Decorating with magazines

Here’s something that I’ve mentioned in passing but never really talked about until now: decorating with magazines. Let me start with a photo of my college dorm room, and then I’ll explain:

The semi-quick backstory is that my walls looked like crap during my first semester in college. I had two posters above my bed (which somehow made everyone think I was a pothead), and I filled in the gaps with nature photos and several other random images. The whole setup was so ill-conceived that I’m embarrassed to show anyone now, but fine . . . here’s a photo for you. Pretty bad, huh? The fact is, I loved the Beatles, enjoyed word-play, and was fascinated by aliens. (I’ve never smoked pot, and I strongly believe that it should be legalized, but that’s another discussion for another time.) Anyway, by the end of my freshman year, I’d accumulated a bunch of magazines, and I thought it might be cool to cover one little area of the wall with pictures of people and faces. So I did. And it *was* cool. At the start of my sophomore year, I ditched the posters and completely wall-papered my half of the room. (I had an awful roommate at the time — a white/wannabe thug who didn’t care for my “gay” decorations and sometimes pulled a knife on me when he came back late/drunk at night, but again, that’s another discussion for another time). Finally, when I got my own room as a junior in 1999, I decorated everywhere. As a senior the following year, I did the same thing (with all new pages), and when I moved out of my parents’ place and into a dorm-room-sized studio in 2002, I promptly started decorating with magazines yet again. It had officially become my thing — a fun/inexpensive/creative way to turn an unimpressive space into a vibrant world — and it always looked good. Check out this photo from 2003, this one from 2004, this one from 2005, this one from 2006, this one from 2007, and this one from 2008:

(UPDATE: I found my February/March 2004 copy of Budget Living, and look what’s on page 98. It’s a photo of my apartment.)

The photo above was taken on my last day in that apartment. I’ve been living in a bigger/better place ever since, but I waited until this year to decorate it with magazines. Why? Because I felt like my eyes needed a break . . . and because it was a grown-uppy space . . . and because I was trying to act my age . . . but a man’s true nature can not be thwarted, I say!

People who know me from the baseball world often ask what I do when it’s not baseball season. Meanwhile, my non-baseball acquaintances ask questions like, “How’s life been treating you?” and “What’ve you been up to?” Therefore, the purpose of this blog entry, which, I’ll admit, is absurdly long, is to share the process of decorating my new place. THIS is an example of what I do. THIS is what I’ve been up to lately. And yes, I know it’s completely insane.

Now, if you’re only here to read about baseball, then I’d suggest you bookmark this blog and come back in April. If you’re interested in seeing my apartment but don’t feel like scrolling through dozens of photos, then feel free to skip to the end. As for the rest of you, grab your favorite beverage, find a comfy seat, and come along for the ride . . .

The following photo shows the very first magazine page that I taped to the walls:

In case you’re wondering, that’s a gigantic rubber band ball (which weighed 238 pounds at the time), and yes, I have lots of VHS tapes and an Arkanoid machine and a Scrabble rug. All this stuff might be old news to some of you, but in case you’ve never seen it, welcome to my world.

Anyway, I worked from right to left and started putting the top row of pages in place:

Did you notice that they’re all magazine covers? Same deal with the top row at my old apartment.

The following day, as my decorating continued, I had some company, and as you’re about to see, I had a bunch of pages spread out on the floor:

In the photo above, which was taken on March 2, 2012, that’s my friend Andrew on the right and then-girlfriend Robin on the left. (That’s right. We broke up.) (Try to control yourselves, ladies.) (This entire entry is becoming an exposé on my life. Watch out!)

Here’s what the wall looked like on March 5th:

Did you notice the blacked-out pages in the previous two photos? Quite simply, this blog is kid-friendly, but my walls are decidedly not. My intention here is not to offend anyone, so I’ve done my best to censor the racier images.

“But Zack, what do you consider racy?”

Personally, there’s almost nothing that offends me, and if there is, I usually enjoy seeing it because I like being challenged and having my limits pushed, but in terms of this blog? Basically, if a photo wouldn’t be acceptable on American network television (or hell, on the side of an Abercrombie & Fitch bag), then I’m not showing it here. (Why we broadcast shows that glorify guns and horrific violence but not naked bodies is beyond me; humans are so dumb and uptight. I wish I were a bonobo. But I digress.) In some cases, you’ll see photos, or parts thereof, blacked out, and in other cases, they’ll merely be blurred. (In some cases, you might see a harmless photo [like the one of a guy with a baguette shoved in his mouth] that appears to be offensive from afar, so be cool, fool.) I hope this is okay.

Part of the reason why this decorating project took so long is that I meticulously cut the pages to fit around stuff. See the page below?

Look how nicely it fit around the outlets:

See the Bo Jackson image in the following photo?

Well, here’s a challenge for y’all: by the end of this entry, see how many other baseball images you can find, but may I suggest that you not list them all in one comment? Instead, I think it’d be more fun if each person names just one.

As you may have noticed in the previous photo, once I finished decorating the main portion of the wall, I started taping pages to the area that juts out on the left. Then, once I finished that, I did the same thing on the right:

Then I decorated the portion of the wall closest to the window:

Here are three bonus challenges:

1) Name all the people who appear twice (or even thrice) on the walls.
2) Name all the “replacement” images. (In some cases, I covered one page with another.)
3) I accidentally taped one image — a duplicate — to the walls twice. Find it.

On March 10th, Robin helped me by sorting all the magazine covers:

In terms of the covers, I made a point of not using the same magazine twice, and this made it easier to stay organized.

Eventually I wrapped around the VHS shelves and began covering the maroon foyer wall:

(You know what? I refuse to call it a “foyer.” That’s a stupid word that sounds way too fancy.)

A little while later, here’s what it looked like from the hallway outside my apartment:

When the, umm, maroon wall was complete . . .

. . . I started working on the toughest area in the entire apartment: the cubbies near the front door. Here I am on a ladder, trimming the rough edge off a page:

I cut pages to fit around the shelves . . .

