FINAL STATS — 2006

Now that the World Series is over (and the American League has proven itself inferior), I’ve tallied up my final ball-snagging stats. No flowery descriptions–just a bunch of categories and lists.

Ready to get your geek on?
Here goes…

2006 TOTALS:
• 28 games attended (including two without batting practice)
• 5 stadiums
• 209 balls
• 7.46 balls per game
• Most balls at one game: 14 (twice)
• Fewest balls at one game: 1
• 9 games with at least 10 balls
• 9 game balls
• 3.1 games per game ball

BALLS BY MONTH:
• April — 33
• May — 40
• June — 26
• July — 16
• August — 43
• September — 51

BALLS BY SOURCE:
• Thrown — 146
• Hit — 33
Glove trick — 28
• Found — 2

BALLS BY PORTION OF THE DAY:
• Batting practice — 146
• Pregame (not during BP) — 33
• During games (not to be confused with “game balls”) — 13
• After games — 17

BALLS BY STADIUM:
• Shea — 116
• Camden — 29
• Citizens Bank — 27
• PETCO — 19
• Yankee — 18

SHEA STADIUM:
• 17 games attended
• 116 balls
• 6.8 balls per game

CAMDEN YARDS:
• 4 games attended
• 29 balls
• 7.3 balls per game

CITIZENS BANK PARK:
• 2 games attended
• 27 balls
• 13.5 balls per game

PETCO PARK:
• 3 games attended
• 19 balls
• 6.3 balls per game

YANKEE STADIUM:
• 2 games attended
• 18 balls
• 9 balls per game

NYC STADIUMS:
• 19 games attended
• 134 balls
• 7.1 balls per game

STADIUMS OUTSIDE OF NYC:
• 9 games attended
• 75 balls
• 8.3 balls per game

RECORDS:
• 4 consecutive games with a game ball (tie)
• 55 consecutive games with at least three balls (streak over…thanks a lot, Shea)
• Most balls in one game at Yankee Stadium: 14
• Most balls in one game at Citizens Bank Park: 14
• Highest one-day Competition Factor: 600,171 on 8/8/06 at Shea Stadium

MILESTONES:
• 90th lifetime game ball — foul tip by Robinson Cano on 4/26/06 at Yankee Stadium
• 2,800th ball — thrown by Mike Gonzalez on 5/3/06 at Shea Stadium
• 100th ball of the season — thrown by Kurt Birkins on 7/17/06 at Camden Yards
• 300th consecutive game at Shea Stadium with at least one ball — 7/24/06
• 2,900th ball — tossed by Joe Lefebvre on 8/16/06 at PETCO Park
• 60th lifetime game with 10 or more balls — 8/16/06 at PETCO Park
• 450th consecutive game with at least one ball — 9/4/06 at Shea Stadium
• 200th ball of the season — hit during BP by an Orioles lefty on 9/22/06 at Camden Yards

OTHER ITEMS COLLECTED:
lineup_cards_front.jpg• Cliff Floyd’s bat on 4/6/06 at Shea Stadium
• 32 ticket stubs the night Jose Reyes hit for the cycle
• Giants/Padres lineup cards on 8/14/06 at PETCO Park
• A cricket ball on 8/15/06 at PETCO Park
• Chris Woodward’s cap on 9/18/06 at Shea Stadium
• Cubs/Phillies lineup cards on 9/20/06 at Citizens Bank Park
• Ramon Hernandez’s broken bat on 9/22/06 at Camden Yards
• 39 autographs (not counting the managers’ signatures on the lineup cards) for an average of 1.4 autographs per game): Kurt Birkins, Chris Britton, Matt Cain, Jose Castillo, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Scott Eyre, Jeff Francoeur, Nomar Garciaparra, Joey Gathright, Jonny Gomes, Nick Green, Jose Guillen, Ramon Hernandez, Roberto Hernandez, Ryan Howard, Matt Kemp, Aquilino Lopez, Jeffrey Loria (Marlins owner), Rodrigo Lopez, Paul Maholm, Nick Markakis, Melvin Mora, Matt Morris, Jake Peavy, Brandon Phillips, Boog Powell, Todd Pratt, Jose Reyes (thrice, all on stubs from his cycle, baby!), Duaner Sanchez, Freddy Sanchez, Jason Schmidt, Frank Thomas (twice), Omar Vizquel, Ty Wigginton, David Wright

