Sneak peek at Citi Field?

I have to make a decision and I need everyone’s help. There’s a college game that’s gonna be played at Citi Field on Sunday, March 29th. The choice I’m facing is:

Should I go and get a sneak peek at the stadium? Or should I wait to see Citi Field until I’m actually there for my first regular season game on April 15th?

I can think of two reasons to attend the college game and three reasons to skip it:

1) I’ll get to scope out Citi Field and discover the best spots to snag, and then when I’m there FOR REAL on April 15th, I’ll be able to run right in like I own the place.
2) I’ll get to reconnect with a bunch of friends and fellow baseball collectors (like Greg and Clif and Gary…who else? Puck Collector?) who are all planning to be there.

1) If I snag baseballs at the college game, I won’t count them in my collection, and they will NOT raise money for my charity drive.
2) I like the idea of running into Citi Field on April 15th and knowing nothing about the place and being forced to quickly figure it all out on the spot, with my consecutive games streak on the line; a sneak peek would be cool, but I feel like it might take away from the TRUE experience of running into the stadium the first time it really matters.
3) I’m now working full-time on my new book; the whole thing has to be written by March 2010 so I feel all kinds of pressure to stay in and make the most of my time when I don’t *really* have to be doing anything else.

Leave a comment and tell me what you think. I’ll tally up the votes when I wake up on Thursday (March 26th), and I’ll do whatever you guys tell me.


I say skip the college game and go to the red sox mets exhibition game at the start of april.

well, i will be attending, so from my point of view, although it will be nice to see you, one less snagger translates into more baseballs for me.

if i were you, i would go to check out all the prime snagging spots, and then when the game starts, just wander the stadium, photographing it from every angle, and go to every spot and just check it out (that’s what i’m planning to do) this way, the place will be less crowded and easier to move around then a regular season game, and you wont need to waste valuable time in the regular season taking pictures when you could be snagging and raising money.


I asked you once if you go on stadium tours of ballparks you’ve never been to. You told me then that you don’t because you like the challenge. IF IT WAS ME, I’d go and scope out the place. However, I am not you, and don’t have the skills to go to a new stadium blind.
Take the challenge and skip the college game.

Phill in Utah

I’d say skip the game. Even though it might be more of a challenge to go in there on opening day not knowing what’s going on, you’re in the same boat as everyone else. Plus, there would be a big difference between going in when a college game is going on and when a professional game is going on. The environment is so much different when there’s loads of people. I’m from Arizona and I remember the first time I went to a Diamondbacks game when I was 12, it was mind blowing.

MY VOTE: Skip the college game and wait for opening day.

Your streak has stayed alive this long because you’ve always got a jump on the competition. You’d be a fool not to take the early peek and scope the place out. Do it so you can relax on opening day, if you don’t you’ll be a wreck…D


I say skip it. Wait for the real thing. Snag from the Padres on opening day.


Knowing the layout would be a big advantage, but the media will probably be doing their own stadium previews and a bunch of photos are already online. Study them and the 3D seat viewer on the Mets’ website and I bet you’ll be fine.

GO TO THE GAME!! It’s my brothers birthday party :)

but, it’s sold out. the only way you can get tickets is stubhub for over 40 bucks (face value is 5).

plus, the dugout situation is similar to arizona. an usher at the concourse, and another halfway down in each aisle. BUT, you can do what we did in philadelphia (enter the field level at the end of BP and scoot through the rows until you reach the dugout) so you should go to check that out too. thats one of my main priorites, to see the dugout situation.


My vote is for you to go to the College game, it’ll be a good way to scout out the stadium for when April 15 rolls around, and when it counts.


P.S. I’ll be attending the Reds first batting practice at Great American Ballpark April 5, my friend and I got invited by vertue of being Reds Season ticket holders. The next day we will be attending our 4th Opening day when the Reds take on the Mets.

Lets Go Reds!

I say you go..good luck in the ballhawk league hope you show your the dominant ballhawk

Simple for me to answer: go to the game! Scope out the new stadium, get some info on the good snagging spots

I say wait. You’ll only get to have that “wow” moment one time, and you shouldn’t waste it on the amateur game. Plus, you’re a pro ballhawk, you’ll be able to adapt and snag balls no matter what the situation.

