Next game?

I’m not happy about this dry spell, but I’d be even unhappier if I forced it to end by going to a crowded game.

There’s no way I’m going to Yankee Stadium this weekend for Oakland, and as for next week’s series against Texas…eh. Yankee Stadium really doesn’t interest me that much.

Next week’s Red Sox-Orioles series in Baltimore is tempting, but it’s soooo faaaar awaaaay.

Man…I don’t know, I might end up waiting until the Mets’ next weeknight game at Shea: May 23rd against the Phillies.

At least I’m getting a lot of writing done…

54 Comments

1st!

Eh? As in…first person to leave a comment? Didn’t know it was a competition. :-)

Well since “1st” isn’t really a comment, I consider THIS to be the first comment…

Zack man, remember your last crowded Yankee game? Double-digits if I remember correctly. But, I understand your reluctance to go there…

I also think Baltimore is worth the trip. It is exremely easy to snag at Camden.

I hope my input helps. If not, what do I know anyway?

Red Sox-Yankees update:
Mariano Rivera has just been booed. What is wrong with New York?

Jeez. We need an official scorer for our comments. I know I did well at Yankee Stadium, but it’s such a struggle. I could have just as easily walked away with three balls that night. I don’t like that fans aren’t allowed down to the dugouts before the game. That’s just wrong. And THAT, as well as the huge/hostile crowds, is what keeps me away. But don’t knock your advice. You know a lot.

Yankees update:

Papelbon for President

Hey ZACK,
Just found your blog.i dont know if you remember but i was sitting next to you in the loge against the pirates that night when you moved under for the rain, You asked my buddy about the sausage sandwich thing lol. Get back to me dude and good luck getting to 3,000. Also add my blog to your list.

http://allthewrightstuff.mlblogs.com/

Whoa! Yes. I do remember…up in the Loge, just behind the LF foul pole, right?

Nice to hear from you, and nice to see that you have a blog. (I didn’t mention my blog to you guys at the game, did I?)

Nope, but im glad i found it. It was cool to see you their with your father. Me and my dad own those seats for the season, stop by any time. But i love going to games with my dad man, its like something ur gonna regret when they pass on ya kno?. Yeah right behind the lf pole, next year im moving closer maybe section 14. It was nice talking to u, K.I.T ill write in urs and thanks for writing in mine and keep checking for usual 10 updates a day lol.

Yo dude, cant get a ball to save my life… HELP..
Any tips for me for tomorrow night, I’m on the MLBradio.com interview.

Boy will I crash and burn dude

http://psycho.mlblogs.com/

JOHN-
I think you mean “miss” instead of “regret,” but yes, I know what you mean…though I try not to think about it too much. Very cool that you have season tickets. I hope I will too at some point.

DAVE-

It’s supposed to rain, which means no BP, which means VERY few opportunities for balls. If there’s no BP, your best bet is to wear an A’s cap (heaven forbid) and hang out along the left field foul line and try to get a ball thrown to you from one of the pitchers when they come out to throw at like 5:30pm. If there is BP, go for the corner spot all the way out in RF, right in the main aisle, as close as you can get to the bleachers. Just stay there, and you WILL get a few balls thrown to you over the course of BP.

Oh wait…you mean you need tips for your radio interview?

Yeah mate. You were on recently..???

Z,

I had an amazing 2 days at Ameriquest for the Twins/Rangers games. Tuesday, I got 5 balls (all from players and 1 bullpen catcher). I also got CY YOUNG award winner Johan Santana to sign. Then after the game, I got the LINEUP CARD from the bullpen. I also got about 5 cards signed.

I have a cool anecdote. A Twins coach was at the dugout, and I asked him for a ball from the BP bin. He was like “they’re just practice balls!”. Of course I (and you would have said if you heard this) said “man, that’s good enough for me!”. He tossed me a ball, and it was my first ‘training balls’ that we’ve seen this year. Someone asked this coach (Steve Liddle) about the practice balls, and he was like “we use them because they’re a lot cheaper”. Typical Twins penny pinching.

Wednesday was going to be terrible (I thought). It was a day game after a night game with no BP. Also, it was like school kid day at the park, lots of area school were there on a field trip. You can put 2 and 2 together here, lots of balls going to the little kids, and not me (the big kid). I had a measly 1 ball until after the game. I go down by the dugout, and after the final out, coach Jerry White has a ball, I call out, and that’s one. Then manager Gardenhire comes out, I call out “Gardy”, and here comes a fresh, unused ball. Then, I ask Gardenhire “can I have the lineup card?”. He points at someone, and they take the card and get it onto the dugout for me.

