THE PLACE TO LEARN ABOUT BASEBALL -- AND HOW TO SNAG ONE AT A MAJOR LEAGUE GAME




In the beginning...



1977

six days old
with my mom
with my dad
seven weeks old
snoozing with my dad
at the window
with my cousin Nicho
with my aunt Judy


   
1978

wearing yellow pajamas
with my grandma Ruth and grandpa Lou (my mother's parents)
with my grandma Helen (my father's mother)
with my dad in Puerto Rico
with my mom
in a kiddie pool
at the beach
playing with a stuffed animal
now THAT'S a hose...
rosy cheeks
first step ever
standing behind a fence
singing to my dad
cousin Ben grabs my nuts and makes me cry
sand on my hands
   
1979

learning to sail
MTV Cribs
"Up to the ceilin' and up to the sky!"
grabbing my dad's nose
pinching a loaf sans diapers
swinging
jumping on bubble wrap
another extreme sport
inspecting a grown-up toy in the park
first haircut
   
   
1980

happiness
grabbing my mom's face
on a sailboat
cute/generic pose #1
wearing denim in Central Park
attempting to eat spaghetti
amused by my dad
skinny-dipping in East Hampton
playing in nursery school
playing with shaving cream
at the beach
   
1981

with my dad on the lawn at my grandparents' place
on a swing in Riverside Park
my first girlfriend
cute/generic pose #2
up to no good
flying a kite at the beach
on a ladder
nursery school class photo
petting a horse
feeding a llama
walking with my mom
overseeing the construction of a country house
Who needs pants when you have a popsicle?
lying on top of my half-sister Martha
dressed in a self-made costume for Purim
1982

nursery school class photo
riding the north ferry to Shelter Island
, NY
with my friend Sean
with my dad in upstate NY
Camp Hillard group photo
heavy hitter despite the rigid batting stance
rookie card, near mint
playing mini-golf
swimming class
playing the ukulele
fascinated as my dad shaves
not happy about being forced to wear a life jacket
working the overhead bars
riding my dad's shoulders
perched in a tree above my mom
1983

learing to play the violin
big smile with a missing tooth
walkie-talkie
lifting something heavy

kindergarten class photo
portrait taken after the group shot
with my mom on a cannon
with my dad in his studio
eating outdoors
macho man
playing pick-up-sticks
laughing my ass off
first day of 1st grade
wrapped in towels after a bath
balancing my baseball bat
1984

with some girl
bored at breakfast with the grown-ups
with my mom in Zuoz, Switzerland
in the Swiss Alps
laughing and holding my ears
even more missing teeth
1st grade class photo
graceful follow-through after swinging a racquet
with my rubber band ball and (psycho) first cat named Miyo
running from a wave at the beach
Twister! Yeah!
flinging a garbage bag at the dump
looking like a bully in this otherwise innocent ferry scene
at the pool with my cousin Ben
my opinion of the Yankees
1985

arts and crafts in my room
2nd grade class photo

with Mrs. Heyward, my 2nd grade teacher
posing at the bottom of a water slide
using my half-brother Joe as a lawn chair
Is that Wade Boggs' silhouette on my shirt?
with my dad in Florida
with my dad in a teeny sailboat
strangling my mom with love
my dad refers to a loud boat as "a motorized penis"
holding a dead horseshoe crab
ice cream birthday
with a friend at a baseball field
on the ferry
the obsession with balls taking shape
1986

with my mom in Acapulco, Mexico
horseback riding
floating in the pool
lounging poolside
golf practice with my dad
holding my balls on a ledge
digging a hole on the beach
yet another ferry photo
with my friend Noah on Shelter Island
Mazda & Mizuno
3rd grade class photo
with my friend Jonathan in Riverside Park
hugging a gigantic winter squash
Collegiate School = scarring
See what I mean?
1987

being chased in a game of tag
dressed badly in Arizona
dressed even worse in Arizona
window seat

at Shea Stadium, three years before I snagged my first ball
with my dad at Shea Stadium
with my mom at the beach
lying in the sand
drinking orange juice on a boat
playing with my cats
total bad-ass
4th grade class photo
skiing in Colorado
at the bottom of the slope
bathtub hilarity
1988

with my mom in Key West
juggling
5th grade class photo
at Baseball U.S.A. Camp in New Jersey
official Zack Hample baseball card
with my grandma Ruth and grandpa Lou
Why am I sitting at the kids' table?!
general silliness with my friend Ken
with Ken on the ferry
with my parents on the ferry
learning how to tie a tie
Moving Up Day -- adios, 5th grade
hitting a baseball off a tee
duet with my half-brother Henry
with Henry, my grandparents, and my mom
   
