6/21/13 at Yankee Stadium

There are four gates at Yankee Stadium. This was *part* of the crowd waiting to enter one of them:



In the photo above, do you see the fan on the far left in the black Nike t-shirt? His name is Andrew, and he recognized me . . . and here’s why:


As you can see, he had a copy of my 2nd book, Watching Baseball Smarter. After I signed it for him, I asked why he had it with him.

“Were you just hoping that I’d be here today?” I asked.

“No, I was reading it on the train,” he said.

Andrew told me that he had never snagged a ball, and I’m sorry to say that we lost each other as soon as the gates opened, so I have no idea how his day turned out. (Andrew, if you’re reading this, leave a comment and let us all know.)

The Yankees’ portion of BP was deader than dead. There was only one full group of hitters, all of whom were right handed, none of whom hit ANY home runs. Here’s a photo that shows me standing around, wishing I were anywhere else in the world, except maybe Damascus:


That photo, along with all the other shots of me that you’re about to see, was taken by my friend Andy Bingham (who occasionally writes this blog). Andy is a semi-regular at Yankee Stadium — that’s how I got to know him — and since he’s not a ballhawk (and recently got a new/fancy camera), he kindly took some pics of me in action. Here’s a three-part photo that shows me (wearing Rays gear) snagging my first ball of the day in foul territory:


Here’s how I got it — kind of a funny story . . .

Two sets of Rays had finished playing catch at the same time. I waved and shouted at one player for a ball, but a different guy ended up tossing one my way. That ball ended up falling short, landing on a staircase, and bouncing into the empty seats behind me. Because I’d been looking at the other player, I had no idea who threw it, so ten seconds later, when I saw Evan Longoria standing around with a ball in his hand, I called out to him and asked for it.

“I JUST GAVE YOU ONE!!!” he shouted.

I felt really stupid and didn’t blame him for being annoyed. I just hoped he didn’t get a good look at my face so that he wouldn’t remember me.

Five minutes later, this happened:


It’s pretty self-explanatory: Matt Moore tossed me a ball, and I jumped to make the catch. I wish my shoes were visible in that photo because they were a foot or two off the ground; I was using my right arm to push down on the concrete ledge in order to hoist myself up for some extra hang-time.

The next photo shows me catching my third ball — a home run (hit by an unknown Rays righty) that I caught on the fly:


See the guy trying to reach in front of me? His name is Tobias, and he’s from Germany. And he recognized me. We’d been chatting for a few minutes before that ball was hit. After I caught it, he said somewhat jokingly, “You should have something in your book that warns people not to stand near you.”

“I thought that goes without saying,” I replied.

But seriously, don’t feel bad for Tobias. He said he’d gotten a ball the day before at Yankee Stadium, and he’s in the process of hitting up a bunch of ballparks on the east coast.

(By the way, in the photo above, did you notice the ball in the background being tossed up to the fan in the bleachers? Just a fun little bonus detail.)

Andy didn’t get any more action shots of me (because stadium security kicked everyone out of the left field seats that didn’t have a ticket for that area), so I’ll have to describe what happened next. For starters, I got my fourth ball tossed by Jamey Wright. Here’s a photo of him that I took moments later:


Toward the end of BP, I made my best catch of the day. I was standing on the staircase in the 4th row when a deep fly ball was hit 20 or 30 feet to my left. As I started running for it, I determined that it was going to fall a bit short, so at the last second, I jumped down over a row of seats and made a thigh-high catch. I was pretty sure that I’d landed before catching the ball, but the nearest security guard (who’s actually really cool) had gotten a good look from the back of the section and insisted that I was in mid-air. I don’t know who hit this ball either.

After making that catch, I wandered to the next section and handed two baseballs to a pair of little kids in the front row. Shortly before game time, I gave away another to a young fan sitting near me.

Okay, ready to see something **REALLY** cool? I need to set it up by sharing this photo first:


The photo above shows my view of the Rays’ bullpen just before game time. I’d been standing there for several minutes, watching Roberto Hernandez warm up.

