A-Rod’s 3,000th hit

So . . . as you may have heard, Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th career hit happened to be a home run, and I happened to snag it. (Un-REAL!!) I’m planning to write a long blog entry with lots of photos, but things are so crazy right now that I wanted to get this up quickly.

First, here I am on TV with the ball:

zack_on_tv_with_number_3000

Here’s a better look at the ball itself:

arods_3000th_hit

The “R” is for “Rodriguez,” and the “1” indicates that it was the first specially-marked ball of the game that was put into play for his at-bats. Those markings were already there when I snagged it. The sticker up above was placed there a little while later by an MLB authenticator.

Now, why are things so crazy? Here’s a screen shot of my email inbox:

emails_06_19_15

I’ve already gotten SO MANY interview requests — and I still have 62 texts that I haven’t even looked at. I plan to answer everyone, and like I said, I’ll be writing a much longer entry about this. In the meantime, I’d love to hear everyone’s suggestions for what I should do with the ball. Be specific and creative. I told the Yankees that I was planning to keep it, but now I’m considering other options.

*************UPDATE*************
It took nearly two weeks, but my full-length blog entry is now done! Be warned: it’s insanely long, so grab a cold beverage, find a comfy seat, and check it out.

145 comments

  1. Jason Theo

    This is easy…Have a game salary of AROD’s be given to you in a check from the New York Yankees. I believe arod is getting $27,500,000 this year. This equates to roughly $170,000 per game. AROD won’t miss that from his next check. Arod seems like a good guy, I imagine he’ll go for it. He needs all the good PR he can get.

  2. Justin

    Do what they did with the Bartman ball and blow it up. Except then you should put it in a blender with a few other ingredients and sell the mixture as a performance enhancing supplement.

  3. Alex

    Congrats, I saw it live and couldn’t believe that you snagged it. My suggestion would be to use the baseball to generate some publicity for Pitch in for Baseball, whether it is by having the Yankees/A-Rod help with public fundraisers/charity events, by saying that you’ll give it back to him if the Yankees/A-Rod make a public donation, or by doing whatever you think would help the charity the best.

  4. Jason Theo

    Better yet…divide his total career salary to this point by 3,000 hits. This will equate to somewhere north of $100k. Or his hits this year by his salary.

  5. Billy Manzo

    Zack, I’m a 17 year old New Yorker kid and I’ve talked to you and met you many times at various ballparks on the east coast (mostly Yankee stadium). If you can please reply to me ASAP Id love to talk to you and help you out. I had a chance to personally sit down with Christian Lopez (The man who caught Jeter’s 3000th ball) and he told me his tricks and thinking when it came to the negotiations. I’ll also be at Yankee stadium tomorrow sitting in the legends seats for old Timers day. If your there why not come by and we can discuss. I’m a big Alex Rodriguez fan and I want to see if I can help you make the most of this as well as satisfying Alex as well. PLEASE GET BACK TO ME, IM SURE ILL SEE YOU SOON BUT ID LOVE TO BE A HELP IN THE NEGOTIATION PROCESS. THANK YOU! If you ever want to reach me you can shoot me an email at kazmir114@aol.com or follow me on Twitter @BillyManzo35

  6. Tyler Burton

    I think you should make the Yankees pay, not with money, no, but with really weird things. Say “I’ll only give the ball back if you give free beer (tickets) to the first 3000 adults in attendance” or among those lines, make them give back to the fans. Because at the end of the day, they’re billionaires, and people pay money to watch the sport as entertainment to direct us from problems, I.e. Depression, debt, whatever the case may be, while it just thickens their wallets.

    Or make them give away rawlings AROD-3K special Official ball commemorative baseballs to 3000 fans. Cause we need more commems this year.

  7. Jeff Lane

    It’s crazy you caught the ball, but seriously it’s an incredible accomplishment that Alex has achieved. Any player would want that ball. He deserves it. You could get whatever you want from him.

  8. Larry

    First off, congrats! Second, way to hold your ground and not give it back. The cheat doesn’t deserve the ball, let alone the milestone itself. Third of all, way to take all the crap on Twitter. As for the ball; don’t sell it. If you do, the Twitter haters will think you’re money thirsty. If you really have no desire to keep it, you should sell it, and donate the money to charity.
    Also, once everything calms down, would you want to be on Ballhawk Talk? (In a few weeks, once all your other interviews are over with).
    Thanks!
    -Larry Larson

  9. Jason Theo

    Just got another idea. Host a contest. For example: for $100, people can write a 100 word essay as to why they should get the ball. Have 3,000 entrants and then u pick the winner. This will give you a cool $300,000 and then someone else will get the fortune of having it!!

  10. Angie Criner

    The right thing to do is to give ARod the ball. It was a special moment in his career and despite his past actions, he earned this milestone and deserves the ball. It shouldn’t even be an issue. You shouldn’t expect anything for it. It isn’t yours. It’s his to keep. Giving him the ball is the right thing to do and a true baseball fan should know this. You shouldn’t even be considering how much or what you can get for the ball. Do the right thing and give him the ball.

