ESPN the Magazine

Big thanks to the people who left comments on my last entry about ESPN the Magazine. Turns out I’m in it, and I would’ve missed it if not for the heads-up. I was interviewed for this piece a few weeks ago, and then of course I forgot all about it.

Here’s the cover…


…and here’s the page with my name on it:


This was part of a big article about how to heckle players and how to be part of the game from the stands. ESPN came to me for the section about fan interference. Even though I don’t condone it, and even though I’ve NEVER interfered with a ball that was in play, I decided to do the interview and tell them all the best places/ways to interfere. Good choice? What would you have done?


Hey Zack Hample,
This is my first comment.I have been reading your blog a long time. I’m from california. Im 15 and im planning to start a collection. I wonder if you can give me advice to start baseball collection. And the ballparks i mosty visit is dodger stadium and angel stadium thanks a lot for inspiring me start a baseball collection,

Your New Fan

Well, I would have gone for the interview. It’s the “Fan Issue”! How can you reject that?


I just got back from Shea, it is basically gone. If you want to go you better hurry. There is a wrecked up shea, only about the area behind home plate, left. Then there is a sea of garbage. Two guys went into the sea and took a cinderblock. And if anybody is interested, you can try and reach for a seat back or lights which is by these cement blocks opposite the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.

well there is one good thing about not going to yankee games. my dad wont force me to listen to john sterling and suzanne waldman on the postgame show on the ride home! i cant stand them! not only are there voices awful, but they know about as much about baseball as all the people filling the corporate seats in the new stadium.

and i got 3 pucks at tonights game, including 2 gamers. but i got beat out by a fellow blogger, but ill let him share his own account of the night.

Hey Zach,
First time for me to comment. I’ve been reading your blog since about August and it hasn’t let me comment until now.
I read your interview in ESPN Mag. I was like ohmigosh awesome!

Its cool, but it doesn’t seem like the type of thing you’d do.

But its still cool and I’ll keep commenting.
Thanks, Tanner(huge fan from STL)

Puck- thanx for all the advice and help, now im getting into hockey and am an islanders fan. [ what a bad time to be 1] im gonna start going to more games, but ill try to stay out of your way for the most part. got 5 pucks 1st ever time @ a game. 2 from the trainer dude. 1 from the guy @ 1st behind the bench. 1 after warmups from security guard, and 1 aftr the 1st quarter- game puck. My crutches are the reason that i got 3 of the pucks though. ill be @ the game vs the penguins on monday 2/16. u gonna be there? Joe

whoa whoa whoa joe, if your gonna be a hockey fan its 1st PERIOD not first quarter.

they guy who gave you teh first puck was nemes charlie, the 2nd and 3rd came from richard “skey” krouse, and the game puck came from ref #97 Jean Morin. he nice, i know hes gives me a few puck, including the one i got after the 2nd

puck- does jean morin ref every islander game? r u going to go to the 2/16 and/or 2/28 games?


The butchered English above is from Puck Collector, not me. As for Yankess 5221, the Islanders Assistant Equipment Manager is “Shakey,” not Skey. Also, now is the best time to be an Islander fan because they can only go up (with one caveat–they can go OUT to another city). Also, the refs can be different for every game, but they rotate around the League so you get repeats.

We are scheduled to be at every home game, so unless something comes up, see you there.

With regard to the Yankees, I may just have to give up my own seats and buy a huge chunk from a friend with a full season plan just like my old seats behind home plate. Or, I’ll just become a productive citizen!

Thanks for reading my blog and finally leaving a comment…and you’re welcome for the inspiration. My best advice would be to read all my old blog entries about games I’ve attended, and then try using my tricks when YOU go to a game.

Good point.

That just sounds sad to me. I don’t want to see it.

I have John Sterling’s phone number. Don’t make me call him and tell him what you said.

I’m sorry you weren’t able to comment. There’s a weird glitch on MLBlogs. I’m almost NEVER able to comment on anyone else’s blog. Anyway, thanks for leaving a comment now that you’re able, and thanks for checking out the magazine.

Easy does it with the hockey comments. :-)
You guys COULD email each other privately and talk about all this stuff, after all.

Productivity is overrated.

I looked up Guilford and saw that we went right by it off I-40 in NC. Go easy on us hockey fans, it’s the offseason lol. We’re like a family when we discover more fans among us, especially since ESPN refuses to acknowledge we exist.

