Zack Hample

Fan mail for "The Baseball"


 The Baseball -- fan mail

June 5, 2019

Hey Zack,

I just wanted to reach out and tell you how much you've meant in regaining my love for baseball. Growing up my dad taught me everything a man should know about the sport, and like you, I always felt like baseball should've played a larger role in my life. Once I discovered you on Youtube, I instantly regained that excitement I have been missing for the game. As cheesy as it may sound, you have both directly and indirectly gotten me through some tough times here at college and in life.

I was so very lucky to have the opportunity to meet you and have you sign a BP ball I snagged at Globe Life Park on 5/20/2019 while I was visiting Texas. Strangely, two days earlier I was hitting some balls at Top Golf in Ft. Worth and after I finished one of my turns, I turn around and, I swear to God, Josh Hamilton was hitting in the bay next to me with his family. I couldn't pull myself to ask for a picture as I was respecting his family time, but man, it was such a great baseball-filled trip.

I purchased your book, The Baseball, and read through it in three days. I loved the content, the facts, and the stories. I do have a few questions for you, if you don't mind.

1. As someone who has "haters", how do you deal with negativity from others and stay so positive?

Personally, I think you handle yourself like a true professional and I find it sad people want to go after someone with passion. Passion is certainly no crime.

2. As someone who would love to get into writing (I'm an accounting and finance major lol), how do you recommend I get started? A blog?

3. Which city has the most proud fanbase from your experience?

Sorry for the long email, I just wanted to elaborate how much you and your content has meant to me!

Thank you sincerely,


May 17, 2019

Dear Zack,

My name is Leo, I am a high school senior (15 min from downtown cleveland). I am a fellow baseball hawk (139 is my all time collection). I just got The Baseball for a birthday gift from my parents and I loved it. I was wondering if there was anyway I could get it signed? I watch all your videos as soon as they come out. (My notifications are indeed on)

Thank you so much for all your content. 


April 24, 2019

I just read your book The Baseball and thoroughly enjoyed it. You have a good sense of humor when you write, and it shows that you are having a great time with the sport. The facts were wonderful.

Best regards,

August 26, 2018

Hey Zack! I was just wondering when you would be going to citi field sometime before the season ends. I really want to meet you so maybe you can sign your book I brought and read! Btw That book was AMAZING. I loved it!

Your biggest fan,

February 6, 2018

Hey Zack,

I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how my presentation went. It was a honor to speak about you, and your book. It was one of my favorite projects i've ever done. I'm so proud of the outcome of the project, and what it mean to me. Baseball is a huge part of not just my life, but my family.

Everyone loved my presentation, and was so drawn into the content of what I had to say. I've spent weeks and hours working on this. Between reading the book two times through, just to make sure I didn't miss anything. I worked on the presentation itself for over a week. Putting things in, and taking things out. I think in totally I spent at least 8 to 9 hours on the presentation. I wanted to take it as perfect as possible.

My teacher pulled me aside afterwards, and just told how wonderful it was. He said it was the best one he's seen in a really long time. Hats off to you, writing a wonderful and really interesting book, that takes a very talented person.

I hope I could make you proud, after everything you have done for me. Between the replies on email, social media, and youtube, but even better when you answered by question during the last Q&A. Nothing can top that feeling. It really means a lot me that you care so much about your fans/followers.

Happy Almost Baseball Season!


July 21, 2017

Dear Zack, You're pretty awesome! I hate books but your book The Baseball has got me reading like crazy thanks!! Just got to an astros (at home) game and you will be my favorite ball hawk ever thanks and good luck! 


May 31, 2017

im reading your book The Baseball all I can say that it is amazing I had caught 1 ball in over 50 games and then i went to 2 games and got 2 balls and 3 ( I was competing with my younger and much cuter 8 year old brother with a pink glove)


May 21, 2017

Dear Zack,

My name is Patrick. You may recognize me from when I sent you a autograph request(Thank you so much!). I go to Peoria Chiefs(Cardinals affiliate) games and I know one of the season ticket holders who is a regular ballhawk there, and he gives me some pointers. I love watching your youtube videos and have read your book, The Baseball and have learned so much. I think that it is cool that you know a future major leaguer. Keep up the great work and maybe I’ll see you at a game soon!