. . . and put a whole row of milk ads in one spot, just for fun:

Look what I had to do in order to decorate the bottom cubby:

I had to sit/cram inside of it; I’m 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds and NOT flexible, so it was rather uncomfortable.

On March 18th — two and a half weeks after I began this project — I finished the cubbies and moved on to the wall beside the front door:

Here’s what was happening 20 feet away:

Robin and I were playing Scrabble, and she was taking forever to make each move. Rather than complaining, I was like, “Take all the time you want — I’ll just keep on decorating until you tell me it’s my turn,” and before I knew it, the next chunk of wall was done:

In case you’re wondering (as many people do), I put up all these pages with this type/brand of scotch tape. (Unfortunately I neglected to count, so I can only estimate that I ended up using more than 20 rolls.) Every corner of every page got taped to the wall and/or other pages, so they really stay in place. The tape shows (as many people love to point out) and guess what? I don’t care.

It was still March 18th when I taped an entire row of covers here:

My pace slowed way down after that because I had to cut a bunch of pages like this . . .

. . . to fit around the front door, but you can hardly tell from afar:

Look how I had to cut this page to fit not only around the door, but around the hinge:

Do you think that Claudia Schiffer, wherever she may have been at the time, felt a mysterious/painful twinge on the right side of her face? I hope not.

Do you think that any of these celebrities, if they somehow knew about this madness, would be interested in coming to my apartment to see it in person? That would be cool.

While decorating, I sometimes put certain pages next to each other. Here’s one example . . .

. . . and here’s another:

The cigarette ad pictured above came from an old magazine. I forget which one, but it was probably from the 1970s or 1980s. I didn’t start saving pages until 1997, but I’ve acquired some much older magazines since then.

Check out the lock on my door in the following photo:

See the hole in the following page?

I spent a long time — probably 45 minutes or more — finding the right page that would work best in that spot and then cutting it JUST right so it’d fit there:

Now, whenever I use that lock, it’s like I’m tweaking that woman’s nose — in a friendly way. I mean, she looks like she’s laughing and enjoying it, right? By the way, I *love* the photo to the left of it. The cat cracks me up, and the girl is super-cute.

Here’s another page that I trimmed to fit around a light switch . . .

. . . and here’s my ear-biting section:

Two more challenges:

1) How many other “intentional placements” can you find?
2) Guess (or count) the total number of pages.

The entire wall turned out great . . .

. . . and I wrapped it up by decorating the column-type thing next to the ugly kitchen cabinets:

Seriously, those cabinets are the worst, but I’m too cheap/lazy to have them replaced. They look like what people in the 1960s imagined the future would look like.

On March 25th, I cleaned up this mess . . .

. . . and the following day I flew to Japan.

I didn’t decorate at all for the next seven months. Why? Because it was baseball season. I attended 80 games and wrote more than 150,000 words on this blog — that’s the equivalent of two books — and had a full-time job at the Argosy and kept myself busy with things like this. Eventually, though, I found myself with lots of free time, and on October 18th, I resumed my magazine project.

I taped a thin row of pictures to the wall below these windows . . .

. . . and within a couple hours . . .

. . . that area was done:

Hmm, what next?
Ahh, yes, the kitchen counter.
I started here . . .

. . . and wrapped around the end . . .

. . . and continued along the outside:

Two days later, my apartment was an absolute mess, but I was making progress:

When I finished the side of the counter, I began taping covers up above:

My plan was to work across . . . and then down . . . and have the rows connect. I measured carefully to make sure that it would happen, and voila!

Mission accomplished.

In the photo above, there’s a picture of Mitt Romney with his face blurred out. I didn’t Photoshop it. It came that way — a clever critique.

Another thing about the photo above: do you see the open door on the right? That’s the bathroom that I’d decorated with business cards four years earlier. What can I say? I really like decorating. And hey, if you’re willing to pay me, I’ll come do it at your place.

Speaking of the bathroom door, it took quite an effort to cut the covers/pages to fit around it:

I took a quick break to admire my effort . . .

. . . and then got back to work.

I continued decorating the bathroom door . . .

. . . and eventually moved along to the wall next to it:

This is going to seem even more insane than everything else I’ve shown you, but whatever. I’m not ashamed. The uninformed call me “OCD,” but those who truly get it simply nod and smile.


Have a look and then I’ll explain:

The first thing you need to know is that I put a great deal of thought into every picture that I tape to my walls. I make sure not to have too many light or dark images clustered together, not too many black-and-whites in one area, not too many men or women, not too many kids, not too many white people, not too many sullen/heroin-addicted models, and so on. I measure each wall and each row/column and carefully plan how to make the pages fit best. I’ll admit, though, that I wasn’t nearly as strategic when I started decorating this apartment, and it shows, ever so slightly, in a few places. You probably wouldn’t notice. But I’ve noticed. And I’ve learned a lot in the process. Therefore, when I resumed this massive project in October, I organized all my pages into various categories and piles (pictured above). I’ve numbered them in the order of how often they got used, so here you go:

1) magazine covers (only for magazines not yet used)
2) pages measuring 10.25 to 10.5 inches tall
3) pages measuring 10.75 inches tall (this is the most common size)
4) people looking in various directions
5) African-Americans
6) my favorite pictures that I saved from college and my old apartment
7) sexy stuff
8) pictures with white borders
9) pages measuring 11 to 11.5 inches tall
10) pages measuring 12 inches tall
11) pages measuring 12.5 (or more) inches tall
12) pages measuring 9 inches wide (standard pages are 7.75 to 8 inches)
13) pages with partial images (good for short/narrow spaces)
14) milk ads
15) ads with solid-color backgrounds (you’ll see how these got used)
16) 3-D images (with a pair of 3-D glasses on top)
17) body parts along with closeups of noses, eyes, and mouths
18) adult ads

I also had other piles including: (a) covers of magazines that I’d already used, (b) pages that I’m saving for the next time I do this, (c) boring/filler photos for areas that never get seen, (d) boring sport photos, and (e) more that I can’t think of right now.

