9/10/07 at Shea Stadium

I’m convinced that Jona is my good luck charm. The last time she went with me to a game, I snagged 14 balls including three foul balls during the game. Last night at Shea wasn’t much different (except there were three times as many fans). It seemed that everywhere I went, there were balls to be snagged. It was insane. Almost everything worked out in my favor, and here’s the story…

Normally, when Shea opens at 4:40pm, I make a beeline for the right field Loge, but yesterday I decided to check out the Field Level seats on my way up there, just in case there happened to be a ball sitting around. There was.

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Jona was already taking a ton of photographs, which was great…

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…but I realized she could help me out even more by heading up to the Loge and holding my corner spot for me.

She took pics from there as well.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that there was a ball sitting on the field next to the low wall, and neither did she. I did, however, notice that Carlos Gomez had a ball in his pocket, and I got him to throw it to me. He was about 100 feet away and put some velocity on it. Nothing major. He probably threw it about 50mph, and the ball made a nice crack as it met the pocket of my glove.

Since the first two rows to my left were blocked by other fans, I moved back to the fourth row. That way, if the batter sliced a foul ball into the seats, I’d be able to bolt straight across for it, rather than being forced to run up a few steps and THEN taking off. My plan nearly backfired when the batter pulled a grounder just foul of first base. I raced down the steps, hurdled the chain that separates the orange and blue seats, flew down the remaining steps, and lunged over the wall at the very last second, barely catching the ball in the tip of my glove.

Moments later, the batter (might’ve been Endy Chavez) crushed a deep fly ball toward Jona’s empty section. I wasn’t sure if she saw it coming, so I yelled her name. She looked up as the ball hit the facade of the Mezzanine behind her and bounced down to her row. Amazing. I spend an hour up there every day and never get any balls hit to me. She goes up there for 15 minutes and gets the first ball of her life.

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A minute after I ran up to the Loge to take the pic of her, I had to run back down. Sandy Alomar, Jr. had tossed a ball to some fans, but it had fallen short and landed on the sloped grassy area next to the DreamSeats. In the four-pic sequence below, you’ll see the ball sitting on the grass on the upper left. On the upper right, I’m just starting to lower my glove. On the lower left, everyone (including a security guard) is watching the glove trick in progress, and on the lower right, I’m raising the glove with the ball wedged snugly inside.

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Back up in the Loge, I slipped into the corner spot and got my fifth ball of the day from Alomar. His first throw fell short, but since the ball bounced back onto the field, he retrieved it and made a perfect throw on his second attempt. Five minutes later, I moved back to the main aisle so Alomar wouldn’t be able to see me from down below as I called out to Lastings Milledge who had just fielded a ball in right-center. Without hesitating, Milledge turned around and flung the ball 10 feet over my head. It hit the facade of the Mezzanine and dropped straight down to me. The ball was completely beat up.

Beat_up_ball

I was completely happy.

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Every time I snagged a ball, I scribbled down some quick notes about how I got it.

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I managed to get one more ball during the Mets’ portion of BP. Billy Wagner tossed it short onto the same grassy area below, so I ran down and used the glove trick, and when I reeled it in, I let the kid next to me reach into the glove and keep the ball. I gave him a high-five, and everyone (including the security guard) thanked me.

I ran back upstairs. The rest of the Mets’ BP was dead. But at least I had a nice view.

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Jona followed me to the Mets’ dugout, and when all the players and coaches came off the field, I got Sandy Alomar, Sr. to toss me my eighth ball of the day. (First time that I’d gotten balls from a father and son on the same day.) Here I am reaching out for it.

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Four of the eight balls were marked in various ways on the sweet spot.

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As soon as the last Met had gone inside, I put on my Braves cap and ran to left field. One of the nice things about older ballparks is that there are nooks and crannies and random places for balls to hide. Down each foul line at Shea, there’s a small triangular area tucked between a strange double wall. It’s not in play. It’s too small for seats or cameras. It’s the product of poor design, but I can’t call it useless because every now and then, a ball lands in there and stays there for whatever reason. Sometimes the fans don’t see it. Other times they can’t reach it. I don’t know. But when I ran out there yesterday and took a peek into the triangle, my eyes lit up. Here’s how it played out.

zack_upside_down.jpg

Upper left: I’m heading to the triangle.
Upper right: Ohmygod, there’s a ball down there.
Lower left: If anything happens to me, tell my parents I love them.
Lower right: You can see the ball wedged under the outer wall.

