Revoke THIS!

My 2012 season is officially in jeopardy:

As of this moment, I’m officially forbidden from driving. Here’s how it happened:

1) While driving back from Citizens Bank Park on April 15, 2011, I had to stop at a police checkpoint in Times Square. “This’ll be easy,” I thought. “They’re obviously looking for drunk drivers, and I don’t drink.”

2) I was given a ticket for (supposedly) not having insurance. The fact is . . . I actually DID have insurance; I just didn’t have the paperwork to prove it. It was my mom’s car. The insurance card in the glove compartment had expired FOUR DAYS EARLIER, and we’d neglected to replace it.

3) The officer wrote my old address on the ticket because THAT was the address on appeared on my driver’s license.

4) New York State mailed me a summons to appear in court, and whaddaya know, I never received it. (My court date, BTW, was September 16th. Look where I was instead. Heh. Oopsie.)

5) New York State got very angry when I didn’t show up in court; governor Andrew M. Cuomo decided not to let me drive.

6) $1,500 lawyer fee.

7) Hample Jinx for New York State?

Good thing I don’t need to drive to the Opening Series in Japan, but seriously, if this doesn’t get resolved soon, it’s gonna be tough for me to get to Camden Yards and Nationals Park.


  1. Tim

    Worst case, take the train or a bus! I still don’t know how you can’t get that resolved if it was a simple misunderstanding!

  2. connor

    I think you should still visit every ML stadium this year…just take advantage of the greyhound bus system!

  3. Leigh Barratt

    Dude, when you move, you’re supposed to update your address with the DMV on your license, right? Man, it was like the perfect storm of things happening to get where you are. I’m sure you’ll get it all straightened out. Just explain everything to the judge and you shall be free!

  4. Avi M (@2131andBeyond)

    Boltbus and Megabus BOTH run from NYC to Baltimore for cheaper than you’d pay in gas/toll prices to drive down, especially booked in advance. Any questions about locations in Baltimore and I can help…all of the stops are near Baltimore public transport (some of which is FREE) as well, so shouldn’t be any problem.

  5. Donny in Houston

    Like Leigh pointed out, this one pretty much falls on you. Sure, they could have been a little more lenient and told you that since it was only four days expired to get an updated card and let you go with a warning, but a LOT of people just get insurance long enough to get a card before canceling it. Cops are on to that scheme so they usually ticket everyone with any kind of discrepancy with their insurance since it’s easy and usually free (minus your time) to either fax in proof of insurance or take it on your court date and have the ticket dropped. When they sent the info to the wrong address, that’s all Hample right there.

    Come on, man. You know this stuff. If you’re going to put the Hample jinx on anyone, put it on yourself. The police were just doing their job. It’s up to them to give “financial incentive” to those without real insurance in order to protect those of us who do.

  6. Todd A

    Hey Zack – I had the same thing happen here in CA. I had expired proof in the car, but had the up-to-date one at home. I got a $7-800 ticket in the mail, but went in and showed I had insurance at the time of the ticket and ended up with just a $10 court fee. I hope it works out for you in the same way. If not and you make it out to Oak/SF again, you can count on a ride from me.

  7. jgk

    Zack, i could swear i’ve told you the story of how i got to spend a night in jail once–
    because (ultimately). . .
    i had failed to update my address with the DMV (yes, it also involved the dizzy drunken-slut girlfriend {not as much fun as you might think}. . .)
    Haven’t you learned ANYTHING from my mistakes?
    ps: be glad you didn’t find out by getting stopped while “driving without a valid license to operate a motor vehicle”, and then get put in a cell to be buggered all night by winos. . .

  8. mlblogsbigglovebob

    Somewhere Gustavo Chacin is sipping tequila and chuckling heartily. Seriously, in Minnesota we have what are called hearing officers and they can take care of things like this. Some locations you need an appointment and some are walk in. You can see them and show them proof and they can make a judgement. For example, I got a ticket for having no front license plate while I was parked downtown. It was an $80 tag. The plate had been knocked off in a little accident some time prior. I just had a cop buddy print me off the accident report and I brought that in and they knocked the fine down to $10. I would look into seeing a hearing officer.
    Big Glove Bob

  9. mlballhawk

    I am not sure I totally get #6 ….. does it mean you have paid $1500 in lawyer fees? and if you are paying a lawyer that much wouldn’t it have been easier and CHEAPER to just pay the $750?