I say you go because it’s not like one or two games at a stadium this year. This is going to be your home stadium and it is better to know the ins and outs quickly and get more balls later, than having to spend the entire season learning it. This will be a game where you don’t have to try to get balls since it’s college, so u get see good glove trick spots, dugouts, and the aisles. I have a ticket if u need it, and this is Alco24 btw.

Who is playing? I say go to the game. College baseball needs more support. Although from a snagging standpoint college is nearly impossible unless you snag a foul ball or homerun. Players don’t usually throw balls to fans at college games… at least not that I’ve seen.

GO! Even though you may not be able to get balls at this game, you need to study so that you can get the most baseballs when it counts for charity!


Definitely GO, you’ll have the advantage on the 15th when you first get in. I don’t think this plays into your streak at all, great snaggers use opportunities presented to them to their advantage. As for catching any balls, just give them to little kids or donate them to a good cause or a local little league team if you get any.

Go bux.

Nah, don’t go. I think it’d be a waste of time.


I vote that you go to the college game. Take good notes and this will help to maximize your first “official” MLB snagging opportunity.
Afterall, you have a charity counting on your efforts this year.

Mike in Detroit
(Hoiping Zack snags Sheffield’s 500th HR ball at the Rogers Center in Toronto)

You sohuld go. You can scope out the park to increase the ball count fr the charity. Go so it can be your short “Spring Training”. I think you should go. And if you really feel that you cant find a place to put the balls you catch at the game if you go, I wouldn’t mind taking them off your hands….Just Kidding. I wouldn’t want to do that. You cauth them, there yours. Hope you go!!!
Connor Greenbaum

I vote that you go. Scope the place then go take photos. You’re a professional and professionals prepare. Get yourself ready just like a player gets himself ready for a game by taking infield practice or BP. Also, I like your new sidebar… all superpowered. Cool links and hit counter.

my vote is to go. Enjoy MARCH baseball. Snag an NCAA baseball. Have fun.


I say you should go, but whatever. Don’t force it if you don’t want to. I’m just going to wander after BP, and of course the balls won’t count, so I won’t even take BP too seriously.

As for my Florida trip, I’m too lazy to give a report. But basically, it was a fun week. The WBC games were great while the snagging scene wasn’t (gates opened 90 minutes early, Dolphin Stadium blows, only 25 minutes of BP were visible to fans each day, the last day was rainy, and exactly zero BP homers were hit the entire time I was there). I got six balls in three games and got out of there with a decent-enough commemorative. I then went to two spring training games and snagged 16 balls. The weather was great and the baseball was aweseme.

If anybody still wants to see some pics from the WBC, I can post them this weekend. Let me know.

OMG the game is sold out! damn.


Zack, I’m in favor of going in not knowing anything. Why waste your first impression of the stadium on a college game? Also, I invite you to come by my blog and represent the Mets (I’m inviting one blogger per team to do so) and leave your best argument as to why you believe this year is THE year for the Mets! Do your best though…lots of great arguments are posted for other clubs and lots more are on the way! Look forward to hearing from you…let’s get together sometime soon.

Prose and Ivy

Don’t go. You already have a huge advantage over everyone else due to being a baseball snagging genius. You don’t need to have an even bigger advantage from seeing the stadium before everyone else. Plus, you will miss out on that magical moment of being in a new stadium for the first time if it’s just a bunch of college kids playing. That’s just my opinion but I say don’t go.

Go to the game! Is it really still called Citi Field? GEEZ

I’ve changed my mind.
Now that I’ve read Noah
I say don’t goah.

I would go if I was you. You don’t seem to be a guy that likes to leave a lot to chance. A truly serious baseball geek would go to the college game and scope out the park for the best snagging areas.

Haha, Citi Field. What kind of loser… sorry. Well I think you shouldn’t go to the college game. More fun for the real deal. Those first moments. But it sounds fun either way.

I don’t think there is any real danger of the streak ending. I say check it out.

Are you really going to ignore all the comments and pictures posted between the game and Opening Day anyway? Aren’t you excited to see what it looks like from a non-snagging standpoint?

