I haven’t been blogging much this month, but I’ve been keeping busy. In the last seven days, I’ve run two writing group meetings, worked on an essay for NPR, done a pre-interview with SI.com, sought legal advice for my new business, and worked nearly full-time at the Argosy.
n e e d
S – L – E – E – P


Your business is the exact equivalent of being a fishing guide on Lake Okeechobee or a guide anywhere else. They probably will catch some huge bucketmouth bass with a guide there, no guarantee. They probably will see a polar bear with a guide taking them along, no guarantee. Seems identical, definitely a legit biz…I think.



hey i’ve had a fun busy week myself visiting SF/CA…it seems like all the local news talk about nothing but the two barrys :)
i’m curious about your piece for NPR…more info plz.


How long has your family bookstore been open?

Thanks…but I’d like to think that the service I’m offering is more specialized than that of a random tour guide. At some point, I might even guarantee that people who go with me will get at least one ball. We’ll see.


The two Barrys. Yes of course. Just like we got Jeter & A-Rod. As for NPR, there are two shows interested in having me on…I’m not sure if I can do both, but one of them wants me to write a baseball essay to be read on the air.


Since 1925. (Or did you mean since 10am this morning?)

Zack, I came across this picture today. I can’t tell what ball he’s using. I’m guessing it’s just a scuffed MLB logo ball, but I figured I’d ask you to see if you had any thoughts.


No, i meant since 1925..
my mom saeid she thinks she used to go there back in the 60’s, what a coincedence

Not a total coincidence…the store is very well known (among book lovers), and a LOT of people have passed through over the decades. Still very cool that your mom knows it.

zack! just got back from spring training.


30 autos

2 balls (#1 from corey patterson, #2 05 ASG from leo mazzone)


22 autos

2 balls (both 2005 ASG, #1 from billy wagner, #2 from mike pelfrey)

sorry for just a basic recap, but i have very limited internet access and im very tired.

No need to apologize. That’s awesome, and if you get some more time, fill me in on the details.

joneli im going to spring training to. Except Im going mid march to a game rather then work outs. Is it easier or harder to get autos and balls during training or a game?

Im probably going to a jays reds game in cinncys stadium. Im assuming Ill be one of few jays fans there (ill have my jersey on) Zack how much of an advantage will that give me? Is it normal for fans of the visiting team to go to another teams stadium? I also may get a chance to go to a twins game

cant wait :) anyone else with spring training knowledge it would help :)

Hey, trueplaya, I’m going down to Spring Training in mid-March also (one Mets home game in Port St. Lucie bookended by two of their road games in nearby Jupiter). I was wondering a lot of the same things you asked. What dates are you going? I’ll be there between March 16th and 18th.

Also, joneli, do all teams allow fans into the stadium during their workouts? And do you know what the deal with split-squad games is? How does that affect snagging?

I wish I could answer all these questions. The only thing I can say with certainty is that there won’t be many Jays fans in Cincy, and that the jersey will give you a HUUUUGE advantage. You’ll probably get balls and autographs from just about anyone on the Jays you want, except Gustavo Chacin of course.

Hey Zack . Sorry I forgot to give you the countdown to spring training. Hope it didnt sneak up on you. No ST for you ? Some advise for those going to Florida or Arizona , and Zack might have gone over these , it is usually always better for autos and baseballs BEFORE the games start. I have been to all but 3-4 sites and alot of teams dont play on the main field. The Cubs for example practice in a complex away from the main stadium which has 4 fields , one for each level A,AA,AAA,Majors and at times every level is practicing at the same time so balls are flying everywhere !!! :) And the fields are like the ones you find in your local park , with just a chain link fence , so you could walk right up to any dugout. And if you do go during games keep on mind that teams travel on buses of course , and if the teams playing on another are close to one another they will practice at their own park before busing over to the game site. And after the game it is very easy to follow the bus back to thier park where you will be one of only a handful of fans unless it is a team like the Yankees or Red Sox. One more idea is that when your team goes to another park , keep an eye on the papers or team websites to find out who might not be going on the trip. Alot of ” star ” players wont go on the long bus trips , but they will stay behind and practice . One time , in 94 , I stayed back with the Cardinals not going on the trip and not only was I the only one in the park I was able to shag balls in the outfield . Another time I actually took bp with 5 guys from the Astros single A team . Of course these results are not usual and your experiences might be different :p Keeping all this in mind when you go it is not unheard of to get 20 or more autos and 20 or more baseballs in a single day. If anyone has a question about a teams complex feel free to ask.

You’re awesome. Seriously. There’s nothing else that can be said.

MAN ,that Dave tends to ramble . (TENDS ?). Didnt seem that long at 3am .

I think im going to the jays reds game on the 11th, but Ill be in fort myers the rest of the week. I may go to a twinkies game as well but Im not sure. Also anpther easier question when do the regulars start to play on a regular basis? I heard that the firstt week or 2 its the AA and AAA guys getting most of the time. When will the stars begin to play?

ast season Gustavo snubed me twice this year better be different.

here we go:


ball#1-just sitting on the field, so i called corey patterson and asked him if he could toss me one at his feet. he picked it up, kinda looked annoyed and tossed it to me. it was a 2005 asg ball.

ball #2-leo mazzonne had a large bag of balls in his hand. i asked if he could spare one. he tossed it to me from about 75 feet away. as i lunged for it my friend who i met down there (he lives in croton, NY. we met at a baseball camp) pulled a **** move and snatched it from me. he did give it right to me though. he said he grabbed it for me before some little kids could have gotten it. so thanks.

autos-patterson, jay payton x2, huff, loewen x2, val majewski x3, JR house x, jason dubois x4, jon knott x2, brandon fahey x2, sam perlozzo, adam stern, and a few other players


ball #1-from billy wagner. over this outfield fence from this field where i was standing.

ball #2-from mike pelfrey. he and some guy were throwing. then mike went to second base and was taking some throws from catchers. he walked towards where a second baseman actually plays and i called him for it. he threw a perfect throw right to me.

both balls were 2005 asg balls.

Zack-just to let you know, the mets do have a bunch of 2006 asg balls. i had the pleasure of seeing a bunch. but unfortunately wasnt able to get one. i even offered a kid one of my balls and a david wright rookie card and he said no.

all the teams allow fans to come and watch workout sessions. but once the games start, the fans are not permitted to see these workouts (dont ask me why)

i dont know how a game would be. but i would assume the stadiums open about 2 hrs or so before the game starts. i would also assume that on night games maybe the teams take BP. im sorry i couldnt help youout more.

mets autos that i got:
tom glavine x2

billy wagner x2

aaron heilman

chan ho park

oliver perez x3

ben johnson x6

juan padilla

jon adkins x4

moises alou

Thanks joneli

now you got me worried though that there wont be BP. The games at 1 and when i bought my tickets tehy said I could pick them up 2 hours before the game so I guess gates open around that time. That ***** about the workouts though they seem to be the best collecting time of the Spring. W.e though

THanks again

I find that the most insightful things are often said (and written) at 3am. Keep doing what you’re doing.


I can’t answer your questions, but it looks like other people here are coming through. Too bad Gustavo won’t come through when it matters.


Thanks so much for taking the time to share your stories. Wish I could be there. Also, thanks for letting me know about the 2006 All-Star balls. I was actually thinking about going to Pittsburgh in April in case there are some leftovers, but now I feel like I don’t need to. Excellent!

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