If I were in a rush, or if I weren’t a perfectionist with a clear vision of what I wanted, I could’ve decorated my entire apartment within a few days, or perhaps within a week — but I wasn’t rushing. I loved every minute of this project. I always had my favorite music blasting, and I often had company. It was relaxing and challenging and rewarding all at once, so I took my time. If I had a whole day to work on it and didn’t have to cut around doorways and other protruding obstacles, I could add 60 to 80 photos. If I only had a partial day (between work and bedtime, for example) and/or had to carefully trim lots of pages, I might only do 30 to 50 — and that was fine. Like I said, I wasn’t in a rush.

On October 26th, I finished the back wall of the mini-hallway . . .

. . . and moved on to my bedroom doorway:

That doorway is 17 inches wide, so I needed the nine-inch-wide pages; without them, I would’ve had to put up three skinny columns, which would’ve looked dumb. Two skinny columns side by side is the limit.

I decided not to decorate the bedroom, though it did serve a purpose:

I might do the bedroom someday, but I’ll need a lot more time and magazines.

My friend Brandon came to visit and crashed at my place for the night. He’s a videographer and had lots of editing to do, so he hung out here and worked . . .

. . . while I decorated the hallway:

The next day, I started working on this wall:

Look how much progress I’d made by the following night:

That’s when the Giants won/swept the World Series. In the photo above, Game 4 is on TV, and my friend Jeremy is sitting on the right. You might remember him from 4/21/11 at Citi Field — the day I caught Mike Nickeas’s first career home run.

On October 29th (the day that Hurricane Sandy began pounding my city), I moved a large portion of my pillow pile to the side and decorated the wall above the TV:

I have 132 pillows, to be exact (including one that was tossed from a float in a Mardi Gras parade in Louisiana), and I bought most of them in the $5 to $20 range. It’s absurd how much pillows usually cost. I lucked out and found a huge store (an hour north of the city) that sells ’em really cheap.

Here’s the page that took me longer to cut than ANY other in the entire apartment:

As you can kind of see, I had to cut around the outlet as well as two segments of the plastic tubing that covers my TV cable — all this effort for a picture that no one will ever see, except me on rare occasions when I move all the pillows to vacuum.

On October 30th, I finished the wall below the TV and had some more company:

In the photo above, that’s Robin on the far left and a high-school friend name Ben sitting across from her. He knows nothing about baseball, so you’ve probably never seen him before — but then again, I do tend to blog about THE most random stuff.

Unaware of the damage that the hurricane had caused at the Argosy, I was care-free and pumped when I finished decorating this wall . . .

. . . but I still had a long way to go. The following day (which happened to be Halloween), I laid out my remaining magazine covers . . .

. . . and chose these eight for the top row beside the window:

As it turned out, I swapped SI Kids for the cover of a different mag, but the remaining seven made the cut. Here’s they are on the wall from afar:

Later that day, my friend Jo Ann dropped by for a visit . . .

. . . and by the end of the night, that portion of the wall was done:

The next area that I decorated was a serious challenge. I’m talking about the round column in the middle of the apartment. For starters, it has a 66-inch circumference, which meant that each row would require nine pages. Multiply that by the 95-inch height of my ceiling, and I was going to need nine rows. Are you with me? I was going to need 81 pages to cover the column, and because it’s in such a prominent spot, I wanted the photos to be extra compelling.

I started by selecting nine covers for the top row. Here they are (photographed from above) on my table:

I’m not exactly “compelled” by Oprah Winfrey — everything about her puts me at risk of dying of boredom — but forget about her. The centerpiece of the column’s top row is this picture:

It’s the cover of Newsday Magazine from October 14, 1990, featuring my grandfather, Louis Cohen, at the Argosy. (He died less than three months after that photo was taken.) I placed it on that portion of the column so that whenever I’m at the kitchen sink (which is very often, in part, because I brush my teeth there twice a day), I can look up and see him. (Yes, I brush my teeth at the kitchen sink. You got a problem with that? It’s not like I piss in it. I’d rather stand there and look out at Manhattan and see the Empire State Building two miles off in the distance than cram into the bathroom and stare at myself in the mirror. Jeez. Why is that such a difficult concept for you people to grasp? I don’t spit toothpaste on my dishes, and even if I did, I have a dishwasher. See what you’re doing to me? You’re all so damn judgmental, and it’s making me defensive. Leave me alone!)

Here’s what it looked like when I worked my way down to the bottom of the column:

See how the pages are only taped on one side? Let me see if I can explain this . . .

I always try hard to make sure that the pages aren’t crooked, but on the flat portion of the walls, slight errors in straightness aren’t terribly noticeable. You see, every row of pages ultimately ends. Think of the shelves with the VHS tapes or the windows. Those are “obstacles” that interrupt the flow, so if I’m off by an eighth of an inch, who’s gonna know? On the column, however, every row wraps around and must connect with itself, so the pages *can’t* be crooked. Therefore, in putting up each new row, I initially taped one side so that I could remove and adjust the pages more easily. See what I mean? It was a real pain in the ass, but I enjoyed the challenge, and the column now looks amazing:

Did you notice the photo of the guy crouching, three rows from the top? That’s Lance Armstrong in the July/August 2002 issue of Men’s Health. The caption on the upper left says, “Rock bottom is a very peaceful place.” I wonder what he’d say now.

Do you remember when I showed all the different piles of pages, spread out on the Scrabble rug? Well, look how pile No. 15 (“ads with solid-color backgrounds”) came in handy:

That’s right, good ol’ “Roy G. Biv.” I created a rainbow, which is taped to the small cabinet doors here:

The following photo was taken on November 4th:

It shows Robin chillin’ on the window seat. Note the magazine covers atop the taller cabinet doors behind her.

The following day, the doors were nearly done:

Did you notice the old Rolling Stone cover with Jay Leno and Arsenio Hall? I love that one.