The good thing about getting that ball was that none of the Braves had seen me get it. So I continued asking for balls…

zack_yelling_for_ball.jpg

…and got Chuck James to toss me number 10.

After that, I made one of my greatest athletic plays EVER as a baseball collector. It may be hard for you to appreciate the greatness, especially if you’re not familiar with Shea, but here’s what happened. A righty on the Braves pulled a grounder down the line, and I could tell it was going to hook toward me. Just for the hell of it, I climbed onto the inner of the two walls and leaned over the second wall. In the span of three seconds, I kept scooting out and reaching down and balancing myself perfectly. Both of my feet were up in the air, well over my head, and no part of my body was even in the seats as I hung precariously over the edge. The ball zipped along the wall, and I reached all the way down to the field and scooped up it up, then used my strength to push off the field with my glove hand and muscle my way back over the two walls and into the seats. It was like a vertical, one-armed push-up, and I apologize for bragging, but seriously, if the cameras had been rolling, this play would’ve made SportsCenter. In my 18 years of collecting balls at Shea, I’d never seen anyone attempt to catch a grounder from that spot, nor had I even considered that it was physically possible. Let me further explain just how tough this was. Take another look at the pic up above where I’m leaning over the railing for the ball that was wedged under the wall in the triangular area. That’s how far down it is to the field, so what I had to do to catch this grounder was reach that far down AND reach over two walls. I have another sequence of pics that will help illustrate it. Here are four different shots of me labeling the balls at various points during BP.

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The pic right above these words (in which I’m wearing the Braves cap with the red brim) shows part of the double wall. It probably doesn’t look like a big deal, but take my word for it, and if you find yourself at Shea at any point this season or next, head out to that spot and consider what it would take to reach the field without tumbling over. (Of course, I can make a great play like that on a worthless BP grounder, but I can’t judge an A-Rod homer properly during a game. Go figure.)

I got my 12th ball from Manny Acosta and headed up the left field Loge. To my surprise, the corner spot was open, so Jona sat there while I hung back in the aisle. Moments later, a righty on the Braves hit a homer that flew over the aisle, landed in the seats, bounced away from two fans and dropped into the empty tunnel next to me.

That ball and the previous two were training balls. Made in China. Watch out.

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I went down to the corner spot and got Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell to toss me ball #14 (not a training ball), and I took a minute to catch up on my notes. (Yeah, I forgot to shave. So?!)

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The bad thing about Jona’s ever-present camera was that it captured a failed glove trick attempt. A ball landed in the gap behind the left field wall, and I tried to get it from 25 feet up. Normally, this wouldn’t’ve been a problem, but it was stuck against a metal bar, and there were various obstacles directly above it, so I couldn’t lower the glove straight down. I had to swing it from side to side and try to knock it out into an open area, and before I had a chance, the security guard from the bullpen walked into the gap and took the ball.

Here I am about to lower the glove.

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And here I am, mid-attempt, with several other fans looking on.

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So frustrating! But I’m not about to start complaining.

The pitching matchup was great. Tim Hudson versus Oliver Perez. Two guys topping out above 90mph. I knew there’d be some foul balls, so even though there were a bunch of empty seats early on, I stayed on my feet and waited in the tunnels behind home plate in the Loge.

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After a few near misses and several innings of running back and forth, Jona and I grabbed a pair of seats on the first base side. Martin Prado led off the top of the fifth and sent a foul ball flying back at me. I made a wild jump for it. The ball sailed five feet over my head. I bumped a pretzel vendor who happened to be walking past in the narrow aisle at that precise moment. The fans two rows behind me were not wearing gloves and not only bobbled the ball but somehow managed to tip it toward me. I reached out and caught it, then showed it to Mr. Pretzel whose grumpy demeanor turned to one of delight. I apologized. He said, “It’s all good. Just part of the game.” We shook hands and he continued on his way.

Three innings later, the left-handed Kelly Johnson pinch hit for Hudson, and I was already waiting in a tunnel on the third base side when he stepped up to the plate. Mets reliever Aaron Heilman was throwing well above 90mph, and Johnson swung late and blooped a foul ball in my direction. I knew right away that it was heading 10 feet over my head so I moved forward into the aisle and turned my back to the field in anticipation of a ricochet. Sure enough, the ball landed in the press box, rattled around for a second, and dropped down exactly to my spot. (I can’t judge an A-Rod homer, but damn I’m good at reading foul balls.) Everyone around me applauded and gave me high-fives and asked to see the ball and yelled “Nice catch!”