But the number one reason I’d suggest checking it out is more to rid yourself of the mystery that’s _not_ fun. Which gates/ramps lead nowhere good, where security and the ushers are. What’s the process for letting people in? What Gates (Rotunda makes sense, but you’d get to LF/RF faster through the LF/RF entrance..or better through the bullpen entrance.

You could probably even go in and make it a point _not_ to snag. Check out these little niches, etc. (this might be better done in the exhibitions though too, like where the players tend to congregate in the outfield during BP). You can watch the meaningless game and figure out the best foul ball sections. (would you really get any enjoyment from guessing and watching a foul ball misplayed and botched a section over?)

There’s the guilt trip aspect too. If you’re snagging for charity, you’d want the heads up.

I’ll be there.

Of course, you’ll get plenty of first hand stories just after the game anyway, which might be more than enough to get you started.


I say skip! I know that good feeling of running into a stadium, knowing nothing about it, and trying to take it over (snagging-wise). I actually attended an open house for Nationals Park two weeks before my first game there. I’d say it helped me a little, but there really was not a big difference.


skip skip skip. it’s like opening your presents 4 days before christmas. wait for the real thing, the experience will much better if its a surprise. besides, i highly doubt you’ll have trouble getting a few balls, since new york home run balls seem to go right to you, haha.

Zack, ball snagging aside, the college game on the 29th is the official debut, so in my view, this is the real Citi Field opener that any baseball fan should attend. Personally, I hate these test run games before the “official” opener and believe Opening Day should be the very first game played in a new ballpark. No matter what the Mets or Yankees say, the true opener is the one where they first let fans sit in a ballpark and watch a game. To say the 15th is the true opener is liking a young chaste couple saying they’ll hold out until their wedding night, but choosing to lose their innocence with a stranger during their engagement period.

Really. Just think about it. If someone said how excited they were to attend Opening Day and being among the very first to see the ballpark–and then someone said they went two weeks earlier, saw a game, and could tell them everything about what was inside, do you think some of the luster is taken off the Mets’ opener?

By the way, since it’s a college game, my guess is that the ball snagging will not be as juicy. Unless instructed otherwise, players will be more reluctant to give balls away–because they actually think about a school budget. Also, how many guys can reach the fences and put balls in the stands during BP. Indeed, the only potential for a ball-snagging gem could be a commemorative ball used in this game, but I have no idea if this will be done.

I say you go

It’ll be worth it to be able to scout out good snagging locations.


I am going to that game. So I say go. I haven’t seen you, and i have copies of both of your books I’ve wanted to get signed for a while, and I will be at BP (2.5 hrs early, just like shea). What have you got to lose by going?


i forgot to say this but, you played NCAA baseball. See how it has stayed the same and changed since you played


Marlins new ballpark in 2012! Im gonna start booking my trip

If you’re really gonna use that time to work on your book, then skip it. In the grand scheme of the whole season, what difference will 1 game make? Especially if they’re not gonna count anyway! Or go & cram a few extra hours in late at night!

fatherpuck: WTF! that was the worst analogy every, and makes no sense (well it does but its stupid)
the opening your presents before christmas is much better.

and the players will hit it out because they are using aluminum bats.

and the rays are also opening a new stadium in the next to or three years

Even though you’re giving myself and the rest of us full responsibility for your own decisions, and I would love to finally meet you after countless attempts that never succeeded, I’ll go with saying that you should NOT attend this game. It matters all about the experience. Yes, it would be sweet to have that extra knowledge about the ballparks best snagging spots but you can easily ask one of us that is attending the game this Sunday, or you can pretend your in Citizen’s Bank or PNC Park. All three parks looks virtually the same, and with what you know already, you should be fine, no sweat. Did you forget your a professional, man? JEEZ! But, if you do decide to attend, I’ll be keeping an eye out, as I’ll be walking around the park the entire time I’m there.

– Donnie

DAMN! the yes votes are winning. I was watching the 2007 HR derby today and I had forgotten that you caught the first home run. I was like Woah! that’s Zack in his where’s Waldo shirt. Anyways I seriously think you should stay home.

People will tell you any secrets they discover anyway. So you might as well go, and discover them for yourself.

