Four weeks ago I invited my readers to send me photographs of their baseball collections. Here they are (in the order in which they were received)…
SENT BY: Aaron King
AKA: “districtboy” (in the comments section on this blog)
LOCATION: Washington, D.C.
IN HIS OWN WORDS: 289 baseballs shown (entire lifetime of
snagging)…Readin’ since June of 06! I credit 98.6% of the baseballs
I’ve ever snagged to you (I had only gotten four balls before I started
SENT BY: Alex McMurray
LOCATION: Castro Valley, CA
IN HIS OWN WORDS: Here’s my favorite baseball photo from my VERY amateur ballhawking
days. What’s easier than getting to the dugout and having a player
autograph a ball that he gives to you? And then he keeps your Sharpie
and signs for another 10 minutes while you convince the usher that the
player has your Sharpie? That was me on my birthday in July.
SENT BY: Jim Walls
IN HIS OWN WORDS: Here’s a photo of my son Colin after getting his
SECOND ball ever at the Phillies’ division-clinching, final regular
season game of 2007…The ball is the final out from the 7th inning,
pitched by reliever J.C. Romero and caught by Michael Bourn in left
field before he tossed it to us. Using the tips on your blog, we ran
down to the Phillies’ dugout just in time to get the catch. We were
lucky enough to attend spring training this year, where Colin got this
very ball signed by both Jamie Moyer and Cole Hamels. We also got a
ball at that same spring training game (a foul), as well as a ball at a
Wilmington Blue Rocks’ minor league game, bringing his grand total to
4. (since he’s only three, he counts minor league balls).
SENT BY: Robert Harmon
LOCATION: Arvada, CO
ARTICLE ABOUT ROBERT: Barry Bonds’ final home run ball — the FULL story
IN HIS OWN WORDS: from left to right top row bp ball i caught at
at&t in apr.08 #2) garrett atkins homerun w/ clean catch pin from
21 jun.08 mets at coorsfield. middle top, the infamous barry bonds
#762 evil twin - homerun ball with ticket by where it all went down 5
sep 07, #4) clint barmes homerun w/ clean catch pin from 3 sep 08
giants at coorsfield. far right, bp homerun ball i caught at
progressive field at cleveland from the kansas city line up. aug
08…now the next one, bottom left side, is very special (to me
anyway), i caught it in yankee stadium off the bat of the #34, thats
right, the big pappy. i’ve dream’t of catching a ball at yankee stadium
for going on 50 years. and it doesn’t hurt that ortiz was the one to
hit it. last but not least, just before the futures game at yankee
stadium jul 08, dexter fowler (of the rockies organization) well, the
ball landed and stayed on the warning track in front of me. when he
thru it up to me i thought i had a couple of octopuses behind me, for
all of the arms that came over and around from behind me, i didn’t
think i had a chance for it. but there it was in my glove. and then
when he was called up in sept. he remembered me and signed it for me.
i’ve had better seasons for getting balls, but never have i gotten
better memories, in large part do to zack. thanks buddy!!
SENT BY: Joe Faraguna
LOCATION: Sag Harbor, NY
IN HIS OWN WORDS: The baseballs are from lifetime 1 year, a few from
past when not collecting. There are 22 baseballs [3 in hat, 1 in hand,
18 on top shelf] 28 lifetime.- gave 6 away. All from mlb regular season.
SENT BY: Mike Miller
LOCATION: Byron, MI
IN HIS OWN WORDS: I have included my ‘bounty’ for the 2008 Snag Year. Stats:
60 Games Att
47 Games w/ BP
4.45 BPG AVG
39,536 Att AVG PG
12 Given Away
7 Glove Trick
26 Caught BP
7 Easter Egg
Could not of done all this without your awesome blogs Zack…Thank you very much for sharing your experiences with us…..
SENT BY: Brandon
AKA: “helmet guy”
IN HIS OWN WORDS: Here is a shot of my stash from the past 2 years + 1
old one. The ball that is encased is the first one I ever got (YS, May
1999). Total of about 80 balls. Of course I had to show one of my
SENT BY: Dan
LOCATION: Denver, CO
IN HIS OWN WORDS: I probably could have filled up a couple full walls
if I never gave a ball away, but that’s what I do, give them away. The
two best balls in there are the back-to-back game home run balls I
caught on the fly off of Mike Lansing and Jeff Cirillo. Most of these
balls are autographed, game home runs I have caught, logo balls, or PCL
balls. I have A LOT of Pacific Coast League balls because you can get a
bunch during batting practice at the Sky Sox games, and there are no
kids around to give them to. There are about 500 balls in there right
now, and should be filled by about June next year. When it gets full,
I’ll start pulling out the autographed and game home run balls and get
them in cases… I hand painted the MLB
logo underneath all of the balls, and you can see the right side of the 13 foot wide Rockies logo on the left, which I also hand painted. Then on the right are bats that I have traded players for wanting important or meaningful home run balls back that I caught. All of this is in my daughter’s bedroom, she loves it. I also painted the 07′ World Series logo and 07′ NL Champs logo on another wall.
