7/10/13 at Yankee Stadium

This was a strange day of ballhawking. I didn’t snag any home runs, and I only got one toss-up, yet I still finished with seven baseballs. Let me explain . . .

When I first ran inside the stadium at 5pm, there were half a dozen balls (aka “Easter eggs”) scattered in the right field seats. I grabbed three of them, including this one . . .


. . . and would’ve picked up two more, but a security guard beat me to them. Thankfully, because I was the only fan in the seats at that point (and because that guard is friendly), he gave them both to me. I know that’s a cheap way to pad one’s totals, but my personal rule has always been to count balls that are given to me by anyone who’s getting paid to be there.

As for the final Easter egg, it was grabbed by another fan.

Within a minute of entering the stadium, I had more baseballs than I could hold with one hand:


The final group of Yankee batters was useless — guys like Austin Romine, Luis Cruz, and Alberto Gonzalez.

When the Royals took the field, I got Alcides Escobar to throw me a ball along the left field foul line. That was my sixth of the day.

Then I headed up to the second deck in right field. I figured that Eric Hosmer would put on a show, but no, he only hit one home run up there, which landed near me and took a wild ricochet to the only other fans in the section. I did, however, spot another Easter egg over here:


I had already grabbed it by the time I took that photo. Looking back on it, I could’ve taken the photo and *then* snagged the ball, but I didn’t want to take any chances.

I was hoping to catch up with Jeremy Guthrie, so I headed downstairs for the next group of BP, but this was as close as I got to him:


In the photo above, he’s standing on the right.

The highlight of BP was seeing Alex Gordon hit a ball here:


The lowlight was seeing all the Royals jog off the field at 5:50pm — approximately half an hour early.

I passed the time by taking selfies in the bathroom mirror . . .


. . . and in case you’re wondering what the bathroom itself looks like, here you go:


As far as stadium bathrooms go, it’s a nice one.

(It’s not illegal to photograph an empty public bathroom, right? If it is . . . oops.)

This was my view during the game: 


At one point in the middle innings, I scanned the crowd to see if there were any kids who looked like they deserved a baseball. This little guy sitting two rows in front of me . . .


. . . was NOT worthy. Bringing a toy to a baseball game? Gimme a break.

I found two other kids and gave them baseballs, including one little boy with thick glasses. He didn’t have a glove, but he was really into the game — I could tell — and when I handed him the ball, he practically freaked out. Imagine how you’d feel if someone handed you a briefcase with $100,000. It was like that.

The Yankees won the game, 8-1. Robinson Cano crushed a three-run homer to center field, and Lyle Overbay hit an opposite-field grand slam to left. The crowd, meanwhile, was one of the smallest/quietest I’ve ever seen at the new stadium — not a big surprise for a weeknight game against Kansas City, but it was quite noticeable.

Here are the five balls I kept:


Here’s the ball (pictured in regular light and black light) with the best invisible ink stamp . . .


. . . and here’s a random/cool mark on one of the Easter eggs that I’d grabbed at the start of BP:


I’m happy to report that I’ll (probably) only be at Yankee Stadium once in the next six weeks. Weather permitting, I’ll be busy this weekend with the helicopter stunt in Lowell, Massachusetts. Then it’s the All-Star Break. Then the Yankees are gone, and at the end of the month, I’ll be hitting the road. BIGS Sunflower Seeds is sending me to Miami on July 29th, Tampa on July 30th, and Atlanta on July 31st and August 1st. Although it’s not yet booked, I’m hoping/planning to be at Dodger Stadium from August 9-11, Chase Field on August 12-13, and the Oakland Coliseum on August 14-15. Hope to see lots of you guys along the way . . .


• 7 balls at this game

• 360 balls in 48 games this season = 7.5 balls per game.

• 480 balls in 74 lifetime games at Yankee Stadium = 6.49 balls per game.

• 920 consecutive games with at least one ball

• 445 consecutive games with at least two balls

• 203 consecutive Yankee home games with at least one ball

• 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

• 6,819 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.)