  11. David

    I’m a Yankee fan, I haven’t follow the Yankees since A-Rod fiasco btw MLB, Yankees and Lying to the media. He didn’t care at that time about us the fans , he didn’t care about the history of the sport and just because he have to testify on Federal Court , that’s what made him broke down all the lies. When you cought this ball, it was a instant keep it and don’t look back, why because this ball mean nothing on the records books, this ball is tainted or painted with words like cheating , cumpulsive liar and a man with out honor. If I’m you I will keep it for generation to come inside of your family and write about the history of this baseball. Do what you love and passion, write a book about it. This balls should not love you side , why beacause you did a favor to history. Sorry about my writing, on iPhone and at work. Have a good night and just remember you doing something great to baseball history if you keep it.

  12. Rick Sporcic

    Zack,
    Ever since you were a little kid, you’ve dreamed of one thing. You’ve always wanted to be a Major League Baseball player. Unfortunately, you were never able to fulfill that dream. My suggestion, as crazy as it sounds is, negotiate a one day contract with the New York Yankees where you can participate (starting RF) in an actual MLB Game. The baseball itself is priceless. Why not swap it for an experience that is equally or greater in significance? I understand the thought of someone purchasing the baseball for $100k might sound enticing. Trust me, $100k is nothing. You can easily make that in a few years simply by working. If you sell it, you’ll regret it. Money is the root of all evil. I do believe it’s the right thing to return the ball to Arod. However, it’s a business. You need compensated one way or another. I’d love to see you standing in RF for the Yankees. Follow your dreams.
    -Rick

  13. Steve

    Keep the ball. You’ve been doing this since you were a kid. It means more to you than it does to ARod. Your life is about the ultimate catch. You are the antihero of ballhawks and he is the antihero of ball players. This is about as good as it gets.

  14. Peter

    Mr. Handle, as a young fan of yours and also as someone who has read all of your books, I really recommend that you KEEP the baseball. A-Ro(I)d cheated the game and you work so hard trying to get baseballs. What’s better than having a 3,000 hit HOME RUN ball to add to the collection? I wouldn’t take the Yankees up on any monetary offer unless it is over 500K (dead serious). Please take this into consideration and I really, really hope you decide to hold on to it. Thank you!!

  15. Peter

    Also Mr. Hample as a sixteen year old kid, I know that you most likely have a lot of money from your books, TV appearances and maybe some memrobilia. I am not saying this to sound mean (I don’t know how it would), I am saying it to let you know that that baseball is priceless. There are only 29 players in the HISTORY OF THE GAME that are in the 3,000 club and you are an owner of one of the balls. KEEP IT!!!!!

  16. Savannah

    You have seen you can make a bong out of a apple right. Make a bong out of the baseball and sell it to some Silicon Valley pot head for $200k…Smoke a lot of pot out of it. Or sell it to Boston and let then have people pay to piss on it in the mens bathroom to get their money back.. Win/win

  17. julis Edmudisis

    I am #1 Yankees fan in the World. I suggest you to keep the ball for a period of time. Offers will come in the future, believe me. The longer you keep the ball, you will get better pay. Remember that when you take $$$, you will end up paying more taxes to the IRS any way. But keep the ball.

  18. Elaine chadwick

    Zack (and everyone reading this). think real hard for just a second. Forget about what Arod earns monetarily. His one game salary would change my life forever … But in the end …Imagine being a boy with a dream and practicing to be a great ball player or whatever.. Then…. Actually doing what few others in baseball History Have done. “.A-rod worked so hard his whole life And accomplished this great feat. In your heart of hearts dont you think he deserves the ball? Wouldn’t it be enough If he signed a ball and replaced it for the one he hit. Wouldn’t you rather go down in history as the guy who caught ARods 3000th hit…instead of the guy who kept ARods 3000th hit? Zack…3000 hits! That’s crazy. And a HR to boot. I know I’d want to keep the ball if I hit a HR for my 3000th hit. You’ve been around long enough to understand… Do the right thing Zack. Im sure the Yankees will make it worth your while. Something tells me ure a stand up guy. Do the right thing brother.

  19. Kelly McMahon

    Auction or sell the ball and donate all proceeds to steroid use prevention. Done and done. ;)

  20. Jason Christman

    If you actually accept my offer of $30k, I’ll destroy the ball. I’m not looking for a profit. I just hate cheaters in life.

  21. Jason Christman

    By the way, I’m real and I’ll pay for that ball. Just look me up. I’m an Air Traffic Controller in Las Vegas and I have the means to purchase your ball. Signed, Jason Christman!

  22. Jason Christman

    It was Jason Christman offering you the $30k for the ball, not Kelly McMahon. I think twitter has a glitch.

  23. Tmuddly17

    I’ve been following your blog for a long time, Zack. You were the one that got me hooked on this hobby. I think deep down you know what you should do with this ball. You did it for Nickeas, you did it for Trout, and you did it for Gregorious. I am far from an ARod fan. However, I can still appreciate his accomplishment. That ball was something he worked for. You worked for it too. Congratulations. You caught it. Get whatever you want from him, because he can afford it. But at the end of the day, make sure he gets it. Do the right thing for the ballhawk community.

  24. Leigh Barratt

    Well, you’re 37 now. You’ve accomplished a lot in your baseball snagging career. This has been the pinnacle as of now. I know you don’t sell baseballs, but this is a game changer. If it were me, I would put it up for auction. I think the 50K number that has been reported is low. Someone out there will pay more than that. With the money you take home you could finance a dream MLB trip to all 30 parks again or whatever MLB trip you want. You could use the money for retirement? You could give it to charity? You could do a little of both? I was also thinking maybe you could trade the ball for a super Spring Training bonanza package that included an actual at bat in a game. Billy Crystal did it. Garth Brooks did it. Will Ferrell did it. Why not you?