SENT BY: Don
AKA: “Rock Pile Ranter”
LOCATION: Broomfield, CO
IN HIS OWN WORDS: There are 48 baseballs in the picture. 31 are
autographed and all were snagged by me except the 4 Colorado Rockies
logo balls( I purchased) = 27 baseballs.
17 unsigned baseballs also snagged by me (I couldn’t get them
autographed, I ran out of season) For a grand total of 44 baseballs in
38 games. Here is a link to my blog that breaks down the autographs.
SENT BY: Nelson Varona
LOCATION: Bronx, NY
IN HIS OWN WORDS: Shea Family Day at the picnic area…My daughter’s
name is Valentina. The ball was hit and it rolled toward her and she
grabbed it. The ball is in her left hand and you’re next to her. Her
first snagged and you signed it! Thanks Zack!
SENT BY: Peter
IN HIS OWN WORDS: 2008 spring training game, Astros @ Blue Jays…two balls, and vernon wells’ game-used wristband.
SENT BY: Joe (and Kym)
LOCATION: Long Island, NY
IN HIS OWN WORDS: only 2 balls, our first 2 that we got at yankee stadium during the last week of the 2008 season
SENT BY: Mike G.
LOCATION: Albuquerque, NM
IN HIS OWN WORDS: Only 5 balls and they’re all Pacific Coast
League balls that I’ve retrieved from Albuquerque Isotopes games from
the past 2 years.
SENT BY: Bryan
LOCATION: Pittsburgh, PA
IN HIS OWN WORDS: Here’s [one of my] favorite pictures of me and my
brother and…a legendary ballhawk from Pittsburgh…the baseball that
my brother Nick got is from Nate Mclouth and our friend got his ball
from Nate Mclouth too. My baseball is from a bullpen coach named Luis
SENT BY: Clif
LOCATION: Tenafly, NJ
IN HIS OWN WORDS: this was so hard to do. first, i had to get 4 bats to
make a square and then make an unstable mini pyramid. it was so
unstable that i had to wedge something into the front bat so it wouldnt
roll away (thats why a triangle of commemorative balls is in the front)
then i had to gently put both of your books on top which only made the
bat want to roll away even more. the pyramid collapsed a couple of
times. next, you have to remember that there is a big square hole in my
wall where my tv is. i had to wedge my camera in between the bottom of
the square in the wall and the bottom of the tv at a certain angle to
get the whole ball collection in the shot (and i couldnt get a glimpse
of the screen either). my camera is really delayed because its old so i
had to gently press the button to snap the shot, while making sure it
didnt fall out of its position. then i had to quickly sit down and make
an original clif messing around face. so it was tough but fun. and i
finally got it done!
SENT BY: Gail
LOCATION: Tenafly, NJ
IN HER OWN WORDS: I couldn’t get any good ones of me, so here are my
balls with my newest foster baby, Callie. She’s much more photogenic
than I am! She wouldn’t leave me alone when I tried to take a pic…so
I hope you don’t mind. These are my 15–since our game last september.
Callie wouldn’t let go of dirty #14, which I got from Al Reyes at Shea
during BP on Sept 5 this year. Must be something about the mud (we
figured it was game used).
SENT BY: Gary Kowal
LOCATION: New Jersey
SENT BY: Michael
IN HIS OWN WORDS: In this photo is all the baseballs in my collection.
I have snagged 262 and all of them are pictured. the ones in my hand
are a yankee stadium commemorative and nationals park
commemorative. I have 30 game balls and the rest are Batting Practice.