Here are the four tools that I used for this decorating project:

In addition to the scotch tape and scissors, you’re looking at a razor blade holder and a measuring tape. That’s all it took.

When I finished decorating the doors, I moved to this side of the cabinet:

Look at the effort I put in:

In case you can’t tell, I had trimmed the OK! cover so that a sliver of it covered the side edge of the cabinet door. I did this for every page on both edges on the cabinet, and IT TOOK A REALLY LONG TIME, BUT GOSH-DARN, IT LOOKS GOOD.

I didn’t finish that side of the cabinet until November 9th:

(This is why I might’ve taken a week or two to answer your emails. What’s my excuse now?)

The other side of the cabinet . . .

. . . took even longer for two reasons:

1) It extends from floor to ceiling.
2) I had to cut around several things, like this:

As I worked on the bottom edge of the inside of the cabinet door, Robin grabbed my camera and took photos like this . . .

. . . and this:

Sorry, but if I have to look at my ass, then so do you.

Remember those 3-D images that I talked about? Well, I taped two of them side by side on the cabinet and hung the glasses on them. Look closely at the following photo, and you’ll see it:

I was feeling pretty good about myself at that point; I thought I was done decorating, cleaned up the clutter, and briefly basked in the glory of my apartment:

I took photos from various spots, including this one from the area just inside the front door:

So much for being done. I mean . . . look at the kitchen! I couldn’t leave it like that.

I decided to start with the wall at the end of the counter. You can see how barren and sad it looks in the following photo, along with a few dozen pages that I’d laid out on the floor:

By the way, the heading on the page below Lance Armstrong says, “It’s 1977. Do You Know Who Your Friends Are?” That’s the year I was born. Fun stuff.

Here I am on the kitchen counter:

Did you happen to see the tweet I posted on November 17th? Now you know the context.

Let me be defensive again and state for the record that the sneakers I’m wearing in the photo above are my “indoor shoes.” I have a no-shoes rule here, but sometimes I really like the feel of sneakers on my feet, so I went out and bought a pair that I *only* wear in my apartment. Is that weird? Am I weird? Does any of this seem strange to you? Maybe it’s all completely normal. Maybe you all have indoor shoes, too, but just haven’t blogged about it.

Here’s another photo that shows my kitchen acrobatics:

That portion of the wall required just 24 pages — four columns of six — so I finished within a few hours:

Of course, I still had to decorate the back wall of the kitchen, which was tricky because there were  lots of funky angles. I started by putting a half-cover (of New York’s Best Lawyers) here:

By the end of the night, that corner of the kitchen looked like this:

Next up, I began decorating an area that no one (other than you, right now) will EVER see:

That’s where I keep the garbage can, so it’s truly hidden.

I needed extra-large (12-inch tall) magazine covers to fit here:

See the cover of McCall’s? That’s from November 1960.
See the cover of LIFE? That’s from December 1936.
(Thank you, Argosy Book Store!!)
See the cover of ESPN in between?
(Thank you, Ben Weil. D’aww!!)

I used my scissor-skills as I worked down along the air-conditioning vent, and when I reached the bottom, here’s how I cut the page to wrap around it:

Look how nicely it fits:

Am I a fan of Carly Rae Jepsen? No, and this might be hard (for those of you under the age of 16) to believe, but I didn’t realize that was her. I didn’t even know what she looked like until a friend came over and pointed her out and asked me if I’m a fan of Carly Rae Jepsen.

Now, did you notice the colorful fridge magnets? They’re arranged to spell the following:

6,459 BALLS IS

Seven years ago, I posted a short entry explaining the magnets. Here it is, in case you care.

In the photo above, did you notice that the pages below the window have partial photos? I put those there because I knew they’d be covered up:

On November 19th, I worked my way down to the bottom of the back kitchen wall . . .

. . . but I still wasn’t done. Look what remained:

I decorated that area within the next hour or two . . .

. . . but still needed three more pages to fill the narrow space beside the cabinet door:

That took 15 minutes to decorate . . .

. . . and that was it! I was done!

I photographed my apartment from just inside the front door:

Then I photographed it from the kitchen, looking back toward the front door:

Then from here . . .

. . . and here . . .

. . . and here . . .

. . . and here . . .

. . . and here:


(The rubber band ball now weighs 242 pounds.)

Here’s one final photo for you:

Home sweet home.


  1. Todd_A

    Nicely done Zack (but pic 97 could use a blackout, next to the fridge door, right above the counter)..
    I hadn’t planned on playing along, but since I’m first: Sports Pics – Babe Ruth – Red Sox uni in Pic 15.

  2. Larry Larson

    Wow Zack! I would love to do that on my room with all my old cubs vine line magizines! I saw Cal Ripken JR. ( I forgot where ) and Tim Lincicome ( or however you spell it ) and Claton Kershaw ( I think ) on the ESPN cover in the kitchen. I would guess you used about 800 magizine pages.

  3. Zack Hample

    Yikes. Thanks for letting me know. That was a tame one, all things considered. Good call on the Babe.

    “However you spell it?” C’mon, man! You’re already on the internet if you’re leaving a comment here. How hard is it to Google him?

    If you see a pic that should be censored, please email me privately.

  4. kslo69

    I’m claiming the photo of Lincecum and Kershaw. I like the photo of Anthony Hopkins as Titus Andronicus. Julie Taymor directed that film. Have you seen it?

  5. TBone

    Zack how can you afford such a big place on your salary (and the money you spend on flights and games). Seems crazy!

    How many hours do you think this whole decorating thing has taken? 100?

  6. ch1088

    I think it’s a really cool idea, Zack. There’s nothing OCD about it… If you’re going to do it, it should be done right. Just imagine what the thug is up to these days, it’ll probably put a smile on your face. That lock-photo cracked me up.

    Does the nametag on the bathroom door make it your “office”?

    As for the scavenger hunt: Doug Davis on the dining room table.

    PS: If you were a bonobo, you wouldn’t be able to ballhawk!