April 19, 2017

Hey Zack, my name is also Zach, and I am a 19 year old hockey fan living in Alberta Canada.

I have only ever been to one MLB game, and it was last year at Citi Field while my family was on vacation in NYC. I sat in one of the upper decks, and during batting practice I was very intrigued watching fans battle it out trying to catch home runs.

Later that night I discovered your videos and I gotta say since then, I've watched every single one numerous times. Your videos are the sole reason why I am now as big of a baseball fan as i am a hockey fan.

Although I am not yet a Ballhawk, I could maybe/technically be considered a "Puckhawk". This past Christmas, I travelled to Switzerland and I happened to catch a game puck at the Spengler Cup, which is the oldest recognized yearly international hockey tournament in the world.

I am awaiting next year when I move to Kelowna, BC for school (4.5 hour drive to Seattle) and I can spend my long weekends hopefully catching some baseballs.

I want to thank you for the hard work you put in making the videos that I enjoy so much and hopefully I get to meet you at a game one day.

Thank you for reading my message and I would appreciate a short reply.

BY THE WAY, I just bought your book "The Baseball". Currently on page 34, I can't put it down.

August 15, 2016

Hey Zack just finished the baseball, great book! Now I'm on to watching baseball smarter! Also what are some other baseball books you would suggest for a good read?


August 12, 2016

Dear Zack,

Do you have any plans to come to Fenway park this season? After all, it is Big Papi's final season and you haven't made a video there yet with your new videographer. Also, I read The Baseball and I plan on putting those tips into action. 


July 1, 2016

Hey zack just started reading one of your books, (The baseball) and wanted to say that I can't hardly take my eyes off of it. You're a great writer and I can really tell that you love and respect the game of baseball! Keep on being a great person and keep doing what you love!


June 23, 2016

Last week I got 2 balls at Citi Field one of them was my first. Had a pirates & Mets hat. Your books and videos helped thank you.


June 5, 2016

I got a book from a friend for my birthday a couple years ago and it was written by this guy. I usually hate getting books for my birthday but I never say it. but I read this book to death and read about this glove trick interesting stuff

June 3, 2016

Hi Zack! My name is Hayden and I just wanted to tell you how much I love your video's. In fact, I loved your video's so much I just got your book, The Baseball. Again, I just wanted to thank you for making the videos because I really enjoy them, I hope you keep making them!

Your Friend,

May 15, 2016

Hi Zack,

I will be at Yankee Stadium on August 16 for the Yankees vs Blue Jays game. Will you be at that game by any chance?

I have recently picked up a copy of The Baseball, and it would be amazing if I could get you to sign it.


April 26, 2016

Your book arrived yesterday. I just read Chapter 1. Absolutely love it. Can't get enough of this stuff. Wondering whether the years that the top ten balls were sold would have an impact on the order. Seems to me the Ruth should be Number 1.

I will be at citi field Sunday if by chance you make your way over there.


April 2, 2016

Hey Zack,
I caught my first game ball today off of Anthony Rendon ( even tho it was a spring training ball) and wanted to say thanks for all of the information you have provided through your website and book.

August 23, 2015

Hey Zack,
Thanks to your book I got a 10 year anniversary ball from the national at the game I went to yesterday!!

Thanks again,

August 17, 2015

Hey Zack, it's Nate. I am a ballhawk from Minnesota who ballhawks at Target Field. I have ballhawked for 2 and a half seasons and have snagged 82 baseballs. I just thought I should say thanks because everything I've learned about ballhawking came from you. I wanted to learn how to get a baseball so I looked it up and came across your website and blog. I became obsessed with it and read it all the time! I got my parents to buy "The Baseball" and I read all of it! It took me a while to get my first ball, but I was so happy when it happened! That was back in 2013 and it was the only ball I snagged that season. In 2014, I snagged 31 in 11 games, and this year, I've snagged 50 in 8 games. I am on my way to reaching 100 baseballs by the end of the season. I am going to try harder than ever to make it happen! I wouldn't have been able to get this far without your blog or book.

Happy Snagging!