While he was warming up, I noticed that a coach was standing directly below me with a clipboard in his hand. I was able to press my camera against the netting and point it straight down and zoom in and . . . well, just take a look:



I’d never seen anything like it before. Have you?

It seems that each main box represents the strike zone for one pitch. I’m guessing that the number indicates (a) the type of pitch and (b) the location of the catcher’s target; the circle seems to show where it was actually caught. But maybe I’m wrong?

Also, did you notice all the times written at the top of the chart? I had no idea that teams are so meticulous about charting this stuff — or maybe it’s just the Rays? And did you notice the random stuff scribbled on the actual clipboard? It makes me wonder who “Shady Brady” is.

Just before game time, I witnessed the Yankees being the Yankees, otherwise known as stadium security treating people like crap. See the two guys in the photo below?


They were minding their own business and eating some concession food when a female security guard walked over and told them they had to move. Why? Because that precious metal ledge is a “RESERVED” seating area. Despite the fact it was otherwise empty, the guard was adamant about enforcing the rule. I don’t blame her because she was just doing her job; I blame the Steinbrenners for running a stadium in which there’s a serious lack of decency and common sense. Those fans were mid-bite. They had drinks on the ledge. One guy had barbecue sauce on his hands. And they were abruptly forced to move. They should’ve been allowed to stay there for three minutes to finish their meal. But no. At Yankee Stadium, there are a zillion unnecessary rules and no exceptions. *I* was even told to move because I wasn’t standing behind the white line (which is painted so far back in the concourse that you can’t see it in the photo above).

That said, if you have an issue with anyone or anything at Yankee Stadium, write a letter and send it to the following address:
New York Yankees
Attn: Guest Relations
Yankee Stadium
One East 161st Street
Bronx, NY 10451

Several weeks ago, I mailed a letter to the Yankees and included my phone number at the bottom and actually got a phone call back from them. Of course, the employee who called was devoid of humanity and tried to justify the stadium’s asinine policies. In that same letter, I had praised a particular security guard for being friendly — there ARE a few cool people who work there — and later heard that this guard’s supervisor had read that portion of my letter to him during roll call.

The point is: WRITE A LETTER TO THE YANKEES. They will receive it and read it; if enough people do this, it might actually make a difference.

Here’s where I sat for the entire game:


There were three players in the starting lineups without any major league home runs: Wil Myers and Austin Romine, who are both right-handed, and Zoilo Almonte, who’s a switch-hitter. Well, wouldn’t you know it? There was only one home run all night — a solo shot by Almonte that was pulled into the Yankees’ bullpen in right-center.

No other balls landed anywhere near me. I would’ve loved to move to right field when . . . oh, you know, the first SIX guys in the Yankees’ lineup were at bat since, you know, they were all batting left-handed. But no. At Yankee Stadium, you go to your seat, and that’s that.

Here’s a photo of the moon:


It looked like a baseball, and I wanted to catch it.

Final score: Yankees 6, Rays 2.


On a final note, a friend and fellow Guilford College alum named Doug is doing PR for an event coming up at Yankee Stadium called the Runyon 5K, which benefits cancer research. As much as I hate Yankee Stadium, I must admit that this does sound kinda neat, so I’m doing him a favor by mentioning it here in case anyone’s interested. Basically, you run a 5K race inside the stadium — all through the concourses and up the ramps and stairs and even around the warning track. Here’s more info about it. The entry fee is $40 right now, but it’ll increase to $50 in a week. The event itself will take place on Sunday, August 18th.


13_the_two_baseballs_i_kept_06_21_13• 5 balls at this game (two pictured here because I gave three away)

• 313 balls in 41 games this season = 7.63 balls per game.

• 462 balls in 72 lifetime games at Yankee Stadium = 6.42 balls per game.