    PPS: What date entry is the one where you went to the Legends Seats at Yankee Stadium and took home that mountain of candy? I wanted to read it. And more importantly, did you eat all that candy?

    Ridiculously long comment over.

    – Chris

  7. James Lee (@esigs)

    Jeter 3 rows above Ripken by the front door. What’s interesting is the fact you don’t have any baseball on display in your place. I know you keep them at your mom’s place, but do you keep them all there? I only saw two bags of baseballs in your bedroom.

  8. Zack Hample

    Nice find. That’s actually Joe Torre on the April 6, 2008 cover of The Los Angeles Times Magazine.


    I’ve never seen that movie. I’m not a fan of Shakespeare, but I do like that pic.

    I guess it’s hard to claim one and not the other.

    I’ll pass on answering your first question, but as for the second, I didn’t keep track of the time, but I’m sure it look MUCH longer than 100 hours.

    Indeed there is.

    Fair enough. :-)

    Nice long comment. I appreciate everything your said. The name tags on the door were actually from my appearances on “The Tonight Show.” I took those down because of this project. Doug Davis! Yes! I never did put that one on the wall, but hey, you spotted it in one of the blog photos, so that counts. May 23, 2011. That’s when I was in the Legends area. I ate most of the candy over the next year or so. I gave the rest away to friends who came to visit.

    Jeter. Yes. I have some valuable balls tucked away in a special place here, and I have a few hundred balls from this season in plastic shopping bags in my bedroom, but that’s it. The rest are at my mom’s place. The way I see it, baseball is baseball and other stuff is other stuff. I don’t really want to be surrounded by it 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, you know?

    Here’s the list of baseball images that have been spotted so far . . .
    1) Bo Jackson (pic #9) pointed out by me in the entry
    2) Babe Ruth (pic #15) by Todd_A
    3) Lincecum/Kershaw ESPN cover (pic #93) by Larry Larson & kslo69
    4) Joe Torre LA Times cover (pic #9) by Jared
    5) Russell Martin (pic #46) and . . .
    6) Carlos Beltran (also pic #46) by Ben Zitouni
    7) Rockies Magazine (pic #64) by Max
    8) Doug Davis on the table (pic #62) by Chris
    9) Cal Ripken Jr. (pic #22) and . . .
    10) Derek Jeter (also pic #22) by James Lee

  9. Liz Merry

    Love it! I have a friend in Maine who did her bathroom in New Yorker covers. because of the moisture she had to decoupage them. It looked amazing, but wow! Your entire apartment! Clearly a lot of planning and hard work involved. Maybe an interior design magazine will do a pictorial and then you can hang those pages somewhere, too. The only ball players I could discern have already been found, so I’ll leave it to those with better eyesight and knowledge of players.

  10. Zack Hample

    Thanks, but c’mon, you know I always have some sort of plan . . .

    Is there any way that your friend could take a photo and send it to you? And then you could send it to me? I would love to see it. Don’t give me credit for doing the “entire” apartment. Remember, the bedroom is still undecorated. I forgot to mention in the entry (maybe I’ll add it) that a magazine DID come to my old place. Damn, now I have to look for it.

    It counts! That’s Tatsunori Hara.

    There are still some baseball players that haven’t been spotted.

  11. Zack Hample

    Well then.

    That’s not just any “A’s guy.” It’s Jose Canseco on the cover of the July 1989 issue of “Sport” Magazine. But hey, nice find. You have good eyes.

  12. doubleablues

    This is the first time I have visited your blog. I am speechless. Of the many questions I have for you I would have to start with this. Where did you get all of the magazines?

  13. Zack Hample

    Welcome. And thanks. I accumulated most of the mags for free over the years. Friends/family gave me a lot. I grabbed some out of random recycling bins. And so on. I also bought a bunch in the last few months for $1 apiece at a particular newsstand near my place that sells old ones for that price. And so on. It really wasn’t an expensive project.

  14. jere80

    I see Jon Papelbon under the New Undie-Leggs. It’s a B&W photo of him by Walter Iooss, Jr., at Fenway, in the Red Sox home alternate red jersey, just outside the home dugout with the Green Monster behind him. Image here: (Original uncropped color version at Getty Images here: )

    Possible intentional placements: Tommy Lee Jones with Fugitive co-star Julianne Moore above him. Giuliani with the Twin Towers to his left. A bug-eyed Bernie Mac with a woman with giant goggles of some kind above.

    By the way, this whole project is possibly the coolest thing that ever was or will be.

  15. Zack Hample

    Thanks, duuuuude, and nice job spotting Papelbon. I was wondering when someone was going to notice him. There’s another Sox player on the wall somewhere, in case you want to look for that. As for Bernie Mac, interesting thought. I actually have him there because of the guy to his right . . . because of the caption . . . which is too “offensive” for me to repeat here.

  16. jere80

    Cool, will keep looking for the other Sock. In the meantime: Under the window, Ricky Gervais (atheist) above John Lennon (“imagine no religion”), coincidence?

  17. kslo69

    Titus Andronicus is not like other Shakespeare. And with Julie Taymor directing, visual extravaganza. Highly recommended.

  18. Zack Hample

    The Gervais/Lennon connection *is* a coincidence, but hey, I like it. As for the additional baseball photos that you emailed me about, how about this? Give it ’til the end of the weekend (so that other people have a chance to look) and then unload your observant-ness on us.

    Thanks! But if I’m aware of the fact that I’m crazy, doesn’t that make me less crazy?

    Well then, I’ll consider it. Maybe I’ll find a cheap version of the movie on eBay on VHS.

  19. Mateo Fischer

    Now that I’ve finally read and observed the whole entry, I’m 1. exhausted, but I’d have to say you’ve inspired me to go through with my previous idea for decorating my dorm room. I was only thinking about it before, but now I think I’m actually going through with it. I will probably try to spot things in the magazines eventually, but right now I’m tired from the entry and a Latino concert, so I’ll probably entertain myself on the plane by going through images.

