Book update No. 15 — change of scenery

I haven’t been getting out much lately. The book has completely taken over my life. I’ve taken three days off from it since December 16th, and as I mentioned last week on Twitter, I survived a stretch of voluntary home confinement that reached 153 consecutive hours. 

Well, today, at the suggestion of my girlfriend, I took my laptop up to the roofdeck and did some work there — and of course there’s photographic documentation:
I would’ve stayed longer, but it was a bit cold (56 degrees) and windy.
The book itself is coming along — not as fast as I’d hoped, but it’s getting there. Overall, I’m up to 61,194 words. Watching Baseball Smarter was about 64,000, and I still have a long way to go on the new one, so it’ll end up being considerably longer. Part Three (the how-to-snag portion of the new book) is currently up to 13,281 words. That’s the part I’m working on now. I recently finished a section called “Foul Ball Theory,” and now I’m trying to plow through a section about catching game home run balls. I was hoping to finish Part Three by Opening Day, but there’s no way that’s gonna happen. Even when I do finish that part of the book, I’ll still need to write a few more chapters that I skipped earlier. The whole thing is supposed to be done and totally edited by July 15th. (Ha.)
In other book news, I recently had two new baseball books sent to me by friends. The first is called The Baseball Codes by Jason Turbow, and the second (which hasn’t officially been released yet) is Rickwood Field by Allen Barra. Check ’em out:
I’m so ridiculously busy with my own writing these days that I don’t have time to read anyone else’s, but I did skim through both of these books, and I read a few sections, and I liked what I saw. If you own a copy of Watching Baseball  

unwritten_rules.JPGSmarter, then you know I have a two-page section in Chapter 9 called “Unwritten Rules.” (I’m pointing to it in the photo on the right.) Well, The Baseball Codes is basically a whole book about guys breaking those rules, and it’s filled with colorful stories and quotes. Rickwood Field has a lot of great historical stuff. Yes, it’s a minor league ballpark, but it was also home to several Negro League teams and for major league Spring Training back in the day. Some of the biggest names in baseball history (Babe Ruth, Satchel Paige, Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Honus Wagner, Hank Aaron, etc.) played there, and there are some amazing stories about these players that I’d never heard. So…if you’re looking for an interesting read, you might want to pick up these books. And when I finally finish writing mine, I’ll be digging back into them.



    Nice view up on the roof.have you tried to catch a ball dropped from the roof yet? Letterman did it i think. Padreleigh get healthy,dont eat the fish.I saw twitpic,#1 ballhawk SD? padreleigh you are #2.lets see who gets to 100 first..HAAAAA…Zack is #3 mlballhawk is #4.


    Whoa, you’ve done so much work so far. Kudos to you! Amazing focus, Zack.

  3. Txbaseballfan

    You know what they say, “All work and no play……”. Just don’t start typing in random shapes and you’ll be fine! Great update, love the pic! I’m really digging the updates. Kind of a “behind-the-scenes” in writing a book. I’ve never known anyone before that’s written a book, so this is cool for me! Thanks for the book recommendations too, both will be on my bookshelf in the near future. Keep it up!

  4. boblheader

    I got the Baseball Codes book here at work … I’m reading it right now. My wife last night asked me is his real name is Turbow (Easy turbo – i bet he gets that all the time) Anyway, I love your updates. God luck with the juggle of book and snagging in a few weeks.

    Phill in Utah (@pjmorgan11)

  5. bigappleblogger

    Do you read The Week? If you don’t there was a very cool article about cheating in baseball, I think you should check it out. Another reference you would like is “Play Ball! (an all star lineup of baseball cartoons)” it’s got some good cartoons you can use , including one by my dad. I think you should check it out.

    -milo krimstein

  6. nymetsgrrl94

    I just got ‘The Baseball Codes’. I started reading it but haven’t gotten too far. Just as your life has been taken over by the book, mine has been consumed by school and softball. Of course, you will get a reward at the end of your work. I’m definitely excited for your book to be finished and then come out.

  7. zackhample

    Is this your new email address? I like it. Anyway, no, I never tried to catch a ball dropped from the roof. The members of the board in my building don’t even want to let me meet up there with my writing group; I don’t think they’d be too happy to learn that objects are being dropped off the edge.


    Cool, glad to hear that these updates are being appreciated.

    Ha, I have no idea if it’s his real name. It didn’t even occur to me until you left this comment mentioning it.

    I do not read “The Week.” What is it, a magazine?

    I wish I could play some softball. The school part…I can do without.

  8. yankees42294

    this is a little off topic but does anyone know where i can get dugout boxes for the twins target field? , because im planning a trip there and id like to get those seats

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