ULTIMATE HIGHLIGHT:
• Catching Barry Bonds’ 724th career home run on 8/16/06 at PETCO Park

zack_new_york_times.jpg

LIFETIME TOTALS:
• 2,961 balls
• 98 game balls
• 582 balls outside of NYC
• 15 game balls outside of NYC
• 41 major league stadiums with at least one ball
• 799 players and coaches who’ve thrown balls to me (including 53 new ones this year)
• 634 games attended (approximation)
• 63 games with 10 or more balls

CURRENT STREAKS:
• 455 total consecutive games with at least one ball
• 307 consecutive games at Shea Stadium with at least one ball
• 99 consecutive games at Yankee Stadium with at least one ball
• 32 consecutive games at Yankee Stadium with at least two balls
• 89 consecutive games outside of NYC with at least one ball
• 84 consecutive games outside of NYC with at least two balls
• 9 consecutive seasons with at least 100 balls
• 8 consecutive seasons with at least one game ball
• 8 consecutive seasons with at least one game in which I caught two game balls
• 7 consecutive post-season games with at least one ball
• 3 consecutive seasons with at least 200 balls

TYPES OF BALLS:
trainingball2.jpg• 1,276 major league
• 1,060 National League
• 523 American League
• 40 no-logo balls
• 26 from the 2005 All-Star Game
• 13 from the 2000 World Series
• 8 of those hideous “Training” balls
• 5 from the 2000 All-Star Game
• 4 from “Serie de los Expos de Montreal”
• 3 from the 2001 World Series
• 3 from the 2002 All-Star Game

NOTE: I caught the World Series and All-Star Game balls in subsequent years during BP.

BALLS BY YEAR (GAME BALLS IN PARENTHESES):
• 1990 —- 4
• 1991 —- 14
• 1992 —- 128 (9)
1993 —- 218 (14)
1994 —- 201 (6)
1995 —- 273 (8)
1996 —- 177 (5)
1997 —- 59
1998 —- 192
1999 —- 251 (7)
2000 —- 163 (6)
2001 —- 134 (5)
2002 —- 149 (5)
2003 —- 168 (4)
2004 —- 300 (10)
2005 —- 321 (10)
2006 —- 209 (9)

• Average season: 174 balls including 5.8 gamers

AVERAGE ATTENDANCE FOR GAMES I ATTENDED:
• 1990 —- n/a
• 1991 —- n/a
• 1992 —- n/a
• 1993 —- 25,061
• 1994 —- 25,044
• 1995 —- 21,111
• 1996 —- 19,675
• 1997 —- 21,409
• 1998 —- 26,949
• 1999 —- 30,116
• 2000 —- 29,524
• 2001 —- 26,678
• 2002 —- 34,421
• 2003 —- 28,407
• 2004 —- 28,094
• 2005 —- 34,075
• 2006 —- 36,885

• Average number of fans I have to deal with every game: 27,674

The End.

CURRENT THOUGHTS:
• Phew!
• Another glorious off-season is now underway…

46 Comments

Cool.

First comment. I always love to see you “break down your stats.” I’m gonna think of other ways to slice ‘n’ dice ‘em (to borrow what you said last year you did this).

wow…and i’m not organized enough to even balance my checkbook!
you know maybe the best statistic is the average increase in the amount of fans attending games from when you started. and btw i just left a detailed account of my world series thoughts in the last post comments

mike

YANKS FAN-
Should I start keeping stats for who leaves the first comment? :-)

MIKE-

My checkbook went to **** a long time ago. I’m only able to bear down in the name of baseball. The attendance increase is scary, in a good way, but in a bad way, but in a good way. All selfishness aside, I love that the sport’s popularity is soaring. I saw your account and responded…

hey listen…i dont know if this is your last post until next season ( i hope not) but just wanted to say that even though i only started reading your blog after the piece in the times…i’ve really enjoyed it and it added a nice extra “sparkle” to the season.
and i’m really not adjusting well to no more baseball…and it has only been a day

mike

Zack-

This is a response for your last response in the previous post.

Oh, I forgot that you had older siblings that (from your picture) look at least 15 (or 25) years older than you. But I had to say because my father is oftentimes older than the fathers of some of the teachers at my school.

If your dad was alive when Ruth hit 60 homers, he must have been like no more than 5 years old.

I’d just like to point out that I caught 4x as many balls as you at your worst game, and outsnagged you twice, and I don’t even really collect balls anymore (I’m more of a visiting team dugout person now). I did learn my stroke from the master. Here’s to another good year of snagging/hounding.

and what do you do for the guys in the visiting dugout?

