Ball No. 4,200
Remember when I snagged 11 balls on 8/17/09 at Citi Field?
My final ball that day happened to be the 4,200th ball I’d ever snagged. It was tossed to me after the game by some random guy in the Giants’ dugout. I had no idea who he was, so I took two photos of him (see below), hoping that someone might be able to identify him:
The day after I posted these photos, someone left a comment and said that the mystery man looked like Bill Belichick. Other people said he looked like Scott Boras and Andy Richter, and there were other names jokingly tossed out there as well, but the best theory was that the guy was Mario Alioto, the Giants’ Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing.
I was nearly convinced that that’s who it was until a friend of mine in San Francisco (who knows almost everything about the Giants) insisted that it wasn’t Alioto. He didn’t know who it was, though, and it seemed that my quest had hit a dead end.
Fast-forward two weeks…
The date was September 2nd, and I received the following email:
To: Zack Hample
Sent: Wed, Sep 02, 2009 4:33 am
Subject: Re: Here’s who gave you your 4200 baseball
> Saw your blog page and picture related to your attempt to identify the individual from the SF Giants who gave you ball # 4200. If you are still in need of the info, he is Jim Moorehead, Senior Director of Media Relations with the SF Giants.
> Take care.
It just so happened that I’d been in touch with Moorehead earlier in the season (I’d contacted him to request a couple interviews for my book) so I fired off the following email:
From: Zack Hample
To: Moorehead, Jim
Sent: Wed, Sep 02, 2009 10:01 pm
Subject: random baseball mystery
We were in touch a few months ago. I’m the guy who’s writing a book about baseballs, and I’m also a baseball collector.
This is going to seem totally random and bizarre, but I have to ask…
On August 17th, shortly after the final out of the Giants game at Citi Field, I happened to get a ball tossed to me by someone in the Giants’ dugout. The person who gave it to me wasn’t in uniform, so I had no idea who it was. He lingered on the top step for a minute, so I pulled out my camera and took a picture of him, which I later posted on my blog.
Long story short: I just got an email from a diehard Giants fan who saw the photo and insists that it’s you.
Could this coincidence be true?
Would you like to see the photo?
Thanks for your time (and, perhaps, for the ball as well).
Hours later, I got this response:
From: Moorehead, Jim
To: Zack Hample
Sent: Thu, Sep 03, 2009 2:50 am
Subject: Re: random baseball mystery
That was me. :)
(Thanks to everyone who helped out with this.)