Several months ago, when word was first spreading about my new book, I heard from a guy named Jay Goldberg, who offered to host a book event for me at a place called the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse.
I’d never heard of it, so I checked out the website and ran it past my publicist. I had no idea what to think. Who the hell was this guy? Was he planning to charge me to use his space? What did he hope to get out of it?
Long story short: Jay is awesome. He’s a retired sports agent and a diehard baseball fan. He hosts regular book events at his baseball-themed store — the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse — and he hosted one for me last night.
Here’s a look at the Clubhouse from the street. It’s located at 67 East 11th Street in New York City:
Here’s a better look at the entrance:
In the photo above, do you see the little table in the window on the right? I’m going to show you a close-up of that in just a bit, but for now, check out the interior of the Clubhouse:
Normally there are baseball books on the bleacher benches, but Jay had moved them to make room for people to sit.
Here’s another photo of the interior:
In the photo above, do you see what’s perched between the two green chairs?
Here’s a closer look:
It’s a voice recorder/microphone (sitting on top of a game-used base from Shea Stadium). The plan for the evening was for Jay to ask me questions for half an hour, and then for me to continue the Q&A session with the audience — and best of all, the whole thing was going to be recorded as a podcast.
Okay, let’s go back to that table in the window. Look what was on it:
Do you see the baseball on the lower right?
Jay has dozens of “novelty” baseballs for sale at the Clubhouse. Here are a few:
By 7pm, the Clubhouse was starting to fill up…
…and by the end of the evening, there were people standing in the doorway and spilling out onto the sidewalk. I didn’t invite that many friends because I’d heard that space was limited, but according to Jay, we still managed to draw a record crowd.
Jay was an excellent host. He asked me interesting questions and then allowed me answer them in great detail. In fact, we got to cover so much stuff that we used up the full hour-long time slot for the podcast, and then I still took more questions from the audience. It was a beautiful evening.
Then I signed some books:
Sorry for the teeny photos, but they turned out really blurry, so this is all you get.
Jay and I got a photo together at the end of the event…
If you want to listen to the podcast from last night’s event, click here. And if you want to talk baseball with a truly great guy, visit the Clubhouse in person and look for Jay. Tell him Zack Hample sent you.
I don’t have any other book events planned for New York City, but I have a big one scheduled at the Free Library of Philadelphia in July. I’m not planning an official book tour, but get this: I’ve been studying the MLB schedule and planning some trips (nothing’s set yet) and trying to swing it so that I’ll visit all 30 stadiums this season.