Ballhawk Winning Percentage

It’s been a while since I invented a ball-snagging statistic. In 2005, I gave you Cost Per Baseball, and in 2006, I came up with Competition Factor and the Mendoza Line of Snagging.

It’s time for another: Ballhawk Winning Percentage.

Let me explain…

On 4/7/10 at Citi Field, I snagged 15 balls, and the Marlins ended up beating the Mets by the score of 7-6. I remember thinking that I had more baseballs than the winning team had runs — so in effect, *I* won the game. Fast-forward a week. I snagged eight balls on 4/15/10 at Yankee Stadium, and the Yankees beat the Angels, 6-2. Once again, I snagged more balls than the winning team scored runs. My (hypothetical) won-lost record, therefore, improved to 2-0 — and my winning percentage held steady at a perfect 1.000.


The way this stat works is simple. Basically, if you out-snag the winning team, you win, and if you don’t, you lose. It doesn’t matter how many runs the losing team scores. There’s no reward for out-snagging them, so if I’d gotten three balls at the Yankee game, that still would’ve resulted in a loss. If you end up snagging the same number of balls as the winning team, that’s a tie. Each tie counts as half a win and half a loss.

Are you with me?

My next game is going to be on May 1st — Twins versus Indians at Progressive Field. Let’s say the Twins end up winning by the score of 6-3. If I snag seven or more balls, my won-lost record will improve to 3-0. If I snag five or less, my record will fall to 2-1, and if I snag exactly six, I’ll be 2.5-0.5. That’s two and a half wins and half a loss. To calculate the winning percentage, I would simply divide 2.5 (the total number of wins) by 3 (the total number of games) for a first-place-worthy .833.

That’s pretty much it.

What do you think of this new stat? What’s your Ballhawk Winning Percentage (BWP) so far this season? Leave a comment and let everyone know.



I neglected to account for single-admission doubleheaders. After three days of consideration, here’s what I’ve come up with…

Let’s say you end up snagging five balls over the course of the day. And let’s say the winning team scores three runs in the first game and nine runs in the second game. The way it’ll work is that you’ll end up with a 1-1 record for the day. Get it? After the entire doubleheader is done, compare your final ball total to the winning score in Game 1 (win). Then compare your total to the winning score in Game 2 (loss).

I’ve attended a bunch of single-admission doubleheaders over the years, and I’ve counted each one as a single “game” in my stats. Similarly, when I’ve attended rainouts, I’ve counted those as “games.” Each trip to the stadium essentially counts as one game.

So, to recap, even though a doubleheader will leave you with just one entry in your stats, you’ll end up with two decisions for the Ballhawk Winning Percentage.


  1. baseballexperiences

    Zack- I think this new statistic is cool, but the other ball snagging statistics are more precise. Because if you go to a Yankees VS Mets game, somehow come away with like say, 10, but the yanks predictably beat the mets 14-2( i’m not even trying to be biast, it just happened), then you still lose. Still a pretty cool idea. Heres my percentage so far.
    Game 1- Me 14, Nationals 5, Mets 2. Win
    Game 2- Me 5, Yankees 5, Rangers 2. Tie
    Game 3- Me 8, Mets 3, Braves 1. Win
    So I guess thats 2.5- .5 and a 833 clip. Not bad.

  2. cookandsonbats

    You still might be right, but I’d note the Mets-Mariners had a 2-for-1 doubleheader in 2003 at Shea Stadium. It was a awesome 2-win day for the Mariners behind Jamie Moyer and Freddy Garcia.

