Ball No. 4,200

Remember when I snagged 11 balls on 8/17/09 at Citi Field?

My final ball that day happened to be the 4,200th ball I’d ever snagged. It was tossed to me after the game by some random guy in the Giants’ dugout. I had no idea who he was, so I took two photos of him (see below), hoping that someone might be able to identify him:


The day after I posted these photos, someone left a comment and said that the mystery man looked like Bill Belichick. Other people said he looked like Scott Boras and Andy Richter, and there were other names jokingly tossed out there as well, but the best theory was that the guy was Mario Alioto, the Giants’ Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing.

I was nearly convinced that that’s who it was until a friend of mine in San Francisco (who knows almost everything about the Giants) insisted that it wasn’t Alioto. He didn’t know who it was, though, and it seemed that my quest had hit a dead end.

Fast-forward two weeks…

The date was September 2nd, and I received the following email:

To: Zack Hample
Sent: Wed, Sep 02, 2009 4:33 am
Subject: Re: Here’s who gave you your 4200 baseball

>Hello Zack-
> Saw your blog page and picture related to your attempt to identify the individual from the SF Giants who gave you ball # 4200. If you are still in need of the info, he is Jim Moorehead, Senior Director of Media Relations with the SF Giants.
> Take care.

It just so happened that I’d been in touch with Moorehead earlier in the season (I’d contacted him to request a couple interviews for my book) so I fired off the following email:

From: Zack Hample
To: Moorehead, Jim
Sent: Wed, Sep 02, 2009 10:01 pm
Subject: random baseball mystery

Hey, Jim-

We were in touch a few months ago. I’m the guy who’s writing a book about baseballs, and I’m also a baseball collector.

This is going to seem totally random and bizarre, but I have to ask…

On August 17th, shortly after the final out of the Giants game at Citi Field, I happened to get a ball tossed to me by someone in the Giants’ dugout. The person who gave it to me wasn’t in uniform, so I had no idea who it was. He lingered on the top step for a minute, so I pulled out my camera and took a picture of him, which I later posted on my blog.

Long story short: I just got an email from a diehard Giants fan who saw the photo and insists that it’s you.

Could this coincidence be true?
Would you like to see the photo?

Thanks for your time (and, perhaps, for the ball as well).


Hours later, I got this response:

From: Moorehead, Jim
Zack Hample

Sent: Thu, Sep 03, 2009 2:50 am
Subject: Re: random baseball mystery

That was me. :)

Mystery solved.
Case closed
The End.

(Thanks to everyone who helped out with this.)


  1. wewill1992


    How familiar are you with umpire Lance Barksdale? How has he been with giving out game balls etc..? I just started going for baseballs, although I go for autographs more. I have snagged 4 this summer and 3 baseballs in 3 games… 1 each. Barksdale tossed me the last game ball of the night which led to my curiousity.

  2. Ross

    Ijwx87, I can answer that for ya. His next game is tomorrow (September 6th) with me. It’s a Watch With Zack game and I am his client. It is at Citi Field when the Mets face the Cubs. :)

  3. zackhample

    We should look into that…


    I can’t even remember how I survived before there was such a thing as The Internet.

    I once got a ball from Barksdale, so clearly he falls into the “nice umps” category. Beyond that? I know nothing about him.

    Well, it looks like you already got your answer: later today (September 6th) at Citi Field.

    Thanks for jumping in there with the answer. Looks like the weather is gonna be great. See you in about…nine and a half hours! (It’s 12:29am right now. Not sure what the time stamp will be on this comment.) I better start getting ready for bed. Looking forward to seeing you…

  4. bigglovebob

    That guy looks like a dead ringer for Brian Billick, not Belichek. Glad you found out for sure that it was Morehead. I saw Clif and his mom at a Twins game last week. I sounds like he had a decent outing from what his mom said. I think I saw him make a nice ranging basket catch. You have taught him well!

  5. zackhample

    Good to know that Clif did well. I just saw Gail today at Citi Field.

    Day games are rough. I’ll have my entry up soon…either tonight or early tomorrow afternoon.

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