• 913 consecutive games with at least one ball

• 438 consecutive games with at least two balls

• 22 stadiums this season with a game-used ball: Citi Field, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Angel Stadium, PETCO Park, AT&T Park, Safeco Field, Kauffman Stadium, Rangers Ballpark, Minute Maid Park, Great American Ball Park, Progressive Field, PNC Park, Camden Yards, U.S. Cellular Field, Comerica Park, Rogers Centre, Miller Park, Busch Stadium, Wrigley Field, Target Field, and Nationals Park

• 6,772 total balls


(For every stadium this season at which I snag a game-used ball, BIGS Sunflower Seeds will donate $500 to Pitch In For Baseball, a non-profit charity that provides baseball equipment to underprivileged kids all over the world. In addition to that, I’m doing my own fundraiser again this season for Pitch In For Baseball.)

• 29 donors for my fundraiser

• $1.85 pledged per ball (if you add up all the pledges)

• $9.25 raised at this game

• $579.05 raised this season through my fundraiser

• $11,000 from BIGS Sunflower Seeds for my game-used baseballs

• $32,985.05 raised since I started my fundraiser in 2009


  1. Andrew Bingham


    Just read this latest post – I’m signed up to get them “hot off the presses.” I enjoy your blog and look forward to receiving them, so keep up the good work! And thanks for including my photos and linking to my “occasionally” written blog.


  2. Ray Burton

    Will Myers hit his first home run today–a grand slam. How cool would it be to get that ball ( and give it back to him of course ) !

  3. Mark McConville

    Ive seen a bunch of teams charting the pitches when the pitcher warms up. Not all teams do it, id say maybe a third do it. It’s mainly to track and see if the pitcher is locating his pitches and to keep a pitch count.

  4. Mark McConville

    Also i read an article in sports illustrated about the Rays pitching staff a while back and it said that they do a lot of different stuff then most teams. Like for instance they have their own secret shoulder workout routine.

  5. mike

    Stadium security have a job to do and they have to do what was told. I am curious, what if you were not home and your doors were wide open, is it okay for me and any other not so fortunate to get a baseball during the game, to go through your stuff and take what we like?

    If it was me, the heck with the baseballs, I will take the electronic equipment instead.

    Bottom line, those EMPTY seats are PAID for by other fans. Even if they were unoccupied, they ARE not for anyone else to use because it is UNOCCUPIED.

    And as for asking fans to file complaints about strict rules at the stadium, dude, they are just going to LAUGH at your stupid complaint. This is as good as “a burglar complaints how he was beat down by the homeowner because it was his charity job to steal because he cares about the poor.”

  6. mike

    As for the Runyon 5K event at the stadium, this is KNOWN for years and they dont need you to do them a FAVOR. There is NOTHING neat about doing stuff for charity. You do it because you want to. You dont BROADCAST yourself and pound your chest — I AM DOING THIS FOR CHARITY!

    Stop using the word charity to promote your BS. Seriously Zack, that shit is getting old.

    Do what you do best – catch the baseballs to help you with your addiction and that’s it.

  7. Andrew

    Hi Zack, it’s Andrew. First of all, it was amazing to meet you thank you for signing my book. For BP I went to right field and nothing was hit into the seats and none of the players tossed anything up. I went behind the Rays dugout to try and catch a ball. One of the players went into the dugout and then came back out and tossed me my first ball. During the game , I ran down to the front of the row, but they didn’t toss anything. Also I failed to get a ball from the umpire after the game. Once again, it was great to meet you and thanks for signing my book and giving me tips.


  8. Jared

    Hey Zack, good job ballhawking (well at least in my mind, I don’t have high standards). I’m happy Progressive Field is nothing like Yankee Stadium. Can’t wait to get back to the Pro.

  9. Johnny Walsh

    Mike- That was a terrible comment, if the seat is “unoccupied” then you have no idea if somebody has bought the seat for the game, so why not sit there? The worst that could happen is security asks you to move. If you are like Zack then it is a perfect opportunity to get closer to the field and have more of a chance to get a ball. I do it all the time when I go to games.

  10. Zack Hample

    No need to thank me. I need to be thanking you because your photos are amazing. Hope to see you again soon.

    I often root for the Rays. I think they’re a very likable bunch. As for Myers, ugh, let’s not think about that.

    See Avi’s comment. :-)

    Go Rays, indeed.