July 20, 2015

Mr. Hample

I am a huge fan of yours. I love your books and although I do not have twitter I Google your name to see your accomplishments. My friends birthday is coming up and he is also a huge fan. Is there a way I can send you a check for the book entitled "The Baseball" and could you please autograph it "To PJ....go get them balls". I would really appreciate that kind gesture. Just let me know where to send the check to and for the amount.

Thank you again. Hopefully I'll see you at PNC Park!

Smock, PA

July 8, 2015

Hello, my name is Paul and I am a 13 year old ballhawk. Sometime last year, I found you on the Internet and eventually learned about your blog and your newest book, The Baseball. I got the book from my local library and after reading it, I snagged my first ball at Comerica Park from the Umpire's Tunnel! And then, this year I got a toss up from the starting catcher at Great American Ball Park with the new commissioner's signature! I really enjoy reading your blog and watching your videos!

What exactly do you do for a living?


July 5, 2015

Hey Zack! Thank's for the reply! I bought "The Baseball". I'm really enjoying it. Should be done by Friday. When you get time, let me know how to send it to you. No hurry! Of course I will include return postage. No hurry to reply...

April 4, 2015

Hey Zack,

I'm on page 73 of The Baseball. Love it love it.

I'd bet you've never heard a story of flagging a batting practice ball like I'm going to share.

I grew up as a teen in the 1970s in Louisville, Kentucky. The Cincinnati Reds played about 90 mins away of course. So I became a Big Red Machine fan.

As you know, the Big Red Machine teams of 1975 and 1976 were among the greatest of all-time. IMHO.

So, a couple of buddies of mine, Doug Lacy and Rick Estredge used to go to a lot of Red's games every year.

I think what I'm going to share probably took place between 1976-1978. Not sure what year. I was 14-16.

We'd go out into the outfield during batting practice and try and catch some home run balls.

Back then at Riverfront Staid the home run fence was probably 15-20 feet in front of where the outfield seats started, thus creating this gap between the seats and the home run fence.

So unless a batter during BP hit one over the gap and into the seats . . . THAT was the only way to get one of those balls.

I was in the front row of left field one game, watching BP. Boom. Home run ball after home run ball sailed over the fence but landed in the no man's zone right below me.

Ball after ball landed down there just teasing me because I was up in the outfield seats only able to wish I had 25 foot arms.

Well, necessity is the mother of invention, or something like that.

I had an idea.

What if I could invent something that would retrieve one of those balls in no man's land by using a fishing pole and a can?!


So I went home to Doug Lacey's. He lived in Jeffersonville, Indiana on Highway 62. His old yellow house, stilling standing, was a two story and a half style.

That was the height we needed to simulate baseballs on the ground in front of us.

All I needed was my Zebco rod and reel, an empty coffee can and a little ingenuity.

Here's what I did.

We emptied a large coffee can of its contents (sorry Mrs Lacey).

I filled it about 50% with plaster paris and let it harden.

With hardened plaster of paris I then took three nails and nailed them at the bottom of the can (on the outside of course), equidistant from each other.

I cut "pie slices' into the plastic lid and placed it on the can.

I tied fishing string to each of the three nails and joined all three strings into the one single line that fed into the reel on my Zebco.

The idea would be to see if we could lower a coffee can (bearing wait from the plaster of paris) onto a stationary ball (above from about 20 feet or so) by using a fishing pole.

Since half of the can was still empty (upside down as it lowered over a ball), my hope was that when the can got over the ball the wait of the plaster of paris would cause the can to envelop the ball, and since the plastic lid was simply "sliced," my hope was that the ball would stay in the can and not be able to fall out due to the plastic lid preventing it from coming out.

I hope all that makes sense.

So I got on top of Doug's roof. He stayed on the ground to place some balls for me to try and capture.

I lowered the can over the ball and "Voila!," it worked!

It took me 5-10 minutes to get it down but it worked perfectly.

Now, all we had to do was figure out how to get a fishing pole and coffee can past the ticket takers at Riverfront.

That turned out to be pretty easy. Th pole could be broken down into two major pieces and the can was easy to conceal.

Doug, Rick and I went out to left field and waited until BP started.