Nice job getting in the article. But the thing about home run fence height is odd. If they’re gonna talk about fence height, it should be for the areas down the lines in foul territory. You can interfere with a HR whether the fence is 3 ft high or 37 feet high, as long as there’s access to that part of the fence in the crowd. I think they screwed that part up.

braves: you should read john buccigross’s hockey blog ion espn. i would link it but im tired and too lazy right now

Zack, do you know any dates for Yankee Stadium this year? My grandpa, two other older fellows and I will be attending the Yankees vs. Nats game on June 16th (I think 16th, if not, then within a few days of the 16th). Thanks.

Puck, thanks for the link. Be sure to check your email. By the way, y’all got royally screwed by the Yankees, especially for such a longstanding account. Plan holders are the heart and soul of any team, but it goes to show the Yankees are only after the corporate accounts that can afford the seats worth a darn.

Hi Zack…

I can’t decide who you look like more….the lead singer for the New Radicals or the lead singer of the Smashing Pumkins? What do you think?


hey zack its clif. if this comment shows you my email as a different one than before, thats because i changed my account because my last one had those problems that i explained to you about the display name always switching

I can see Zack, why you would do the article; but I’m concerned about offering advice on how to “interfere” with the game. Not all the fans out there are as ethical as you when it comes to their behavior at the game and I question whether offering advice on how to do it is wise.


congrats on the article in ESPN. the only problem is now more people are not going to believe you when you tell them that you don’t “crush babies” while going after balls

It looks like I’ll be going to the NYC Scrabble club tonight (with my friend Leon) so my next blog entry might be about that.

Okay, I’ll give you hockey fans a break. I have a few not-too-mainstream interests, so I’m well aware of how nice it is to find like-minded people. Next time you’re near Guilford, go have lunch at a place called Jam’s Deli. It’s right across the street. It’s a good thing I don’t live there because I’d eat there every day and get fat. Sooooo good.

Yes, but if the home run fence is very low, you can reach over and interfere with a ball that’s rolling toward you and turn it into a ground-rule double.

I’d love to attend the first official game there, but right now I have no plans to do so. I’m about to book a “Watch With Zack” game for the middle of the season, but that date isn’t confirmed yet. Other than that? Nothing. There’s a chance that I’ll only go to a handful of games this season in each NYC ballpark.

Like there’s a difference. All white guys with shaved heads look alike.

I like the new email address (although it’s not showing up here to the public). You know me…I only crush babies who deserve it.

Whatever. :-)

I understand what you’re saying, and I have the same concern in retrospect. It’s just that if *I* didn’t provide that info, they surely would’ve gotten it from someone else. So even though there’s a negative aspect to it, it’s still (in a way) nice to be connected to it because it’s another example of my expertise on the subject. I don’t know. That’s just my own positive spin on it. I might be way off…or maybe it’s really not a big deal. But I appreciate your thoughts.

zack you would like to go to the first OFFICIAL game at the new Yankee Stadium? Why not the first EVER game on April 3? what about Citi Filed? and are they having any exibtion games?

personally i would rather go the the first EVER game in a stadium. as long as its being played by two mlb team, i think thats the first game. its like the HR Derby. its not an official game, but mlbers play in it , so therefore you counted the balls right? right now im liking the concept of being the first ever fan inside the new yankee stadium or the first evn person to get a ball there. obviously there is no way to verify it, but to me if i am first in line at the gate, and the ticket guy scans mine first, and when i get inside its empty (or i cant see anybody else in the stands) im the first one in and to me thats pretty cool

Zack, I’m still waiting on my first official comment from you at the Rockpile Rant. I’ve been waiting for over a year. I’m practically a household name now,…where the hell you been? :)…D


I really hope you paid your taxes the last few years. Just in case Obama nominates you for something. :) Baseball Ambassador?



Hey hockey/baseball fans, I just saw Tim Lyncecum being interviewed between periods at the San Jose Sharks game. He was wearing his own 55 Sharks jersey. Zack, is that enough of a nexus to keep talking hockey?


I saw you earlier tonight on the MLB Network. It was a commercial or snippet type thing. It was very quick. It looked like the celebration after the Damon HR catch last year. Not sure though. It was definitely you though. Check it out.


hey ya ll.zack i always look for you on cash cab on discovery channel,you and jona gotta get you live by the village voice?is that greenwich village?were you near the hudson river for the miracle landing?

Are you going to opening day at citi field (against the padres)? As far as i know, the first home run at a stadium is guaranteed to be the first one.


