Sports Illustrated article

On August 3rd, a reporter from Sports Illustrated spent five hours with me at Camden Yards. 

On August 9th (as I mentioned on Twitter), I got a phone call from a Sports Illustrated fact-checker. (Actually, I got three calls from her that day, but didn’t bother tweeting about each one.) She told me the article would be in the next issue.
Two hours ago, while walking through the Times Square subway station, I stopped at a newsstand and asked the gentleman behind the counter if he had the new issue of Sports Illustrated.
The answer was yes.
Here’s the cover…
…and here’s the article itself:
If you click on the image above and it opens up in a new window with the bottom chopped off,  click here to view it on my web site. Alternatively, you can read the piece here on SI’s site.
Overall, I love the article. I think it’s beautifully written and captures the zany/positive nature of ballhawking. My only gripe is that it was originally slated to be a five- to six-page feature story, so it’s a shame that it got condensed to a single page. (Okay, I have one more gripe: the article didn’t mention my charity by name. It’s called Pitch In For Baseball, and you can get more info about my fundraiser here.) But I don’t mean to complain. It’s a real honor to be in the magazine.
Three more things of interest…
1) This is officially the first time in my life that I’ve ever been referred to as “wiry.”
2) This is the second time in my life that I’ve been featured in a pack-page article in Sports Illustrated. This was the first.
3) I’m leaving for Citi Field in an hour…


Phenomenal, one of the people I admire most in my favorite magazine. Congrats Zack, you’ve earned it man.

Wow, that’s a great article. Probably one of the first that doesn’t poke fun at ballhawks either subliminally or obviously.
It seems to capture the thrill of ballhawking as well.

Way to go Zack for giving the author all the right details to make it a great article!


Nice work Wiry! Uh, Zack. Awesome article. I agree, Phil quote a nice piece. chris

A good article about you and ballhawks everywhere. It puts a lot better of a spin on you (and ballhawks) than that ESPN magazine article.

Thats really awesome you got in SI! It was really awesome getting to meet you today and getting to watch you use the glove trick. It was an awesome game! Well, atleast for a Rockies fan. Me and my brother both ended up getting a ball. I’ll have my entry up tommorow.

Zack, great article. I do agree with you that they should have mentioned your charity. The article leaves you hanging on that one. Finished your book Watching Baseball Smarter. It was a very good read.

As someone who works at a newspaper, I thought the article was amazing. Like you said in the past ballhawks had/have got a bad wrap, but it feels really nice to see an article like this written in SI.

I loved the lead about the languages and then the ending was perfect. Well done Phil.

I do agree that your charity should have been mentioned or at least a mention of your blog. I hope people google you and find it to find out more about the charity.

BTW, when is your “I’m done with everything on the book” deadline? Just selfishly waiting to get the game updates to start coming at a rapid pace. Haha.

Can’t wait for the book & good luck on the next game.

Phill in Utah

Thank you so much. This is one of the nicest things that anyone’s ever said to me. No joke.

I totally agree. It’s really great to have a positive article out there in such a bigtime publication.

I’m never gonna live down the “wiry” description, it seems.

Amen to that.

It was great meeting, you too, and I enjoyed your entry about the game. Glad to hear that you and your brother each got a ball.

Yeah, kind of a bummer with a charity, but I don’t think there’s ever been an article about me that mentioned everything, although there’ve been some really great ones.

Thanks, that means a lot to hear such high praise from someone in the newspaper business. As for my deadline, it’s tough to nail it down because the book is due in stages. It basically has to be written and edited and totally done by this time next month…but there will still be tweaks and additions. I might still be working on the artwork and writing the “acknowledgments” section and doing stuff like that. So, in that sense, the book will likely keep me busy through the remainder of this season. I’m hoping, though, that things will ease up a bit and that I’ll be able to attend a bunch of games in late September.

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