762-foot helicopter catch

It’s probably gonna take me a while to finish the full blog entry, so here’s a little preview — a photo of me catching a baseball that was dropped from 762 feet high:

Why 762 and not 750 or 1,000? Because this was one of several “test” heights. The helicopter was hovering at 900 feet . . . and the field is elevated 138 feet above sea level . . . so that’s how I know it was exactly 762.

I’ll write (a lot more) later, but for now, just know that I’m alive and well and 99 percent uninjured.


  1. Brian

    Sorry I never got back to you about me and my son coming up. I didn’t realize you were starting @ 6am! It would have been no problem for me to get up and go, but getting my son up that early is like trying to wake the dead (What a lame cliche, but it’s true!) Heard you on the radio as well after the attempt…I’ll wait to comment any further for now…

  2. jose luis chavez

    hello my name is jose luis i i need help i run into this unusual base ball head that sais dogers its an original bae ball head it says on the tags that it was made in 1918 it also has a -b-in the front and it looks in very good conditions it as 3 diferent tags on it an an aditional tag that sais made in bangladesh, please i need hel on this one.

  3. ZackWannaBe

    How early do I need to be at the gates for the cubs vs braves game tomorrow in order to be the first one in line? An hour? 1.5 hours? Thanks!

  4. Zack Hample

    No problem. It *was* insanely early in the morning, but perhaps you can make it when I come back and try to catch one from 1,000 feet.

    It sounds like you might have a very special ball, but without seeing a photo of it, I can’t tell you anything.

    That was the plan, but shortly after the helicopter rose to 1,000 feet, the stunt was called off because it was too windy. I’ll have more details about all of this in my next/full blog entry.

  5. jere80

    Maybe Jose Luis means it’s a Dodgers “hat”? Because he mentioned tags. Whatever it is, I’d like to see it!

  6. Dave

    Hey Zack,
    Congratulations! I’m glad to see you didn’t do a Joe Sprinz!

    Are you still planning a trip to Dodger Stadium this month? If so, do you know which game(s) you’ll be going to?

  7. Lee Wilson

    Rave on Zack! How high do you think it was when you spotted it? And I do remember picking All Stars objectively and feeling something was right with the world when that’s who came up.

  8. Mike

    You are the front page article on the Boston Globe’s sports section today. Also, if you saw my email, I have to review the videotapes, but it looks like 762 feet is the minimum distance that you caught that ball. Bill told me it was more like 920 feet, so I have to review the tapes and possibly do some measuring, but it’s possible the helicopter was as high as 800′ above you. I have to check that, and it might take a week or so.

  9. tdog odog

    wear that getup in the next game u go to and you ll be on baseball oddities like the phillie fan ,he got airtime, to find it click mlb.com then game highlights. Is ICHIROever going to hit#100? follow him

  10. kslo69

    As for JL’s cap, I’m thinking replica. I’m thinking they weren’t putting the date made on caps back then, and probably weren’t farming out the work back then either. No photo?

  11. writerkid

    Hey Zack – at least you’re alive to tell the story!

    By chance, do you or any readers have autograph tips for Busch Stadium? My brother’s going to try to get some tomorrow…

  12. Mike

    @Mateo. Zack switched to his regular glove after a few balls bounced out of his catchers mit. It worked.

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