1989

fast asleep while my cat Shadow protects me
6th grade class photo
getting fresh with my mom
dressed up with my parents
Moving Up Day -- adios, Collegiate
near the tennis courts at Camp Kenwood
making something that resembles pottery
with one of my camp counselors
swingers
in a pile of leaves with my friend Richard
holding my rubber band ball
eating
   
1990

on a frozen lagoon with my mom
my one attempt at playing ice hockey
playing Nintendo with friends
happy Chanukah to me
old enough to be annoyed by Disney mascots
7th grade class photo
bathtub fauxhawk
in my cabin at sleepaway camp
balance beam
go ahead, touch me like you mean it, I won't tell...
yet another another ferry photo
worst outfit of all time
"Yeah baby, that's right, you know what I like."
Mets towel

   

1991

with friends on a 14-foot trampoline
heading off to play basketball
8th grade class photo
more trampoline action (and tough-guy acting)
hanging out in the press box at Fenway Park
with Red Sox public address announcer Sherm Feller
posing with one of the first baseballs I ever snagged
taking some cuts in a batting cage
first time shaving
with Steve Mandl (Manny Ramirez's H.S. baseball coach)
acting all serious with my dad . . .
. . . and being forced into hysterics monents later
another fauxhawk

   
1992

with Bucky Dent at his baseball school in Florida
taking more cuts in a different batting cage
9th grade class photo
ready for takeoff
visiting day at Camp Manitou in Canada
standing around on the Manitou baseball field
stretching on the baseball field
with my dad at the Manitou waterfront
wishing the path near my cabin were a baseball field

with my mom on the main lawn
with my mom in the cabin
clipping my toenails in the rental car
back at camp with some much-needed toiletries
digging myself into a hole in the Caribbean
my reaction when coming up for air and seeing the camera
1993

10th grade class photo
random yearbook photo
using the rubber band ball for my math fair project
outside Candlestick Park
inside Candlestick Park
posing with nearly all 287 of my baseballs
my idea of dressing up
shortly before I weighed 205 pounds
with Mike Torres
with my cousin Spencer
outside Veterans Stadium before Game 5 of the World Series
trying very very very very very hard to be cool (and failing)
about to give my dad the ride of his life
about to give Damon Wayans a whiff of my armpit
   
1994

11th grade class photo
varsity baseball team photo
the only two members of the Baseball Card Club
another stupid math fair, another fun project
at Damaschke Field, home of the Oneonta Tigers
taking BP at the empty (and unlocked) Damaschke Field
dressed up
funny face
playing summer ball with the Bayside Royal-Cardinals
stretching at Shea Stadium before a Mets tryout
trying to kick my dad's ass and failing, apparently
   
1995

12th grade class photo
my senior page in the yearbook
in the clubhouse of the short-season Boise Hawks
with Hawks pitcher Stevenson Agosto
with a ladyfriend in Boise
getting pantsed by my friend Jeremy
on the field at Anaheim Stadium
100-pound rubber band ball

with my mom atop the Eiffel Tower
on a pretty street near Luxembourg Garden
with my mom at Buckingham Palace
getting molested by pigeons at Trafalgar Square
inside the hedge maze at Hampton Court
at Yankee Stadium for Game 1 of the ALDS
with Amy, my (real) first girlfriend
1996

last day as an intern at the American School for the Deaf
switching clothes with my dad
back in Paris with my mom and trying to grow a goatee
the (wannabe) goatee in full force at Shea Stadium
clean shaven for summer baseball
taking a lead off third base
with my rubber band ball
with my 1,000th baseball
with the baseball crowd during a quick trip to Manitou
first day at Guilford College in North Carolina
good day at Guilford College
about to head to one of many fall ball practices
on the baseball field
with my sort-of-almost-girlfriend Seoka
general college hyperness
1997

getting taped to a chair for baseball team initiation
with three nutjobs in my dorm room
fake earring
before and after photos of my first shaved head
with my grandma Helen at her 100th birthday party
in Arizona with my three siblings: Joe, Martha, and Henry
with a family friend in Paris
at Memorial Stadium in Boise
as an orientation leader, corrupting my group of freshmen
playing piano in the college talent show
getting help shaving my head
two girls critique the 'do on my 20th birthday
explaining to a skeptical friend how the girls critiqued it
with my girlfriend Alli in her dorm
sexy gender-bending via Alli's hair and clothes
1998

