2009 World Series — Game 2

I headed out to Yankee Stadium yesterday with a homemade sign and a whole lot of hope that it would land me a ticket:


In case you’re too lazy to click the photo above, the sign has this pyramid photo of me with “4,352 baseballs and counting…” written underneath it.

I arrived at the stadium at 1:30pm — six and a half hours before game time — and there was already a huge line of fans, hoping that some tickets might get released:


I held up my sign and walked around and flapped my glove at everyone who looked at me. Over the course of the day, at least 100 people asked me the following question: “What does ballhawk mean?” It was annoying to have to explain the same thing over and over, but I was glad to be educating the public.

The area outside the stadium was swarming with media. Several journalists and news crews interviewed me. So did Juliet Papa from 1010 WINS (pictured below), who interviewed me live for 40 seconds.


Afterward, she said, “Two million people just heard you.”

The 2009 World Series ball was on sale for $30, ball cube included:


The ball has a nice logo, in my opinion. I like that the words “WORLD SERIES” are large, and that the words “Fall Classic” appear beneath the MLB logo. (Have those words ever appeared on the ball before? I’m not sure.)

During the four hours I spent outside Yankee Stadium, only two people offered (read: tried to sell) me a ticket. The first was a shady-looking scalper who said he could get me a ticket “for six.”

“Six what?” I asked. (Six BP balls?)

“Six hundred,” he said.


The second guy was a Yankee employee — one of those guys who stand outside with those signs that say “How May I Help You?” — who said he had a friend who was selling bleacher tickets for $550.

(Wow, what a bargain! Really?! Does your friend take cash?!)

When I told him that was way beyond my price range, he said, “I know a guy who can walk you in for two-fifty. Then you’re on your own. Standing room only.”

(How about I take a photo of you and report you? Unless you let me in for twenty bucks.)

It was 5pm. The gates were opening. People were pouring out of the subway and into the stadium:


I lingered for another half-hour. I had $200 on me and I was still willing to spend it on a real ticket. I figured I still had the Phillies’ portion of batting practice — if I could somehow get inside — but it wasn’t meant to be. Some random rent-a-cop saw my sign and told me that it’s illegal to solicit tickets on stadium property. (Oh yeah?! Well, it should be illegal for you to…nevermind.) So I put my sign in the nearest trash can and headed back to the subway.


Someday I’m going to be rich and/or famous and I won’t need to deal with this B.S.

(Let’s go Padres!)


  1. puckcollector@optonline.net

    I had a dream last night that you and I were at the WS. I ran into you in the bleacher concourse. You managed to get 6, and i believe i had 6 as well, including a MONSTER hr by Johny Damon that bounced in the bleacher concourse, then rolled into a mens bathroom, where i picked it up. The logo on the ball was different though. It was a dark blue stamp, and the design was like the design they have for opening day every year

  2. mjmargot@verizon.net

    Zack, The Philadelphia Inquirer has a huge pic of you at the stadium and a nice size article. Page C13. Hope u make down here to philly. We’ll b snagging at game 4. Good Luck

  3. zackhample

    Interesting. Twelve combined balls for the two of us at a World Series game (at Yankee Stadium!) would be pretty sweet.

    Cool! I’m supposed to receive a hard copy in the mail next week. Not sure if I’ll be able to make it for Game 4. I still don’t know what’s happening.

    Whoops, looks like it’s already gone.

  4. bradfordbatboy@gmail.com

    You didn’t get a ticket? No prob, dude; it ain’t over til it’s over. Go to Phillie and try harder. LOL

  5. zackhample

    The only way I’m going to Philly is if I already HAVE a ticket. Plus, I threw out my sign, and I don’t feel like making another. Stay tuned…

  6. 5for40

    Hey Zack, what’s up? I met you yesterday at the stadium. Not sure if you remember me but I asked to take a pic with you as you were wrapping up an interview for some paper (cant quite remember the name). I mentioned that I was going to write you an email asking for tips on snagging some balls. Anyways, don’t be that disappointed that you didnt make it into the game. Don’t get me wrong the game was great but a little disappointing from a snagging perspective. I managed to snag 3 balls (2 were homers caught on the fly and 1 was thrown to me by Mark Malancon) which was awesome but all 3 balls were regular balls (not even 1 inaugural season)…I don’t think they were using any World Series balls. I even asked some other people who managed to get balls and they all said they got regular balls too. By the way it was beyond crowded inside so it definitely was not the ideal conditions for snagging. Anyways it was a pleasure to meet you. I hope to run into you at a game in the future.


  7. zackhample

    Good to hear from you, and hell yeah, I totally remember you. I mean…I remember your face about 70 percent, but I remember meeting you and talking to you 100 percent, if that makes sense, so the next time I run into you, I hope you’ll forgive me if it takes me two seconds to put it all together. Glad to hear that you were able to get a few baseballs. I’m not surprised that it was packed, nor am I surprised to hear that regular balls were being used during BP. That’s usually how it is at the World Series, which is a real shame in my opinion. Teams could really get more fans out to the stadiums earlier if it were known in advance that special balls were going to be used. MLB gets it right during BP before the Home Run Derby.

  8. 47cardsfan

    Hey Zack,
    If you want to get world series tickets at a cheaper price, go to stubhub on the day of the game, last week SRO tix were $500 for tonights game and now you can get actual seats for $275 being the cheapest as of now. If you plan on going to philly tomorow, i would definatly check stubhub during the day tomorow.

  9. randyfan36

    Hi Zack,
    You know, when I became a true Cubs fan, I tried to immerse myself with baseball knowledge. Your book taught me most of what I know now. I love your sense of humor and wit. I actually think I’m starting to write like you!

    The top picture cracks me up. You look REAL happy to be in NY!
    Good luck with getting a ticket for Game 4 or 5!

  10. zackhample

    It’s all about Heath Bell. I will root my *** off for the Padres as long as that gentleman is on the team.

    Thanks for the heads-up.

    Thanks SO much! Wow. That’s the best thing a writer can possibly hear (with the exception of an invitation to appear on “Oprah”).

  11. matttan7

    So you didn’t get into the game, Zack. Oh man that’s tough luck. I feel bad that you didn’t get inside Yankee Stadium. Looks like no one wanted to give up their seats or admission. The police can be such a pain in the you know what sometimes. It’s best not to argue with them.

    Anyways, keep up the great work on your journal.


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