    I love it when people (or in this case an entire team) find their own unique way to succeed — even more reason to root for the Rays. Joe Maddon is brilliant and interesting and fun and awesome.

    Thanks for your comment, but I must respectfully disagree. In my opinion, the examples you gave are nothing like the situation at the stadium.

    You’re very welcome, and congrats on the ball. That’s awesome! Thanks for commenting here and letting us all know how you did. Now that you’re “on the board,” you should consider creating a profile on MyGameBalls.com.

    Thanks. I can’t wait to get back to the Pro either. So many Yankee fans don’t realize how bad they have it at their own stadium. If anything, they only travel to Citi Field and Camden Yards when the Yankees are there, so all they experience are crowded ballparks filled with other Yankee fans. It doesn’t have to be like that. Yankee Stadium is more strict than the other 29 stadiums combined. No joke.

    Amen, brotha.

    Nice! Scan it and send it to me when it’s in print.

  11. Zack Hample

    I just saw your other comment about the Runyon 5K. (It ended up in my blog’s spam folder because of a certain word that you used, but okay, I approved it so we can discuss it.) I was specifically asked to give this event a shout-out, so apparently they *do* want extra publicity. As for my own baseball collection, are you suggesting that I should stop using it to raise money for the charity Pitch In For Baseball? You seem to be pissed off at me, and I’m not sure why.

  12. Mateo Fischer

    While it certainly is cool how the Rays chart the pitches, I’m surprised they don’t have a more sophisticated way of doing it. I just say this because I charted pitches this way for my high school team in addition to tracking a bunch of other stats as a one-man operation, which I then turned into statistical reports like this one: http://mlblogsmateofischer.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/alex20o27neill1.doc And that was just freshman year before I digitized the information by using the “iScore” app on my then-iPod Touch. I mean while it might look weird to have the coach seemingly playing on his iPhone while Roberto Hernandez warmed up, I would think that even the low-budget Rays could do a little more than I did as a freshman in high school.

  13. robinyount

    I went to the brewers game yesterday and got a ball during bp from the bullpen catcher. I went over to the braves bullpen and was thinking of using the glove trick to get two balls out but there was a coach in there. There was one usher there who is a jerk to everyone, but I did make “friends” with another usher. He said he would try and help during my next game in spetember

  14. Ray Burton

    Hey Zack .Don’t even bother trying to be reasonable with that ” mike ” character. His logic is as flawed as his English.

  15. Mike

    Zack, I don’t know who the mike is that posed on the blog, but it isn’t me. If I were pissed at you, the first thing coming out of the helicopter would be a watermelon……

  16. Zack Hample

    Nice comparison between the Rays and your high school team — pretty crazy when you think about it. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Congrats on the ball. Hope you get even more next time you’re there.

    Speaking/writing flawlessly isn’t a requirement for commenting here.

    You think 2am is late? Ha. Ha. Ha.

    I’m aware that there are two Mikes here, and I’m aware that you didn’t post the other comment. Every time someone comments, I get an email that contains the person’s email address and IP address, so it’s all good.

  17. mike

    I took it upon myself to find out exactly what were written by you and what were said during roll call with Yankees stadium.

    The only reason why I do this, I just want to make sure everyone else understand what were really said/used with your so called complaints.

    Here is exact quote:

    “Do you job at your post and stay off the phone and other personal stuff. If you don’t, someone will wrote in and complaint about you not doing your job and when that happen, you will be written up and your job will depend on that also.” And with your “selective hatred” with the security guard by posting what he did with his phone during his post, is it just me or you just “snitch” because you didnt get what you want?

    Furthermore, the couple “friendly” security in left field – they were friendly because they let you and your “catching baseball for your charity” excuse — do whatever within the section —- they were spoken to, due to your post on here. How funny is that? You exploit on the people not doing their job by letting you do whatever, or you snitch on the people doing their job for NOT letting you whatever.