First official lineup card, ever! It sure looks good in my game room!

DAVE-
I was on last season. Are you nervous about being on the radio? (Have you been on the radio before?) Or are you just worried that you won’t have anything to say? The host is great. He’ll prompt you with questions, and all you’ll have to do is talk to the guy like you’d talk to any of your buddies…just without the four-letter words.

DROSENDA-

That is phenomenal. I’m happy for you. And jealous. I figured that was the deal with the “training balls,” but it’s nice to get the official answer from an insider. Thanks.

Cheers mate. I can’t wait, really looking forward to it

Congrats on the lineup card, drosenda.

DAVE-
I’ll listen for ya.

GROCERY MAN-

Have you gotten any lineup cards?

Not yet, not yet.

Z,

You’re jealous of me? Yeah, Mr. All-Star baseballs and 4 pairs of batting gloves and 2 bats and on and on. . .

The lineup card this is opportunistic. I guarantee you Gardenhire was happy as anything to hold on to the Wednesday win. So? It was easy as heck.

I have a great picture my wife took of me sprawled out on the dugout. Any way you could post it? Or, can I post it? I don’t have a ‘server’ to upload it to, though.

Wow how do you guys manage to get lineup cards and batting gloves, thats pretty incredible. Any tips for me on getting lineup cards or anything else other than balls.

GROCERY MAN-
Now that I think about it, I don’t believe I’ve EVER gotten a lineup card in NYC. I’ve gotten them in Detroit, Arlington, San Diego, Cincinnati, Houston. Huh. How about that.

DROSENDA-

What about the Grocery Man’s suggestion? Or some other similar site?

Yeah, I’ll do something later this weekend. I’m going out of town until Sunday. Later snaggers!

As far as HOW do you get these things? Ask, be aggressive, and be prepared for rejection. If you’re an adult (like me), be prepared for the clueless ‘little kid’ to be favored and get lots of stuff before you do. However, using some strategies (know the coach or players name, wear the team clothing or hat, get to a good place away from others), you can have succes like I have had. Over the 2 days at Ameriquest, I got 8 balls and 2 lineup cards, all from asking players and coaches. Of course, I was head to to in Twins gear, but still.

DROS-
Nice Twin’s games! So you only got to two of them? That’s alright I guess, they were both wins right?

I’m trying to make it to all six Twins-Orioles games this year at Camden.

what is the longest span you’ve ever gone between games?

Zack-

in milwaukee tongiht, there was a foul ball and two guys for fighting for it and then gary cohen says “did you see the guy on mets weekly who has like 20,000 baseballs?”

keith responds “yeah i did”

gary says “its amazing…its like a sport all its own”

i though that that was pretty cool

Are you serious?!*****. I missed it. Did anyone else out there see/hear it?

I used to go two months between games every year, back in the days when I was shipped off to sleep-away camp. It was painful, but the lack of MLB was the least of it.

Whats the most days in a row you’ve gone to games, and what’s the least amount of time between you leaving a stadium and you returning to a stadium?

Have you seen my personal web site? If you browse through the lists on the following page…

http://zackhample.com/snagged_balls.htm

…you’ll find an answer to the first part of your question.

A decade ago, when I used to attend day games after night games, there were probably a few times when I was only outside a stadium for like 11 hours between games…though I don’t keep stats for things like that. :-)

Hey Zack,

What’s your take on how the Mets are doing this year? Pedro and Glavine are amazing but man, that Zambrano injury hurt so bad and Bannister/Maine being out for a few weeks was terrible timing.

Just wanted to send a quick note saying, Keep doing what you’re doing. I read one of your recent posts about the haters (“begging for balls”) and they are full of it. It’s no ones business to tell you what is the “right” way to have a collection. I personally think it’s great that you have this hobby and that you use all your methods to obtain baseballs. Not to sound like a **** up but I’m a huge fan of MLB and the Mets so I understand how much fun it must be when I read up on your own personal fan/player interactions. Keep up the good work and stay with it.