  25. Rich in MN (twibnotes)

    Congrats Zack! I haven’t been reading your blog lately, but when I saw the highlight and you holding the ball, I was like, Hey, that’s Zack.” Surely a wild night for you.

  26. Ryan McGovern

    Congrats on getting the ball Zack, I can’t imagine the elation you felt when you snagged the ball.

  27. Joshua

    Honestly the only thinig you could do with all the steroid controversy for any dedicated real fans out there is blow the thing up to show we don’t care anymore about their records if they wanna take steroids.

  28. Ray Burton

    Wow Zack. Way to make an impact. If you polarised opinion before then you just magnified that immeasurably. Its incredible to think that you were in the right place at the right time. For my part I say that its a fantastic achievement and the pinnacle of your career so far. Watch out for backlash from Yankee fans and stadium staff though. To be continued…..

  29. Bryan (NY)

    First off Congratz man!! Today (the 19th) was my dads birthday and we were watching the game and sure enough seen you catch the ball which is pretty damn cool considering we’ve met and talked at the stadium in the past. As for what I believe you should do with the ball is to ask the Yankees for a special bracelet that allows you to move and sit anywhere you choose in the stadium as long as the seat is empty no matter what and season tickets to whatever available seat(s) you want. I can only imagine how amazing it must feel to be able to stick it to the Yankees and Arod this good, congratz again Zach!

  30. Ted Bundy

    Hahah the author sucks at baseball so he devoted his life to stealing successful player’s achievements.

    In 15 years you think anybody will remember you or your name? NOPE. A-Rod’s name will love on for CENTURIES.

  31. Sid

    Zack,

    You live once.

    I think the right place for that ball is in the hands of a true collector or the owner of that ball. And that may very well be the hands of Alex Rodriguez or the Baseball HOF. But hey, if they want it, let them come get it. This is a free worlds market. The hysteria is at its peak.

    Auction it off. Let them come get it. You like every other fan deserves a piece of the pie. You pay their salaries as a devoted MLB fan. Without you, they don’t get to play baseball for a living. Keep the winnings to take care of yourself and your future. The memory will always be there.

  32. James Lee (@esigs)

    First, congrats for snagging the ball. Your knack at being at the right place at the right time is un-REAL. My suggestion is that you return the ball for two requests: helping Pitch In For Baseball and the Yankees getting off your back anytime you ballhawk at the Yankee Stadium. For the first request, why not ask the Yankees to do a equipment drive that gets donated to PIFB? It’s a win-win-win scenario to you, the Yankees and PIFB. They should publicize the drive as a benefit to PIFB so more people learn about the charity, and you can pitch it to the media as you talk about your milestone snag. As a side benefit, the haters won’t have anything else to say to your about this ball. In addition to the Yankees doing this, I would ask A-Rod to donate money to PIFB, however much he feels like to, but maybe you can suggest something in the magnitude of how much you have raised to PIFB to date. For the second request, I would request from the Yankees a written statement that they won’t harass you for pursuing your hobby at Yankee Stadium for as long as you choose to do so. These two request would show people you don’t ballhawk for money. An alternative scenario if the Yankees don’t agree to do the equipment drive: you could ask BIGS to take the ball for a 30-stadium tour where fans can come to their booth and see the ball, and have BIGS donate money to PIFB. They get the tour publicity, you get to ballhawk in 30 stadiums and PIFB gets a donation. Whatever you decide to do with the ball, it’s really nobody’s business, so it’s totally up to you.

  33. Ruben Moreno

    Congrats dude! In all seriousness, add to your will that that baseball will stay within your family (or trusted family friend) until the end of time and will never be sold. You’ve never gotten to play in the Bigs but you made a sport/competition out of capturing baseballs during live games (and pre- and post-). In essence, THIS is your World Series MVP Trophy. As far as I’m concerned, this is worth way more to you than it is to MLB or A-Rod. You’ve paid your fair share of $$ to attend the plethora of MLB games over the span of your lifetime. You don’t owe anyone anything. Seriously though, put that ball in a safe (with the will) and utilize this opportunity to spread awareness about your books/blogs and charities. Screw anyone that scolds you for milking this opportunity but at the end of the day, you gotta look out for yourself. I’m 21 now and after reading/hearing about you getting screwed at Yankee Stadium since I was 14, it’s poetic justice that now YOU have something that THEY want. I would be a smartass to the Yanks and ask: If his milestones aren’t “marketable” then why do you care so much? And if it’s only A-Rod that wants it, then he would be going above and beyond with his offer. Also think about that time of when you nearly missed Griffey’s 600th Home Run. You were 5 feet away…Let that sink in. I would easily return Griffey’s ball, but this isn’t Griffey we’re talking about here. 7 years later and you’ve finally been able to acquire something close to that. Maybe Joe (the Griffey ball dude) will reach out to you about writing that book haha if he still has your card! Email me if you want to talk more. Congrats again man and of course, thank you again for signing my copy of your book and always being a class act.

