zack, remember me? We met after the Jays game 10 days ago. Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I caught a ball today during BP. For a guy who had only 1 lifetime ball, it’s quite the accomplishment. In fact, I was in downtown at 5 in the morning for something and had decided only at the last minute to go check out the Jays-A’s game. So, it was $11 well spent. Wonderful game too.

  26. .

    Weeeeeeeeeeeeerd! Now, I can’t wait for this entry. I’m not attending the game tomorrow at Citi after all, as it had come up negative. But, Yankee Stadium will be my next stop on Tuesday and this post will definitely help. How about 20 hours? :)

    – Donnie

  27. padreleigh

    Hey Zack….

    Heath Bell strikes again. Hope his arm doesn’t turn to jelly. I’ve got your Padres ticket when you are ready to come get your WBC ball. Take it easy.


  28. cmg1218

    Hey Zack,

    I forgot to ask you something yeesterday.

    Where were you yesterday in the 2nd inning? I was wondering after a few runs if you’d gone to try and snag a HR ball or something. Maybe not.

    Connor Greenbaum

  29. cmg1218

    Hey Zack,

    I forgot to ask you something yesterday.

    Where were you yesterday in the 2nd inning? I was wondering after a few runs if you’d gone to try and snag a HR ball or something. Maybe not.

    Connor Greenbaum

  30. josh_aj_goreham@hotmail.com

    Hey Zach,

    Congrats on a good day at Citi Field.
    Gotta question for ya about getting tickets there. I’m coming from Canada to NYC and want to catch a game at the new park. I take it they havent been selling out all games, but if I show up at game time will they have seats available or should I order tickets beforehand. The only problem is I’m not sure which game I’m going to (this week’s Nationals or Marlins series). I take it the weekday games have less people?

    Thanks for the help.

  31. sportzfreeka

    Hey Zack, So I went to yesterday’s Mariner Game and only got 4 balls… It was quite the game actually. I started off getting an easter egg and glove tricking one. Then I tried glove tricking one off the field and of all people JIM LEYLAND comes over and I tell him, “Don’t worry I can get this ball” and so I lower it and hover over the ball and HE KICKS IT OUT OF THE WAY! At first I thought he was helping me, but then I tried again and HE KICKED IT OUT OF THE WAY AGAIN. He eventually picked it up and gave it to a kid! I always thought he was a very respectable manager and one of the best in Major League Baseball, but that whole train of thought just completely stopped. Last year I had asked for balls from the Detroit Bullpen catcher on consecutive days but he denied me a ball the second day. Anyway, I went down to the same spot and hollered at him and he recognized me! He came over and we shook hands and he said he would hook me up with a ball…which never happened…what a surprise. Oh and I got one of those international league balls you had gotten.

  32. goislanders4

    Zack! I got a bat today! i already told you but i thought i would share with all! And what i was about to tell you on the phone but couldn’t cause it got so loud was a weird commemorative ball. or at least just a bull with a different logo. it was a normal mlb ball, but right where the normal mlb logo (or citi commem logo) would be, there was a little advertisement-logo, saying “MLB: The Bigs. out july 2009. it was weird. I’ll email you the picture

  33. bettencourt

    congrats snagging that many balls. you mentioned David Eckstien, well when he was in the minors i saw him alot and it is really cool how people notice how good of a ball player he is i thought that was really cool

  34. .

    CLIF – If I’m not mistaken, the other night when I was talking with Gary (GJK), he mentioned the Mets using commemorative baseballs promoting a baseball game. He said the baseballs looked pretty sweet, but were weird having a video games logo on a baseball. Could this be what you are speaking of? I’d like to see a picture myself if you don’t mind. Let me know.

    – Donnie

  35. padreleigh

    Hey Zack…

    The Phillies get their revenge on the Padres because Heath Bell was not available. What a bummer…..Oh well. Still awaiting the first Yankee Stadium entry.


    Dude, nice snag of a bat. Who was the player and what were the circumstances?