When it did I simply assembled the pole, tied the can to the main line and waited for the first home run ball from BP.

Crack. Home run. Sure enough, it landed below me in no man's land.

Only this time I had a "25 foot arm" in the form of a fishing pole and upside down coffee can.

When the first ball came over I went into retriever mode.

Rick bolted he was so scared and Doug was no help either. He stayed far enough away to run in case I got caught.

So, I lowered the can over the first ball and it enveloped the ball. It worked. Now all I had to do was reel in my 'fish.'

Took me several seconds but it worked perfectly.

Then another ball landed in front of me in no man's land.

I went fishing again and success again.

I think I collected 5-6 balls in all that day during BP. I had a couple in my pockets and Doug was holding 2-3 for me.

I became oblivious to everything. The "fish were biting" and I was getting lucky.

Everything was going perfectly until a ticket taker noticed I had a fishing pole hanging over the outfield stands.

He starts gingerly walking down towards me and asks, "Hey what your fishing for?"

Big mouth Doug snaps back, "What do you think? Blue Gill!"

Rick is long gone. Doug smarts off and takes off and leaves me alone with my fishing pole and 2-3 concealed BP home run balls.

The man comes down to me and sees what I'm up to.

Instead of immediately telling me to stop he asks if it works. I said, "It sure does. Want to see!?"

He said 'yes,' so I lowered the can on top of another ball and reeled it in.

I presented it to him with great pride as a gift from me.

He said 'thanks' and asked if I already had caught a few balls. I told him I had a couple so he suggested I stop doing it any more.

He congratulated me on my creativity and allowed me to keep my home run BP balls.

That is a true story. I could even get Doug Lacey to sign an affidavit to verify it.

Thought you'd like that story.

Thx Zack


January 11, 2015

Your book is fucking awesome. I got home and opened to a random chapter - the development of the ball - and I'm hooked. Thanks for this. I'm going to spring it on Eoghan tomorrow. I owe you fifteen dollars or something.

All for now.


November 8, 2014

Hey Zack,

My name is Sam and I am currently a junior at Loyola University Chicago. I am enrolled in a public speaking class and have to give a presentation on someone who interests me and though you were the man for the job. I started reading your blog pretty casually before I read your book The Baseball and loved it. After reading your book, I’ve been checking your blog for updates on a daily basis. I grew up in Kansas City playing baseball at a competitive level and had aspirations to play at a collegiate level until Tommy John surgery ended my career. After my baseball career ended, I had to take a break from baseball. This summer I moved into an apartment that is a five minute walk from Wrigley Field and had the opportunity to go to a dozen games or so. Living close to Wrigley, watching my Kansas City Royals making a Cinderella World Series run, and your blog and book helped me remember how much I love the game of baseball. Anyway, I know you’re busy, and might not have time to get back to me, which is totally fine. Your FAQ section answers just about any questions I could ever ask. But if you do have time to email me back and answer a few questions that would be awesome.

Keep up the blog posts man, people love them. If you don’t get around to getting back to me no worries, maybe I’ll run in to you on Waveland ave during batting practice next spring.


July 24, 2014

I caught a David Ortiz batting practice home run on the fly in the 200 level of Rogers Centre this Tuesday. It was pretty cool because I told my friend before the game that I would catch nan Ortiz dinger from the second deck. Your book with tricks on where to stand and position yourself was useful…let me know next time you're going to catch a game in Toronto. Cheers!
Alex from Canada

June 21, 2014

Are you coming to Pittsburgh this year? If so, when because I want you to sign "The Baseball" aka the best book ever.


May 6, 2014

Hey Zack my name is Dennis I'm a big fan of the Marlins. I started following your blogs about a month ago and I actually bought your book The Baseball about a week ago. Love your stuff and I'm learning a lot from you. One question I have where can I find out who is using commemorative baseballs in batting practice?? I know the Mets are but are there any other teams ?? Thank you  

April 30, 2014

Hey Zack,

I don't know if you remember me, but I'm Matt, and I did a phone interview with you a couple weeks ago (thanks again).

I read part three of The Baseball several times over and have put some of the techniques in to practice. I have gone to 6 games this season and have 6 balls in that span (not bad considering my previous lifetime total was at 9). But I want to do even better than that, but I'm having trouble with a few things.