  34. Drew Selz

    Hey, Zack i say you should sell the ball and take all of the money generated from the ball and donate it to a charity such as Pitch In for Baseball! Cause wouldnt you want to have the blessing of catching this ball affect the lives of so many instead of just yours? Just my thoughts but should definetly not give the ball back to Rodriguez!

  35. Chris

    Congratulations!

    Consider giving 1/2 to charity and you keep the other half! Tell the Yankees & ARod that you want 1 million dollars for the ball and that half will go to a good cause and to a foundation that will educate teens about steroids and abuse of them. Everyone wins and Arod gets good PR and so do you.

    Plus you take home half a million :-). I am not sure he could turn this offer down.

  36. Chris

    Do with it what it was meant for, a game. Take it out, throw it around… Hit the damn thing so many times it becomes lopsided. Let the kids use it, leave it outside in the rain and get water logged. Then after the years, give that lumpy, soggy pos to the highest bidder.

  37. Thom Rodriguez

    Do the right thing: return the ball to MLB via the NY Yankees and request that it finds a home in Cooperstown. Don’t ask for anything in return, but tell them to give you what they think it’s worth.

  38. Travis

    Give him the damn ball. Get a real job, contribute to society and stop being a greedy pig. I’m so good a catching foul balls!!! Get real.

  39. Jeremy

    Keep it. That’s what you originally wanted to do with it. Think about it, your lifelong passion is catching and collecting baseballs. This is what you live for. Your ultimate passion. Doesn’t part of you feel like it was meant to happen? Out of all people to catch it it would be you. I say keep it.

  40. Frank

    A-Rod has made over 400 million in his career for being a cheater. Make him pay Zack. That ball is your lottery ticket.

  41. Kelly T

    You’ve never sold a ball yet, so I don’t think you should now. I think you should give it to him for some other memorabilia and a substantial donation to Pitch in For Baseball. Or have him do something for them.

    Congrats!

  42. Bob Dalton

    Heres what to do.Find out the company that manufactured the steroids that A-ROD took.Then I bet they would pay handsomely for it.See then they could use it in advertising promotions

  43. Charles bowen

    Zach I believe that you caught the ball and it is your decision what to do with it. Personally, I would ask for a couple of things,season tickets for the next 5 years, autographs, etc. I think it would be cool to get the ball back to him, it is something he would have as a reminder of this event, but again, the decision is yours to make. I know in meeting you, your love and passion of the game, you will make the right decision. Charlie

  44. Double T

    Hey Zack! Haven’t been commenting on the blog a lot lately and I apologize for that! You may remember me I was pretty active on here a couple years ago. Anyways, congrats on catching the ball! It’s awesome that you caught it. Obviously we all would want to keep it, and it would be hard to give back. But it is one of his “achievements” and I’m sure he would be willing to pay up. Anyways, congrats again!

  45. Rockiefan100

    First off I LOVE James lee’s idea. Have it tour the stadiums, fans get to see the ball and you get to ballhawk. Also love his PIFB idea.

    Other idea:
    Ask the Yankees (or MLB) for a speiceal pass that let’s you sit in any seat that is not already taken free of charge and as long as you live you can sit anywhere at Yankee stadium. Also you could maybe throw in a field pass so for BP you can go on the field or something like that. Although I do think alone sooner or later you give the ball up is better. I think you should keep the ball, it yours, but in the futer players might recognize you and when you ask for a ball they say “hey isn’t that the guy who wouldn’t give A-rod’s ball back” than not throw you one. Ballhawking would becom much harder. But it’s YOUR ball and you should do whatever you want with it.

    PS thanks to you I got my first to balls this past week!

  46. Liz Merry

    Wow. CONGRATS! Nobody deserved this snag more than you. And this has to be the most comments on any blog entry of yours EVER. Boy oh boy did the trolls come out. (Chip Young – seriously?) I will not suggest any course of action except to NOT give the ball to Rodriquez. It is not his. It is yours. I know you will figure out the right thing to do; the thing that will benefit the most people and I hope yourself, too. I am so proud of you.

  47. Rockiefan100

    First off I LOVE James lee’s idea. Have it tour the stadiums, fans get to see the ball and you get to ballhawk. Also love his PIFB idea.

    Other idea:
    Ask the Yankees (or MLB) for a speiceal pass that let’s you sit in any seat that is not already taken free of charge and as long as you live you can sit anywhere at Yankee stadium. Also you could maybe throw in a field pass so for BP you can go on the field or something like that. Although I do think alone sooner or later you give the ball up is better. I think you should keep the ball, it yours, but in the futer players might recognize you and when you ask for a ball they say “hey isn’t that the guy who wouldn’t give A-rod’s ball back” than not throw you one. Ballhawking would be much harder. But it’s YOUR ball and you should do whatever you want with it.

    PS thanks to you I got my first to balls this past week!

  48. Jeff Bunnell

    Andrew and I were watching it live and were so glad to see that you were the one who caught the ball. Hope you and the Yankees can agree on some sort of deal. Maybe lifetime access to the Legends section to help you with your ball shagging.

  49. Ryan

    Celebrating Arod’s 3,000th hit is like celebrating a man getting his 3,000th erection after taking his 6,000th viagra.

    Keep it, or don’t. But if you give it back to him, make him pay.