  20. Cook & Son Bats

    Is that Keith Hernandez under the TV? Bonus baseball connection, when you realized you needed to do the kitchen, you finally added the amazingly awesome Walter Mathau, who played Oscar Madison, a sports writer covering the Mets ( in The Odd Couple, and the best little league baseball coach of all-time, Morris Buttermaker (, in the Bad News Bears.

  21. jere80

    Just found a new Intentional. In the hallway: Paul Ryan next to Barack Obama.

    And I never even started listing the “people who appear twice”–here’s one to start: Keanu Reeves.

  22. Ray Burton

    Very art-nouveau Zack , I did the same thing when I was at University except I used band/concert posters from various walls/telegraph poles and covered the roof as well. Instead of a ball of elastic bands I had a beer can pyramid that reached the roof. Your decorating is far more creative whilst mine was more art-alcoholic. Fortunately , it didn`t impede my learning ability although I don`t know why. Love the hidden baseball references.

  23. Ray Burton

    Wasn`t Bernie Mac responsible for one of the Chicago Cubs curses in the infamous Bartman series against the Marlins in 2003 by prematurely calling them ” the Champions “.

  24. Zack Hample

    Deep breath. Send me photos of your door room, before and/or after the decorating takes place. Also, next time you’re in NYC, you should come see my place.

    Yes it is! But I’m missing a cable, I think, so it doesn’t work. Or maybe the monitor’s just dead. That was my actual computer when I was a kid. It was at my mom’s place, and she wanted me to get rid of it, so I took it over to my place.

    Yes, go for it. I’ve told Jere that he can also name more.

    You’re right about Keith Hernandez, but I have to draw the line and say “no credit” for Walter Matthau. If we counted everyone who’s ever had anything to do with baseball, well, maybe that’s what the Mayans were talking about when they said the world was gonna end.

    Correct about Paul Ryan. Of course, he’s next to the blurred photo of Mitt Romney. And I recently acquired a Joe Biden photo, which I may or may not put up next to Obama.

    I see, so, you’ve pretty much ALWAYS loved beer, huh? Not sure about Bernie Mac. Now I’m gonna have to look into it.

    Here’s the updated list of baseball images that people have spotted:
    1) Bo Jackson (pic #9) pointed out by me in the entry
    2) Babe Ruth (pic #15) by Todd_A
    3) Lincecum/Kershaw ESPN cover (pic #93) by Larry Larson & kslo69
    4) Joe Torre LA Times cover (pic #9) by Jared
    5) Russell Martin (pic #46) and . . .
    6) Carlos Beltran (also pic #46) by Ben Zitouni
    7) Rockies Magazine (pic #64) by Max
    8) Doug Davis on the table (pic #62) by Chris
    9) Cal Ripken Jr. (pic #22) and . . .
    10) Derek Jeter (also pic #22) by James Lee
    11) Tatsunori Hara (the thin Yomiuri Giants picture in pic #22) by Jared
    12) Jose Canseco cover (aka “A’s guy” in pic #23) by Max
    13) Jonathan Papelbon (pic #58) by Jere80
    14) Keith Hernandez (pic #58) by Cook & Son Bats

  25. jere80

    Eh, I’ll go ahead and let people keep looking for the three or four baseball ones I’ve found that I still haven’t mentioned here. I gave a pretty big clue on one of them above! (As to who it is, not where in the apartment he is.)

  26. jere80

    Okay I’ll mention this baseball one since I just found it: below and to the right of the kitchen cutout, George Brett close-up with WS ring.

  27. Ben Weil

    I’m glad you decided to do the kitchen as well. I thought it would look better, and it most certainly does. I just spent a whole damn hour reading this entry. I should’ve gotten some popcorn! Glad one of my magazines helped as well! That IS a cool one. Now, I need to come soon and examine the completed areas I have not yet seen. And I still need to figure out the magazine covers!!! Also, I’m over 16 and love Carlie Rae Jepsen! But I didn’t realize it was her either.

  28. jere80

    Manny Ramirez! The SI “Hitting Pretty” cover. How could I miss it?? Top row, left of Michael Jackson, above Pam Anderson’s blacked-out wet hooters, right there in the Bo Jackson wing.

  29. jere80

    Okay, this one has been killing me. In the shots of the cubbies, above “Milk Mustache Row,” next to the Williams sisters, we see a baseball player’s face–he’s got eye black, a hat, an 80s/early 90s mustache, and possibly a Mets-esque jersey on. This pictures screams “fake baseball player” to me. Because why would you have eye black on for a posed studio shot? Also, a player getting a full page would probably be a recognizable guy. And though this dude has a hint of Jeff Kent, Robin Yount, and basically every other MLB player from 1991, I just don’t think he’s one of ’em. And that’s why he was chosen for this ad–he had “the look.” But maybe it is a real player, I don’t know.

    Three more baseball-related ones: In the “Zack decorates the hallway” shot, above Zack’s arm, one up and one to the right of Richard Branson, there are two women in lingerie, posing as an umpire and a catcher on a ballfield.

    In the “Zack’s ass” shot, there’s a person with a seemingly spiked baseball bat, with the word “SLAYER.”

    Right to the left of the “ugly kitchen cabinets,” on that solo column, two above the Gish-era shot of Smashing Pumpkins (seen here: ), I see someone leaning on a backstop in a 3/4-sleeve baseball shirt, possibly tossing up a yellow softball. An ad for something, possibly taken at one of the softball fields in Central Park.

  30. Ben Weil

    jere- The picture that’s killing you – It’s Lenny Dykstra. And I may as well throw one of my own in here, my favorite – The starter advertisement on your door, picture 34, the best New York Met still on the payroll, drum roll please….none other than Bobby Bonilla!

