Charity prizes — 2016

For the last seven years, I’ve been raising money for a children’s baseball charity called Pitch In For Baseball, and for the last four seasons, I’ve given away a bunch of prizes to the people who’ve donated. I’ve decided to do it again in 2016. Let me start with a quick list of the stuff you can win. Then I’ll show you photos of everything and explain how this is going to work:

1) a commemorative envelope signed by Ernie Banks
2) three baseball cards signed by Chris Chambliss, Doug Drabek, and Mike Greenwell
3) two (unsigned) Larry Doby cards
4) a Jacoby Ellsbury bobblehead
5) a Juan Lagares bobblehead
6) a game-used Target Field commemorative ball
7) a signed copy of Man Versus Ball
8) two Mets rally towels from the 2015 playoffs and World Series
9) six Mets t-shirts
10) two Yankees caps and a commemorative “10,000 wins” patch

Here’s a photo of the Ernie Banks autograph:


This special type of commemorative envelope is known in the autograph world as a First Day Cover. Why am I giving it away? Because my family owns an old book store with a large autograph department, and sometimes they give me cool stuff.

These three signed cards also came from the store, and FYI, they’ll be given away as one prize:


Here are the Larry Doby cards:


These two cards will be awarded as a single prize.

Here’s the Jacoby Ellsbury bobblehead:


That was a giveaway at Yankee Stadium during the 2015 season, and yes, I’ll send it to you in the box with all the packaging. (I think the bobblehead should’ve had him making the same dopey face as his photo on the box, but oh well.)

Here’s the Juan Lagares bobblehead:


Here’s the Target Field ball:


This ball was used during a game in 2010. Someone else snagged it and gave it to me for some silly reason — presumably to be nice.

Here’s the copy of Man Versus Ball:


I’m friends with the author, Jon Hart. Remember this article he wrote about me two years ago? Anyway, this book isn’t signed yet, but it will be. Jon will personalize it for the winner, so when the time comes, let me know and I’ll pass along your autograph request.

Here are the Mets rally towels:


The one on the left came from Game 3 of the 2015 NLDS at Citi Field. The one on the right was a giveaway at the World Series. These will be given together as one prize.

Here are the six Mets t-shirts:


These were all given away during “Free Shirt Fridays” at Citi Field in 2015, and they’ve never been worn. All six will be grouped as one prize.

Here are the Yankee caps and commemorative patch:


All three of those items were giveaways last year and will be grouped as one prize.

People who donate money to Pitch In For Baseball through my fundraiser will be eligible to win these prizes — and it’s all based on how many home run balls I snag DURING pifb_logo_04_02_16games over the course of the MLB season. For every dollar per home run ball that you donate, your name will be entered into the drawing; in other words, someone who donates $25 per ball will have five times the odds of winning over someone who donates $5 per ball. The person whose name is picked first will get to pick which prize they want; the person whose name is picked second will get the next choice, and so on. If I had to guess, I’d predict snagging about five game home run balls this season, so if you pledge $1 per ball, that will end up being about a $5 donation. This is not an exact formula, of course, and that’s what makes it fun. It’s highly unlikely that I won’t snag any home runs, but there’s a chance I might only get one or two. There’s also a chance that luck will be on my side and I’ll end up snagging half a dozen or more.

For those who don’t know, Pitch In For Baseball is a non-profit charity that provides baseball and softball equipment to underprivileged kids all over the world. Check out their website and follow them on Twitter. They’re the ones who received $150,000 from the Yankees last year after I snagged and returned A-Rod’s 3,000th career hit . . . remember?

Finally, if you’d like to make a pledge, click here to get started. You’ll see that it looks different now; Pitch In For Baseball has partnered with an organization called PLEDGE IT, so that’s who will be handling your donations. Thanks very much for your consideration!


  1. Big Glove Bob

    The Mets shirts would make good bird cage liners. The Mets are going to have a front row seat Sunday night at the K when the Royals hoist their 2015 World Series Champions flag and then again on Tuesday when the boys get their rings. The prizes are a little lackluster I must say. Once again, I will offer an all expenses paid (by them) date with BGB for any woman who is picked as a winner. Start bidding ladies!

    Dinner Portion

  2. Liz Merry

    Why all the hate, BGB? I LOVE the Mets t-shirts I won last year.. I am wearing one right now. With your terrific positive attitude, I’m sure you’ll easily find a woman to take you up on your generous offer. Best of luck!

  3. Zack Hample

    Jeeeeez. Sorry I couldn’t offer a “steak dinner with Lisa Ann” as one of the prizes. Maybe I should offer a date with *me* as a prize next year. Hmm.

    Ha-HAAA!! You tell him! :)

  4. jere80

    Z-man: As you recall, you and I entered the gates at Citi at the WS at the same time. You were basically the first guy in and I was the second. So how is it that YOUR rally towel has the WS logo on it and mine doesn’t?? I was so excited to give that thing to my die-hard Mets fan bro-in-law, but without the logo, he just has to TRUST that it came from the WS. So tell me, was that just the luck of the draw, did I take from a person with a stack of old towels and you took from the person right next to them with a stack of new? Or did you buy yours? Or did you notice you got one like mine and then went around to different gates to try and find a WS one having noticed other people with WS ones…..? Anyway I hope I win that prize! (Though if my ALL-TIME favorite Mike “Gator” Greenwell is still available, well, sorry bro-in-law!)

  5. kelly1027

    Good luck this season. Hope you do better than last year (in number, maybe not in importance. That ARod ball will be hard to top!).

  6. Zack Hample

    I most certainly did not purchase it. I don’t actually remember the moment that I acquired it, but I think I just grabbed it on the way in. Hmm.

    It *will* be hard to top, but hey, thanks!

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