  50. Rockiefan100

    Also if you get the ballhawking pass you get more balls and make more money for PIFB

  51. Mike

    So there I am watching the game to see if A-rod gets his hit, and he connects and I think, ” Hmm, wonder if Zack is there?” So the ball lands and who is there with it in his hands, but you! How awesome was that! I explain to Harry that you got the ball, and he wonders when you will be back so he can play catch with you. Awesome job!

    PS I know you are getting lots of advice as to what to do with the ball. Here’s mine: under no circumstances should you drop this one from a helicopter. Give me a call when you can

  52. byronscott4ever

    IF the ball is ever on display in public, regardless of who owns it, stipulate that your name and charity and website must be in writing by the ball at all times.

  53. Chase

    Ask the Yankees to lighten up on ballhawks/security in general, regardless of whether you give/trade the ball.

    And to everyone who says to give the ball back because it’s the “right thing to do,” who are you to say what Zack should do with his personal property. Zack has spent his whole life pursuing his passion of snagging MLB balls. He gets his hands on one of the most priceless balls ever hit, and you try to scold him from the comfort of your own couch, demanding that he give something that belongs to him to somebody else. Shame on you people.

  54. bob jones

    Exchange it for 4 charitable donations to 4 very worthy charities: The Wounded Warrior Project, St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, North Shore Animal League, and the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. If you can get the NYY to give $1,000 to each, it would be worth it.

  55. Liz Gardner

    Surprise the world! Give it to those little rascals standing behind you. They look about as excited as you.

  56. Robert Ziegler

    Congratulations and I for one am psyched you got the ball! You have worked hard to get where you are and yes some luck is involved but the same is true of the Yankees and A-Rod. I’m so glad you didn’t give it back to them for free — ridiculous, why would anyone even ask a fan to do that!! I think if you don’t want the money, you should auction it off for a legit charity… But otherwise, keep the ball or sell it back to the Yankees and keep the money. It’s your ball — you earned it!!! Lots of love and strength to you for the coming weeks man. Best wishes and congratulations!

  57. TribeFanForever

    Congrats on catching the ball, and you should do whatever you want with it. But I have a couple suggestions. First, you have the chance to make a statement: I know this doesn’t sound like a good idea, but you could take it to the next game at Yankee Stadium . . . And throw it back on the field, stickerless. It’s evil and worthless. It’s just a cheater’s fake home run that he didn’t earn. If he hadn’t ever been on juice, it would have been hit no. 1,876 or something like that. Nothing special. It’s made worse by the fact that a poor sport like A-rod hit it. Throwing it back would make that point rather eloquently.

    But you could also sell it to use A-rod’s evil for good. If you sell it, you could use the money for charity as some have suggested or start an anti-PED foundation with it.

  58. Barry Hall

    Zack, just saw you on SC. The ball is yours. You caught it. You own it. Only you should decide what to do with it. Congrats. I love what you’re doing. Also, I shared your life story with my daughters and they got a kick out of it

  59. Alan Wald

    Congratulations on catching A-Rod’s 3000 hit homer! What a thrill that has to be. Just saw you on SportsCenter! Great interview. Great to hear about your background.

    Good luck on your decision.

  60. Adam

    congratulations on your 15 minutes of fame. I see that you have a charity and am a little surprised that you aren’t using that ball and this fame to bring more attention to it. It must be a tax write off.

  61. Robert Ziegler

    And to the people talking about $1,000 or a free lifetime ticket… What world are you from? My little bakery in a little town regularly makes donations of hundred of dollars… This is the New York Yankees!! Not a high school team in Iowa! They can write a check (and so can A-Rod) for a million dollars without stopping to check their bank account first. Reality check everyone. Zach doesn’t owe anyone anything and “being a stand up guy” means lot more than “doing what the Yankees want me to do”. Zach, don’t sell yourself short. I agree with the poster that mentioned the fate aspect… You caught this ball for a reason. Take as much time as you need before making any decisions about it.

  62. Mike

    Take that ball and burn it. He (a-rott) is not worth hold it. He does not deserve to get that tainted ball back.

  63. Zac Bachman

    Just give it to Arod. It means more to him than it does to you. And don’t ask for anything in return, except maybe for Arod to cut a 3K check (in honor of his 3,000th hit) to a good charity such as Oxfam.

  64. John W.

    Hey Zack! You are one LUCKY BASTARD!! I will admit it’s cool that another Ballhawk got it! It’s also fitting that you got it ….. A-Rod’s #’s are inflated by steroids and your numbers are inflated by begging! You have come a long way in the HR game but you still have a long way to go!!

  65. Jesse

    I think you should keep it…F’ A-Roid…but IF you do give it back, you should only trade it for a some kind of lifetime early stadium entrance pass and be able to keep all the baseballs you get.

  66. bloggingboutbaseball

    Hi, Zack. First of all, congratulations! Right place, right time. I thought you represented yourself well on ESPN this morning. No matter what you do people will be unhappy. Don’t worry about what everyone else thinks – if you want to cash in, great! If you want to work out a deal with the Yankees, cool. If you want to brand the ball with an asterisk and send it to the HOF, kudos! But you are not at all wrong for wanting to slpw this down, breathe, and make a rational decision.
    Wow – I think it’s so crazy that 3K was a.) a homer, b.) an oppo shot, and c.) hit toward you, knocked around, and kicked to your feet. Talk about one in a million… billion… trillion.

