Baseball graffiti

Last week at Shea, I caught a practice ball with “NY” written on the sweet spot and called it ugly.

I take it back.

After combing through 1,600 of my balls the other day and finding a dozen different markings, I’ve decided that these balls actually look kinda pretty.

markedballs.jpg

Don’t get me wrong. I still think it’s silly that the Mets and other franchises worth hundreds of millions of dollars mark their ball$ in order to keep track of them…but as I kept looking at them, they seemed more authentic–and triggered more adolescent memories–than all the rest. I studied their evolving logos and tried to figure out when I caught them. I thought about the players and teams and stadiums that unintentionally provided them. I tried to imagine who wrote on them and who stamped them.

THE GRAFFITI KEY:
SF……………….San Francisco
C………………..Cubs
H………………..The incredibly stingy Houston Astros
BREWERS…….hmm
LA……………….Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles
NY……………….Straight from Flushing; Steinbrenner is too classy to deface his balls
F…………………Florida
KCR……………..Kansas City Royals
——…………….Brewers’ leftover 2002 All-Star Game ball
P………………..Pirates
SD………………San Diego
X………………..Can you guess?

The official Cincinnati countdown is at 15 days.

7 Comments

I was reading your ABOUT Zack page and I disagree with one thing.
Best ballpark for BP balls: Turner Field

Citizens Bank Park is the best for balls. The fence is low and the groundskeepers in Right field will get balls even if they’re busy!!! That park is the best.

Well, I suppose we can agree to disagree. For me, Turner Field is better because there’s a gap between the outfield wall and the base of the stands. At Citizens Bank, that space is covered with a flower bed, so there aren’t nearly as many opportunities to use my glove trick

I was reading your previous posts, wow its great you went on the rosie o’donald show. Question : If Jay Leno invited you, or any such prominent talk-show host, and asked to keep one of your collected baseballs as you presented them, would you let him keep it? lol =P

Funny you should ask. When I was on Rosie, I gave her one of my baseballs because she had given me Mets playoff tickets which enabled me to catch it. It was very touching. You know what else it was? Staged! As soon as the segment was over, Rosie handed the ball back to me.

So the answer is no. O’Donnell, Leno, Letterman, DeGeneres…doesn’t matter to me. I have every ball I’ve ever caught, and I’d never voluntarily make my collection incomplete.

Since no one correctly guessed the team that used to write “X” on their balls, I’ll just tell you: The Braves.

I was just going through some of my baseballs (all from kansas city) and found a couple with the KCR stamp and one with a red star stamp. I think they only used the KCR stamp for one season because now they are either unmarked or just have a line through the sweet spot. I’m mostly an autograph collector, but I enjoy trying for baseballs too.

Great site by the way.

-Kent

Thanks, Kent. I actually have one of those red star balls, but I didn’t include it in the pic because I’d forgetten where it was from. How cool to finally solve that mystery after all these years.

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