The two biggest issues I'm having are:

1) I am having problems getting players to throw balls to me. I ask nicely, I say "Hey, Jake, can I have that ball please?" And they just ignore me. Yesterday, the Rockies bullpen catcher didn't ignore me- he instead turned to me and gave a rude "no!" (I asked politely and only once). I have been dressing neutrally, so do you think I would have better luck if I wore gear specific to the team? What might I be doing wrong? I have a goatee, should I shave it? I flash my glove at them, should I not? I call them by their first name, or sometimes use your line "let's see the gun!" But no luck.

2) Batting practice homers have been a nightmare. I have been meticulous in my positioning and have been able to cover tons of ground in the span of a couple seconds, but it's still not enough. I never find myself where the ball is. I think I could snag it if I was there, but I'm just never in the right place at the right time.

I would love a few words of advice if you have any for me.

Thanks so much, Zack!

April 29, 2014

Hey Zack!

My name is Joe, and you are truly an inspiration to me. I have visited six ballparks (Citi, Shea, Fenway, , Dolphins, Camden, and Nationals) and I have snagged some balls along the way. I discovered your blog in late 2012 and ever since, you have inspired me to snag more baseballs and use techniques to snag them, too. Anyways, now I am going to get to the point. (Sorry--I get off task a lot) I recently read your book, "The Baseball" and I must say that it was a very great one. Do you think it is possible for me to mail you my copy of the book so you can sign it and send it back? I will send an extra stamp so you do not need to pay for one. I understand if this is not possible.

Keep up the good work. Thank you for doing what you do.

-Joe, age 14
Watertown, Connecticut

March 18, 2014

Hey Zack,
First of all - I've read the books The Baseball and Watching Baseball Smarter. I thought your books were captivating and you're a great writer. Your story to me is incredible, and I think that your experiences, insights, and knowledge of baseball is unparalleled.

I host a sports radio show at my college, and I would be ecstatic to have the opportunity to interview you. It's not a big school, but it is in a big city in the Phoenix area (about 25 minutes from Chase Field. I'm a Dbacks guy).

Last fall, I had the opportunity to interview an active major league umpire. I would love the opportunity to sit down with yet another guy with a unique view of the greatest sport on earth. So what do you say? Next time you're in Phoenix, would you chat with me for a bit?


October 13, 2013

I just wanted to thank you for all the helpful advice you share with everyone. For the longest time I could never get a ball at a game, but never knew how to get one other than pure luck. I stumbled across your blog last spring, immediately went out and bought your book, and it's made all the difference in the world. I went from never getting a ball collecting over 30 from major and minor league parks in the Midwest. So thank you again for all you do. Next time you're at Wrigley or Comerica I'll try to find you to thank you in person.


September 15, 2013

Thanks for the kind reply. 
Just purchased your book 
"Baseball." What a great book, nice job! Also I am registered to your charity.

Have fun in Denver!

-Bob, age 56
Clinton, CT

June 11, 2013

Hi Zack,
We fly to South Africa on the 25th so guess I'll be packing on the 24th. See you when we get back.
Ivan is enjoying your book tremendously and keeps chirping facts from it!
Hey, I got a runner up prize at the NY Book Festival - makes me wonder about the competition! 
Enjoy summer.

Brooklyn, NY

May 19, 2013

Hey Zack –

My name is Joe, and I live in Kansas City, MO. I’m a corporate finance dork during the day and a baseball junkie by night and weekends. I sucked at baseball growing up but your book The Baseball inspired me to get back into the game that I love in 2012. I now attend at least 10 games a year and often wear the opposing teams colors w/ my son and niece to get balls. See attached. 

A few questions for you….

1. I’m interested in contributing to your charity. What is the average donation per ball and the range of the donations (min and max)?

2. If you roll through Kansas City again this year and it doesn’t conflict with your BIGS Sunflower Seeds responsibilities, please let me know. I’ll get good tickets for 5 and gladly pay $500 so you can clean house with my son and niece.

Know you’re are a busy man, but would appreciate hearing back from you when you have a few minutes to spare.