  67. Bob

    “There’s no right or wrong in this”

    Seems pretty obvious that the “right” thing to do, if you are serious about your charity work, would be to auction it off and give the proceeds to the charity that you support.

  68. Gary Dunaier

    Give A-Rod the ball. You owe it to him, if you’re a true fan of baseball.

    It’s easy to sit behind a computer screen and tell you what to do, especially when the ball is not mine and I have no vested interest in its fate. It’s like on a game show where the contestant can take the money or risk it all for a bigger prize, and the audience wants him to risk it all – it’s not their money, and it’s not like they’re going to take up a collection for him if he loses.

    In reality, I think you have the right attitude as far as keeping the ball and not “owing” A-Roid anything. Back in the day, “when it was just a game” and money was not the issue it is today, it might have been a different situation. But in 2015, when even the worst Major League players make six-figure sums of money, concession prices are sky-high (a 20-ounce bottle of soda costs $5.50 at Citi Field), and the way teams nickel-and-dime fans in all sort of ways, and especially the Yankees’ attitude toward their fans, as shown by their turning a reasonable request for civility into a free speech issue (“Ticket holders acknowledge and agree that the Yankees’ ban on foul/abusive language and obscene/indecent clothing does not violate their right to free speech”) – you don’t “owe” them anything.

  69. Canadian Baseball fan

    Ask A-Rod for $170,000 – a game’s pay for him — and keep $70 k. give the rest to a kid’s baseball league.

  70. Shane

    I love the irony here, a guy who blogs about snagging balls around the country snags perhaps the most sought after ball this year, and a home run to boot. Way to go Zack!

    Some clever ideas in the comments for sure. Perhaps you should have a charity auction where the winning amount for the ball is matched by the Yankees, or A-Rod and donated to a charity of your choice.

    Otherwise, keep the dang ball, put it in a nice trophy case, and make sure that every once in a while you post a picture of yourself right in front of it. That will remind everyone how cool this is!

  71. SeeTheWorld247

    Simple…in exchange for the ball get a lifetime pass from MLB for you and 3 guests to attend any and all games for the remainder of your life. You have to be present each time to collect your 4 tickets. Its the passion for baseball that you have so why not keep catching balls and having fun with no limits on to where you can attend. MLB and the Yankees can easily arrange this.

  72. Larry Gillis

    I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of the Yankees or ARod, but I’m a little dismayed that this ball was gotten by somebody who is a professional ball collector. It’s like finding out that the Power Ball was won by a billionaire. Congrats – I’m sure it’s a thrill and all, but you always hope something like this ends up with a 10 year old kid who just happens to be in the right place, not someone knocking over old ladies and sneaking his way into the front row during BP.

  73. Ed (54 Year Yankees fan)

    Give him the ball and accept his “thank you”. Be a mensch. Show some class.

  74. Smitty

    I think people here might be significantly overvaluing what this ball is worth to ARod – he simply gave away the 2000 RBI bat (and likely will do the same with the 3000 hit bat) to Cooperstown. This likely won’t get you rich, but you very well might be remembered for a long time by what you choose to do.

  75. greg belestri

    Give the ball to his Dr. or lab that made the PED’s they are the ones that truly deserve it.

  76. joshua

    Yup and anytime people here the name Ted Bundy they think of a freak! Move on dude. A Rod may be remembered but for nothing positive. The 1919 White Sox Are remembered for ever to. I have a feeling A Rod will follow suit with them.

  77. joshua

    THAT BALL NEEDS TO BE DESTROYED! No MONEY should be generated off of it unless your gonna sell it and donate it to the offices that investigate these roiding a holes! The BASEBALL HALL OF FAME is reluctant to induct any one of the proven users.

  78. Lisa Tuminello-Reynolds

    Zach, I sent u an email about my son Thomas. My son was diagnosed w brain cancer at age 2. He endured 5 brain surgeries, countless rounds of chemo, 2 forms of radiation, another cancer fight w treatment related leukemia. We lost him at age 13. He was kind, gentle, sweet, caring, giving. All of the traits Arod does not possess. The NY Yankees invited us to a game, Thomas got on the field, we sat in the dugout during batting practice. The players were awesome. Thomas got tons of autographs, except for 1 jerk, (ARod) who couldn’t find time to sign for my beautiful son, with his little bald head. Thomas never got an autograph from the bum, but as my son said, he didn’t want his autograph anyway. My son’s favorite player was Brett Carroll, a kind man from the Florida Marlins. How about a small donation to Thomas Reynolds Foundation which serves to remember my son, as well as, raising funds for pediatric brain cancer? Whatever u choose, I hope u don’t give it back to him. He doesn’t deserve it! Btw we met u at Nationals Park in 2009. Good luck!

  79. Big Glove Bob

    Zack- Do NOT just give the ball back to that cheater who has earned a half billion bucks. Take your time. That ball ain’t going nowhere and neither is the game of baseball. Let the ball make you some meaningful money and don’t feel bad about it for one second. Now is the time for Zack to do Zack. Eff the haters.