Nice catch? Really? The ball dropped 10 feet down right to me. What exactly was nice about it? If I were to toss a ball 10 feet up in the air and then catch it, would THAT be nice? I don’t get it, but anyway, here are the two foul balls which brought my total number of balls for the day to 16.

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The game itself was terrific. Jose Reyes reached on an infield single and scored in the first inning. David Wright hit a two-run homer in the sixth to put the Mets on top, 3-0. (He now has 28 homers to go with 31 stolen bases.) Brian McCann connected for a two-run shot in the seventh to make it a 3-2 game, and that’s how it ended thanks to a 1-2-3 ninth inning by Wagner.

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But wait. This isn’t all about me and my two foul balls. The girl can snag, too.

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In my last two games with Jona, I’ve snagged 30 balls including *FIVE* gamers. See what I mean? Good luck charm.

On the way to the subway, we heard the following exchange between two rowdy Mets fans…

FAN #1: “A-Rod can have his MVP! He’ll never win a championship!”

FAN #2: “F*ck A-Rod!!”

FAN #1: “Ken Caminiti won an MVP, and now he’s dead!!!”

Gotta love New York.

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STATS:

• 226 balls in 31 games this season = 7.29 balls per game.

• 486 consecutive games with at least one ball

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• 318 consecutive games at Shea Stadium with at least one ball

• 69 lifetime games with at least 10 balls

• 6 lifetime games with at least 16 balls

• 13 lifetime games with at least two game balls

• 11 game balls this season in 31 games = 1 game ball every 2.8 games.

• 4 different seasons with at least 10 game balls

• 109 lifetime game balls

• 71 lifetime game balls at Shea Stadium

• 3,187 total balls…moves me ahead of Cal Ripken, Jr. (3,184) and into 14th place on the all-time hits list. Next up is Nap Lajoie (3,242).

(Remember the stat I created last year called Competition Factor? Well, I gave up on it, but I’d still like to point out that with 16 balls and a paid attendance of 48,557, I set a new record with 776,912. Thank you.)

50 Comments

You and Jona make a great time. The pictures are worth a thousand words! You ought to try that once. Post some pictures and have your readers tell the story. I’ll bet we could come close! ;)

Wow man what a game for you. Its good to know about that corner spot and the spots on field level but don’t worry i don’t usually go to weekday games.You saw a **** of a game too. Great game!

Nice job Zack (and Jona.) Maybe I should bring my sisters to more games. I got 16 balls in 2 games when they were there, and they got me 3 of them. I SUPER excited for my last 4 games. The 16th at Yankee ( I’ll get there late) the 21st at Yankee, and I have seats behind the Jay’s dugout and can get there early, and the last 2 games of the season at Camden. And on the last weekend, almost every ball will be tossed to the fans!!! I’m hoping for 10 or more balls, and a bonus item from the Yanks on the last day of the season.

incredable day dude…keep it up and keep bringing her, she clearly is a good luck charm and congrats to her too on her ball

can i bring her next year when i go? haha jk

Zack, that’s just incredible, congratulations. I’m also glad that you highlighted the maximum intelligence of most Mets fans as exhibited in the post-game Subway exchange. ****ty Field indeed!

Btw, Puck Collector, if you’re at Yankee Stadium on the 16th, you won’t be late in getting any balls because the Yanks play Sunday night the 16th in Boston!

does anyone know the name of the braves bullpen catcher?? i am on an odd streak, ive gotten a ball from a bullpen catcher in 5 straight games. but they are usually pretty nice so does anyone know his name it would be very helpful!

awesome game zack, if i can get 1/3 of the baseballs you got yesterday, id be extremely happy.

and 1/3 would be what 5.3 balls…..idk if its possible lol…..nice game zack! i dont know if i have gotton that many balls in my life let alone a game..but then again i live in montana….

Zack….