    Ultimately I guess it’s gonna be an expensive lesson either way!

  10. Hooksfan

    Zack, as Leigh and Don pointed out this one does fall on you. Since you failed to submit your correct address to the DMV when you moved the summons went to the address that was listed on your drivers license. That explains why you never received it. So the only one that you can put a Hample Jinx on is yourself.

  11. Andrew Meeusen

    Wow… you guys are all just really mean-spirited, aren’t you? I’m sure Zack recognizes his own part in this, but even so, doesn’t it seem just a bit unfair to suspend someone’s license for a full year just for failing to show proof of insurance? It’s another in a long line of examples of how heavy-handed over-regulating is hurting this country. Not to mention how unfair it is to criticize Zack for being understandably unhappy at the situation – let alone at the stupid law itself. If I, or any one of you, were in the same predicament, we’d all be angry and venting our frustrations in the best ways we know how. For Zack, it’s the blog.
    Zack, sorry about the penalties. I hope that you can get the matter squared away before the season starts. If nothing else, perhaps the restricted use license will let you drive to the nearby ballparks. Good luck!

  12. hooksfan

    Andrew, not being mean-spirited. Just pointing out that fact that this is a problem that Zack for a lack of better words created. If he would have update his address with the DMV he would have gotten the summons at his current residence. So carrying proof of valid insurance is stupid? Having a driver’s license and being able to drive is not a right…it’s a privilege. With that privilege also comes responsibility to follow the laws.

  13. Zack Hample

    Dear everyone who thinks I’m a jerk-
    I know I messed up, but I’m still pissed about this whole situation, okay? Now, to answer a few of the rest of you . . .

    Charles B-
    That seriously made me laugh. Thank you.

    I really appreciate your offer to explain things to me. Hopefully I won’t need to take you up on it, but it’s good to know that I have you on my side. (If Tim tries to talk you out of helping me, you know what to do, ha ha ha.)

    If I were to pay the $750 fine, I’d still lose my license for an undetermined period of time, and I’d also have this very bad blemish on my record. The lawyer is pretty sure he can get the whole thing wiped clean and get my license back before Opening Day.

  14. mlballhawk

    It’s a traffic citation not a felony conviction! Come on Zack, you aren’t the first to screw up in this manner and definitely won’t be the last!
    From the way I read it your license is currently suspended and if you paid the $750 it would have been done and you get a little notch on your DRIVING record.

    Guess you will just have to write one more book this summer!

    Good luck with it and I am sure I will see you at some point this summer!

  15. Donny in Houston

    Andrew, the law in question is not an example of how heavy-handed over-regulating is hurting this country. If anything, it’s an example of something the government is getting right. You have obviously not been in an accident with an uninsured driver. It’s a huge pain in the butt. First off, you are stuck paying your own deductible for an accident that you caused. Then you have to take the uninsured clown to court to sue him for all the damage that he caused, which you will easily win but still have to take time off of work for and battle the county courts which are a nightmare. THEN, even though you win a judgment, you have to actually collect from someone who is apparently so broke or so self centered that they drive without insurance in the first place. AND THEN….. Your insurance rate actually goes UP while the jack wagon without insurance still pays nothing.
    So when all is said and done, you spend a ton of time, a ton of money, a ton of aggravation, and you still end up with your insurance rate going up. So if the government makes some laws that are designed to give incentive for folks to actually follow the law, meaning having AT LEAST liability insurance on their vehicle and the ones they happen to hit, then I don’t look at that as heavy-handedness, I look at it as the government actually doing what it is supposed to do.
    By calling Zack out, I’m not being mean spirited. I’m just not letting him get off by passing the blame and Hample Jinx on to an entity that was not at fault. This wasn’t the state police being a big meanie and picking on poor little Zack for sneaking into a seat in the field boxes. They were enforcing a law designed to protect the people from uninsured drivers. Life is not about surrounding yourself with “yes men” who will agree with everything you say. Sometimes, you need to have your friends call BS.

  16. kslo69

    Jack Wagon. Nice. I’ll have to remember that one. I’m just curious Zack, What would be the expected outcome of a jinx on the NY DMV?

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