5/9/07 at Yankee Stadium

How NOT to get a ball:

1) Have your dad tell me that collecting balls is a “waste of time.”
2) Have him ask me to let you get some balls during batting practice.
3) Catch several balls early on and have your dad share all the details.
4) Drop a ball that’s tossed right to you as I watch from behind.
5) Accuse me of knocking the ball out of your glove after I pick up the ball.
6) Beg for the ball and look at your dad for support.
7) Claim that you haven’t gotten any balls.
8) Watch me hand the ball to another kid.

cj_wilson.jpg

That was the fifth ball I got yesterday. The first one landed in the empty right field seats as soon as I ran inside. The second was tossed by 20-year-old Phil Hughes. The third was a homer that got bobbled by some fans. The fourth came via the glove trick.

As for that fifth ball…
The father and son were actually good guys. It was just a frustrating moment, but we chatted after the fact and quickly made peace. He congratulated me for all my snags, and I congratulated his kid for getting A-Rod’s autograph.

My sixth ball was another bobbled homer. My seventh was placed on the warning track by Brandon McCarthy so that I could demonstrate the glove trick. My eighth was tossed by fellow MLBlogger C.J. Wilson over a packed aisle of fans. That was fun. And that was it.

I stayed in right field for the first nine outs, moved to the first base side until the 7th inning stretch, and sat in the 2nd row behind the Yankees’ dugout for the rest of the game. I had an excellent view of a fan running on the field…

fan_runs_on_field.jpg

…and of the battle between good (Mariano Rivera) and evil (Sammy Sosa)…

mariano_to_sosa.jpg

Final score: Yankees 6, Rangers 2.

STATS:

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• 53 balls in 6 games this season = 8.8 balls per game.

• 461 consecutive games with at least one ball

• 3,014 total balls…moves me ahead of Al Kaline (3,007) and Wade Boggs (3,010) and into 24th place on the all-time hits list. Next up is Rafael “I have never used steroids, period” Palmeiro (3,020).

• 12 days until St. Louis

• 1 day until Brady Holzhauer interviews me on his internet radio show. Not only can you listen live tomorrow (Friday, May 11) from 7-8pm ET, but you can call 718-508-9815 and ask a question on the air.

26 Comments

When the **** did this happen?! Did you just decide to go to Yankee Stadium spur of the moment?

Yeah, Sunday afternoon. Remember when I wanted to go to Shea on Jackie Robinson Day last month, but the game was rained out? Well, Sunday was the best rain check ticket option, so I’m going. As for next week, I’m not really sure. I might go on Tuesday or Wednesday, but I really hate Cubs games, because their fans always swarm BP. But if I get my mail-order Cubs hat by then (it’s on back order at New Era), I’ll probably go.

zack-
nice spur of the moment game. thats cool that you got to show brendan mccarthy the glove trick. i remember last year when you showed i guess like david aardsma and someone else on the cubs in philly

well, i have planned now on going to the friday night game may 25th on senior cut day, and definately the hotel too. so im working on getting tix

i love the pic with the “be alert, foul balls” that was intentional, right?

Nice job and btw congratulations on #3000. Arod signed yesterday? Wow also you haven’t gotten 1 auto this year. You got some pretty good last year like thomas, howard,reyes you need to pick up the pace! All my best, zach

GREG-
Ha, yes, spur of the moment. I didn’t decide to go until about 2pm. The weather was gorgeous, and I didn’t have any other plans.

JONELI-

It’s always cool to show the glove trick to a player. I once got to show it to the entire Marlins pitching staff at Shea.

TSWECHTENBERG-

Huh? Whaaat?

ZACH-

Thanks. Apparently, A-Rod was signing for the few fans down by the Yankees dugout. Somehow, this father and son had a connection and got to go right down to the front row. I think they got A-Rod’s batting gloves, too. I do need to pick up the autograph pace…but at the same time, I just haven’t been motivated to chase down any players. I’m sure I’ll get a few before the season is done.

How did u get down to behind the yankee dougout?

Brandon Mcarthy was a jerk on tues. he pretended to throw a bunch of lttle kids a ball, then he turned and fired it in!! he did this over and over and every1started heckling him. he had the biggest smirk on his face and the e picked up a ball pretened to throw it to us, then threw it into the bleachers

Did the runner get tackled hard?

And about the jinx, does it affect just the player or the entire team

gonna be 9 losses in a row after tdy, and not even the Doc can help us.

BCIMONS-
Easy. I asked a few people for their ticket stubs as they were leaving, and one guy hooked me up. His seat happened to be in Row B. That stinks about McCarthy. I hate it when players do that, but c’mon, you should know that it NEVER helps to heckle…not if you want a ball, anyway.

JIMMY-

The runner? You mean the fan running on the field? Yeah, really hard, and he deserved it. He was wearing an open button-down shirt, and as he was running, a security guard grabbed it, so the guy worked his way out of the shirt and kept running, leave the guard holding the shirt. I have to say, it was pretty funny. Usually, The Jinx ends up affecting the whole team although it’s not specifically designed to do so.

i know that it bever helps to heckle

nice pic of the guy running

when a guy runs on the feild it breaks down to this:

5 Beers: $30

Running on the feild and getting tackled by all of Melky Cabreras friends, cousins , and family: PRICELESS

Zacker:

What’s the deal on the Al Kaline and Wade Boggs baseball cards?