    Big Glove Bob

  80. tieysha davidson

    Hi, well, someone mention you love baseball obviously, and you wanted to play ball also. if this was your 3000th hit, would you want the ball back? yes you would. i would say, give it back, but get what you can out of it. ask to meet Arod and see what yall can come up with. maybe a lifetime pass to games, money, anything, a jersey, ball, bat, a picture of you and him with the ball, and a lot of other things with his signature on it. plus money. you and Arod should have a sit down and talk about what you want. maybe he can have Jeter sign a few things. but the right thing too do will be to give it back. but i believe you know that. good luck. hope you make the right decision.

  81. Glenn Anderson

    It’s your ball. Period. Why do people feel presumptuousness enough to tell/insist what you should do with it Good luck dealing with THAT nuisance! All the best.

  82. Fred Karl

    Just give him the ball and stop grandstanding. It’s a shame that a moment in history is now marred by a toolbag who is the kind of guy who would shove a kid to the ground to catch a foul ball. It would be justice if MLB would ban you from ever attending a game again, since you use games as a way to scam people out of money by charging them to sit with you at a game.

  83. G

    Hall of Shame / Art exhibition – put the ball in a Perspex box with a syringe jabbed into the ball. If you want to get really creative or literal, have the ball heat and pressure shaped into a heart, so those slower viewers will get the ‘steroids killed the heart of baseball’ metaphor. You could found the Hall of Shame and induct A-Rod as the first member. Plenty of people would pay $5 for entry. I feel Canseco would be game enough to attend his own induction, kind of like Halle Berry picking up her Razzie award.

  84. David Cahill

    I can’t believe that was you! When I saw the first replay of it on-line last night, I thought, “Hey, that looks like Zack! Nah, it can’t be. What are the odds?”.
    Then I read that it was you today and I’m totally blown away. You deserve this, man! After all these years and hard work, this is the true cherry on top!

  85. Greg Jeranek aka: BROOKLYN

    Unbelievable, simply awesome. If it was mine I would eventually sell it at auction with Heritage at one of there platinum auctions. High rollers and a lot of exposure equals big money! In any case it is yours to keep or give away(to me),or sell. Have fun!
    Best regards,
    Greg Jeranek
    Aka Brooklyn

  86. David Cahill

    This is a continuation of what I just wrote above. ^^ I just read all 110 comments above and the ones I like the best revolve around getting the Yankees to let you sit wherever you want (after free admission, of course) and lay off you at BP, etc. They could totally swing that. Imagine not having to pay to get into Yankee Stadium again for as long as you live?

  87. Kallen

    I am not an Arod fan, not at all. But he deserves to get that ball. I’d ask for some sweet memorabilia and a few hundred thousand dollars, Arod won’t miss it but give him the ball, I know if I accomplished something like that it would be a huge deal to get the ball.

  88. Barbara Hunt

    Be a stand up guy. That ball belongs to Arod. Ask to meet with him. Let him know you are going to give it to him. Hopefully he will do the right thing. If he doesn’t you will be a hero, but I’m betting he will show his appreciation big time. I hope you will think about it. It was a special moment which has turned ugly. Make it right, a lot of fans will respect you for it. Your legacy will be the guy that caught Arod’s 3000th and had the class and character to hand it to him. Believe me you’ll get press from that!

  89. Leticia Kovacs

    The right thing to do is give it to Alex . I am sure the Yankees will give you some compensation for it .

  90. Sid

    Zach. Have followed you for a long time. Respect your hobby and what you do. But your decision to milk this fifteen minutes of fame isn’t going to end well for you.

    Kee your mouth shut. Figure out what you want to do and do it honorably. Don’t make a media circus of this just because a few writers want to make a story out of you for a day.

  91. rockiesfan100

    Make the Yankees donate to PIFB keep a little money for yourself an make them give you all access. its a Win-win

  92. Etienne

    Seen from across the pond, this is so funny. All these idiots giving advice about..what? A ball? I have no advice to you, only to your commenters: guys, get a life. The best is the air traffic guy who seems seriously obnoxious. I love you all. Evolved apes.

  93. John DimWitt

    Zack — It’s me, John DimWitt again. What I meant to say is that your ballhawking stats are just as inflated as my waistline. Have you seen me lately? It’s only a matter of time before diabetes sets in. I’m very jealous that you’ve written 3 successful books about baseball, while I failed miserably at writing one. Have you seen the video of me begging for a baseball? Add it to the list of things I’ve tried to do like you, but failed.

  94. Rick

    I think you should keep it. I think the ball means more to you than it does to ARod. Of all the 8000+ MLB balls you have snagged this is the biggest of them all! I would place the ball on my mantle and retire from ballhawking. Congratulations and for sure do whatever you want with the ball it belongs to you! Don’t be swayed by public opinion.

  95. Andy from the SCG

    That ball was given to you by A Rod. It belongs to you. You live in America. Sell it for the best price you can get. One day you might have kids who will need an education. One day you might want a house by the sea. This is your work. You just got the big payola for many years of toil.

  96. Terry Hunter

    Auction the ball using Christies or high end service. Give 10% to charity and keep the rest. F Arod, the NYY or anyone.

  97. Nick Majors

    Hey zack its nick again i couldent believe it when i was wacthing the yankeegame and i saw you snag A rods 3000 hit that was awesome i just wanted to say congradulations and hopefully ill see you in the summer at yankee stadium (im still trying to find a date )

  98. Big Glove Bob

    You already gave away one 6 figure ball, eff anyone who says you should just give this ball away.