double date with Alli (in red) and another Guilford couple
plowing through a high ropes course
at Camden Yards
at Three Rivers Stadium
at Cinergy Field
at Wrigley Field
flying high above the trampoline
at Jacobs Field
at Comiskey Park
at County Stadium
at Busch Stadium
third annual "Two Girls Smooch Zack" pic
my dorm room
heading out with Alli
brief mustache while shaving off a goatee in stages
1999

mingling during my book party at the All-Star Cafe
with Joe and my parents in Venice
at the Kingdome with Alli
posing in a bathtub full of baseballs for People Magazine
at Tiger Stadium
at the Ballpark in Arlington
at the Astrodome (with backpack-induced sweat stains)
at Network Associates Coliseum
promoting my Scrabble club with Alli at the activities fair
chillin' at the Metrodome
on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show"
in my dorm room with my Arkanoid machine
teaching kids how to steal baseballs with the "glove trick"
fourth annual "Two Girls Smooch Zack" pic goes awry
giving a signed copy of my book to Colin Powell
2000

the night I had arrows for sideburns

at Tropicana Field
at Pro Player Stadium
at SkyDome
at Olympic Stadium
at Funspot in New Hampshire for a video game competition
screen shots of my Arkanoid world record
previous Arkanoid champ Steve Krogman congratulates me
sightseeing in NYC with my Canadian friends Patty & Joy
at Dodger Stadium
shameless self-promotion at Qualcomm Stadium
working at the National Scrabble Championship in Providence
after-hours action on the biggest Scrabble board in the world
at Turner Field
getting girls by dressing like one on Halloween
2001

chicks dig Arkanoid
crawling out of my igloo
with Jeff Jeske, the best writing teacher I ever had
the product of not paying attention in my other classes
playing Scrabble at the college club
about to get dunked
my senior page in the yearbook
putting my college diploma to good use
graduation photo
at Kauffman Stadium
on a bike with my mom on Shelter Island
recruiting for Guilford at a college fair
more suit-and-tie action
with my girlfriend Jess
yelling about nothing
2002

with Al Hirschfeld

geeking it up with Jess at Disney World
at Coors Field
at Safeco Field with my friend Joe
lizard-hunting in Idaho
rough-housing with a friend's kids
world record on Breakout
biggest damn tree I've ever seen
on the Portwalk outside Pacific Bell Park
word-judging at the National Scrabble Championship in SD
decorating my new apartment
shaving my head even shorter
laundromat
posing in Central Park
dressed up for one of THOSE parties . . .
2003

with my siblings in Chinatown
at Dante's View in Death Valley
atypical first-date behavior
Fan Photo Day at Olympic Stadium
on Shelter Island with my girlfriend Olivia
at Miller Park
at Comerica Park
with my friend Marc in a subway control tower
in my underwear and eating cereal for a photo shoot
this cake from Olivia was part of my best birthday ever
Nicho being gross and making me laugh
computer reflection at work
still no cell phone
wearing a wig
writer's block
2004

with the Ripken boys
dancing (with a bad goatee) at a club
visiting my old college dorm room with my old friend Rachel
taking a shower on the sidewalk
classic portrait via the drink tray
getting frisky at a house party
with my rubber band ball at the Queens Museum of Art
with friends at the beach on Shelter Island
Central Park cuddle action
head paint
teasing a dead animal
with my very good friend Jules
borrowing hair from my girlfriend Lia
at my first (and only) NFL game
with family friend Norton Juster
2005

the one that almost got away
signing autographs after teaching 4th graders how to snag
early for graduation at Guilford College
with my sister in Paris
riding a camel in Israel
quick trip across the border to Egypt
working at minorleaguebaseball.com
plucking a ball off the warning track at Yankee Stadium
Truth-or-Dare: Lia forced to "take a bath in the kitchen sink"
at RFK Stadium
at Great American Ball Park
at Minute Maid Park with Dusty Baker's lineup cards
playing catch from the seats with Mets pitcher Heath Bell
second lifetime hockey game, first lifetime puck
200-pound rubber band ball
2006

jumping off a boat in Costa Rica
at Crobar
at Camden Yards with my friend Sean and his friend Joe
with Lia and friends at a warehouse party
playing catch with my dad in upstate NY
not my hat
heading to Black's Beach for a much needed tan
naked on the beach
at PETCO Park
moments after catching Barry Bonds' 724th career home run
working at the Argosy Book Store
being filmed by CBS outside Citizens Bank Park
playing with my new camera
one of many uses for 800 baseballs
dancing in Brooklyn
2007

on a frozen lake in Putnam Valley, NY
forced by my friends to wear a pink du-rag
two book signings in two days
3,000th ball at Yankee Stadium
at Busch Stadium
with my girlfriend Jona in a photo booth
at home with "King of Kong" star Billy Mitchell
dressed badly to be spotted on TV at AT&T Park
leaving Harry Potter in the dust
TV interview with five hours of sleep and a sore throat
at Chase Field with my 21st ball of the day (!!)
silliness at the lake
recreating the bathtub scene for Sports Illustrated
with Jona (and pervy Elmo) on Halloween
puppy pile
2008

