Adios, football.

I haven’t been blogging much lately because:

a) There aren’t many baseball-related things to talk about this time of year.
b) I’ve been pretty busy with other stuff.

I recently finished reading all 284,000 words I’ve written on this blog since my very first entry in April of 2005. Why? Simple. I’ve been gathering ideas for my next book, which is going to focus on snagging. But before I write the book, I want to make sure that someone will publish it. And in order to do that, I need to write a proposal so my agent can shop it around. But before I write a proposal, I have to make an outline…lots of work, yes, but hopefully it’ll pay off within the next few years.

I’m also hard at work on a story about Barry Bonds’ final home run ball. Can’t really say anything more about it at this point, except that I’ve been interviewing people and doing some investigative research.

I’ve been in touch with a writer from the LA Times who’s writing something about snagging baseballs. I’m not sure exactly what his angle is going to be, but he seems to be combining the “how to” element with Dodger Stadium itself.

I’m going to be interviewed tomorrow night on an internet radio show.

Two days ago, I co-hosted a potluck for my writing group that drew 73 people. You would not be-LIEVE how much time it took to organize it, but damn it was fun.

Last month I booked my first Watch With Zack client for 2008, and I’m now in the process of setting up plans for two others.

So yeah, lots of stuff.

And now, back to that outline…

36 Comments

get me and leigh in touch with tha LATimes writer zack,weve been there done that,first one in the lf gate 2 hrs early,i love la.

Zack,
I too have recently read the 284,000 words of your blog. I was wondering where we can find the internet radio show? Also, I was wondering if you had any tricks/advice for snaggers at Angels Stadium? Thanks

Baseball can’t come any sooner. I’m still not clear on your focus for this book Zack. Is it like a remake of the How To Snag book? I really enjoyed that one. I’ll reread it and see if I can get any ideas. I’ve found in my English class this year that having more than one person read a story really helps gets ideas going. Well I have to go to basketball practice so I’ll continue my thoughts later.

I’d reach in front of you for a puck!

A lot of things;

1.I think Brady was a bit hurt last night cuz he made alot of passes to no one.

2.Goodel is the happiest person today because he doesnt have to answer questions about the unbeaten team cheating.

3. Eli’s final TD, was a play that during the regular season, he put the ball in to a camera-man’s hands, and not Plaxico’s.

4 Wasn’t Bond’s last HR in Denver? If it was, me and my dad were watching on MLB Extra Innings, and we said to each other, that it could be his last, and like 2 people were going for it. Were they even marking the final balls?

5. Bob Knight retired!! WOW!

Hey Zack, I think a new snagging book would be a BIG hit. (maybe it’s just me). So tell them you have at least 1 buyer already :)

I was thinking of doing some major research on your blog, since I will be going to Yankee and Shea stadiums this year. So what day of the week is the least crowded… generally?

What writer from the LA Times is going to be doing this article, Im curious. I read a lot of sports columns online from around the country and I usually like the LA Times sports guys.

TRACYCOLLINSBECKY-
I might need to interview you for the new book, but that’s at least a few months away…

PJMORGAN11-

Thanks and congrats for making it through my entire blog. That takes some serious dedication. To listen to the show, go to the following link:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sportstalklivewithfrankie

The show starts at 10pm ET and runs until midnight. I’m not sure yet when I’m gonna be on, but I suspect it’ll be after 11pm. I’ll post an update here in the comments section when I find out. As for Angel Stadium, I haven’t been there since 1995 (before the Disney renovation), so I’m really not too familiar with it. Any advice I could possibly offer about that place would be generic…you know, just general tips that would apply to just about any stadium, and since you’ve read my whole blog, you know it all already. :-)

DB3PAR-

The focus of the new book will be all about baseballs with a focus on snagging: history of balls, how they’re made, strategies for how to get them, stuff about stadiums, the best stories from my blog, stories about milestone home run balls in the news, perhaps a few profiles of the most prolific ballhawks, etc. That’s just a very cheap summary. I have a TON of ideas, and I’m open to suggestions. It’s gonna be like an “everything snagging” book, or at least I hope so. I haven’t yet described the book to my publisher, so we’ll see what they think…

PUCK COLLECTOR-

1) I was expecting him to dominate.

2) Ahhh yes, I hadn’t thought of that.

3) I didn’t watch any regular season games.

4) Yup, Denver, that’s the one. The ball was not marked.

5) If you say so. I’m in my own world right now and not really keeping up with the news.

CUBS0110-

Monday through Thursday games are always the least crowded. Just make sure you avoid $5 night at Yankee Stadium. Those games are always packed. April is generally the least crowded month. Don’t go if there’s a big promotion, like a Yogi Berra bronze statuette giveaway, or whatever. But yeah, good idea to read my old entries about Shea & Yankee. Glad you like the idea of a new snagging book. One guaranteed sale. Cha-ching!!!