    Long Relief has spoken.

  99. Pat Metzger

    Zack, I see where you used to work for the Boise Hawks. We would love to talk to you about your experiences on Boise sports talk radio. I have reached out via email but thought I’d try this too! KEEP THE BALL!

  100. Ed McClain

    Wow! This is quite the lifetime achievement for you! Maybe even more of an achievement than grabbing some baseballs during a Yankees batting practice while most people with a semblance of a life really couldn’t give much of a F!

    However, if you are planning/hoping that someone will back up the brinks truck for a ball a guy hit that few people really care about and is generally thought of as a joke (especially outside the NY area) you are going to be sadly disappointed!

  101. Dave Mitchell

    Were it mine, I’d donate it to Cooperstown.

    (Great appearance on Sportscenter Saturday – esp. as wiped out as you must have been!)

  102. David nahama

    Who gives a rats ass.people all over the world are struggling.a rod doesn’t have his ball and you have no balls or any kind of decency. Sell the ball give the money ti charity.that’s something to be remembered for.

  103. Becky Warren (@Smee81)

    Hi Zack, I would keep the ball. A-Rod does not deserve it. BUT, if you were to give the ball up, first put a giant, thick, black asterisk on all pannels of the ball, before you relinquish it. Good luck to Alex or any museum then… if they display it, they’d be owning up to the cheating! Just my two sense! -Becky

  104. Big Glove Bob

    So, the Yankees don’t want to pay that cheating piece of crap his contracted bonus money for reaching milestones but they are willing to pay or give perks to have him get the ball back? The Yankees suck, their fans mostly suck and you have said that their stadium sucks with all it’s BS rules.

    I do not know your financial situation at all and maybe that $50,000 to $500,000 is small change and worth less than a token donation to charity and some perks.

    Maybe Legends tix for life are in order?

    Dinner Portion

  105. Crippy

    Reblogged this on Flashin' Leather and commented:
    Have you ever heard of this guy? I heard him on MLB radio a few years ago. He’s made a science out of catching baseballs. Anyway, he caught A-Rod’s 3000th.

  106. Dan Cox (Akron)

    Zack, Congrats on catching the “golden ticket”. Yours is the only opinion that counts. You’ve never sold a ball; why would you start now. Give it to A Rod for a signed jersey and $3,000 annual donation to your charity. Plus how bout a job with the Yankees for $3,00 a month (sounds like a win’win for you and the ball.) Good luck with your decision.

  107. Nick G

    Wow Zack! I cannot believe you caught the ball. Props to you man. You have so much luck on your side in terms of ballhawking. Don’t listen to all of the haters out there. You’ve never sold a ball before, so why start now? Don’t let the yankees bully you into giving a ball back like they’ve done before. Keep it for yourself, and enjoy it as your crown jewel of your collection instead of in Aroid’s. He should regret he hit it to you instead of some clueless fan. Hold your ground man!

    -Nick G

  108. JOshua

    BE A STAND UP GUY? LOL Don’t listen to that idiot. It is not ARODS ball! It is yours! I don’t remember MLB asking for their foul balls and home runs back every game. BE A STAND UP GUY AND TELL A ROD HE CAN HAVE IT BACK FOR A YEAR’S WORTH OF HIS SALARY NOTHING LESS. THE GUY IS A DOUCHE BAG WHO NOT ONLY CHEATED BASEBALL BUT WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT HAD THE NERVE TO LIE TO ALL OF US FOR SO LONG ABOUT IT.

  109. Jeff H.

    Hi Zack – Congrats! My humble opinion is for you to do exactly what you’re doing: take your time, figure out what’s important to you, find some ideas that would fulfill those things and do them. Maybe it’s simply hanging onto the ball and passing it down to a future son or daughter. Maybe it’s monetizing it in some way to benefit yourself and/or others. Maybe it’s using it to generate publicity for yourself or causes that you feel strongly about.

    Whatever you decide, I truly feel that the desires of MLB or the player should NOT be a factor in your decision. As a fan who’s given all kinds of time, energy and money to MLB through the years by simply attending games, buying food, drinks and parking, and also by watching and listening to games on TV and radio, I’ve come to accept the fact that in the eyes of MLB, I am simply a vehicle for generating more and more revenue.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the game of baseball and the MLB product, and will continue to watch and spend money. However, the simple fact that MLB gets what they want from me (my money — often begrudgingly, esp. when buying food or drink at the stadium), gives me enough reason to conclude that we as fans should get what we want from MLB when we are given that opportunity.

    And, you, Zack, have been given (maybe I should say ‘earned’ because I know how much you work at it) a fabulous opportunity. So, enjoy it!

  110. Zack Hample

    Hey, everyone-
    I’m sorry I didn’t reply sooner and that I don’t have time to answer you all individually, but (with the exception of certain people here who are laughably out of touch with reality), thank you all SO MUCH for the comments. I read them all as soon as they were posted, and I just combed through them and read everything again. As you’ve probably heard, I ended up giving the ball to A-Rod in exchange for the Yankees donating $150,000 the charity Pitch In For Baseball. I’m happy with my decision and the outcome, and I want you to know that the advice I got here was actually quite helpful. And so were the kind words. There has been an absurd amount of negativity, which, thankfully, is finally subsiding a bit, so it’s good to know I have lots of support as well.

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