Outstanding snagging game!! I love it. I love September games. Keep bringing the girlfriend. She’s good luck and a good photographer. I remember when my girlfriend got her first ball. It was on a bp homer to left back at Qualcomm in 2002. It hit the first row of seats behind the main concourse and trickled right towards her. As she reached down and picked up the ball some Mexican that was running from two sections over did a Superfly dive and took out my girlfriend and himself. She did have the ball and maintained control. She scraped her hand pretty bad and was bleeding alot. She has a cool scar to this day to go with the story. Me and Mexican dude got into it pretty good. He didn’t say he was sorry or anything. He just was like, “No English, no English.” as I was yelling at him. Sure dude, no English. The ball was totally hers. It was obvious. I wanted to punch him in his face so bad, but I chilled because security, ushers and SDPD were on the scene and I didn’t want to get kicked out before the game even started. It was a great day for her though. She was so happy….and bleeding. Hey everyone I was wondering something. Everytime I snag balls on the road I have to go through a huge hassle at the airport at the xray. They see those baseballs in my carry on and they think they’re grenades or something. I always hear, “Bag check!!” everytime and have to go through all the search drama. Does anyone else on here have the same problem? Zack? Puck collector? I’m curious to know.

Leigh

PS. Sorry about the Dodger/Padres game tonight Dodgersdude!! Maybe tomorrow, huh?

Congrats to Jona for magically luring all those balls to you! And that sounds like some pretty impressive acrobatics on your part, WTG! It can’t get much better in your world than that, now can it? :)

Great Game,
Great Gal,

Great Post. I wish I could reply to every one, but for some reason my computer wont let me half the time….

Anyways, Tonight I went to the Dodger/Padre Game. OUCH! Oh well, I brought an american flag and got on TV. . pretty cool.

I also caught my 50th ball of the season, which is great, because that was the goal i set earlier this year. Im at 89 lifetime, and think I may do a late-season push to 100.

When I got home I was going through all the balls i’ve caught with a friend. We decided our favorites were my 2 busch stadium balls, and a couple balls that are a perfect bronze that i got from the umps.

I was wondering, do you have a favorite ball? Is it based on looks or sentimental value?

PADRELEIGH- Im going to admit it. The padres are a REALLY good team, at least when their bats are working correctly. The Dodgers are pathetic, and so are a ton of the fans at the games. Theres no excitement. Consider yourself lucky!!

Dodgerdude511,

I always want to ask you this question. Is it true that only ppl with field level tickets are allowed in the field level? (That ppl without FL tickets have no chance for autographs or balls)

Zack,

My school starts two weeks ago. Seem like all my baseball activities are over this year, unless I win the angel postseasoN ticket lottery. Met’s equipment manager must hate you to death

Dodgerdude….

Hey, it’s not over yet. You’re still in it. It ain’t over till it’s over right? Congrats on your 50 balls. I’m just short of 75 myself. Not exactly Zack numbers but it’s fun right? I think my favorite ball was a Cal Ripken tribute ball I caught a few years ago. A brand new one too. I caught a Detroit All Star game ball that was new and nice too.

Leigh

WCimons:

Well SOMEONE told me it was the 16th.

Oh, and Leigh, I had a similar experience in Denver, when a guy was told to stop doing something, then when security walked away he continued to do what he was told not to and said to his wife, “I don’t speak in English, honey.” That pisssed me off. I’ve never been stopped at security. I always bring my balls in my carry on bag, so I have them if my luggage gets lost, and what happened to you did occur to me, but no one has ever said anything to me or my dad.

And how come you cant say *******-S, but Greg can say dam?

Holy **** they still blocked *******, even though I spaced the letters out!!

Zack, not sure if you saw it or heard, but today, your one YouTube clip (from the Katie Curic show) was linked on http://www.uniwatchblog.com.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO1VrN5xhd8

It said “According to this video clip, wearing the visiting team’s cap to a ballgame can increase your chances of going home with a baseball”. Not really a news flash, but maybe to some of the people on that website….

It’s in the Uni Watch News Ticker section:

http://www.uniwatchblog.com/?p=628

Zack, very athletic play on that ball you got near the double wall. I know exactly how tough that is! It’s even a little tough to reach down from the blue seats without the double wall! I can barely touch the dirt with my bare hand when I’ve sat in the blue seats, and I’m 6 feet tall.

hey zach
congrats on a nice day of snagging.

Iwent to minute maid park on tuesday and got one ball via the glove trick but that was it as far as balls are concerned ,it was agood game though.