JULIE-

His name is Michael Shaw. Does that mean anything to you?

ZH,

Any idea on when your first game of 2008 will be? I got a ticket for the Braves/Indians exhibition game at Turner at the end of March.

Also, a quick point of order on that topic – would you include a preseason game ball in your collection if the game was played at an actual MLB stadium? I know s.t. balls are not counted…

Zack,

I was reading your FAQ section for “Watch With Zack” and I found a typo… I just thought you might like to know ;)

Under the “What about tickets?” question you wrote…

“If you don’t have tickets, I suggest you include a little extra money with your payment and let me be in change of buying them.”

Change should say charge.

Good luck with the book,

Nick

Any room for a puck collecting section in the new book book?

JOHNMCRAE1-
It looks like my first game of 2008 will be a Watch With Zack affair at the Red Sox home opener on April 8. I’ve never witnessed a ring ceremony before, so I’m really looking forward to that. Way way way back in April of 1992, I counted a few balls in my collection that I snagged at pre-season exhibition games (played by major leaguers) at Shea and Yankee Stadiums, but it never felt right to me. I guess it counts. I counted balls from the 2007 Home Run Derby and that wasn’t a real “game,” so I guess the answer is: it’s up to you. That might be vague and lame, but that’s the best I can come up with.

NICK-

Yikes! Thanks for pointing that out. I always want to know about typos, even if you feel the need to publicly humiliate me. :-)

PUCK COLLECTOR-

I think we might need to save that for YOUR book. Tell me though…how many pucks per game do you average? What’s the most you ever heard of someone getting at one game (including warmups), in a season, during the game itself? It might be good to know these things in case I want to compare snagging baseballs to snagging at other sporting events. (What happens if a ping pong ball goes into the crowd? Please tell me the spectators are forced to return it or I might be forced to take up a new hobby.)

EVERYONE-

In case you want to listen to my interview tonight, I just found that I’m going to be on at 11:35pm ET. So again…all you have to do is go to the following link at that time, and the show should just start playing:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sportstalklivewithfrankie

On March 29th to celebrate the Dodger’s 50th year in LA they are having an exhibition game with the Red Sox at the Collesium where they first played. The tickets went on sale Saturday and I went to go buy 2 of them Sunday and everything was sold out! I guess I will just see some of the Regular Season games then.

I’m tempted to fly out there and check out that ballpark, but I don’t think it would be fair to count it in my stadium tally.

First of all, I’m listening to your interview right now, nice job!

Second, I’m going to my first game opening day, March 31. THEN April second which is a “value day” and I plan to sit as close as possible. (since I have never sat really close at wrigley before).

The ring ceremony sounds like it will be VERY crowded. All I can say is GOOD LUCK!

I got myself a ticket to that Dodgers coliseum game.(The only Dodger I will be attending this yr) I bought the ticket right at the moment it is avaliable online on like 10am last Satur. I am glad I am finally be able to collect autographs without that bleeping concrete wall or drivng 40 miles south. I am also glad I won’t need to pay for parking that can walk there from my school. I guess there will be many famous baseball people attending that game. I am so excited. I am going to scout the surrounding sometime before the game day.

I will share the pics I take in that game.

Wow, I started every sentence with I.

Hi Zack…

TC and I have both definitely been the first ones into BP for Dodger Stadium plenty of times. We have a sure fired, tried and true system to get in first there. Maybe we should write a SoCal Snagging book? Ha ha.

About Orlando…the way I see it is this. The slim chance that the Rays don’t play in Orlando won’t effect my trip. If they play the games in Tampa, I’ll just see the family and friends in Orlando and make the drive down to Tampa. Baseball either way. Toronto vs Tampa shouldn’t be a big draw so the snagging will be good. I’m also going to see Boston vs Tampa in Tampa either way. I’m sure that the Orlando thing is going to happen though. I’ll see you there I’m sure.

Sammy…

That’s cool that you got a ticket to the Coloseum. Free parking too. I was thinking about going, but the Padres are playing the Angels that night and I already have a ticket to that.

25 days till I go to Spring Training. Can’t wait.

Leigh

Zack, any chance you can put that radio interview on your site as an mp3? I can’t seem to get that radio show to play at all on my computer.

Nice job on opening day tickets to Fenway for the watch with Zack! I’m heading up to Fenway on July 12th for a game against the Orioles. My friends are more into drinking at the bars outside Fenway than snagging, so I probably won’t go in until gametime…..