Carl

Hey, Carl-

Thanks for the kind words. I really think the Mets will make the playoffs this year. The Marlins and Nationals are pathetic, and the Braves just don’t look that strong. That leaves the Phillies as the only threat in the NL East, and I think the Mets are better. I’m afraid, though, that because of all the games within their weak division, the Mets’ won-lost record will make them look better than they actually are. I don’t think they can beat teams like the Astros and Cardinals, and if they somehow reach the World Series, they’ll have a tough time against teams like the Sox (take your pick) and Yanks. But maybe that’s looking too far ahead. I don’t miss Zambrano or Maine. I think Willie should move Heilman to the starting rotation. Why wouldn’t you want your best available pitcher to throw 200 innings instead of 75? (The bottom of the lineup is weak…let’s move David Wright to the 8th slot to strengthen it.) Anyway, I think it’ll be an exciting year, and in a few more months, we might get our first glimpse of Pelfrey. I’m looking forward to that…

Hey is this how you say can I have a ball please in spanish because I’m going to a Jays-D-Rays game on the 23rd and want to ask Bobby Ramos for a ball in Spanish, so he will be more willing to give a ball my way. Puedo tener una bola por favor. And if anyone can help me pronounce the first 2 words, that would be greatly appriciated.

I’d just say, “Da me la bola, por favor.”

Give me the ball, please. Easy.

I guess that could work but it seems a bit roude to me, but what do I know your the baseball collector

poo-ehh-d’ho(puedo); “ten-ehrr”, roll the r i guess. other phrases, “me(meh)puede(poo-ehh-d’ehh) tirar(tea-rawr)una bola por favor”(can you throw me a ball please), “gracias(gra[ss]-see-***,lol but should work if said fast)” (thank you),all i can think of for now, if any one can think of a phrase(to a player), i’ll give it a try.

Thanks a lot man, gotta practise my spanish

Also i read on your site that you know how to ask balls in Japanese. That’s pretty cool. Anyway I was wondering if you can help me ask for a ball in Japanese because I dont know how to pronounce those symbols.

jimmyjoejoejrchabadu-

“Puedo tener una bola por favor?” should work along with everything Zack told you.

It translates to:

Can I have a ball please?

Dude, you are getting some serious comments :) Look at you Mr. Celebrity!

Hey guys..i had a good outing tonight..mets brewers turnbow bobblehead night i got a white one and a retro one..I got one ball from xavier nady..it was a allstar game one from comerica and has the orange and blue laces..whats with those? does anybody know anything about that. i also got a david wright auto on a ball, matsui on a card, and my favorite i waited for like 20 minutes for keith hernandez to sign my ball and after his segment i threw it up to the press box and he signed his name on the sweet spot beautifully and to top it off under it he but ’79 nl mvp! it was nice..he also signed a card of mine..overall it was a really good game and when turnbow blew the big one at the end there were a couple dozen bobble head heads out on the field..it was a crazy night but a good one..

JIMMY-
It’s really tough to describe the Japanese request because there are special inflections required. But here’s what it sounds like (with CAPS indicating where to put the emphasis):

CHOH-toh, bo-OH-roo oh NAH-geh-teh koo dah-SIGH.

Your voice has to go up as you say “bo-OH-roo oh” and down as you say “NAH-geh-teh.”

It’s tough.

FLARAKOO-

Thanks for helping out.

NICK-

Same to you.

UMAIR-

It’s crazy. I love it.

BERGIN-

Congrats on a great day, especially the Keith Hernandez autograph. That’s the thing that surprises me most. The Mets have been using 2005 All-Star Game balls all season during batting practice. There must’ve been a surplus, and for whatever reason, the Mets got ‘em. That’s my best guess.

I was watching the White Sox-Twins game last night and saw a funny little kid – a foul ball hit by the White Sox found the seats along the 3rd base line where an older man caught the ball. He then gave the ball to a little kid decked in Twins gear. The little kid looked happy for a quick second and then just chucked the ball back onto the field. I thought it was really funny, but I’m not sure if he got the ball back… delayed the game a little though.

Zack, what are you doing up at 5:39? Is that still night time for you, or just really early in the morning?

What’s up Zack? This is John Witt, former Wrigley & Fenway Ballhawk and now the Los Angeles Ballhawk in Anaheim!!
Anyway, I saw the “diss” left on you. They may have a point when talking about begging for balls but then again who cares! You get a ball you count it! If I counted Major League spring training, Minor League & College balls that I have caught, retrieved or asked for I would have a total of close to 4,000 baseballs.

This is my 29th season of chasing baseballs. Of the balls that I have acquired I am guessing but only about 300-350 were given to me. Again, does it really matter how you got them? I like to catch them and I feel that even today I am still one of the best “Ballhawks or Snaggers” out there!

