November 2006

Buried treasure

One of many uses for 800 baseballs…

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My mom took this pic on Thanksgiving. (It’s also on my own site. Apologies if you’ve already seen it.) The girls, ages 8 and 12, are the daughters of longtime family friends.

Book Update #2

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Just received bound galleys for Watching Baseball Smarter. They were printed based on last month’s version of the manuscript, so my final edits (which I submitted seven days ago) didn’t make it in, but that’s usually how it works. And that’s why it says the following at the top of the cover:

THIS IS AN UNCORRECTED PROOF
Please do not quote for publication without checking the finished book

This green-and-white cover is NOT the final cover. Not even close. The final cover is still in the works. I recently received an image of what it might end up looking like, but I’d get yelled at for sharing it before it’s finalized.

These bound galleys are going to be mailed to media and publishing people, and possibly some baseball folks, so they can look it over ahead of time and decide if they want to write a review or give a quote for the back cover. (Does anyone know Cal Ripken Jr.? And would he like to see the book? Or Kevin Costner? Or Hank Aaron? Or Peter Gammons?)

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Click here for Book Update #1

Thanksgiving!

CLOCKWISE FROM THE TOP: sautéed string beans with toasted almonds, sweet potato puree, heavenly stuffing, apple sauce, barley with mixed vegetables, roasted potatoes, cranberry sauce…and let’s not forget the turkey in the middle. (NOT PICTURED: the six pieces of apple and pumpkin pie I put away.)

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Hope your Thanksgiving was as fun (and heartburn-inducing) as mine.

Thanksgiving?

First of all, Jeter got robbed. I don’t even like the Yankees, so I’m allowed to say that the man had a MUCH better year than Less-neau.

Secondly, what’s everyone doing for Thanksgiving? Traveling? Family? Big plans? No plans?

I’m traveling to my parents‘ place, which happens to be seven blocks away. All three of my siblings will be there, plus half a dozen family friends including Jules…the “family Jules,” if you will. He’s the guy who went to Camden Yards with me on my birthday.

Zack cards

Check out these cards my friend Sean made for me:

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That’s it. Just wanted to share. I’ve been adding a ton of photos to my site. Final edits for Watching Baseball Smarter are due tomorrow…

ZackHample.com

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I’ve completely overhauled my web site. Remember what it used to look like? If not, I envy you. Seriously, what the hell was I thinking? How come none of you people ever told me how embarrassingly pathetic it was?

Doesn’t matter. I’m moving on.

Unfortunately, I’m not a master web designer. Not even close. If my web skills were converted into snagging, I’d struggle to average one ball per game–better than most of the population, but lousy compared to the veteran ballhawks–so keep that in mind when you check out the new ZackHample.com. There’s no sound or moving graphics. I don’t even know how to do that. Maybe I’ll teach myself some day, but for now, I’m just going to focus on filling in the basics. I need to write a new bio. I want to make pages for each of my books instead of linking directly to them. I plan to put all my geeky snagging lists back up after I make them more presentable. And I’ll be adding a LOT of photos. Oh yes, get ready for the photos…

LOST Magazine

Remember the entry I posted a few weeks ago with all my final stats? Well, the editor of an online literary magazine called “LOST” got in touch and asked if he could use it and if I’d write a brief intro about myself to go with it. I said “yes” and “yes” and here it is.
I’m still in CrazyWriter Mode, staying up past 7am every night and pretty much working nonstop on the final edits for my book, which are due in a week. (Right now, I’m adding a mini-section on the gyroball.) I’ve only been outside once in the last five days…though I’ve had a few visitors, including one who slept over last night.

In other news, the Mets broke ground today on their new ballpark. Yay, I think.

Book Update #1

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My new book has a new subtitle.
Originally, it was going to be called:

WATCHING BASEBALL SMARTER:
A Professional Fan’s Guide to the Ins and Outs of the Game

Instead of that, it’s going to be:

WATCHING BASEBALL SMARTER:
A Professional Fan’s Guide for Beginners, Semi-Experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks

I prefer the new title. What do YOU think?

The publication date has also changed. Initially, Vintage was set for February 13, 2007, but it’s been pushed back six weeks. New date: March 27. (For the deeply serious geeks who are keeping score at home and too lazy to do the math, that’s 137 days from now.)

For the last couple months, I’ve been working hard with my editor to tighten up the manuscript and find all the things that needed to be clarified, simplified, added, deleted, and updated. Just the other day I received the galleys, which is publishing jargon for “the unbound version of what the inside of the book will look like.” Before I got the galleys, the only version I’d seen was the one my printer spat out–and that looked about as interesting as my fourth grade term paper on Eskimos. (No offense to Eskimos.) It feels great to finally see the “book” looking like a BOOK with all the different fonts and headings and footnotes and lists and charts and diagrams and illustrations.

I have 10 days to make all my final changes. If I want to change something small (for example update Randy Johnson’s career K/9 from 10.95 to 10.77 or add “Steve Blass Disease” to the glossary), I’ll simply hand write it into the galleys. But if I want to do anything big (like add a section that explains the runner’s box), I’ll have to type it separately and print it and paper-clip it to the page where it’s supposed to go. It’s a lot of work. But it’s fun work. It’s the kind of work I’d been hoping I’d have to do one day.

I still don’t know what the cover will look like. I’m assuming a decision will be made soon…

new camera

My Canon ELPH S200 is gone. The SD700 is here. Finally.

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I know it’s not the absolute newest model, but whatever. I saved $100 and got a two-gig memory card. (If only I’d made this upgrade before visiting that nude beach in San Diego…)

SIGNED STUBS — 2006

I thought it might be cool to post one giant pic of all the autographed ticket stubs I got this year (including some from ’04 and ’05 which were signed this year). Can you spot the future Hall of Famer? Or the ESPN announcer? What about the NL recipient of the Hank Aaron Award (presented by Century 21)? Don’t miss the Jose Reyes cycle stubs…
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