Man, the Yankees offseason is getting worse and worse. First Torre’s book, now Arod testing positive for steroids.

BIG autograph day today! 15 at marlins fanfest…dan meyer, andrew miller x2, dan uggla x2, jack mckeon, josh johnson x2…jeff connine, rich vandenhurk x2, ryan tucker, chris volstad, emilo bonifacio

During this summer I will hopefully be going to Rogers Centre in Toronto to see some games & need to know the following
A. Is it easy to get to the team dugouts during and before the games or does stadium security not let you down to the dugouts?
B. Is the gap between the outfield wall and the outfield seats a good place to use a Glove/cup trick during batting practice?
C. Does stadium security care if you use a glove or cup trick?

Hey Zack,

Jody here im just adding to leigh’s comment about you on MLB Network. I have a picture of a commercial and the part with you in it. Here it is:

Notice the little MLB Network Logo in the bottom right corner :)


cardsfan: ask chris los for rogers center info.

and as for a-rod, i always thought he was too nice and goody goody to do that, and if he did it would eat away at him and destroy him, but i guess not. wel im gonna boo him.
zack does this change your opinion of him?

oh, and another way to find out a team bullpen cather and b pitcher is through that teams yearbook. i was looking through the yanks 08 one, and under employees they had the bullpen catcher, bp pitcher, and the team translators who were often shagging balls in bp. just thought people may want to know where to look cuz the bullpen catcher question oftne comes up, and the guy is usually not listed on the teams website

I am borderline distraught over the A-Rod thing. I’m very disappointed and surprised, but I guess I really shouldn’t be. I may have just been blinded by my hoping that he couldn’t have done it. I guess I never faced the probable truth.

It’s a shame, really, I just don’t know what to do right now. A-Rod was always my favorite, because to me he was like a modern Mickey Mantle except with good knees/legs. I guess not.

But admittedly, he could still be an excellent player. We don’t know when he started using steroids or when he stopped. I mean, he was already a great player before 2003, but how long before 2003 was he using the steroids? For now, because I loved him so much, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt: after all, he was the first draft pick in the country. I can’t imagine that he was using steroids at that point but I don’t really know.

Nah, for me, the season begins with Opening Day, not with an exhibition game. Plus, I need all the free time I can get AWAY from baseball. I’m not in any rush for the season to begin. I got too many other things going on. As for A-Rod…yeah, it really sucks, and I’m not quite sure what to think. I guess I’m hoping it isn’t true.

I keep trying to leave comments, and I keep getting a message that says, “You do not have permission to comment on this blog,” or something like that. I’ll take a screen shot and send it to you.

My taxes are all paid, so I guess that disqualifies me. Very cool about the MLB commercial. Thanks for the heads-up.

I can accept that, although you spelled his name wrong. :-)

TRACYCOLLINSBECKY (and everyone else)-
Jona and I are no longer together. I’m not near the Voice, and I live about two miles from the miracle landing.

I’m not sure. I’d love to be there.

I know…it’s nuts.

Nicely done.

I haven’t been to a game in Toronto for nine years, so things might’ve changed. The way it USED to be was that you could go anywhere you wanted in the ballpark until 45 minutes before the first pitch, and then security started checking tickets and not even letting people into the field level seats. I never had any problem using the glove trick there. In fact, I used it DURING a game to reel in a ground-rule double hit by David Justice, so I say…go for it, but be careful. The gap behind the outfield wall is so wide that lots of balls won’t be right below you, but you should still have some chances.

Thanks so much for the photo!

I pretty much agree with everything you said.

Say-rod it ain’t so.

well, the thing about arod is, the PLAYERS UNIOIN FAILED TO KEEP THEIR END OF THE DEAL! the tests should have been destroyed, and we should have never known anout the positive tests. also the fed were only supposed to take the info of the 10 players involved w/ balco, but they took them all instead. and the head of the players union tipped him off about an upcoming test! the entire testing sytem is BULL! If they really wanted to get rid of steriods, it should be one and done, and they should test blood. while i cant condone what arod did, and im surprised and dissapointed, i kinda feel bad for him. no one shold have ever known about this. he was lied to and his rep is now ruined. well i guees with all the stuff hes done (strippers etc) he had it coming to him.

well you may paid your taxes, but if you cheated on them you could still get the job! LOL. oh, and i know nothing about taxes, but can you deduct some money from tickets you bought for WWZ games, and say its a work exspense? that would be cool.

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