EVERYONE-
Thanks so much for all the comments, and for those who didn’t comment, thanks for reading. I don’t have time to respond now because I’m getting ready to head to Philadelphia. Todd Helton is sitting on 299 career home runs, and he’ll be playing at Citizens Bank Park, and I’m gonna be there, hanging out in right field, hoping for a miracle. I’ll be wearing a white tee-shirt and a red Phillies cap, so look for me. I might not be in right field for anyone else. Might play the dugouts when Helton’s not up. Not sure. But either way, it should be a good time, and I think Jona might even join me. She has exactly 45 minutes to get to my place…

Sammy-

Yeah, its **True** That Field level ticket holders are the only ones allowed. They did come up with a batting practice policy a couple years ago. Get to the stadium before 5:40 (30 min after gates open) and you can enter the field for BP. Its easy to stay there on weeknight games with no handouts. Weekends there are too many people. Nobody checks your ticket at the Aisle if you look like you know what your doing.

Padreleigh- ehh. even if we got there as a wildcard we would get a beatdown from the mets.

Goodluck Zack!

psu532, thanks for sharing the link to the video – good one!

EVERYONE-
I’m back from Philly. I did okay. Kinda frustrating overall. But still fun. I’ll have the entry up at some point later today (Thursday).

YANKS FAN-

I got the check.

Dodgerdude…

Told you it’s not over. Bad guys in BLUE win tonight. Ughhh!! David Wells vs Greg Maddux tonight. Should be a good one. Are you going?

Zack….

If I lived near Philly I would have gone too. I’d have been right out there in RF with you. Looking forward to your next entry.

Leigh

zack,

i went to shea last night, i was told the picnic area opened only 1 1/2 hrs before the game but i got in there 5 minutes after bp started. the usher gave me a ball, then philip humber tossed me one, then i caught a moises alou hr on the fly, then i caught a willy harris hr on the fly, then chris woodward tossed me one, then when bp was over, i was standing like 7 rows back in the bleachers and i yelled “buddy!” and he turned. he was almost at 2nd base and he threw one sraight to me. 1 of my friends got an alou bp homer and the other got a chipper jones bp homer. then after the game i met ron darling. and the mets won. so overall a great night, sit in those seats if you ever have a chance, its pretty sweet.

gjk, very nice. I knew you’d have pretty good luck out in the bleachers. People never really get into the whole BP thing out there.

It figures I go to the game on Tuesday, and it’s their only loss to the Braves. My next game is 9/26.

Great job Zack! I think Jona needs her own blog! Tomorrow night I’m off to try and snag Jim Thome’s 500th HR.

EVERYONE-
Sorry, but I doubt I’ll have the entry done today. It’s Jona’s birthday, and there are big plans.

Gonna pop the question Big Zack???

Speaking of which, did anybody see the clip of this fake marriage proposal that was done at Yankee Stadium a few weeks ago? Hilarious!

http://deadspin.com/sports/baseball/inside-the-yankee-stadium-proposal-prank-298594.php

Hi Zack! I’m curious why this is still fun for you after over 3000 balls. What keeps you coming back for more?

Thanks!

hey psu532

that clip is hilarious

Hey EVERBODY, tomorrow (9/14) is Zack’s birthday in case you want to wish him a happy birthday. This is not a prank but that marriage proposal was a great one!

I snagged seven balls last night at Shea (but it was one of the most frustrating foul ball-chasing experiences I’ve ever had … I hate all these ushers and their inconsistent rules). Four were tossed/given (Paul LoDuca, Roger McDowell, Willy Harris, and Bruce Froemming). One was a leftover Houston Astros “H” ball that I cup-tricked from underneath the Dreamseats in left field.

I may or may not be going back tomorrow night.

Holy ****! Only 350 people were at the marlins day game!!!! The guys on PTI said the paper estimated 3000 people for the ENTIRE 3 game series!!! Move to south florida zack!!

How are are you and Jona 17? LOL!

I WON THE METS POSTSEASON TICKET RAFFLE FOR THE NLDS. WHOOO!!!! gregorybarasch, im pretty sure i saw you at shea last night. white tshirt? i was in the picnic area and got six. i was so mad because i went straight from school in north jersey so i had to bring all my stuff to school with me. i didnt bring my cup trick, i figured i wouldnt need it in the picnic area. on the farthest section to the left there are 2 balls down there i easily could have had with my cup trick. go there and get them at the beginning of bp anyone who is there, they dont check picnic area tix until mid bp so if you go quick and get them you should be good. they look like theyve been there forever so good luck just a tip.

farthest section left of the picnic area btw

surfnusa (above) informs us that tomorrow’s your birthday. Happy Happy Birthday, Zack! These best wishes go double for my woman as well.