  31. jere80

    Ben: Damn. Thanks. Over the days of trying to figure this out I did go through a brief Dykstra phase, but when I searched for pic of him with eye black and a mustache, it seemed he never had either so I figured it couldn’t be him. Nice call on the Bonilla… “We just chillin’…”

  32. jere80

    In the last photo, partially obscured by the second chair from the right along the wall, you’ll see the back of Johnny Damon’s head. Go up three and left four from there, and it’s a ballplayer about to field a ball as he emerged from the left side. Can’t tell who.
    The one I gave the clue to before is Yogi Berra, close-up, across from the door, on the bottom row.
    In photo 70, at the top of the cylindrical post, you’ve got the cover of “Baseball: The Magazine,” Issue #3 of 2007, with the OSUnstoppable headline.

  33. ch1088

    Some of these are things that I noticed (I’m not sure if they were mentioned – I didn’t have time to read the comments), not necessarily baseball-related: In pic 108 there’s a pitcher (possibly OSU?) on the top of the pillar, not sure if that was mentioned… In 105 you have an athlete – not baseball – but football’s own #99 Warren Sapp… In 103 you have yourself in a tub of baseballs next to your idol Cal Ripken Jr… In 102 you have doubles of Christopher Walken (who rules by the way)… What seems to be a lovely prophylactic advertisement in 101… In 26 there’s a Marlins ad but I can’t tell who is on it… In 81 the Army soldier is looking into the telescope right into the rear end of the baby?… In 92 where the garbage goes is a picture of Animal Collective (I believe), implying that band is trash?… And several pictures of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    – Chris

  34. Cook & Son Bats

    I had the same debate about the guy in the cubby. My first guess was Jeff Kent. My second was Dykstra. But I google searched both and didn’t find any eye black/’stache pictures either (like jere80). as for the player, jere80 mentioned fielding the ball, I think its Cal Ripken Jr., which would make him a repeat.

  35. Adam Davis

    This was a great idea! I’m doing a very similar decoration with MetroCards. I need a few thousand so it’s really a work in progress. Whoever wants to donate some MetroCards to me just reply and I’ll e-mail you with my address. Please don’t waste your money and send me cards with a fair amount of money on them. Just expired cards or cards with little to no money on them. Thanks!

  36. Zack Hample

    Sorry for disappearing for a few days. Been busy with a bunch of stuff.

    Of course *you* love Jepsen, but anyway, all dissing aside, you do need to come back here soon and see the rest in person.

    You’re correct about Todd Zeile. Man . . . you have good eyes. I totally forgot about that one (because it never did make it onto the walls).

    No offense.

    I was wondering why no one had claimed Manny, so thanks for being the first. As for the all the others . . . WOW!!! How much time have you spent looking at all these pics (and finding the original images online)? The guy tossing a softball is Matthew Broderick. The text on that image talks about how he loves the softball fields in Central Park. As for the player coming out of the left side of the page (three up from Johnny Damon and four to the left), I’m not quite ready to reveal who that is. He’s too important for me to just . . . blurt it out.

    I wasn’t trying to make a statement about the quality of Animal Collective’s music — that placement was seriously a coincidence — but you’re right about the telescope. I know, I know, my brain is all messed up. As for everything else, some of the pics you mentioned had already been spotted, but I’m giving you “credit” (see below) for a couple.

    Metrocards?! What a cool idea, but isn’t it easy as hell to collect them? Just hang out in the subway. People throw them away all the time. There are empty cards all over the place, literally littering the ground.

    Here’s the updated list of baseball images that people have spotted:
    1) Bo Jackson (pic #9) pointed out by me in the entry
    2) Babe Ruth (pic #15) by Todd_A
    3) Lincecum/Kershaw ESPN cover (pic #93) by Larry Larson & kslo69
    4) Joe Torre LA Times cover (pic #9) by Jared
    5) Russell Martin (pic #46) and . . .
    6) Carlos Beltran (also pic #46) by Ben Zitouni
    7) Rockies Magazine (pic #64) by Max
    8) Doug Davis on the table (pic #62) by Chris
    9) Cal Ripken Jr. (pic #22) and . . .
    10) Derek Jeter (also pic #22) by James Lee
    11) Tatsunori Hara (the thin Yomiuri Giants picture in pic #22) by Jared
    12) Jose Canseco cover (aka “A’s guy” in pic #23) by Max
    13) Jonathan Papelbon (pic #58) by Jere80
    14) Keith Hernandez (pic #58) by Cook & Son Bats
    15) Todd Zeile (pic #12) by Jared
    16) Manny Ramirez (pic #9) by Jere80
    17) Tony La Russa (pic #35) by Jere80
    18) Sexy/female ump & catcher (pic #55) by Jere80
    19) Woman with spiked baseball bat (pic #82) by Jere80
    20) Matthew Broderick tossing a softball (pic #42) by Jere80
    21) Lenny Dykstra (pic# 19 ) by Jere80 and Ben Weil
    22) Bobby Bonilla (pic #34) by Ben Weil
    23) Johnny Damon (pic #109) by Jere80
    24) Yogi Berra (pic #22) by Jere80
    25) “Baseball the Magazine” cover (photo #70) by Jere80
    26) Zack Hample in a bathtub of baseballs (photo #103) by Chris
    27) Marlins advertisement (pic #26) by Chris

  37. jere80

    To take that Marlins ad (pic 26) a little further, for no reason, it’s specifically an ad for Marlins games in Spanish on WQBA 1140AM, with announcers Felo Rodriguez and Yiky Quintana. Each guy is pictured–you can see the pic of Rodriguez that they used here (note the extreme choke-up on the bat and suit sleeves proving it’s the same one) :
    The ad might have even been inside what could be an issue of Marlins Magazine, which would be another baseball-related pic, on the top row, third from left, picture #11.
    As for the “unknown fielder,” he’s got stirrups so it’s from a few years back–maybe Ryne Sandberg?
    To answer Zack’s Q, I’ve spent a LOT of time looking at these pics. Every time I find a new area of the apartment, I get sucked in and have to scour it. I’m still looking for the elusive repeated photo.