  36. goislanders4

    Leigh, Donnie, and Joe

    The bat was from Cory Hart. Even though Citi security has REALLY stepped up about kids behind the dugouts (ushers at the top of the aisle EVEN during BP, AND ushers in the whole aisle of section 126 making sure no body watching BP walks through the rows to get behind the dugout) is still managed to get down there. I waited a for the last 10 minutes of bp before the players came off the field. While the guys were still on the field hitting and throwing, Cory Hart decided to end his swings early, so he walked over to the outfield end of the dugout (where i was) to go down into it. As he was on his way, there were 3-4 bats laying on the grass outside the dugout. He stopped, picked them up, and continued on his way, while kinda squinting into the crowd at me in the first row. I didn’t even ask (but i was wearing a brewers hat and t-shirt), but he pulled one of the bats out from under his armpit and underhanded it onto the dugout roof so it would slide towards me. It kinda hit the roof funny and started to rock back into the dugout. It almost fell until he pushed it back a little more and i lunged out to grab it. I kinda knew he was gonna give it to me once he picked up all the bats from the grass, but it was still awesome. I couldn’t believe it. I have tried so hard before to get bats but never been lucky. But then again, bats just come to you luckily, more than getting them by trying, like with baseballs.

    Sorry for the long description, I’m just excited. And Donnie, the ball WAS one of those. i had no clue they were using them. Brian Stokes (the guy who gave it to me) picked me out of like, 5 little kids with gloves and tossed it to me. When a guy next to me asked him why he didn’t give it to him, he said “The team is being provided these balls so we can give them away because of some deal the Mets have with this video game. I see a kid from Milwaukee and spread the word across the country. I’ll give you the next ball i get.” Those weren’t his exact words, but it was something along those lines. It was pretty dumb, as if citi field isn’t a giant billboard already. Now, the mets are being payed to put video game advertisements on balls? I don’t know………

  37. goislanders4

    oh and, Donnie, if you want pictures of the ball, my email is goislanders4@aol.com so just hit me up at that email and i’ll send them right back, if i can find my connector to get my pictures into the computer..

  38. .

    CLIF – Yeah man, sounds a little lopsided to me too. Hopefully I can get Brian’s attention Friday and Sunday. That would be one hell of a ball to get, being a limited edition. Does the ball feel like a regular ball or the 2008 MLB All-Star ones? Also, how was the crowd for today’s BP session? I wonder if the Yankees are doing the same..I’ll be there Tuesday for the first ever time. I can’t wait.

    ZACK – How about you brotha? Would you count this so called “video game ball” if you had snagged it at a major league game?

    – Donnie

  39. goislanders4

    yeah, its totally real. looks exactly like a real major league (commemorative) baseball, except there is an adverisement on it. feels the same, smells the same. it was REALLY beaten up. the logo is faded but you can still clearly see what it says.

  40. cubs0110

    I’m waiting to hear what Zack thinks about those ad balls.

    Personally, I think it’s cool that they make this balls, and tell the players to throw them out.

    They should do that at Wrigley, but give the players aluminum bats in bp so they send em out far onto waveland and sheffield :)

    It would be cool to see balls being hit almost 600 feet, haha.

  41. xholdourownx@gmail.com

    The Gwinnett Braves stadium is great for snagging. I was at the game Friday. BP was cut short Friday so only about 3 batters swung a bat once the gates open. They were getting the field ready for pregame ceremonies. But besides the outfield berm area (which wraps all the way around to the bullpens in left and you are able to run freely around it with no fences separating), there are huge empty concourse areas near both the lf and rf foul poles. Tons of room to get foul balls there. I used my time mostly to explore the stadium and such, but did get a 3rd out ball. Security is very relaxed so take advantage. Good luck.

  42. nycautographcollector

    nice pair of games down there at citi…glad to see the place is pretty good for snagging at least. Anyway i just updated my blog with a monster entry from friday, and will have another one from saturday hopefully up by tomorrow night. BUT for some reason its not coming up on my main blog page, but only once you click on archives? any ideas about that?

    heres the direct link to the new update for you:

    EVERYONE- I had a monster weekend…so here is the update from the first half of that…just click the link above!

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