SENT BY: Jere Smith
ACTS LIKE: 14
LOCATION: Providence, RI
IN HIS OWN WORDS: I’ve been trying to catch balls at baseball games
since I was a little kid. I’ve never managed to snag one in a game, but
I am proud of the six Major League baseballs I’ve managed to acquire in
batting practice. #1, 8/1/89, Twins at Yankees, Yankee Stadium: Twins
outfielder Randy Bush hits a rocket shot right at me. 13-year old me
reaches out and snags the liner on the fly, using my own glove, despite
that I was given a cheap plastic one, as it was Glove Day. # 2,
6/15/03, Astros at Red Sox, Fenway Park: A left-handed Astro hits a
hooking liner–it takes one hop and I look it into my bare hands. My
guess is it was Jose Vizcaino who hit it. I later find out on Zack’s
site that the “H” on the ball is not unique. #3, 5/14/04, Red Sox at
Blue Jays, (then) SkyDome: Brian Daubach hits a HR ball that bounces
off a woman and goes to me. I give it to her, but later she gives it
back to me. #4, 9/22/04, Orioles at Red Sox, Fenway Park: David Newhan
tosses a ball to me. #5, 9/25/07, Athletics at Red Sox, Fenway Park:
David Ortiz hits a HR ball into the bleacher seats–I am positioned
perfectly and snag it before anyone else. #6, 4/24/08, Angels at Red
Sox, Fenway Park: Mike Lowell (though on the disabled list at the time)
loops one into the stands, and I pick it up. In the picture the balls
are placed in chronological order from left to right (with 2 and 3
reversed, my mistake), except for the ball at far left, which is the
one ball my dad has caught in his life–an in-game foul ball pitched by
the Red Sox’ Ray Culp and hit by Frank Baker at Yankee Stadium in 1971.
It’s cool to see the “Mississippi Mud” on it. More details descriptions
of each snag can be found on my blog.
SENT BY: Alex
IN HIS OWN WORDS: The Photo’s bats are as followed from top to bottom:
Mike Lowell, Brett Myers, Michel Hernandez, Johnny Damon, David Ortiz,
Brian Anderson, Willie Harris, Jody Gerut. In my left hand i am holding
the 2008 Game 4 Final Out ball WS, an ASG 08, Final Season Yankee.
Right hand is A. Phillips double from 8/4/07, Giambi game used ball
from 9/19/08 that is NOT commemorative, and a 2008 Nationals foul
tip. The ball in the lower right with the case next to it is a Mariano
Rivera signed game used baseball. Around
1,983 Professional Baseball autographs and around 1,765 MLB autographs.
SENT BY: Brian
LOCATION: New York
IN HIS OWN WORDS: The balls are from my entire snagging collection, and
111 balls are used to spell “PUCKCOLLECTOR”…And as for the balls in
the pic starting with the top left column; 2008 XM All-Star Futures
Game ball, Mariano Rivera auto, Joba Chamberlain auto, Chien-Ming Wang
auto, Nationals Park Inaugural Season Ball, and a Bobby Abreu auto.
Top Right Column:Yankee Stadium Final Season Ball, International League
(Triple A) 125 Anniversary Ball, Shea Stadium Final Season Ball, David
Price auto, and Price Fielder auto, and finally, my first ever ball
autographed by Pedro Borbon Jr.
SENT BY: Ben
LOCATION: Seattle, WA
IN HIS OWN WORDS: In this photo are all the balls flowing from this
basket I snagged at Safeco Field in Seattle, WA – 2008. The balls in
the background lined up are minor league balls. There are 22 balls in
this pic but one didn’t get in the picture. I officially started
snagging this year so these balls are my lifetime total and by
allotment of 2008.
SENT BY: Jim
LOCATION: Price, UT
IN HIS OWN WORDS: Here is a picture of my 12 baseballs that I have
snagged at Coors Field and Busch Stadium. They are proudly displayed in
my living room on top of my big screen TV. They make for a very
interesting conversation piece when people see them. I never came close
to ever getting a ball, even at minor league games until I began
faithfully reading your blog. You get all the credit with your tips and
stories. I thank you for making baseball even more enjoyable that it
already was for me.
SENT BY: Rick
IN HIS OWN WORDS: This is a picture of me, my two oldest kids and the
22 balls we snagged this season, over 14 batting practices this season.
Not a whole lot, but much more than the two I got in 2007. Alina and
Tommy each had four balls thrown to them, and I snagged the 14 others.
SENT BY: Philly Guy Joe
IN HIS OWN WORDS: Just one of those balls that you always will remember
where, when and how you obtained it…We were in Minnesota on vacation
visiting family this past July 4th holiday. We went to the Sunday
afternoon game between the Indians and the Twins, with Cliff Lee
pitching. Because of a Saturday night game the previous day and an
early start time, neither team took batting practice or fielding
practice that day. The only players even warming up that day were
Fausto Carmona and Sal Fassano throwing a bullpen session, with
Fausto’s interpreter and about 4 coaches. An hour before first pitch,
with the stadium still about 98% empty, C C Sabathia came out to right
field and began a soft toss session with his throwing partner. I knew
that C C Sabathia was on the trading block at this time and I stayed
along the right field line Indians bullpen all pregame waiting for him
to finish. Halfway through soft toss, even before the players started
cooling down by walking closer together and reducing their throwing
distance, a coach came up to C C and he stopped throwing. What few
players were on the field for the Indians then started coming up to C C
out in right field. C C then walked down the right field line to the
Indians dugout. I knew what had just happened. I got C C’s throwing
partner to toss me the ball before he left the field, and I watched the
Twins hand Cliff Lee his first American League loss…all the while
knowing that the Indians had just traded C C Sabathia and I was
probably the only non MLB employee / media representative to know.