Nice. OK, I have a stat of my own to share here from the postseason:

Balls thrown by infielders back to the coach hitting grounders during BP before DS/LCS/WS games that got past him and I politely rolled back to the coach:

10

I was often standing in that general area and there always seemed to be balls getting past the coach who couldn’t snag their one-hoppers. I think most of them were during Mets BP. They were all typically official balls for that game.

Mark

http://worldseries.mlblogs.com

http://mlblogs.mlblogs.com

ugh!

I have to do the private school potential student questionaire and its freakin hard. I mean, who cares about what makes me interesting, or what are the 4 favorite books I’ve read in the past year? Since when did I read for books in the past year, anyway?

gud job this season zack, I just broke my hockey record for must autographs in one night at the Nassau Coliseum- 10, doesn’t sound much but I was standing outside in 30 degrees for an hour.

I got a question, when did you start labeling balls? And do you know which one is your 1st ball? Also, do you keep balls in drawers by year or what? Is there some kind of organization scheme?

to bad you couldnt hit 300 zack but w.e

john whos autographs did you get? and where outside the stadium near the hotel?

geez….. How many do you think you’ll end up with in the end?
http://www.baseballstuff.mlblogs.com

Zack- i now have a link on the sidebar of my site right to yours.

TRUEPLAYA-
After the game, I went to Gate 1 which is on the north side of the building. If you wait there for about 15 mins, the visiting team’s players come out. The Islanders were playing the Panthers so I got- Olli Jokinen, Joe Nieuwendyk, Jay Boumeester, Bryan Allen and a few other guys.

MIKE-
Thanks for the kind words. Don’t worry…I’ll be blogging right through the winter and into the spring, though I might not post new entries quite as often in the colder months.

YANKS FAN-

You’re good at guessing ages. My dad was one when Ruth hit 60, and my siblings range from 14 to 19 years OLDER than me. You haven’t read four books in the last year? Who cares? Make stuff up. List books that you read four years ago. They’ll never know the difference.

CHUCKSTER-

The sun shines on every dog’s *** once in a while…I mean…congrats on outsnagging me. Do you think you’ll still go for balls at all next year or strictly autographs?

MARK-

You have clout. You should’ve kept a few. But wow. Cool stat. I fell a bit behind on your WS blog, but I plan to catch up soon and read everything I missed.

JOHN-

Thanks, and congrats on all the autos. Hope you’re now loading up on Vitamin-C.

DANNY-

Good questions. The first ball I labeled was #2,001. Sadly, I don’t know which ball was my first, but I have a certain ball that I know for sure was one of my first four. The drawer on the left is all National League balls, with game balls on the bottom. The drawer on the right is the same, except it’s American League. The middle two are mixed, with all the pretty commemorative balls on top. Not too scientific. I have lots of other NL and AL balls that didn’t fit into the drawers, and they’re all mixed up.

TRUE PLAYA-

I was too busy with other stuff this season to catch THAT many balls. And besides, Shea was so crowded most of the time that I didn’t really feel like going there THAT often. Really, I just wanted to get at least 100 to keep my triple-digits streak alive.

CHARLIE-

How many lifetime balls? I have no idea. At least 4,257. Probably 5,715. Possibly 6,000 or 7,000. Maybe even 10,000. Who can say? I might wake up one day and decide that I hate baseball and need to move to Siberia. But then again, if I end up marrying someone who’s obsessed with baseball (doubtful), I might end up with 20,000. Yikes. Okay, maybe not. Thanks for the link. I’m gonna check it out right now…

**** man you got all those baseball this year. How di you get 14 baseball in one game not once but twice. Huge mets fan and if we had advance i think we would be getting that world series. The post before man i like the 2000 world subway series looks hott. I looked at it for a few second. Were u able to get that baseball at the games this year. See you at shea next year

Or you could move to egypt. I hear there’s some nice real estate there.

WHITE EXCALLIBUR-
How’d I get 14 balls? Just read my entries about those games and you’ll see. At Yankee Stadium, I relied heavily on the glove trick, and in Philly, I was just running all over the place. I don’t even want to think about the Mets. I’m too pissed off about not getting to the World Series. I got the 2000 WS ball in 2001 during batting practice at Shea. Nothing special. Totally lucky. But I agree…it’s rather snazzy.

