Bergino Baseball Clubhouse

Several months ago, when word was first spreading about my new book, I heard from a guy named Jay Goldberg, who offered to host a book event for me at a place called the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse.

I’d never heard of it, so I checked out the website and ran it past my publicist. I had no idea what to think. Who the hell was this guy? Was he planning to charge me to use his space? What did he hope to get out of it?

Long story short: Jay is awesome. He’s a retired sports agent and a diehard baseball fan. He hosts regular book events at his baseball-themed store — the Bergino Baseball Clubhouse — and he hosted one for me last night.

Here’s a look at the Clubhouse from the street. It’s located at 67 East 11th Street in New York City:

Here’s a better look at the entrance:

In the photo above, do you see the little table in the window on the right? I’m going to show you a close-up of that in just a bit, but for now, check out the interior of the Clubhouse:

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Normally there are baseball books on the bleacher benches, but Jay had moved them to make room for people to sit.

Here’s another photo of the interior:

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In the photo above, do you see what’s perched between the two green chairs?

Here’s a closer look:

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It’s a voice recorder/microphone (sitting on top of a game-used base from Shea Stadium). The plan for the evening was for Jay to ask me questions for half an hour, and then for me to continue the Q&A session with the audience — and best of all, the whole thing was going to be recorded as a podcast.

Okay, let’s go back to that table in the window. Look what was on it:

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Do you see the baseball on the lower right?

Jay has dozens of “novelty” baseballs for sale at the Clubhouse. Here are a few:

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By 7pm, the Clubhouse was starting to fill up…

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…and by the end of the evening, there were people standing in the doorway and spilling out onto the sidewalk. I didn’t invite that many friends because I’d heard that space was limited, but according to Jay, we still managed to draw a record crowd.

Jay was an excellent host. He asked me interesting questions and then allowed me answer them in great detail. In fact, we got to cover so much stuff that we used up the full hour-long time slot for the podcast, and then I still took more questions from the audience. It was a beautiful evening.

Then I signed some books:

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Sorry for the teeny photos, but they turned out really blurry, so this is all you get.

Jay and I got a photo together at the end of the event…

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…and then I went out for Thai food with a bunch of friends, including fellow ballhawk Rick Gold. I was hoping that Artie Laurain (a truly legendary ballhawk who’s featured on pages 277-278 of The Baseball) would make an appearance, but it turned out he wasn’t free.

If you want to listen to the podcast from last night’s event, click here. And if you want to talk baseball with a truly great guy, visit the Clubhouse in person and look for Jay. Tell him Zack Hample sent you.

I don’t have any other book events planned for New York City, but I have a big one scheduled at the Free Library of Philadelphia in July. I’m not planning an official book tour, but get this: I’ve been studying the MLB schedule and planning some trips (nothing’s set yet) and trying to swing it so that I’ll visit all 30 stadiums this season.

Finally, I was interviewed on NPR today on a show called “Here and Now.” The interview was taped, and I was told that it’s supposed to air tomorrow (March 24th) at 12:49pm ET. If it doesn’t air tomorrow, then it’ll probably air the next day at that same time. (Yay!)

9 Comments

Awesome place! I’m going to listen to the podcast in just a bit, but I’m sure it will be great. Any exact date in July for the book avent in Philly? (Maybe, if I’m free, I’ll make the treck up to PA?) The whole 30 stadium thing would be AWESOME. Hope it works out. Opening day is only one week away!!!!! (Okay….a week and one day. Close enough.)
-Matt

Nice looking “clubhouse” there, very nice. All 30 stadiums would be awesome. I’m looking for at least 100 games out of you this season, sir. 100 games, 100 game blogs, 1000 baseballs. Now that’s not too much to ask of you, right? ;-)
-Todd
http://cookandsonbats.mlblogs.com

Forget about the date for Philly book event. I just found it on the website. (July 26th, at 7:30.) I don’t have anything planned for that date at the moment. So if nothing comes up…….hmmmm.
-Matt

Z!

I bought the book yesterday at Barnes & Noble.
I’m rounding 1st and heading into 2nd. I should have it finished by the weekend.

I’m proud of you, fine sir!

“Happy”

Sounds like a great event and I’ll be sure to get the podcast.
Hope you can make it back to Atlanta for a series.

2011 MILESTONE TRACKER for Ballhawks is up http://ballhawk.mlblogs.com ……. it lists all of the Major HR and hits milestones coming up that should be hit early in the season!

John
Listed as one of the TOP 10 Ballhawks in “THE BASEBALL”
http://ballhawk.mlblogs.com

Good to see you ar still at it Zach. This is Jimmy Lamour from Guilford College.

I finished The Baseball in seven hours. Haha! That has to be some kind of record. I really enjoyed learning about the history of the baseball. The book was really entertaining.

Zack, if you need any help getting from the airport to a rental car or whatever or however you do things if you make it out to Safeco Field you can always count on a fellow ballhawk from Seattle. Except in June and September. Ill be in Kansas, Chicago, and Florida.

Take care, man.

Your friend,
Wayne

stock350i.mlblogs.com

MATT-
I’m truly envious/worried of your internet/stalking skills. :-)

TODD-
1,000 baseballs? Okay, you’ve officially lost your mind.

HAPPY-
Awesome. Thanks for letting me know.

BRAVES04-
I miss Turner Field so much. Hoping for a return visit in August or maybe September.

JOHN-
Nice. Thanks for keeping us all up to date on these important numbers.

JIMMY-
Great to hear from you! I just sent you an email.

WAYNE-
Well, wouldn’t you know it? I’m actually planning on a June trip to Safeco, and it looks like I’m all set with rides and accommodations. Thanks so much for the offer, though, and thanks for the kind words about the book.

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