The Wrigley Riddle

Do you remember when I sprained the crap out of my ankle and had to use crutches for a few weeks? Do you remember the game I attended during that time on 6/20/11 at Fenway Park? Do you remember that I met a children’s book author that day named David Kelly? Here’s a photo of us holding each other’s books. Does that look familiar? Well, anyway, David and I have kept in touch, and he recently mailed me two signed copies of his newest book. It’s called The Wrigley Riddle, and I simply *must* share a few photos of it. Here’s a look at the cover . . .


. . . and here’s how David inscribed one of the copies:


What kind of help, you ask? Check out the table of contents:


Did you notice the name of Chapter 2? It’s called “Ballhawks!” and I helped David by making a few suggestions and teeny edits. Not only did he thank me by sending me a couple copies, but he did something even better. Did you notice the dedication on the upper left corner of the previous photo? Here’s a closer look:


This book went to press late last season. That’s why my ball total in the dedication (6,413) isn’t quite up to date (6,459), but that doesn’t bother me. I kinda like it, actually, because it captures the moment.

Now, I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who might end up reading this book, so let me just say that there’s a ballhawk in the story who becomes an important character, and his name is *very* similar to mine. Fun stuff.

Here’s how David signed the other copy of the book:


Remember all the prizes I gave last year to people who donated money to my fundraiser? Well, I’ve decided to give away some new prizes at the end of the 2013 season, and the book pictured above will be one of them. (I’m not parting with my personally-inscribed copy.) Let me know if you have anything that you’d like to contribute as a prize — it can be a book or a Bobblehead or a special baseball or an autograph or anything baseball-related — and if you’d like to make an actual pledge to the charity, you can find more info about it here on my website.

On a final note, The Wrigley Riddle (which was published by Random House) is available for $4.99. Among other places, you can buy it here on Amazon, and if you want more info on the “Ballpark Mysteries” series (of which this is Book No. 6), you can visit or visit the Facebook page or visit David’s personal website.


  1. Cook & Son

    My wife preordered and our Wrigley Riddle arrived today. I just read the first two chapters to the boys as I put Tim to bed. I hope Mike and Kate can get to the bottom of this mystery!

  2. Zack Hample

    COOK & SON-
    I hope so too!

    Cool. I’m sure that David (the author) would be happy to sign it for you, so let me know if you want me to help make that happen.

  3. Nick Horowitz

    Hi Zack. I am 10 year old Nick Horowitz and I live in NJ. It may be hard to believe, but I collect MLB balls too! I have collected 13 total, (not nearly as much as you) but I read your blog a lot and have picked up tips. My first game (regular season game, have been to spring training) I’m going to in 2013 will be on April 23 vs the Dodgers vs the Mets with my step dad. (Real dad just passed with cancer). And I usually get amazing seats but of coarse this time I’m in the nosebleeds. Can I go down during warm ups to get a ball? Thanks, Nick Horowitz

  4. Zack Hample

    Hey, Nick-
    Your collection of baseballs isn’t THAT hard to believe, but it’s impressive. I didn’t snag my first ball until I was 12, so you’re already ahead of my pace. Unfortunately it looks like I’ll muss you at Citi Field that day (because I’ll be at a game in San Francisco), but to answer your question, you can enter the 100 Level seats during BP (which ends at around 6:20pm), so my best advice is to just stay there after that. Of course, it’s tough when you have to go to the bathroom because there’s no way to get back in. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

  5. Nick Horowitz

    Hi Zach. Will you be at Citi Field on May 12 vs Pittsburgh? I have seats in the first row in dead center and can’t wait to snag another ball! I got the tickets from the Mets Kids Club. And also, that’s so cool how bigs is sponsoring you. I love their seeds! -Nick Horowitz

  6. Zack Hample

    Nope, I won’t be there. I try to avoid weekend games, and I try to avoid day games, so when there’s a day game on a weekend (as is the case on May 12th), I say far away. I hope you have a good time, though. Very cool that you know about BIGS.

  7. Nick Horowitz

    I’m gonna try to use you’re glove trick! Are you going to any other Mets or Yanks game this season because I go to many games for both
    Nick Horowitz

  8. Zack Hample

    The glove trick is strictly forbidden at both New York stadiums, so be VERY careful. You might be able to get away with it, but it’s risky. I do plan on attending lots more games in New York this season, so I’m sure we’ll run into each other, but I pretty much only go on weeknights.

  9. Zack Hample

    I’m planning to be at Yankee Stadium on April 12, 14, 16, 17, and 18 (but I might skip any of those games if it’s rainy). I’m also planning to be at Citi Field on April 19th, but only if the weather is nice. Beyond that, I have no idea.

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