Yeah, puck book. No one cares about the sport, nevermind the pucks(although,it might sell well in Canada.) Last year I averaged just over 2 pucks a game. This year, I lost all hope for that when in November i went to 8 games and only got 11 pucks. Shut out 3 times. I’ve got 30 pucks in 20 games. That means, since i started collecting I average 1.8 pucks/game(90 pucks, 50 games.)The most pucks I’ve gotten in a game is 4, and I’ve never heard, nor imagined anyone getting more. 5 is possible, and 2 game pucks is too,and 3 would be incredible. A good season would be 40,a great season would be 50, and over that is amazing to me. The prime puck getting age is 10-14 because you are still young enough to get pucks from ref, and security, and you are old enough to chase after pucks during warmups. Keep in mind though that in the Coliseum, there is a 3 ft aisle that allows you to chase falling pucks. In other stadiums the seats go up to the glass, and you are stuck in one spot.

-Leigh
I was feeling really torn up after found out that the Coliseum game and the Angel-Pad game is the same day. I would really love to get more Pd autos. Anyway, here some tips for you in Angel stadium if u wanna snag extra balls: make sure that you get to the home dugout (right behind the player entrance) right after the game. The batboys occasionally would toss up game-used balls and sometimes even lineup card. Make sure you dive for it. Glove trick is good there, too. However, be aware that the most of field level area will be restricted, up to section 131.

Last thing, I have received like 7 fan packs. It is awesome!!!

Well, lucky for me, opening day for the Nats at some unreasonably late time is a non factor for me, because it’s not even in DC!!! I just realized that their HOME opener is on the 7th of April. So I will be able to go and it will be awesome.

CUBS0110-
Thanks for listening. Fenway is always packed. I doubt a ring ceremony is gonna make it worse. Perhaps a few extra people will show up early, but whatever. As long as I’m the first one in, I shouldn’t have a problem getting at least one ball.

SAMMYWU17-

I can’t wait to see those pics. I have no idea what that ballpark looks like.

LEIGH-

A SoCal snagging book, eh? It would be cool if everyone in different cities shared their tips for each stadium. Maybe I’ll do something like that in the new book…have a few “guest snaggers” contribute tips. There are so many things to talk about in the new book. AAHH!!

PSU532-

Sorry, but I have no idea how to pull the interview off the site and convert it. :-(

Also sorry that your friends are a bunch of winos.

MARK-

I didn’t see that until you posted the link here. Thanks!

PUCK COLLECTOR-

Interesting stuff. Your email address could easily be “puck expert.”

DB3PAR-

Nice.

Zack,
how about adding a section on autograph hunting inside the ballpark?

Long time no comment!

Glad the offseason is almost over!

Ah, the LA times?? That will give me so much competition!

Excited to start seeing regular posts!

-Ethan

-DODGERDUDE

Just wondering, have u ever sneaked into the dodgers dugout club or ask ppl who leave there early for their tickets? I mean, dodger stadium is such a tough place to get autos or balls.

Dodger stadium is really hard to get anything and it’s even worse when there are a lot of people there.

Hi Zack…

Here is a story from the San Diego Union Tribune in 1995. It helps solidify the snagging legend that is Tracy “TC” Collins. Hope you enjoy the article. He’s mentioned toward the end of the article.

Four games, six home runs, 13 RBI. Ken Caminiti kept saying he didn’t know the what or why or how of his incredible offensive performance the past week. He kept staring off into space and shaking his head.

Tony Gwynn has a theory.

Earlier this season Gwynn, the No. 3 hitter, joked with Caminiti, the cleanup hitter, that Gwynn was winning the team’s RBI race. That was during a series against Los Angeles, and Caminiti went for nine RBI in two days. Passed Gwynn.

Just last week, Gwynn wandered past Caminiti’s locker and mentioned how he was eight RBI ahead.

“I told him I had him locked out for the season,” Gwynn said.

Or so he thought. Caminiti had eight RBI alone last night — the most in a game by any National League player this season — to bring his season total to 87.

Gwynn started and finished the night with 84.

“I don’t know,” Gwynn said, laughing. “Maybe I made him mad or something.”

More Caminiti

They call it “the zone.” Caminiti can’t tell you how he got there, but he did comment on what an athlete’s most coveted destination looks like:

“The ball definitely looks bigger than normal. There are times you come out and it looks like a golf ball, and then you know you’re in trouble.”

How big is it looking?

Caminiti hit both home runs last night on fastballs, a double on a curveball and a single on a change-up.

You throw it, he hits it.

Two balls for one bat

Tracy Collins, 29, who sells subscriptions for the Union- Tribune, claimed to get both home-run balls by Caminiti on a night when the Padres third baseman became the first major leaguer to hit home runs from both sides of the plate three times in the same season.

Collins offered the balls to Caminiti, who reciprocated with a signed bat. It was not, however, one of the bats Caminiti used to hit the homers. He’ll keep those.