  3. cubbies1945

    Zack, thanks for thinking of another great ballhawking stat. It isn’t really a stat that is needed, but it does add a little more fun to each day of snagging. Ok, how about this situation though. Let’s say a team has a 2 for 1 doubleheader. (No MLB teams do anymore. I think the last team to do so was the Cubs in 2003, and that was scheduled because there was a rain out the day before it was Getaway Day for Arizona.) But if you attended a 2 for 1 doubleheader would you count the number of balls you snagged in each seperate game (Like Game 1 Pregame and Postgame and then Game 2 Pregame and Postgame.) vs. each seperate game? Or would you count both games towards the the combined winning and loosing scores of the whole day? And since I brought it up, how would you count a 2 for 1 doubleheader in your consecutive games streak? Would it be 1 game or 2 games?

  4. Crazy Baseball Stuff

    Giants vs. Padres,
    Final Score: Padres:1 Giants:0,

    Ball Count: 2 (:

  5. Crazy Baseball Stuff

    P.S. Lookin forward to you doing even better than last year.

    All the best,

    The Shu


    My BWP is .333 (1-2) in games that I attended BP. Not bad I guess…
    The good news is that on Friday vs. Minnesota I snagged 5 balls, all of which had the Target Field commemorative logo on it! I bet you’ll get plenty this weekend!

    Garrett, KC


    I am 0-0 my first game is May 1st Philly vs Mets. Thanks for replying to the emails Zack

  8. bigappleblogger

    All I can say is, you’re winning pct. will be VERY HIGH. Although it’s not irregular, you won’t see a game where the winning team has around fourteen runs (I’m not saying that never happens, I’m just saying that it doesn’t happen every day) And what’s your average amount of balls per game? If you can somehow compare that to average amount of winning runs per game (does that statistic even EXIST?) then you’ll be able to see how you do. So say, If your average is 6.5 balls per game, and the average winning team ends a game with 5 runs, you’ve go the advantage. Basically, it seems like not much competition judging by your wizardry at snagging compared to some teams (ahem, mets) that just can’t cough up runs. Sorry about the long post, but I like statistics and numbers.

  9. stock350

    I attended the Royals/Mariners game last night. I collected four baseballs, and the Mariners scored three runs. Bing!

    Zack, I got one for you. ( Or maybe youve already thought of this ) But have you ever “hit” for the cycle? To “hit” for the cycle you need to collect a ball from the Third basemen, Second basemen, and the First basemen for your “hits”, and for the homerun just collect one ball from any outfielder. If you want to make it harder you can either choose to use one team or both. You decide. I wonder if its ever been done?

    Let me know!


  10. zackhample

    Yeah, that’s a good point about the level of precision. Mainly, I just created this stat for fun. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t mean much.

    Oh man, I didn’t even think of the doubleheader factor. I have a solution, and I’m going to post an addendum about it at the bottom of the actual entry.

    THE SHU-
    Haha, nice!

    Wow, congrats on all the Target Field balls. Hopefully I’ll get one tomorrow in Cleveland, or at least at some point during my trip.

    You’re welcome, and good luck tomorrow. It’s going to be really really crowded, and since Citizens Bank Park is such a joke (in terms of being homer-friendly), it will be quite an accomplishment if you end up out-snagging the winning team.

    No need to apologize. Long posts are always welcome. I averaged about nine balls per game last year, but that number was kind of inflated because I had a handful of BIG games (including 32 in Kansas City). Anyway, you might be right, but I expect to take a “loss” or two in Minnesota next week. There might not even be BP at the 12:10pm game on May 5th.


    Nicely done. I’ve never “hit” for the cycle as you described it, but I did once snag a ball in all four levels of Shea Stadium in one day. I was pretty proud of that. (Anyone who ever went to Shea knows how ridiculously high the upper deck was.) I would bet that no one else in the 45-year history of the stadium ever did that. Your cycle idea is interesting, but I think that the method of snagging balls might be a better thing to aim for. For example:

    SINGLE = getting a player to throw you a ball
    DOUBLE = using the glove trick to reel in a ball
    TRIPLE = catching a BP home run on the fly
    HOME RUN = snagging any type of game-used ball

    I’m sure I’ve done this a number of times, though I can’t remember when — but maybe there are better ways to achieve the ballhawking cycle.

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