Take care! Joe  

April 12, 2013

I just wanted to say thanks. I bought your book and was able to snag a baseball from a game within two games of reading it (I had been to three, but the first game was opening day and I was more into the girl gawking than the ball hawking) I used your advice about standing out from the other fans. Edwin Jackson had retweeted one of my posts on twitter about missing him in DC on the Nationals, but when he came to Atlanta I would be cheering him on with the Cubs. Well, I went to game wearing Nationals gear and thanked him for the retweet. He acknowledged me and gave me an "air fist bump" I then asked if he could fling the next ball he shagged my way. He did. That is the story about how your book helped me get my first major league ball. (Which I promptly gave to my niece, a Cubs fan). I look forward to trying your other tips throughout the season. Also, are you on twitter? I would like to follow you if so (I've read all your books).

Respectfully Submitted,

February 10, 2013


I am about two thirds through your book. Believe me if I lived in big city growing up I would have been like you. There is no doubt in the future after I finish your book one of my friends who used to be a sports writer is going to be intrigued with the information in your book. To me, your book on baseballs "The Baseball" is right up my alley and I hope one of these days I can possibly meet you.

Throughout my life baseball has been my passion, and my goal was to be a high school baseball coach, but it never did develop for me and glad it never did. The reason is because of a computer endeavor which started way back in 1976.

I have not mentioned your book to my son yet, but I just know he will be interested. My son's life is baseball and it has always been that way for him ever sense he could catch a ball. He drove me nuts wanted to play catch every hour of the day. To my surprise, he made it to the "Show" with the Rangers. As he walks onto the mound in his very first game and I can’t believe it. On this day he set a Rangers record and he won his first game. Doug has had some ups and downs and I am hoping this year with the Marlins it might develop for him. You take care and it is hoped I hear from you. Good book for people like me.

-Tracy Mathis 

February 5, 2013

I live about 45 mi. from Bush Stadium and last year for father’s day my boys (Jake 16 & Nathan 9) got me all of your books. We used a lot of your tips and got a total of 15 balls. The ones we used was wearing the other teams hats and it worked great. My son Nathan was standing in a line of kids all wearing Cardinal gear and he had on a Diamondback hat and two different Diamondback players gave him only a ball, we got 5 that day. it was great. (see picture)

My oldest son Jake has never had the love for Baseball that I do, but after going to these games and getting these balls I think he’s getting the love of the game back in his hart. And for that I Thank You.

are you planning a trip to Bush Stadium in the future I would to get my books signed

Thank You

East Alton, IL

February 3, 2013

I am reading your book. I feel like there might be a Ruben's rule in my life and you could be the culprit. Ie: detained way way past my bedtime; mental anguish as a result of too much visual inspiration, loss of reputation as a result of being seen with you in my lobby.


January 1, 2013

Hi Zack,

My name is Jay, and I'm a college student here in NYC. I got your most recent book for Christmas, and read the whole thing in about 2 days! I thought it was extremely insightful and interesting. Congrats on your attention to detail, and your ability to make a non-fictional book so exciting. I also read your "Watching Baseball Smarter" when I was in high school, and that book was a big part of a renewal of my interest in the game that I went through at that time. Thanks for your contributions!

I read on your website about your family's bookstore, and that you invite people to send the books there to be signed. I was wondering if I could stop by the store sometime soon when you're working, and get it signed in person. Would that be ok? It would be great to meet you, but if that won't work out it's fine and I can just drop off my copy and an envelope to mail it back to me. Just let me know which you would prefer.

Happy New Year!


January 1, 2013

Dear Zack:

Hello! My name is Ryan and I am almost 14. I have a brother who is 9. We love going to baseball games and playing baseball. I love to collect baseballl cards and baseballs too. My favorite games to go to are Indians games. I have recently recieved your "The Baseball" book for Christmas. I have just started to read it with my dad and We love it! We also noticed how you will go to games with people. My family would love if you could attend a Cleveland Indians game at Progressive Field with us. Please let us know if you would be willing to do this.