Att: 10,121

puckcollector who said that because i know 10,121 is paid attendance, not the actual amount who show up, but thats a difference of 9,771. idk if that many ppl stayed home that seems pretty absurd. if so, WOW.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZACK.

Here’s a pic from that game where the 350 or 400 people were at. This pic was taken DURING the game! Look closely and you’ll see a few fans, and the players on the field.

http://ckelly.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/09/12/20070912ds.jpg

SURFNUSA-
Interesting idea about posting nothing but pics. I think I’ll try it sometime. But not for the next entry.

GTPLAYA1994-

Thanks. Corner spots in any ballpark are usually a good place to be.

PUCK COLLECTOR-

The Yanks might not give away too many “bonus items” if they’re gonna be playing in the ALDS. Your best bet is to hang out behind the Orioles’ dugout as the season’s final game is coming to an end.

JONELI-

You’re welcome to take my girlfriend to a game…as long as SHE agrees to go.

WCIMONS-

Thank you. But in all fairness, Yankees fans are even worse for having booed A-Rod all of last season when he ONLY hit 35 homers, knocked in a pathetic 121 runs, and committed the horrible crime of batting .290.

GJK2212-

Congrats on all the balls AND for winning the ticket lottery. Did your bullpen catcher streak end? Sorry but I don’t know the Braves guy.

REDSOX342445-

Some day, I hope to snag just one-third of a ball. Perhaps just the cushioned cork center. Montana…yes, I’d imagine the snagging situation would be a bit slow there.

LEIGH-

That’s a great-but-awful story about your girlfriend. Yikes. Thanks for sharing. As for airport security, I’ve gotten stopped in the past but not for at least a few years. I used to make sure I had a copy of my first book on me just in case I ever had to prove that I really WAS a baseball collector.

DORFMUNDER-

Nope, the only way it could’ve been better would’ve been if Jona had somehow lured an additional four balls my way. Then I would’ve beaten my one-day record of 19.

DODGERDUDE511-

Thanks, thanks, thanks, and congrats on your 50th ball. I still remember the 50th ball I ever caught. Braves catcher Greg Olson tossed it to me in 1992 along the RF foul line at Shea, and I leaned way over the wall for it. But that was my 50th lifetime, not the 50th of the season. Anyway, my favorite ball is definitely the Bonds homer I caught last year. Then probably the Morneau homer from this year’s HR Derby. I love a lot of the commemorative balls as well.

SAMMY-

I disagree. I think the Mets equipment manager must love me because I force his bosses to pay for brand new baseballs more often than they normally would…and then the players are happy because they get to use brand new balls during BP…and then they give bigger tips to the equipment manager. So there. (I can justify anything.)

PSU532-

Is that pic of the empty stadium real?! Man oh man. No big questions. It’s gonna be a loooooong time before I’m at the stage in life where I’m even ready to think about that. Thanks for appreciating my athletic feat, and thanks for letting me know about Uni Watch. I hadn’t heard about that.

ANNE DOULA-

Thank you, and congrats on the glove trick ball.

HINTHORN1-

Ha, thanks. I wish I could make an attempt at Thome’s 500th, but he’s not coming back to the east cost for the rest of the season. Good luck!

DMCCO01-

Great question. First of all, I love baseball, so it never gets old to go to games. Secondly, my interest in collecting balls was rejuvenated when I started writing this blog because I was able to share my adventures and strategies with so many more people, and to this day, it still makes me happy to know that so many people share my passion for collecting balls. Third, I’ve always been excited by the NUMBER of balls I’ve snagged, so the higher I get, the more fun it is to keep adding to my total. Fourth, there are always new players and new stadiums and new balls. Fifth, I’m still as much of a dork as I was when I first started collecting; I’m just a bit better at hiding it when I have to.

GREG-

I completely understand how it can be frustrating even when you get seven balls. But still, that’s not a bad total for a crowded game at Shea. Let me know how it goes later today, if you make it.

BOODLEHEIMER1-

Many thanks.