This past week I finally sat down and went through all my notes, lists, papers and everything else to figure out just where I am!

29 years of Chasing Balls

2754 — Yes you passed me up but we go about it in different ways and that is what makes chasing baseballs fun! Not to mention from 93 until about 2001 my Ballhakwking was limited due to Marriage, divorce and working for Minor League baseball Teams.

99 Home Runs caught during games with the last one being Miguel Ojeda’s Home Run in the World Baseball Classic (see the video online)

So the next HR ball I catch will be #100 and I hope that it is Tim Salmon’s 300th but it is a little tougher to get HR’s at Anaheim now compared to before 95 or so.

Zack you are doing a **** of a job. We need to get together and see how many balls combined we can come up with in one game out here at Dodger Stadium or Angel Stadium!

Have Fun and screw the Critics! Those guys in Chicago hate me too!

Email me!

Hey Zack … if Barry doesn’t hit 714 today do you want to meet me in Houston?

hey Zack wow you found my blog thanks for visiting it

NICK-
That’s funny about the kid throwing the ball back. I’ve seen that happen (on TV) a few times. I stay up ’til about 5 to 7am every night.

JOHN!

I’ve been looking for you for a few years! It’s great to hear from you again. Wow. I can’t believe I finally passed you in the snagging department. I wasn’t sure if that would ever happen, but it makes sense, given your long stretch of semi-inactivity. But like you said, we go about our snagging in vastly different ways…I’ll never come close to beating your total of 99 homers during games. That’s truly astounding. Angel Stadium seems like it’d be a really tough place to get balls. I can’t even think of where I’d go to try to get a homer there. That place doesn’t have many empty seats these days. I was there for two games back in 1995 before Disney took the place over and renovated it. Dodger Stadium also looks like a miserable place, now that all those boxes have been added along the foul lines, but if you’re hanging out in the bleachers for homers, I guess that wouldn’t affect you. I have no problem with the guys in Chicago. Overall, they’ve all been great to me. It’s just that one guy who recently gave me a hard time, but hey, everyone’s entitled to express their opinions. Are you really going to Houston? I’m gonna have to pass on joining you. I have plans every day this coming week, here in NYC, so I can’t get away. But even so, I don’t think I’d make the trip. I just went to Houston in August, and I’m not sure I’d go back there so soon for a 1-in-100,000 chance of catching history. Keep in touch!

ALBERT-

I just happened to visit it because the name sounded interesting…and then I was delighted to see that it belongs to you. Feel free to share the link with everyone.

I am not going either however it just sounded like fun. You say it is 1 in 100,000 but during 1998 before I got the Sosa 61st HR I had a lot of people ask me what I though a Sosa or Big Mac HR ball would be worth, I told them “I will let you know when I get one!” I got one!! $7500 was what it was worth and where is Sosa now??

Anyway, I am going to the Angels vs Jays Tues and Wed and then the Dodgers vs Angels next weekend. Should be pretty good for balls Tues and Wed since the Angels are stinking it up right now!

Last Friday I only ended up with 1 ball, but a lot of autographs. I would have had 3, but there are waaaaay too many people. Hopefully at the new ballparks there will be a fun zone or 6 restaurants and bars or a mall or something to keep people away from the field before the game

JOHN-
It sounds like LOTS of fun. If I had the time, I’d be there in a flash. I remember reading about that Sosa ball that you caught. Crazy stuff. I guess the 1-in-100,000 odds don’t apply to you. Have fun at the games this week. I got your email, and I’ll answer it soon.

CHUCKSTER-

Yes! A mall! That’s the perfect solution. A mall with an amusement park inside.

HOLD ON JUST A MINUTE!!! You are not going to a game because its crowded and you might not get a ball. Could you imagine Joe D taking a day off in the midst of his 56 gamer because the pitcher was just too tough ….or how bout Ryno not making the all out effort to get to ball up the middle so he wouldnt have to chance throwing the ball across his body risking his all time errorless streak. No , im not liking this sitting out games stuff . I /WE DEMAND YOU ATTEND THE NEXT GAME !!!!

Sigh.

It’s not that I’m afraid my streak will end…it’s that I simply don’t have NEARLY as much fun when I have to deal with 50,000 people. In addition, I’m sooooo busy these days with work and writing (and trying to be a manwhore) that it’s just not worth giving up a whole night if I’m only going to get four balls—and if I’m going to feel miserable and stressed in the process.

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