8/29/11 at Citi Field

For a doubleheader, the day was astonishingly uneventful, in part because Citi Field opened just 60 minutes early. (Boooo!!!) During the brief portion of batting practice that I was privileged to see, I got one ball, thrown by Marlins bullpen coach Reid Cornelius in right field. Here’s what it looked like out there:

I headed to the home-plate end of the Marlins’ dugout just before BP ended…

…and got another ball from 3rd base coach Joey Espada.

When Mets starter R.A. Dickey began warming up 20 minutes later, I wandered out to right-center field and got a ball from pitching coach Dan Warthen. Here he is just before throwing it to me:

This was my view during the 1st game:

My mom showed up in the 8th inning.
We went downstairs in the 9th inning.
The Mets won, 2-1.
I got my 4th ball of the day from home plate umpire Cory Blaser.
Then I got a photo with my mom:

This was our view at the end of the 2nd game:

The Mets won, 5-1.
The Marlins are really bad.
Jack McKeon looks funny when he argues with the umps.
The End.


• 4 balls at this game (three pictured here because I gave one to a kid on my way out of the stadium)

• 850 balls in 102 games this season = 8.33333333 balls per game.

• 763 consecutive games with at least one ball

• 288 consecutive games with at least two balls

• 5,512 total balls


(I’m raising money again this season for Pitch In For Baseball, a non-profit charity that provides baseball equipment to underprivileged kids all over the world. Click here to learn more.)

• 56 donors

• $7.12 pledged per ball (if you add up all the pledges)

• $28.48 raised at this game

• $6,052.00 raised this season


  1. mlblogsfishfry55

    Jack McKeon can still run well considering he’s 80. Speaking of umps, did anybody see Joe West throw out Davey Johnson from 3rd base while Johnson was arguing with the home plate umpire? That guy gets on my nerves, he’s always makes calls outside his jurisdiction.

  2. briandrum

    Shortest entry ever? I think so! :-) Then again, you were at Citi Field…watching the Mets….Probably not too much to write home about (No pun intended) anyway…

  3. Michael

    So you counted the double header as one game here? Just curious, I was at the single admission double header in Miami and everyone I talked to said it should count as two games, even though I never left the stadium.

  4. Todd (HI)

    Just for clarification and partly out of curiousity – You attended two games on a single admission and got four balls during the first game (ending with the umpire ball) and none during the second game? Did you not officially attend two separate baseball games and for stat purposes should this not be reflected?

  5. Andrew

    I was there as well. Why did citi open so late and also citi field is the worst for giving out balls. And how did u get down to to third base side when u didnt have a tix. security is really tight. thanks

  6. n

    I totally agree…you got all four balls during the first game, the last of which being an umpire walk-off ball. You didn’t get anything between that and the second game, during the second game, or after the second game, so the STREAK IS OVER.

  7. Brendan Adams

    Hey Zack you are my idol! I watched just about everyone of your YouTube videos yesterday! I love the “To Tell the Truth” one haha! By the way I’m 14 and would like to meet you at SAFECO Field next season if you go there! I made the glove trick and it works and I can’t wait to use it!

  8. Bibby

    Everybody calm down. Streak’s not over. He never left the stadium (!), so I don’t think it matters that he didn’t get more balls during the second part of the day. That’s just my shiny two cents. : P

  9. n

    Nope…he says “X amount of GAMES with at least 1 ball”…he went to two games, and only got balls at the first. Streak=OVER. I don’t see how anyone can make a logical arguement otherwise. Sorry.

  10. Chasicle

    He counts the home run derby as a game, so I don’t see that the definition of a “game” is set. A double header when he didn’t leave can very well be counted as a single “game.” Who’s to say the umpire ball didn’t count toward the second game? He got it AFTER the 1st game. When does the first game officially end and the second game officially start? It’s not like his streak is a science. If he wants to count it as one game, great. If you have a problem with it, get over it.

  11. Chasicle

    Further, batting practice before the 1st game was really batting practice for BOTH games. Therefore one can argue that the balls he snagged during BP could have been counted toward one or the other.