• 30 donors for my fundraiser

• $1.88 pledged per ball (if you add up all the pledges)

• $13.16 raised at this game

• $676.80 raised this season through my fundraiser

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

• $33,082.80 raised since I started my fundraiser in 2009


  1. Brian

    This weekend is the helicopter stunt?!?!?! What time and what day? Not sure if you’ll remember, but I was hoping to head up there last year with my son to watch everything unfold, but we ended up not being able to make it. I’d love to come up if possible! Lee know!

  2. Ray Burton

    Can’t wait for the chopper adventure. How high will they be dropping them from ? Will Melon Mike be doing the honours ?

  3. SpencerS

    Lets bump into each other when your out in the Bay Area again this year for Oakland.

  4. Navi

    Wow Zack, i agree, easter eggs are somewhat exciting in a section with no one else :-) By the way, thanks for the answers in our previous chat. I really appreciate it. As for the Helicopter Stunt, i hope you achieve the 1,000 FT drop. Best of Luck dude! I believe in you bro!

  5. Zack Hample

    Yes indeed. I just emailed you.

    Melon? Mike will be coordinating everything. The plan is to do some drops from 555 feet (which is the height of the Washington Monument) and then move it up to 1,000 feet.

    Very cool that you’ll be there. Looking forward to seeing you again.

    You’re welcome, and thanks for the kind words/wishes about the helicopter stunt.

  6. Mike

    Melon Mike? That’s a new one. All I ask is that you all pray for good weather. It’s hard to tell what it’s going to be, making my life oh so stressful

  7. Zack Hample

    I’m going to *hope* for good weather.

    How quickly I forget.

    Three eggs. Two from the Guard. Toss-up from Escobar. Another egg upstairs. Bam!

  8. Big Glove Bob

    Wow! Privacy dividers in the mens room? I remember the Metrodome which just has a trough and all the guys just saddle up hip to hip and hang meat. I miss the trough because it was so dang efficient. Now, there are actually lines out the door at Target Field because they have urinals.

    Just got back from our second annual father-son-son baseball trip. Started in KC for a game then out to Coors Field for 2 games. Coors Field was pretty nice. Still looks new at 20. Good food. I was”meh” on Denver itself. Everywhere we went we encountered road construction and big slow downs. What really irked me was no matter when we went through these “road construction” areas there were almost never anyone on site.

    Good luck this weekend. I really enjoyed reading the Heath entries.

    Big Glove Bob

  9. Zack Hample


    Ever? Let’s not go THAT far, but you’re right. Yankee Stadium is the least interesting place to watch a baseball game, given the fact that people are confined to their individual sections.

    “Hang meat.” Ha! I’ve never heard that one before. I’m not impressed with Coors. It’s nice-ish but not really special — cool that you finally got to check it out, though. Thanks for reading the Heath entries. I know they were long. Hopefully I’ll have some more good stories soon . . .

  10. Positive in Pittsburgh

    In my opinion you should have given a ball to the kid with the toy.

  11. casey

    This little guy sitting two rows in front of me was NOT worthy. Bringing a toy to a baseball game? Gimme a break.

    wow a new low getting mad at a young kid for bringing a toy to the ball game. you expect everybody to keep attention for the entire nine innings but young kids do get bored easily.

  12. Zack Hample

    I don’t expect everyone to pay attention or even to like baseball, but if I’m going to give away a baseball, it’s gonna go to a kid who will appreciate it. When I was half that kid’s age, I would’ve paid attention for 18 innings. That doesn’t make me a better person. The fact is, I just wanted it (and still want it) much more than just about anyone.

  13. Rocco Sinisi

    …the way I almost got shut-out 3 times last week, I’ll take all the “Easter Eggs” I could get…I had the worst week of ball hawking ever last week!!!

  14. Rocco Sinisi

    Zack, you give your baseballs to the kids you want to give them to…don’t listen to anyone else!!!

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