Last summer I attempted to catch a baseball that was dropped from a helicopter 1,000 feet high. The stunt took place at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Massachusetts . . . remember? This was my blog entry about it, and there were several articles, including this one in the Boston Globe and this one on As some of you already know, I’m going to make another attempt tomorrow — July 13, 2013.

Here’s all my equipment and safety gear:


This might sound strange, but my biggest concern is the weather. Yesterday, the forecast for July 13th called for a 50 percent chance of rain at 6am (which is when this whole thing will be taking place). Thankfully, things are now looking better:


Of course, I *am* also concerned about my safety. If things go horribly wrong, I could die or become paralyzed. If things go semi-wrong, I could break my hand or wrist or jaw. (Joe Sprinz, the last person to attempt this, broke HIS jaw at the World’s Fair in 1939.) But I feel like I can do this — otherwise I wouldn’t be attempting it.

I’m not sure how much tweeting or blogging I’ll be able to do tomorrow, so if you want to know what’s going on, here are some people to follow:

1) Andrew Gonsalves (He’s going to be recording data *in* the helicopter.)
2) Mateo Fischer (He’ll be watching/documenting from the ground.)
3) Ben Weil (He’ll also be watching, but probably not documenting.)
4) Chris Hernandez (He’ll be there too and plans to blog about it.)
5) BIGS Sunflower Seeds (They’re sponsoring this event and will provide updates.)
6) Lowell Spinners (They’re kindly allowing me to do this at their stadium.)
7) Jon Boswell (He’s the Director of Media Relations for the Spinners.)

One final/unrelated thing for now . . .

Today’s copy of the Daily News has a huge spread with my photo and ballhawking advice for the Home Run Derby. Check it out:


(NOTE: you can click the image above to get a closer look.)

Oh, and for those of you who’ve been emailing me and asking on Twitter . . . yes, I’m planning to attend the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game — that is, if I don’t get seriously injured in Lowell. Someone (who reads this blog and wishes to remain anonymous) bought me tickets in exchange for half the balls I end up snagging — a pretty good deal all around. Stay tuned. This is going to be a VERY exciting week.


  1. Navi

    Hello Zack, Im definitely buying the newspaper now! Zack, i cant go to the All-Star Game, unfortunately. I called the mets ticket office and they said i cant buy individual tix (WTF?) and that i have to have a season ticket pack. WTF. Im in this whack problem and i need ur advice. The guy at 718-507-TIXX told me i couldnt purchase them at the box office either. (SERIOUSLY, WTF!) Help!
    By the way, your protective equipment is pretty neat. Good luck bro! **Virtual fist bump**
    -Navi from New York

  2. Drew

    Zack–Snagging Comm. balls from the Futures Game ,HR Derby, and A/S game is really fun. But you need an extra set of eyes in the bleachers to see if it’s a batted ball or a player toss-up ball coming your way. I remember at Yankee Stadium in 2008, the players were tossing plenty of balls during BP. Remember them not letting you in with your giant glove? Best of luck in your quest to catch that 1000 ft pop-up–or should we call it a pop-down????? !! See you July 29 in Miami.

  3. walt

    According to the photo caption, you’re a “Baseball hawker”?

    Hawker – noun
    a person who travels around selling goods, typically advertising them by shouting.

    Have you already complained to the paper?

  4. Zack Hample

    That’s just how it is with every All-Star Game. There’s so much demand for tickets that the home team basically holds them for “season ticket ransom.” At this point, if you want to go, you have to buy one on the secondary market — StubHub, eBay, craigslist, etc.

    Extra eyes? I don’t follow your point. I see everything coming my way, and I always know whether it’s tossed or hit. Pop-down . . . ha! I love it. Thanks.

    That word is terrible, but I love everything else they did.

  5. James Lee (@esigs)

    Zack, good luck tomorrow! I’ll have to check one of your friends twitter accounts for updates… And I’ll look for you on TV during the ASG HR derby & game.

  6. Zack Hample

    Thanks! (All high-fives and fist-bumps are gladly accepted.)

    Thanks. I plan to wear the yellow “Homer Simpson” shirt at the Derby along with my red BIGS baseball cap.

  7. Nick Horowitz

    As you know, I am your biggest fan. I’m the 10 year old nick Horowitz who uses u as an inspiration. I have dreamed of being at a game with you, and so….
    My mom bought be 2nd row right field seats to the all star game!
    I would love to see you there. My main goal is to catch a commerative all star, futers, or derby ball. (Btw, I went to the subway series and mets VS reds on 5-22, and used ur tricks from your book to catch 9 total balls, 3 peices of gum, and a bag of seeds. One ball I got was jeters first warm up of 2013!!! I hope to meet u and be in your blog. Good snagging luck at the ASG and Derby! (Btw at the ASG, I’m sitting in section 102 row 2.)
    -nick Horowitz

  8. casey

    how pathetic, no person from guinness showed up so it is not the record man you really do suck.

  9. Mike

    Casey, now is probably a bad time to tell you that the Guiness book of world records has a way to submit the data, along with notarized statements that allows you to submit for a world record without their presence. We collected the data on the drop precisely for that reason.
    I suggest you do not believe everything you read

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