BCIMONS-
At Yankee Stadium, five beers will cost you $40.

MIKE-

I’ve been comparing my ball total to the all-time hits list…just for fun, of course. I don’t ACTUALLY think snagging balls requires as much skill as hitting them. But anyway, by jumping from 3,006 to 3,014, I passed both Al Kaline (who had 3,007 career hits) and Wade Boggs (who had 3,010). The cards are just images I found on Google and Photoshopped together.

Snagging balls does take skill and one has to overcome many obstacles along the way — hotdog & beer vendors, wrappers, plastic cups, empty seats, weather conditions,and the famous HOT Chocolate Lady!

Hey Zack–

Just got off the phone with you on Brady’s radio show. I’m Scott from 973 area code. Thanks for answering my question about when you think you’ll get your 4,000th ball. I had a hunch that you already answered that here, but I didn’t see it. Maybe I didn’t look at it.

zack- Your curse on gustavo and the jays just isn’t right. 1st bj ryan is out for the season then roy halladay is out for 6 weeks and just now troy glaus left the game with a leg injury. Give them a break!

MIKE-
How could I forget the famous Hot Chocolate Lady?

SCOTT-

Ohhh, that was you! I was wondering. Thanks for calling in to the show. It was great to talk to you.

ZACH-

I don’t know what to say. I guess The Jinx is more powerful than I thought.

Thanks. It was great to be on. I was looking harder for where I thought you said 2012 somewhere, and I found it in the entry about Monday’s game.

I am so pumped right now! I just got home from Shea, where I snagged my first ever foul ball!! YEAH!! I was up in the Loge and Johnny Estrada was batting. He hit a scorching foul liner straight back behind home plate. It bounced off a buch of people’s hands fifteen feet to my right and bounded down a runway toward the concourse. I maneuvered around a hot dog vendor and beat an usher (who was oddly running after the ball too) to the ball, just at the end of the runway, where it meets the concourse. It was so exhilarating when I caught up with it and felt it in my glove. Joy!

Anyway, I snagged a total of four balls (BP was rained out), but I didn’t care what happened after the foul ball. Wow. It was so awesome.

SCOTT-
No worries. I don’t expect you (or anyone) to keep up with everything I talk about on this blog.

GREG-

That’s awesome!!! I’m so happy for you. I remember my first game ball well. You’ll never forget yours, even if you get 10,000 balls. Congrats.

Love the reasons on how not to get a ball! How typical are almost all of those. I know I hear them at least 10 times at each game I go to!

I haven’t been able to catch up with you. Check out my latest post about that stupid people people keep sending to me in various forms. I came up with a great idea!

I hope you don’t take it as personal as you did last year. I think the end of the post could actually be a fun thing and maybe we could make it a PAY PER VIEW event!

Later

John

http://theballhawk.mlblogs.com

Yeah, I’ll never forget that first one. So what were the details of your first foul/game ball?

JOHN-
Welcome back to the blogosphere. I just checked out your latest entry, and I think that’s a cool idea. (No offense taken.) I don’t know about pay-per-view, but you’re definitely onto something. Good luck snagging your 100th homer. I hope you get it this season.

GREG-

My first foul ball was hit at Shea by Darren Fletcher in 1992. It landed a few rows behind me on the 3rd base side of the Field Level. I looked down at the ground and saw it trickling toward me down the steps so I lunged over the back of my seat and grabbed it, and when I stood up to show it off to the crowd, I whacked the back of my head on the railing that I’d forgotten I ducked under. OUCH!!! But I had the ball.

Cool! Was that before you discovered the Loge as your primary foul-ball zone?

Yup.

If only I’d known the good spots in the early 90s, I’d have 200 game balls by now. My God, I wasted so many opportunities.

Hey Zack congrats on 3000 to bad it wasnt more dramatic. (Like a Bonds homer or anyones homer). Theres a pattern starting though #4000 will be in Toronto 1000 was in NY 2000 Canada 3000 NY and then 4000 back in Toronto!

Speaking of milestones I caught my first BP homer today and caught it on the fly hit by Frank Thomas. Soon after I got another homer but not on the fly more of a mad scramble looking for the ball under seats. It was a weird day the D rays didnt take BP so the Jays took BP which is prety rare so it was fun to see, we usually only see the last few minutes of it.

It was a good snagging day for me today

Watch out Toronto fans are about to cast a curse on you until you reverse the jays curse cause its definately not just a chacin curse

Actually, last night was the first time since I started snagging that I’ve been to the Loge during a game at Shea. So I know exactly what you mean. I’m never going back to the dugouts. Okay, let’s not be rash, but for the most part, I’m hanging out in the Loge.

TRUE PLAYA-
I can’t expect to catch a game ball as one of my milestones. I mean, I could try to make it happen, or perhaps it’ll happen naturally someday, but in the meantime, I don’t mind getting milestones during BP. Congrats on catching the homer. That’s always fun to do. Why do you want to curse me? Gustavo is getting what he deserves.

GREG-

Did security let you run around in the Loge? Or did you grab an empty seat?

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