    Zack, I do applaud on your baseball catching skills — but for everything else, crying, bitching, moaning, throwing a tantrum and worst of all SNITCHING on people — because they are doing their job and you don’t like that. And I don’t know if you notice, the stadium policy just added “Stay in your ticketed seat location”. They announced it and have it on the jumbotron every game. I asked about it and someone said “It’s a ZACK HAMPLE’s rule”. Now that was funny!

  18. mike

    I know and have seen more than enough fans moved into unoccupied seats — the only different, they do it discreetly and they don’t MOVE to multiple different seats within a couple innings here and there. They actually sat down and enjoyed the new seats.

    Personally, I have seen you moved more than once in a couple at-bats. If you dont jump over seats and walked to the seats like every other fans, NO ONE WOULD NOTICE. But you choose your method – I AM ZACK HAMPLE and I AM DOING THIS FOR CHARITY so the stadium policy do not apply to me, and this is the main reason why fans complaint about you and why security are always on their game when they see you.

    Bottom line, if you going to break the rule, do it discreetly and no one care. But if you get caught for doing so, apologized and go back to your seat and let it go.

    But you rather go with the “kicking and screaming” approach – why you picking on me? Why are you so strict with the rules? why the stupid policy that only applies to me? Oh, I am going to complaint about you because you are not doing your job by being on the phone.

  19. Zack Hample

    Don’t say you’re quoting me and then make up a bunch of crap. That isn’t what I wrote in my letter to Guest Services; it’s a badly paraphrased version of what I wrote on my blog last month. You obviously know nothing about the situation, and I’m not going to discuss it with you again.

  20. A ZH supporter

    “mike”— Zack does not seem to be “snitching” on anybody for “doing their job”, rather he says explicitly: “I don’t blame her because she was just doing her job”. He complains about the rules set forth by the owners, not guards themselves who are enforcing the rules. It sounds a bit like you work at the stadium, do you? Also, when you say “snitching”, that implies that the guard (who was doing something on his phone? Sorry, I don’t follow completely) did in fact do something wrong, so you’re saying those who are being paid to work should not have any accountability? I’m quite confused by your comment, but something needed to be said based on what I understood.

  21. Joe206

    Just a little update because I feel like since I’m in a picture on this blog, I’m part of the community…I went to today’s Mariners game and it was amazing. I hadn’t been to Safeco Field since Zack was here, and my ball streak was snapped, albeit at a measly 1. I bought a ticket extremely close to where two home runs landed, but as I didn’t sit in that seat (first, I sat on the wrong end of the row because the middle was full of people and I didn’t want to ask them all to get up; second, an usher asked me to leave a section by the foul pole pre-game but told me I could come back at 3, and a dinger landed near my assigned seat at approx. 3:07), I got nothing. So close and yet so far, but then again I didn’t come for BP, so it’s my own fault. Great game though, first time I saw extras in person and the M’s won.
    I also attended Iwakuma v. Colon in Oakland last week while on a road trip. Due to many factors (being a fan of the away team, being unfamiliar with the stadium, the Coliseum being left to rot since ’66, not having packed my M’s gear or glove for the trip, sitting at the wrong end of the visiting dugout, not sitting in my $70 seat, getting sunburnt), I didn’t get a ball there either. Oh well, at least one streak is still intact: every MLB game I’ve attended in person has featured the Mariners.
    So when are you coming back to Safeco, Zack? The Pirates and Cubs are in town this week and I’m thinking about going. You’re probably busy, but if you come back I’ll see what I can teach you about the park. Right now, I’m gonna go back to figuring out what I could wear to get balls from the Pirates without having any Pirates gear. The only yellow shirt I have is from the King’s Court.


  22. shea1969

    Mike is an obvious jealous troll who is posting silly comments about people moving between seating locations. If there are empty seats available, why would anyone care that they are being used. Fans are spending too much money to attend these games and they should not be harrassed by the stadium staff.

  23. Rocco Sinisi

    Hey Mike…shut the “blank” up!!! Let Zack have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He’s an American, and can do what he wants, and move around all he wants to, as long as he’s NOT hurting anybody! And the last time I checked, snagging a baseball is still LEGAL, and it isn’t HURTING anybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. mike

    To A ZH…

    Zack did SNITCH on the security who enforcing the stadium rules – he has no choice because it is HIS job. And since Zack did not like that, he wrote a letter and complaint about the security guard NOT doing his job by being on the phone. I hope you see the difference.