Citi Field construction — 13 months to go
my teeth
first day in my new apartment
last day in my old apartment
after tearing down the pictures
group photo + awesome view
at Nationals Park with my 28th ball of the day (?!)
at Champion Stadium
half-bathroom fully decorated
with Jona at PNC Park
about to be interviewed by Julie Chen on the "Early Show"
screen shot from my "Tonight Show" appearance
recreating the World Series photo from 1993
pyramid of baseballs
with Jona on the eastern coast of Ireland





2009

roofdeck
with my friend Leon Feingold at the NYC Scrabble club
Taiwanese translation of Watching Baseball Smarter
press release for my charity work
post-game blogging at the Rogers Centre hotel
my first game at Citi Field
my first game at the new Yankee Stadium
live interview during a Royals game
visiting Pitch In For Baseball's warehouse
rubbing mud on game balls with the Phillies' equipment manager
inside the manual scoreboard at Coors Field
skydiving
with Jona after skydiving
at the MLB Network studios
taking batting practice at PNC Park
2010

23rd Street and 5th Avenue
5-foot-11 vs. 7-foot-3
month-long transformation of my fingernails
giving a speech to the high school at Friends Seminary
at Target Field
celebrating at Camden Yards after snagging two home runs
in a rowboat with Jona
at Hiram Bithorn Stadium
with Jona at the beach in Puerto Rico
with Jona in Old San Juan
the July 4th crowd
freaking out with Jona on a rollercoaster
stitching a baseball at the Rawlings factory in Costa Rica
making the holiday party less boring
post-blizzard with my friend Maria Maggenti
2011

talk to the hand
with Martha and my mom in Barbados
jet skiing
pissing on some sugar cane
with friends on a frozen lake; I'm on the left
shocked by the force of a 12-gauge shotgun
cementing my legacy as the ultimate man-child
about to be interviewed in the CNN newsroom
with a fan and my 5,000th ball at Rogers Centre
with Heath Bell post-game at Fenway Park
Bud Selig holding my book at an All-Star Game after-party
tour bus
1 season, 30 stadiums
with my girlfriend Robin at a flea market
destroying the Arkanoid high score at Barcade in Jersey City
2012

sexy beard
with Robin at the Brooklyn Museum
more fun with facial hair
goofing around with my uncle George
with Martha and my mom at the Tokyo Dome
high above Kinosaki-Onsen and the Sea of Japan
ice cream
ready for the bathhouse
with Neil deGrasse Tyson at the Argosy Book Store
outside Marlins Park -- my 50th major league stadium
hitting fungos at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, MA
making out with Robin after catching a Raul Ibanez home run
decorating my apartment with magazines
meanwhile, in Little Italy . . .
washing my windows



2013

jumping off a big-ass rock in Hawaii
snorkeling at Molokini
walking on the beach
a serious moment at ACME Studio in Brooklyn
local TV interview at PETCO Park
with my girlfriend Hayley on a roofdeck in Brooklyn
on the field for an MLB Network interview in Cleveland
on the cover of USA Today Sports Weekly
with Heath Bell at the Argosy Book Store
catching a baseball dropped from a helicopter 1,050 feet high
black eye
scooping up a BP grounder at Dodger Stadium
at the BIGS Sunflower Seeds headquarters in Boulder, CO
I made Hayley shave her head; she made me grow a beard
beard stripes



2014

recreating the photo with Spencer from 1993
with Hayley in a pool in Saint Lucia
at the Diamond Botanical Gardens with my mom
rolling my rubber band ball though a hotel lobby in Canada
getting makeup for a TV interview on the Discovery Channel
259-pound rubber band ball -- Will it bounce?!
after the taping with host Ziya Tong
radio interview on a sports show in Toronto
at Niagara Falls
at the Sydney Cricket Ground for MLB's Opening Series
petting a koala
at Ormiston Gorge in Australia's Northern Territory

   

writing group...