5/2/14 at Yankee Stadium

This will be brief. I want to share a quick story from yesterday’s Yankee game (as well as a photo that’s guaranteed to make you cringe) . . .

When the Rays first took the field for BP, I got Heath Bell’s attention near the 3rd base dugout.

heath_bell_2014“Where are you going to be after BP?” he asked me.

“Out in left field near the bullpen,” I told him.

“Meet me here,” he said, pointing to the seats in foul territory.

“I can’t. Security won’t let me down here after 5:45pm. Why, what’s up?”

“I have a ball for you,” he replied.

Fast-forward 20 minutes. I saw Heath jogging out toward me in straight-away left field, so I hurried down to meet him in the front row. Before he reached the warning track, he pulled a ball out of his back pocket and tossed it to me. Some teenaged kid on my right tried to reach in front of me and snatch it, so I lunged *far* forward and outreached him. (Phew!) Several minutes later, when there was a quick break in the action, I photographed the ball:


How cool is that? And would you believe this wasn’t the first Opening Day ball that Heath has given me? Check out my blog entry from 8/31/08 at PETCO Park to read about the other time it happened.

Anyway, the ball he gave me at Yankee Stadium was one of 11 that I snagged on the day, bringing my season total to 109. This is the 17th consecutive season in which I’ve snagged 100 or more balls — but enough about that. I just want to share one more photo from this game, and I suppose I should warn you that it’s not pretty. Here goes:


Nice, huh?

The fan (not pictured above) who threw up was VERY drunk. Was he ejected from the stadium? No, of course not, but hey, whatever. No big deal. Yankee Stadium security has its priorities.

The game itself was one of the best I’ve ever attended, puke notwithstanding. It lasted 14 innings, the Rays won, 10-5, and Heath got the win in relief — can’t ask for much more than that.


  1. Ray Burton

    What a class act he must have been. Would love to overpay for a ticket , plan for the game , take the kids to the stadium and then sit next to that. What innings did he lose his lunch in ? If he was vomiting drunk then why wasn’t he ejected ? Where did the people go who were in those seats ? Watched on MLB TV . Great game. Good that Heath got the win after a few exciting moments.

  2. Zack Hample


    Lots of people were cringing and laughing.

    I don’t know why he wasn’t ejected. I guess it’s not illegal to throw up, and after it was done (and after he came back from an hourlong absence, presumably in the bathroom), the explanation I got from security was that he wasn’t bothering anyone, which I suppose was true. He pretty much curled up and slept in the lap of his female companion. There were a decent amount of empty seats last night, so the people sitting closest to him moved to other rows and/or into the adjacent section. I think he barfed around the 4th inning. I’m glad you got to watch the game. Today’s contest was a disaster, especially for Heath, but in his defense . . . why the hell was he called upon to pitch today after throwing more than 40 pitches last night? I’m debating going tomorrow, but tickets in left field cost $86 on the Yankees’ website. It’s so NOT worth it, but I’m tempted to go just because it’ll be my last chance to see Heath in person for a month or two.

  3. Sam Unger

    That’s awesome, well the ball part. Not the vomit. Do you plan on visiting Heath at all in Tampa this year?

  4. Sam Unger

    Ya. I saw the transaction a few hours after my question and had a feeling that it shot down any chance of you coming down :( Hopefully next season you’ll find a way down here.

  5. tfo2

    Yeah, the news sucks, but I was happy that I was able to see him on Saturday. Stinks that I missed you on Friday, but we’ll probably cross paths pretty soon in NY. –Tyler

  6. Zack Hample

    It’s an interesting list, but I’m sorry to say that I’m not quite interested enough to dissect it.

    Probably not. I’ll be out very late on Saturday, and I’ve already snagged some Mother’s Day balls, so eh.

  7. Zach V

    Hey zack I wanted to apologize for what u said on 4/19 at citi field. I got alittle jealous and I did not mean what I said

    Zach V

    From citi field NY

  8. Zack Hample

    ZACH V-
    Thank you. That’s very nice of you to say. When you got upset, I certainly could have handled it better, so I apologize as well. Perhaps we can talk about it in person sometime soon. :-)

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