    The security guard has been reprimanded for his actions – and that was mentioned during the security roll call. It did not address the complaints that Zack was trying to make it seems to be. If anything, it enhances the stadium already strict policy. Why? A known rule-breaker BRAGGED on his blogs about “friendly security”.

    As for the guards that Zack said about being “friendly” – they were not being mentioned since they were NOT doing their job for letting Zack doing what he does. Aint that interesting? Those guards have been spoken to – they are not enforcing the stadium policy.

    Bottom line ZACK, while you are praising a bunch and putting down others – stadium higher-up do follow your blogs. They ONLY care when it comes to stadium policy – they dont care about the rest. Here is a couple words of advice for you: You are a known rules-breaker, when you break the rules, dont post about them. When you do, and you get unwanted attentions – you have no one to blame but yourself.

    Your whining and bitching is as hilarious as “stupid criminals” episodes on TruTV.

    (As for being a troll, I would doubt that very much. Troll do NOT have the information that Zack do not want to talk about.)

    Zack – do what you do best – shagging baseballs for charity and DON’T pound your chest in the process or pre-process.

    Leave the complaining and bitching about the policy on here to the minimum. The policy applies to everyone across the board. The more you bitch about it while trying to break the rules – the more unwanted attentions you will get.

  25. Tommy M.

    I get depressed and irritated hearing you talk about all the nonsense with the stadium security and ushers at Yankee Stadium. Rules are rules i guess, but some common sense, courtesy, and discretion and timing is everything. I wish they would use some! But, whattaya do.

  26. Tommy M.

    To this “Mike” character…. It seems like YOU’RE the one making a big deal about everything. Do everyone a favor, stay off the blog and just stop commenting before your blood pressure goes up! You’re obviously not a baseball fan, probably dont even like baseball or going to baseball games, and heck, you’re probably not a sports fan at all! Just go take a spelling class somewhere, and go away for good!! *See Yaaaaa!*

  27. Ray Burton

    Well said Tommy. We all agree that there are rules that need enforcing for the general good of all concerned but some , more ridiculous , instructions should only be treated as guidelines with some degree of flexibility in their interpretation. Having said that , Yankee stadium does seem to be fairly inflexible in this regard. No doubt it is due to directions from upper level management and it is these people who deserve censure rather than the guys on the ground. It is also true that , human nature being what it is , some ushers/security love to throw their weight around to inflate their own importance. We should agree to disagree , close the book on this matter , and concentrate on the game on the field , not the conflict in the stands.

  28. Zack Hample

    Thanks. That’s really all that needs to be said.

    Thanks for the update. Turn that yellow shirt inside-out. That might do the trick. As for my Safeco plans, I have no idea when I’ll be back.


    You’re the best, although I’m not sure what being American has to do with it. If I were Canadian or Bulgarian, I’d still want to be treated with a modicum of dignity at baseball games.

    Thanks for the link. Not only did I see it, but the writer got in touch with me and asked if he could use the photo.

    TOMMY M.-
    If you get depressed and irritated by simply *reading* about it on my blog, imagine how I feel when I’m actually there.

    I think you’re the most sensible person here. Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comment. (Also, thanks for your last few emails. Your Australia plan sounds brilliant, and I’ll write more when I have a bit more time.)

  29. Mike

    I am making a big deal out of this because ZACK is trying to get someone fired because he is doing what he was told to do.

    And on top of that, he also getting more people in trouble because they are being NICE to him.

    Do us a favor, stop posting about what other security/usher doing and not doing for you. You are NO ONE special and you are not going to be treated as such. And another thing, stop using “I am doing this for charity so cut me some slack.” this is another TOTAL BS.

    Another thing, seriously ZACK, you are worst than a child at the game. At least a child can get some entitlement treatments here and there. You are a grown ass man with a disability (yes you do have a disability, my friend) – cant never get enough baseballs. Maybe, you are rolling around in wheelchair here and there, then yes, you can complaint about how they treat you differently.