  38. jere80

    A couple more baseball ones that aren’t MLB:
    Pic 79, top, 4th from right, cover of the ill-fated Berkshire Living magazine, with a baseball player on the cover, possibly a story about historic Wahconah Park in Pittsfield.
    In pic 50, under the red #13 on the floor, we see that ad with the fan reaching down from the stands for a ball, previously posted in Zack’s “Baseballs in Advertising” post from October. Don’t know where that one is on the wall (or if it got “Zeiled”).

  39. Nick Badders

    Connor- If I am not mistaken, the ads on all MLBlogs is what keeps signing up for a blog free. The ads allow MLBloggers not to have to pay a fee to maintain their blog. However, for $20 a year, they can choose to remove all ads from their blog. So unless Zack has a special thing set up, I would assume that he does not make any money from the ads.

  40. Zack Hample

    Amazing job with the Marlins ad and magazine cover. You’re right about the stirrups, but wrong about Sandberg, which made me realize that I totally missed Mr. Cook’s comment. That player (four three up from Johnny Damon and four to the left) is indeed Cal Ripken Jr. As for the fan reaching for a ball, that image did indeed get “Zeiled,” but I’m still planning to find a spot for it eventually.

    I get no money from this blog.

    What’s this about paying to remove ads? I hadn’t heard about that, and it’s something that I would consider.

    Here’s the updated list of baseball images that people have spotted:
    1) Bo Jackson (pic #9) pointed out by me in the entry
    2) Babe Ruth (pic #15) by Todd_A
    3) Lincecum/Kershaw ESPN cover (pic #93) by Larry Larson & kslo69
    4) Joe Torre LA Times cover (pic #9) by Jared
    5) Russell Martin (pic #46) and . . .
    6) Carlos Beltran (also pic #46) by Ben Zitouni
    7) Rockies Magazine (pic #64) by Max
    8) Doug Davis on the table (pic #62) by Chris
    9) Cal Ripken Jr. (pic #22) and . . .
    10) Derek Jeter (also pic #22) by James Lee
    11) Tatsunori Hara (the thin Yomiuri Giants picture in pic #22) by Jared
    12) Jose Canseco cover (aka “A’s guy” in pic #23) by Max
    13) Jonathan Papelbon (pic #58) by Jere80
    14) Keith Hernandez (pic #58) by Cook & Son Bats
    15) Todd Zeile (pic #12) by Jared
    16) Manny Ramirez (pic #9) by Jere80
    17) Tony La Russa (pic #35) by Jere80
    18) Sexy/female ump & catcher (pic #55) by Jere80
    19) Woman with spiked baseball bat (pic #82) by Jere80
    20) Matthew Broderick tossing a softball (pic #42) by Jere80
    21) Lenny Dykstra (pic# 19 ) by Jere80 and Ben Weil
    22) Bobby Bonilla (pic #34) by Ben Weil
    23) Johnny Damon (pic #109) by Jere80
    24) Yogi Berra (pic #22) by Jere80
    25) “Baseball the Magazine” cover (photo #70) by Jere80
    26) Zack Hample in a bathtub of baseballs (photo #103) by Chris
    27) Marlins advertisement (pic #26) by Chris
    28) Cal Ripken Jr. catching a ball (pic #109) by Cook & Son Bats
    29) Cal Ripken Jr./Incentive Magazine cover (pic #61) by Jere80
    30) Berkshire Living mag cover (pic #79) by Jere80
    31) fan reaching for ball over railing (pic #50) by Jere80

  41. Maureen

    I did this same idea back in 1972 when I was visiting a friend in the UK. She didn’t have money or a budget for her walls. What did you put them up with? And if you had to remove them how would you do that?

  42. Zack Hample

    It helps a whole lot. Not sure if I’ll do it, but it’s tempting.

    I’d love to see a photo of those old walls . . . if one exists. As for mine, I just used scotch tape. To remove individual pages, I’d have to carefully cut them out with a razor blade, but if I ever need to take it all down, I’ll just tear everything.

  43. Maureen

    I’m sorry but I don’t have pictures of the walls I did in the UK. I live in an apt. now and I want to do my kitchen with pages from British Cookbooks … trying to find a way to put them up so they will come down easy. I’m not allowed to paint the walls or wallpaper. Since this might be my last apt. … I’m 75yrs … I might just go ahead and do it anyway I sure don’t care about losing the deposit if it makes me happier with my surroundings. Just decided to paint my bedroom. If they say anything I’ll blame you.
    Just kidding.

  44. sewill29

    Forgive me if this question has already been answered (admittedly, I didn’t read the entire entry, or all of the comments), but how on earth did you get all the magazines to do this? Btw, love the idea! Not something I would do, but it’s very creative.

  45. Zack Hample

    I started decorating my living spaces like this in 1997, and I’ve been saving mags ever since — any way I can get ’em (that isn’t dirty/gross).

  46. jeff

    Alot of great work, and thanks for sharing. Not many people would take the time to photograph so much of the progress and also take the time to share. Nice job, sir.

  47. Colonel Beckett

    I came to bed a little tipsy, woke up at 4 in the morning dehydrated, checked my phone for any messages, got on Reddit, and now have been reading this blog for the last 20 minutes. Love the place, love the blog. I will be back!

  48. Zack Hample

    You’re welcome. I appreciate the comment.

    Welcome! (That’s what you get for checking Reddit in the middle of the night.)

  49. Alan Blizzle

    “which somehow made everyone think I was a pothead”. Gee, looking at that alien poster, I wonder why they would think that…

  50. Douglas

    Awesome blog Zach! I came across your blog about 2 or 3 days ago on the mlb website and I sure am glad I did. It’s been a very welcome distraction from studying for exams haha. The amount of baseballs you have collected over the years is incredible and what a neat feat to have been to 50 different baseball stadiums. Great dedication on your part to do all that you have done with the decorating. It looks so cool now! Anyways I’ve read every post from your most recent one to this one(besides a few days in Hawaii), and it is really fun to read. You have definitely acquired a new fan! I have only been to one stadium and no balls, but two autographs.

  51. Zack Hample

    Thanks so much. I appreciate the kind words and that you’ve been checking out all my stuff. Only one stadium? You gotta do something about that.

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