  12. n

    The umpire ball was received when the umpires were leaving the field after the first game, so it counts towards the first game. If he had gotten a ball from them as they came out for the second game, you’d have an arguement. Maybe he can put an * on his “record”…

  13. n

    And, I’d bet you anything that if he hadn’t cought a ball during the HR derby, he wouldn’t have counted it as a “game”…

  14. Zack Hample

    I’ve always counted single-admission doubleheaders as ONE game. I also count rainouts (at which no pitches are even thrown) as games. Basically, every time I set foot inside a stadium, it’s “one game.” Sorry for not clarifying in the entry, but this is how it’s always been.

  15. mlblogsbigglovebob

    Zack’s methodology has never changed he has always counted the the single admission doubleheader as one game. It is HIS streak and therefore he can decide what methodology to use. He has broadcast how he counts games. Now, if you want to argue semantics and say that the standings reflect that two games were played, you are more than welcome to do that. When you get your OWN streak, use whatever methodology you choose.

    And do people really read a ballhawk’s silly blog so carefully and root for his failure and spend their precious time writing blog replies to try and tear him down? It may be time for some people to stand in front of a mirror and start asking themselves some tough questions.

    Big Glove Bob

  16. Skim

    Hey Zack the glove trick was great at Citi Field last night. Security didn’t even notice and the players and fans were watching. My sharpie fell out a couple of times but it worked. I got 6 balls! How do you get balls from pitchers and umpires after the game at Citi Field? And Lineup Cards?

  17. Tom

    Hi Zack – I’m planning to go to Camden Yards for a game during O’s final homestand. I understand from reading your past blogs about Camden Yards that season ticket holders get into any part of the stadium 2 hours before game time, while non-season tickets holders are limited to the Bleachers and Flag Court for the first 30 minutes. If I buy someone’s season ticket on StubHub or ebay, I assume I can get full access to the stadium for those first 30 minutes? Is there any way to know if you are buying a season ticket or not when you buy through StubHub? In some cases, people on ebay mention they are season tickets, and you can ask questions of the seller, but I don’t see that ability on StubHub. Any idea what on the ticket makes it clear it is a season ticket? Any other suggestions? Thank you for your input on this! – Tom

  18. Jerry Shaw

    Zack, keep up your great work for those kids. It is great that you raise money to help them like that. I tell you folks, Zack helps out more than you think. He does a lot he doesn’t even talk about.
    I know this for a fact. Thank you Zack, you really made my day.
    Jerry- Aeros fan.

  19. Skim

    Zack, I have a challenge for you. If you can, go to a Long Island Ducks game. The challenge is to get 2 or more baseballs. I got 2 earlier this year.

  20. Zack Hample

    Just a few quick replies here because I’m pressed for time…

    Yeah. Instead of “games,” think of the streak as “trips to the stadium.” The point is: every time I’ve gone since September 1993, I’ve gotten at least one ball. Call them “games” or “events” or “outings” or whatever the hell you want.

    I like how you think.


    Lots of stadiums open later when there’s a doubleheader, but this was particularly bad, and the fans were NOT happy about it. There was some serious grumbling taking place at 2:10pm when the gates didn’t open. As for getting into various sections at Citi Field, let’s just say that I know people. :-)

    Thanks so much! Not sure when I’ll be back in Seattle, but if I plan a trip there, I’ll be sure to mention it on my blog ahead of time, so keep checking in…

    Thanks. And by the way, I’m gonna be seeing your beloved Mariners today in Oakland. And maybe also tomorrow. And maybe also on Sunday. I can’t see that team without thinking of you.

    I love you. And by the way, I might not end up at Target Field on September 17-18, as originally planned. The new date might be the 16th. Hope to see you regardless. Do you think you’ll be at all of those games?

    Congrats. As for getting stuff after the games, it works the same at Citi Field as it does in every other ballpark. It’s just a matter of where the umps enter/exit. As for the Ducks, maybe someday. I’m really just interested in Major League Baseball.

    Correct, you simply need the ticket, not an ID card or anything. StubHub tickets won’t ever work. Get actual hard tickets with the color photos of players on them, or a box office ticket that says “season plan holder” on it, and you’re golden. You might need to get them through eBay or craigslist or a ticket broker.

    Thanks for the nice comment. You’re very welcome.

  21. Jake

    @Chasicle what u said sounds nice, but its actually like saying that bp before a night game is bp for the day game the next day (when there is not batting practice) as well, so thats wrong. and the fact that the 2 games were on the same day doesnt rly make a difference. also, i agree that the streak should be regarded according to trips to the park, as opposed to individual games watched, it just makes more sense.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s