  30. Rocco Sinisi

    Hey Mike, no one is trying to get USHERS/SECURITY GUARDS fired! First of all, I empathize with Zack, because stadium personnel treat me the same way, they just can’t see a grown man having fun at a baseball stadium. It’s NOT the job of an usher to exact his own “SOCIAL JUSTICE” policy on certian individuals, as he or she sees fit, it’s their job to seat me, and look after the welfare of their guests. They are NOT there to harrass me, demean me, or to tell me to let a kid go first in order to snag a ball or what have you! It’s not within the scope of their duties to go beyond seating me, and making sure I’m alright when a foul ball or bat hits me…that’s it! If they go past their scope of duties, maybe they should be reprimanded, or fired.
    And by the way, Zack is very FAMOUS in the Sport of Ball Hawking! There are thousands of kids & adult ball hawks across the country that look up to him. He is blazing a trail for all to see, on how to snag a big league baseball. If you have ever been to a baseball game, you might have noticed that EVERYBODY at the game
    WANTS a baseball!!! But not everybody knows HOW to snag a baseball. He literaly wrote the book on how to snag a baseball!!! So to say that he is NOT famous, is to be delusional. Yes, you can have your opinions about him snagging balls for chari
    ty, and if he hhh

  31. Rocco Sinisi

    (sorry for the last part of my sentence) Yes, you can have your opinions on if he is getting special treatment, or if he is acting like a Big Kid, but I can assure you, that he does not have a “Disability”, because if he has one, then all ball hawks have one! Also, he has the RIGHT to COMPLAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Complaining is how you let someone know that there is something WRONG!!! Complaining is FREE, and helps SOLVE problems!!! Compaining keeps stupid people in “Check”! If there is a HAIR in your food, I bet you’re going to let the waiter or waitress know about it …right?! When you are *PAYING* to have a good time *where ever*, you don’t want to be hasseled by the staff…right???! Complaining is NOT SNITCHING…snitching is snitching. I can tell you that Zack is a true gentelman, and if he can help a few kids out with some $$$ towards charity, then, good for him. There should be NO RULES about moving around during batting practice either…it’s BP, the game hasn’t started yet!!!

  32. Rocco Sinisi

    Hey Mike, I’m 52 years old, and Love ball hawking…and I’m 192 lbs of GROWN ASS MAN! I’m an Ex-United States Army Drill Seargent, and an Ex-Cop, and I LOVE Ball hawking!!! What do you say about that???!!! I served my country and community for 26 years, now I’m retired, and if I want to snag a baseball…I’m going to do it!!! I don’t remember seeing you on a Road March with a 100lbs Rucksack, and a 25lbs Machinegun on your back climbing the mountains of Korea for 31 miles till my feet were bleeding (literaly)…oh yea, that’s right…you weren’t there!!! HHMMM, that gives me the RIGHT to snag all the baseballs I want!!! And I don’t want any back-talk for some lame ass usher!!! I’ve paid my dues, and NOW, I want to be a BIG KID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Rocco Sinisi

    Zack, what does being an American have to do with moving around at a baseball game? Hmmm, let me see…I served 2 tours of duty patroling the EAST GERMAN BORDER during the “Cold War”, both during December 1986 & 1988 for one month at a time. And what did I get to see…the face of COMMUNISM up close and personal! I also did a tour of *border duty* at the NORTH KOREAN BORDER for one month in Jan. 2001…again, I got to see what Communism was like. When I look over the border into E. Germany, I saw a downtrodden people & town being held in by 20 foot fences, minefields, border towers with machinguns, border guards trying to keep them in w/guns (AK-47’s), and more fences!!! The cars were the size of a go-cart, the paint on all the buildings were all the same…grey, and I saw NO people having FUN!!! Just working! My German girlfriend told me that she had to put in for a Special PASS to go across the border (at the time) just to see her Grandmother, and the other side of the family that were trapped over there after WWII. She only go to see them every once in a while too.
    side of her family, who were TRAPPED over in E.Germany after the WAR (WWII)

