Donate money. Win prizes.

You know how I’ve been raising money for charity for the last three seasons? Well, I’m going to be doing it again in 2012, so for those of you who already know the drill and feel like contributing, here’s the direct link to make a new pledge. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, the charity is called Pitch In For Baseball, and it provides baseball and softball equipment to underprivileged kids all over the world. Quite simply, I’ve been getting people to pledge money for every ball that I snag over the course of the MLB season, and by the time the World Series ends, the money really adds up. Click here to read more about it on my website.

Now, about those prizes . . .

A friend of mine (who wishes to remain anonymous) recently mailed me two random/awesome pieces of memorabilia. He suggested that I give them away as prizes after the season to people who donate money. Let me show you the items, and then I’ll explain how it’s going to work. Here’s the first one — a ball signed by Edgardo Alfonzo . . .

. . . . but not ANY old ball. This was Alfonzo’s 6th home run of the 2004 season, and as you can kinda see, it comes with a ticket from the game. My friend caught this ball. Here’s another photo of it from the other side:

The other piece of memorabilia is a used/signed bat by Alfonzo — not the actual bat that hit the home run, but still pretty cool. Here’s a photo of it . . .

. . . and here’s a closer look:

Check out Fonzy’s career stats on He played 12 seasons, collected more than 1,500 hits, was an All-Star in 2000, and once went 6-for-6 with three homers — in a single game! Not too shabby.

Anyway, here’s how prize/raffle situation is going to work . . .

For every penny per ball that you donate to my fundraiser in 2012, you’ll get your name thrown into the hat. (Or box. Or whatever container I end up using.) In other words, if you donate five cents per ball, your name will be in there on five different slips of paper. Ten cents per ball equals ten slips of paper. And so on. The way I see it, it wouldn’t be fair for someone who donates one penny per ball to have the same chance of winning as someone who donates a dollar per ball.

I’ve never done anything like this, so I’m open to suggestions. Should I bundle the Alfonzo items as one prize, or should they be kept separate? Perhaps I’ll throw in a signed copy of The Baseball as a prize. Perhaps someone else will donate something that can be offered.

Note that simply pledging money will not get you into the drawing; only the people who actually donate money at the end of the season will be eligible. I’m thinking that the cut-off for donations will be December 1, 2012. That’ll give everyone a full month to settle up with Pitch In For Baseball after the World Series. Then I’ll start giving away the prizes. Whoever’s name is picked first will get first choice — and will NOT be eligible to win another prize.

Again, this is just how I’m envisioning it, so talk to me. Leave a comment and speak your mind. If there are conflicting opinions, I’ll attempt to take a vote, but ultimately I have the final say. This is meant to be fun so let’s play around with the idea and raise lots of money in the process.


Here’s another prize — a ticket stub from the Opening Series in Japan . . .

. . . and you’ll receive it in this envelope.


On 7/2/12 at LeLacheur Park, I got my hands on two Dom Dimaggio Bobbleheads, and I’ve decided to give them both away. Each one will be a separate prize. Here’s what they look like:


If you donate money, you’ll be eligible to win this amazing Bernie Williams compact disc (brought to you by Kraft) titled “The Journey Within” . . .

. . . but if you’re one of those miserable human beings that doesn’t like music, then perhaps you’ll prefer this authentic signature of Hall of Famer Billy Herman:

More prizes coming soon, perhaps . . .


  1. gedmaniac

    I like the idea of people adding donations to the list of prizes. I think I speak for a lot of your readers when I say I collect baseball-related stuff at a possibly unhealthy rate, and wouldn’t mind parting with one or a few things for a good cause.

  2. Luke Van Hollebeke

    So do we need to donate online? If so, I don’t think I can do that because I don’t have a credit card…

  3. Zack Hample

    Sounds great, and hey, please sign me up for your charity. I’d like to pledge 8 cents per ball in honor of Cal Ripken Jr. (For real.)

    Ha, I think lots of us can relate. Thanks very much for (maybe) being willing to part with some of it.

    No, you can mail a check to Pitch In For Baseball at the end of the season. If that doesn’t work, let me know. We might be able to think of another way.

    You’re trouble. Thanks in advance for whatever you can offer.

    If and when people donate more prizes, I’ll post photos here, so stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, I’m leaving for the airport (FOR MY FLIGHT TO JAPAN!!!) in half an hour.

  4. Ben S

    Hey Zack,
    It would be awesome if you could check out my charity, Cards2Kids ( We wouldn’t be asking for $$; just sports cards! I know many ballhawks collect or used to collect cards, so even if you could make one post about it, it would be greatly appreciated! Email me at if you have any further questions. Thanks!!

  5. ryan

    whats up zack give the two items away separate. dont bundle them together, look at it like a first and second place. also more people would have a chance to win something not just one person. your the man keep it up. Ryan # 19

  6. Skim

    I like the idea of prizes; it gives people more incentive to donate money to your charity. If you are getting more prizes, I actually suggest putting the ball and bat together since they are both relating to Edgardo Alfonzo. Again, that’s only if you get more prizes to give away.

  7. JacobResnick

    Any updates on those spray painted baseballs you told us about a while back?

    BTW, You guys can watch me on Mets Kids Clubhouse, which airs on Sunday, April 1st on SNY

  8. Ben Weil

    I like the way you described the idea. Do it your way. And give the prizes separate.

  9. Zack Hample

    Whoa! Awesome. I’m going to comb through it when I have a bit more time. (I’m in Tokyo now, and my sister is lovingly nagging me to get ready for the day.)

    BEN S-
    Ditto. Sounds like a great cause.

    Thanks for weighing in.

    Hmm, that’s an interesting take on it.

    I don’t think they have SNY in Japan, but that’s awesome that you’re gonna be on. Can’t wait to see you again and hear all about it (and maybe see it on the jumbotron at Citi).

    I understand, but just so you know, you can give stuff other than money to the charity. If you have any baseball equipment lying around that you don’t need, you can send it to them.


    How would you feel if I donate one of my Tokyo Dome “Opening Series” ticket stubs to the prize pool?

  10. jere80

    “How would you feel if I donate one of my Tokyo Dome “Opening Series” ticket stubs to the prize pool?”

    Yes! I really think everybody who has extra should add to the pot, to the point where there’s a huge chance a donor will get a prize, and it’ll become like some sort of crazy Secret Santa thing. While getting more people to donate. (Not that you should give something just because you can get something–but I feel like it WOULD pull more people in to donate to the cause.)

  11. Trevor Parrent

    Zack if you have any time in your crazy world would you answer this question please . What gate opens first at turner field and what players are the best to get balls from on the braves and phillies .

  12. Zack Hample

    Well, I *am* going to offer a Tokyo Dome ticket as a prize . . . and when I find a few extra minutes to spare, I’ll scan it and post it here.

    I saw your question about the gates on another entry (forget which one) and answered you there. Basically . . . left-center field is the gate I’ve used at Turner. As for the players, go for Livan Hernandez. He’s as generous with baseballs as anyone.

  13. navi

    hey zack ive been reading ur blog and stuff since april and ur the ballhawk of ballhawks! so like we send a check to the pitch in 4 baseball charity wats the adress?

  14. navi

    yeah zack thanks for ur feedback and like do u have to be a specific age or can we use our parents checks with permission?

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