EVERYONE-

Indeed, today is my birthday…and I just spent half an hour of it answering comments. (Proof that I’m a dork.) In fact, it’s my 30th birthday, whatever the **** THAT means. Jona appreciates all the comments, as do I. I’m hoping to have my Philly entry posted by about 6 or 7pm today, but no promises. As you can imagine, with Jona’s birthday yesterday and now my birthday today, free time has been scarce. More later…

Happy 30th birthday Zack. Only 10 more years and you’ll catch me!! Hope you have a great day and get a few great gifts. Congrats….

Leigh

Dodgersdude….

I told you…..Man, I’m looking over my shoulder!! We’re barely hanging on to the Wild Card. Good luck with the D Backs this weekend.

Leigh

PSU 532…

I grew up in Miami and Orlando. That Marlins pic brought back great memories. I’ve been to a bunch of Marlins games with attendance like that. It’s so much fun to be at a game like that. You can yell to players with EASE and get beau coup foul balls. I got two foul balls at a Tuesday Marlins vs Padres day game in Miami last year in April. 1pm start and very hot.The girls and I had a WHOLE SECTION to ourselves by the Padres bullpen down the LF line. Brian Giles hit one a couple rows behind us and Chris Young same place. Another time about 12 years ago my friend Chris and I drove down from Orlando for a Padres vs Marlins DOUBLEHEADER due to the previous day’s rainout. Well, it rained most of the first game of the DH as well and everyone left. They had to get the game in because it was the only trip there by the Padres. Well, the second game it rained a little as well and I swear there was only approximately 200 people there. So, my East coast snaggers…..for some fun and excitement, schedule a trip to Miami in late September when the Marlins are out of the pennant race. Plenty of balls to be had.

Leigh

zack,
yeah unfortunately my odd streak ended, but im not upset because i got 6, including a beautiful catch on a willy harris bp homer that i badly misjudged and made the catch nearly falling backward where my glove was 4 bleachers behing me. haha. and 1 from almost 2nd base buddy carlyle threw me. probably my coolest ball gotten ever. and my above prediction of getting 1/3 the amount you got on monday came true. i got 6, which is 0.7 more than i needed for 1/3. anyway happy birthday again and when you think your next game will be?

gjk2122: The paid attendance for all 3 games was 10,000 and 350 showed up for the day game. The papers down there estimated that only 3000 people combined showed up in 3 games.

Zack: I’ve seen the Yanks give away stuff even when they make the playoffs. And the Mets were giving away hats when they clinched last year. Besides the Yanks will be the winning team, and the Orioles ****, so I’m not even gonna bother for their bonus items.

Zack, happy 30th! I’ll be 30 in about 3.5 months. I’m not really looking forward to it, but oh well. Yeah, that Marlins pic was real. Can you imagine being at that game???

Padreleigh, I read that a season ticket holder at that Marlins game was kicked out of that game for yelling at the umpire! That’s when you wish there were a lot of fans, so you wouldn’t be pointed out!

Anybody read about Johnny Damon giving the ball to a fan last night? Here it is:

Johnny Damon provided a light moment in the sixth, retiring Rios on a fly ball for the final out, then giving the ball to a fan seated in the front row in left. The fan responded by giving Damon a $20 bill. Damon took the money, ran further down the line, then handed the bill to a young child.

“Hopefully, the fans that hated me have a newfound respect for me,” Damon said. “They were on me. I figured I might as well take $20 and give it to a kid, you know? Hopefully he can go out and buy a Yankee hat.”

It’s idiotic of the Marlins to kick out a season ticket holder for yelling. THAT IS YOUR FAN BASE!!! He should have been rewarded for just being there!!!

Yeah, gjk2212, that was me. I’m pretty sure I saw you from the LF Loge during BP. You were judging balls pretty well.

Padreleigh-

Thanks!! Im so angry i can’t be at any of the games this weekend! Tonight i the only night, but Friday night at dodger stadium is more like your at a boxing ring. SO many fights and WAY too many people.

Boomer is 3-0, i don’t know how. Im excpecting him to drop his last 3 starts.

–Ethan

Please tell me that youre going to keep this up! Its so great and so important. I cant wait to read more from you. I just really feel like you know so substantially and know how to make people listen to what youve to say. This blog is just also cool to be missed. Excellent stuff, seriously. Please, PLEASE keep it up!

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