CHARLIE-

I’ve been to Egypt. Nice. But too many security concerns.

Congrats on a great year Zack! I look forward to you collecting your 3,000 ball next year!

What stadiums haven’t you been to?
http://www.baseballstuff.mlblogs.com/

I just updated my best players ever series on http://www.baseballstuff.mlblogs.com. Tell me what you think.

How do you put a hit counter on your sidebar?

Charlie, if you need help, just e-mail me. I’m the one that helped Zack help put his on there.

Also, Zack, check out my newest post on my blog. If I post again before you see this, it’s called “Secret Project”. I can’t tell anyone what it is, but if you want to know really badly, give me a call and I’ll update you. I also have a special request of you for the “secret project”.

-B

What is your url or email?

email= sportswriter5@gmail.com
url= http://www.inthecards.mlblogs.com

also, I may not be able to help you tonight. I’m working on my project. Try and catch me tomorrow.

-B

SENOR-
Thanks for following the action all season long. I still have no idea where I’ll snag No. 3,000.

CHARLIE-

The only current stadium I haven’t been to is the new one in St. Louis. I’ll check out your blog soon. Right now, I’m about to pass out…

BRADY-

Cool! That’s a massive project, so it’s a good thing you now have a whole winter to kill. Special request, eh? I forgot to ask you about that. Looking forward to hearing more.

same here man i was goin to get me some tickets for the world series and i just missed out in game 7 tickets
O wells! All i can say is if the mets made it to the world series they would have won and there always next year

Where can I get your old book?

WHITE EXCALLIBUR-
Next year? What about “Our Team, Our Time”?

CHARLIE-

It’s really hard to find because it went out of print, and all the used copies are expensive. Do a search on Amazon or abebooks.com and maybe you’ll get lucky.

So did you pass out yet?

I wanted to contribute to the record number of comments on one blog post!! 5 Months 8 Days 23 hours until opening Day at Shea!!

Go ask molinda He will tell u?
lol

CHARLIE-
I was just talking about bedtime last night.

ALLMARSH-

I think I had over 200 comments on one entry this past summer. Where were YOU?

WHITE EXCALLIBUR-

Molina? I don’t want to think about that punk.

zack in resposne to one of your replys which i just saw about the rogers center… they obiously but in the new turf they redid the concourse so therse more room and less seats. they added like a new vip section or something which is more for the richer people who dont really watch the game. it looks a lot better and is a lot better you gotta come up to toronto screw busch stadium :)

I know that.

(I’m not stuid (sometimes)

Odds were pretty good I was at a baseball game….

200 comments , wow, which stadium, attendance, I want details….

Besides the Barry Ball, which snag was your all time favorite?

TRUE PLAYA-
Funny about the VIP’s. That’s pretty much how those sections work. Screw Busch? Uh, you need to lose the “c” from that second word.

CHARLIE-

What’re we gonna do with you…

ALLMARSH-

Yeah, I bet you WERE at Shea that night…June 19. My favorite snag, other than Barry’s 724th homer, was probably the foul tip that I caught on a fly in the top of the 13th inning of Game 5 of the 1999 NLCS. Shea Stadium. Jorge Fabregas hit it. The place was packed (obviously), and I jumped at least a foot or two off the ground and caught it in traffic…and I was scheduled to go back on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” a couple days later, so it was cool to know that I’d get to talk about it. And people were recognizing me and giving me high-fives. And then Robin Ventura won the game two innings later with his famous grand-slam single. That was one of the all-time great (baseball) nights for me. That ball remains my only gamer during the playoffs.

Have you ever gotton a ball from Curt Schilling?
http://www.baseballstuff.mlblogs.com

Go rockies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At Shea, I will only be going to the visitors dugout, unless we have a repeat of last year’s Marlins where a team essentially is a AAA team and I have cards of 5 guys on the team. (This actually happened last year in April) At Yankee Stadium, I’m stuck out in left field so I may as well slap on my glove and wear my opponent hat when there’s a chance to get a ball. Thanks for helping me get to 100.

Check out http://www.baseballstuff.mlblogs.com for best players ever.

CHARLIE-
No ball from Schilling. If there are other players you want to check, go here:

http://www.zackhample.com/players_coaches.htm

CHUCKSTER-

Gotcha. The Marlins might have resembled a Triple-A team, but they did a whole lot better than some of the “major league” teams. A hundred ************. You’re welcome.

I just had to get the last word in.

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