SENT BY: Matt Jackson
LOCATION: Irvine, CA
IN HIS OWN WORDS: The photo is of me with my collection of 28
baseballs. 28 – that’s a lifetime total for me. I caught my 1st during
Angel Stadium BP when I was 21. I turned 25 this August. Thanks to you,
sir, I collected 19 of these baseballs in 2008! I started reading your
blog in July…in August and September I snagged 19 balls at 4
different stadiums (Angels, Dodgers, Padres, White Sox). Many thanks!
SENT BY: Greg
LOCATION: New York, NY
IN HIS OWN WORDS: The balls in the pic are my lifetime total, minus my
foul balls and the ones I’ve given away. I’d say there are about 535
balls there (out of my 581 total).
SENT BY: Erik
LOCATION: 15 minutes outside Pittsburgh, PA
IN HIS OWN WORDS: There are 128 balls in the photo – all from 2008.
SENT BY: Matt Hiett
AKA: “braves04″ (formerly “lsthrasher04″)
LOCATION: Lithia Springs, GA
HIS OWN WORDS: I formed a “30″ as my lifetime total, since a few were
from last year. All 30 aren’t in the photo as some were given away,
but the bottom of the zero features the lone Shea commemorative as well
as the two caught on the fly during BP.
SENT BY: Anthony Herr
LOCATION: Barboursville, WV
IN HIS OWN WORDS: Top Left: This is an over view of my collection. Top
Right: In this pic you’ll see from top left to right a ball signed by
edinson volquez and johnny cueto, under that is one signed by jose
rijo. The in the forefront labeled hot pack is the bp home run ball I
caught from mike cameron in Cincinnati, beside it is a ball signed by
many current and former reds team members. In the row behind from left
to right one signed by gary majewski, next to it is one signed by josh
Hamilton, and another reds team ball. Bottom Right: The two balls in
front were purchased after my trip to yankee and shea this season,
behind them from right to left a ball signed by chris Dickerson, beside
it is signed by javier valentin, and the next one is signed by Ryan
freel. The left tower of balls were signed by bronson arroyo, homer
bailey, rob dibble and chris sabo. The right tower contains balls
signed by bill bray, dusty baker, Aaron harang, Todd benzinger, and Mr
perfect tom browning. The two balls next to those were signed by
brandon Phillips and eric davis. Most of these were signed either at
great American ballpark or in the winter at Redsfest. Bottom Left: The
ball in the case was signed last December at redsfest by future hall of
famer Ken Griffey Jr. They had stacks of OMLB balls waiting he picked
up the ball then signed and handed it to me. Behind it is a bp home run
ball hit by sammy Sosa when he was with the rangers.
SENT BY: David
IN HIS OWN WORDS: I don’t think I’ve made a post in a really long time,
but I constantly follow your blog, and if you remember I sent you an
email around a year or 2 ago. I’m the one from Toronto who caught
Delgado’s 3rd homer from the 4 HR night, and I have around 50 pairs of
batting gloves from players. Here’s my photo, its a picture of my best
signed balls sitting behing my best pairs of batting gloves.
SENT BY: Max Van Hollebeke
LOCATION: Seattle, WA
IN HIS OWN WORDS: I (Max Van Hollebeke) am on the right and my 11yo brother (Luke Van Hollebeke) is on the left. We just learned about you at the end of the 07 season so we’re only rookies. My total for this season (which is my whole career) is 40. Only 38 balls are pictured. Luke’s total for this season (and his whole career) is 14. Every ball is pictured. He didn’t attend many games.
And that’s it. If I got any of your personal info wrong, or it you want
me to add anything (like your last name or age, or whatever), just
leave a comment and let me know, or send me an email. Also, if you
don’t have a blog but you’re on Facebook or MySpace or Friendster (do
people still use that?) and you want to share your profile with
everyone, send me the link and I’ll stick it in the entry. For everyone
else who wishes they sent photos but didn’t get around to it…hang
onto them for now. There’s always next time.