Et cetera

Overshadowed by the third baseman was the Padres’ second baseman. After grounding out in the first inning, Jody Reed had four straight hits, tying his career best.

The ’95 Rockies now join the ’77 Dodgers as the only teams with four guys with 30 or more homers. The Dodgers: Steve Garvey (33), Reggie Smith (32), Dusty Baker (30) and Ron Cey (30).

Even with the loss, Colorado holds a 19-17 advantage in the all- time series with the Padres.

Sammy Wu…

One time, back in 2001 I went to a Dodgers/Padres game at Dodger Stadium. It was raining kind of bad and due to traffic I got there late. I bought a $6, red seat upper deck ticket. Of course the game was delayed twice and most of the crowd left. I managed to work my way down throughout the game and watched the last three innings in row 1 on the Padres dugout. It was awesome. One of the Padres (I think it was Ed Sprage) broke a bat during an at bat and gave it to me when he got a new one. Very cool night. So, it can be done at Dodger Stadium, but you have to be lucky.

Leigh

Sammy-

I have snuck into the dugout club before. It was 4 years ago or something. I had field level tickets and i asked someone leaving in the 8th for their ticket stubs. I took the stub and went to the entrance of the dugout club.

You can’t do that now. When you enter the gates, you get a fluorescent stamp on your hand that they check.

Leigh- I WAS AT THAT GAME! I remember it so clearly because of the rain! It was in April… I think it was Jackie Robinson night.

Dodgerdude-
One day a Dodger game my friend and I wanted to sneak down to the dugout club so we asked someone in the last row of seats for their ticket. They miraculously reached over the concrete wall and handed them to us. We thought we were home free…boy were we wrong! As we handed the tickets to the attendant he shined a light on our hands and when we realized you needed a stamp we bolted.

Also, are you talking about the Jackie Robinson game where they gave out coins or when they all wore #42. Because, I was at the game when they handed out coins and it sounds like it might be the same game.

Evan

Any thoughts on Spring Training? I am thinking of going on March to the Mets, Dodgers & whoever else I can fit in. Is it worth trying to get autographs, pictures & balls? Interested in hearing yours & others thoughts.

im planning out a trip for summer to go out to the west coast, but i dunno where the best places are for autographs is, for outside the park, and inside the park? does anyone know the best parks to go to for autographs in cali? is colorado any good?and what about seattle and arizona?

hwnc1- YEA its worth it! i went last year in arizona and got TONS of autographs, good ones too like kirk gibson, george brett, prince fielder, paul konerko! you can get balls really easy too! i got my picture taken with ryan braun last year..no one knew who he was but i knew hed be good and he turned out to be the r.o.y!

Evan-

This was Jackie Robinson in ’01 or something…

The Jackie Robinson coin was ’05, and when they all wore #42, that was this year.

EVERYONE-
Sorry for being out of touch lately. I’ve been working FULL-TIME on a major baseball-related story. Sort of an article, except much longer. I’ll talk about it more in the next week or two. And there’s also been some stuff in my my personal, non-baseball life (yes, there IS such a thing) that I’ve been dealing with. Don’t ask.

SAMMYWU17-

I’m definitely planning to include some info about autographs. Absolutely.

ETHAN-

Nice hearing from you again. Hope the LA Times piece won’t cause you too much stress, but if it makes you feel any better, I haven’t heard back from the guy in quite some time.

HUNTKENYON-

I haven’t been there much, but I don’t need to in order to have made up my mind that I do NOT like it.

LEIGH-

The guy is legendary. I think he got robbed by not getting written up more in that article. I mean, that is an in-CRED-ible accomplishment. Much more impressive than getting eight RBIs in one game. Think about it. How many times in MLB history has a played had eight rib-eyes in a game? Lots. How many times has a fan done what T.C. did? Uh…?

HWNC1-

I have very little Spring Training experience, but hells yeah, it’s toally worth going. You have great access to the players.

BERGIN42-

If you look back at my Chase Field entries from September, you’ll see where to go for autographs after the game. Good call on Braun.

Have you got a trip lined up to Washington to pay a visit to the Nats new ballpark this season? Any other big trips you’ve got planned that we can look forward to?

I will definitely be visiting the new Nationals ballpark this season, although I haven’t yet picked a date. Probably in April or May. I’m also thinking about going to Florida if the Rays play a few home games at the Disney complex. I think that’s tentatively scheduled for April. I have two Fenway trips planned already. I’ll be going for A-Rod homers at Yankee Stadium, traveling on occasion to Philly and Baltimore. Of course I’ll be going to Shea. Considering a two-day trip to Pittsburgh. Decent chance I’ll be going back to San Diego to be filmed for a TV segment. I don’t know. It’s all up in the air, but good things will happen, one way or another.

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