  34. Rocco Sinisi

    My Korean friends said the same thing, that they could NEVER see the other side of their families!!! So, you see my friend, you are an AMERICAN, free to do what you want in the persuit of “Life, Liberty, and the Persuit of HAPPINESS”!!! You can go and do pretty much anything you want, as long as it’s NOT illegal, infringing on anybody elses happiness, of hurting anybody! You are NOT a Commie, in a Commie country, where people are trying to hold you back from what you like to do or see! Baseball staduims should NOT be “Gulags” with camp guards dictating things to the fans!!! WE WON THE COLD WAR!!! We shouldn’t have to put up with anybody infringing on our ball hawking…I mean Happiness!!!


  35. Mike

    Rocco, if Zack won’t respond, I will. (I’m the good Mike. See above). Like you, I served 20 years in service for my country, and I enjoy ball hawking. It should be our right to go and snag baseballs. Zack is respectful of other hawkers, and others. To be restrictive is asinine. And having lived in the Former Soviet Union for two years, I can back up what you said about the lack of freedom in that part of the world.
    Also, ask yourselves this: when we did the helicopter stunt last year,you had two military retired war vets who volunteered to do this for Zack. We wouldn’t have done this for just anyone.

  36. Rocco Sinisi

    …Thx “Good” Mike for the back-up! I hope “Nasty” Mike gets my message Loud & Clear!!! I failed to state, that you used to have to have a PASS just to go and visit the NEXT *county* (yes, I said county…not country) in East Germany…can Americans imagine that????????!!!!!! “You are free to move about the country”!!! (joke)

  37. Ray Burton

    I like to think that there are two sides to every argument and that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Having said that , I think I speak for everyone in requesting that you spam this ” mike ” idiot until he starts to make sense and stops repeating his same old tedious comments. This blog should be about the baseball experience and the adventures of Zack , not a vehicle for one person’s trolling.

  38. Rocco Sinisi

    Yes!!! Let’s talk about BALL HAWKING! But Ray, I don’t think the young ball hawk knows what to do when an idiot usher wrongs him or her. I don’t think they know, that they are not doing anything wrong, and that some idiot ushers are “making up rules” for different people, and this significantly impacts our gameday experience! It also sets a precedence on what they can get away with in reference to us fans/ball hawks. Some of them need to get “stomped down”, so we can get back to having FUN ball hawking. We as a BALL HAWKING COMMUNITY, have to talk about this, and share our experiences, or a bunch of grumpy old ushers get to have their way with us! I pay too much money in tickets, gear, gas, and food, to have my gameday experience ruined by a grumpy old man that’s mind set is stuck in the 1950’s…where only little kids get a baseball! This is the “modern age”…where everybody deserves a baseball! Right?

  39. Zack Hample

    I’ll respond when I have some time. Right now, I’m in Baltimore with my mom, and we’re heading out for an Indian buffet.

  40. Tommy M.

    Congrats “Nasty Mike!”….. You’ve just ot yourself a new nickname!… To the SPAM file you go… Hopefully!!!

  41. LarryNY

    Hey Zack,

    If anyone knows about these stupid rules at Yankee stadium it’s me. It will start to dramatically change only when the Yankees start to stink it up which is on its way very soon. Yankees have no farm system anymore and players are not running to play here like they were in the past. Once Rivera and Jeter retire that stadium will be such a ghost town. It’s already empty all the time. Just ignore these stupid silly haters. Anyway I’ll be in Baltimore tomorrow night. Will you still be in town? I look forward to enjoying a Yankee game on the road where I don’t have to get kicked out of my seat and told I can’t finish watching batting practice. Talk to ya soon!

  42. Rocco Sinisi

    Zack, you keep doing what you’re doing…we’ve got your back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. Doug

    Hey Zack Thanks for the shout out about the Runyon 5K. This event, that has raised over $2 million for cancer research, can use all of the publicity we can get. Hopefully it was new info to some of your readers and they will be joining us on Aug 18 ….

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