Go to the game, kick back, scope the place out and check out the ladies.

oh and you still get the same rush of being inside a stadium for the first time if you go on the 29th. its not like the rush is gone

everyone going to the college game (clif, greg, puck, anyone else?)

assuming all gates open at the same time, which one will everyone be at? im sure ill run into everyone at some point anyway, just wondering…think it would be cool to see everyone again..

oh yeah, go to the game zack ;) hahaha


Zack, just go!!!! I will be there and just don’t count the balls. Think about what an advantage it will be just to know the place better than anyone else and at such an immediate rate. Beat the competition any way you can. You are as always, THE MAN. Hope to see you there!!!!!

I hate to tell you not to go, cause hell, i’m going, and I don’t agree with ever skipping any sort of sporting event when you have the opportunity to go. HOWEVER, I think you SHOULD skip it, because this isn’t really a Mets game. When you travel to other new stadiums, you have no idea what to expect. Accept the challenge. Walk in there blind on April 15th (I’ll be attending my first Mets game as well that day), and step up to the challenge of a brand new ballpark not knowing what to expect. You do believe in yourself that you’ll be able to get a ball, don’t you? I don’t think you’re scared you’ll be shut out. So wait for April.


I would wait. We have all been waiting a long time for the new Shea Stadium (it pain me to call it Citi Field). April 15th is going to be an amazing night. Will be much more fun discovering the best place to catch balls during a actual game.

There is a 90% chance I will be at the 4/15 game. I will let you know.

Adam D


25 people have voted that I should go for the sneak peek.
19 people have voted that I should skip it.

I’ll wait ’til around 12pm ET tomorrow to tally the final votes and make my decision.

I would go! It’s the first time it’ll be opened and I think you’ll still have a warm sexy feeling when you look back at your first time at Citi Field. Since you don’t care about balls for this game, check out the entire park so you don’t have to at your first regular game. Do it.

Dennis in Chicago

My answer, if it were me, would be to go – I hate surprises :O) However, it sounds like you prefer the excitement and the challenge. So, I vote for you NOT to go ahead of time. Good luck!


Hey Zack,
I think you should take the challenge of entering Citi without any idea of what it’s like . Don’t go to the college game and keep your snagging just Major League…and for Pitch In For Baseball.

i’d say skip it zack. Not only will it be the challenge of a new ball park but in my opiouion ur first game at the new met’s ballpark should be a met game, and it will help raise mony so it’s ur choice. Also Zack r u Planing on going to opening day or either of the epitition game at the New Yankee Stadium

I say go, but don’t let this decide, YOU go when YOU want to go…not us here on the blog. Although, I like that you are interacting with us. Thanks for keeping us busy during this offseason! The only thing entertaining me right now is who got busted for steroids.

First of all Charlered nice to see some Reds fans on here i am most likely going to be at opening day in Cincy as well.

ZACK- Tough decision, but I think that it would be good either way. For me I would go any chance to get in a Major League Park I would take it.

So my vote is YES go get a feel for it. Seems like a good opportunity.

YES! Go to the game. It will give you a brand new feeling when you go to your first game.

I’m back! From dealwatcher to this, new comments under this username. I forgot to tell u when I commented. (-:|

and zack, even if you hold out for the 15th, its still not the first ever mets game in the new ballpark. they play two exibition games there, so you might as well go to the grand opening

For the people who think he should go in blind on the “real” Opening Day: Look, it’s not like he’s thinking about sneaking in. This is a game with tickets made available to the public.

Nahh I don’t think you should. Running into the stadium for the first time, for the first game of the season, knowing that this is the ballpark you will spend many years snagging, makes skipping the college game all more of a better option.

Another update:

29 votes for “go to the game”
23 votes for “skip it”

I’m going to bed. Guess we’ll see where things stand later today…


Long time no post, Howya doin?? It’s good to see you have a new book! It must be crazy to know that you have been a guest on the same show as the president!

I definitely think you should wait and go for the competition. That park looks like such a cool place to explore. It also looks smaller (?) than Shea.


I can’t find ANYWHERE the distance from homeplate to the furthest “fence” at the new MET citifield. There seems to be a place in right field further out than the center field listing of 408 ft. Would appreciate knowing this info. Thanks

Would someone please tell me the furthest point from homeplate to the outfield fence in the METS new Citi field


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