November 23, 2012

Nobody knows how hard it was for me to say "uncle" and actually look up what a "line drive" is, because some author guy I know wrote a book that mentions it every 15th word... (i know, I know, your other book, but remember: I kinda still don't really like baseball, I just have a low tolerance for my own blatant ignorance; so I'm torn). Anyway, I checked what wikipedia had to say about it, but it felt like the most USELESS definition ever written in the history of wikipedia articles/stubs (why don't you go on there and fix that for the world, huh?). For the record, whenever you mention it, I found myself imagining that it was a ball that travels parallel to the lines of the diamond, but I figured that made no sense and wanted to know what it really was. I still don't really know, even after checking's entry.

Anyway, sorry I sound frustrated. I'm actually still enjoying your book quite a bit (yeah, enough to look up glossary words, cha!). I'm up to page 55.

Hey, Zack, about that invite to a ballgame next season? Uhm, yeah... if there's one thing I learned in your Chapter 2, it's that foul balls aren't very kind to writers for some cosmic reason, so if I do go, we're going to have to have a SERIOUS talk about seating arrangements.

The main thing I enjoyed about "Death by Baseball" (and there were A LOT of things I enjoyed about that section) was the build-up. It was almost cinematic in both reach and timing. That is to say, your "reveal" of the first actual death by baseball was within two (2) paragraphs of my saying to myself, "Wait a minute, is there going to be an actual death in this section or not??" Again, I enjoyed that reveal. This is big in fiction, a sort of holy grail as it were, and I'd like to think I myself am quite good at it (because it's a grand form of fucking with the audience—which is what I live for—of playing Lucy to their Charlie Brown). If I may go so overboard, it was akin to the first 21 minutes of Hitchcock's Psycho, where most audience members always wonder, "What's all this about money/fraud? When are we going to get to the psycho???"

Zack, what is a line drive?

-Art, age 39
Queens, NY  

November 20, 2012

Reading your book. Just finished The Souvenir Craze. Enjoying it. I like your overall style; and there is a quiet humility in your showing the history and importance of ballhawking, without ever having to beat your own chest. I liked footnote #5; it was nice reading about all those stories (like Berman's etc), that, for me, were only ever (A) stuff on the back cover of my newspaper, or (B) segments during the last 5 mins of the nightly news (which I usually skip). I did get dizzy two or three times, whenever you started talking like a sportscaster (two outs, line drive, bottom of this, right field that, etc). But, again, it's sooooo not "about" baseball that I'm really able to enjoy the psychology of it all.

-Art, age 39
Queens, NY  

October 3, 2012

I remember hearing about you years ago on tv and loving the story. Sometime last year I came across your book The Baseball; I bought it instantly but for some reason am just getting around to reading it. I got about 1 page in when I realized you have a "Watch With Zack" program and I almost fell out of my seat! This is something I'm very interested in. I have been attending games for 27 years and nothing... (Well, some autographs but no baseballs). I would love to hear back from you, talk to you, pick your brain, (have a job as amazing as yours!), and go to a game with you. 
Your twitter picture with the balls in the bathtub is awesome!  

September 2, 2012

Dear Mr.Hample

Hi I'm 12 years old and live near Chicago. I have caught 13 baseballs in 7 games this season. 8 bp balls, 2 3rd out balls and 3 toss ups. is hat good for my age? When is the next time you are coming to wrigley or us celluar? I would really like to meet you. I have already read The Baseball it was great!


August 18, 2012

Hello Zack, I'm the one who tweeted a screen shot of Sunday's game where you are shown tracking a fly ball hit by Paul Janish and caught by Jordany Valdespin on the warning track with you right above him with your glove in position to catch it if the ball had traveled a few extra feet. I'm attaching the full sized screen shot in case you wanted it.

I also wanted to mention a few things:

1. I have read most if not all of your blog entries (I'm not 100% sure if I read them all, because I've come across a few entries that didn't show up when I clicked through the month).

2. I found your blog after catching my first (and only so far) foul ball at a game in June. I didn't do anything other than be seated at the right seat at the right time, as the ball came straight to me. It was "only" my 44th MLB game, but I wasn't doing much to be in a position to get balls.

3. Once I found your site and blog, I had a vague recollection of reading a story about you in the late 90's, but I'm not sure where I read it. I do remember your totals being under 1,000, and your strategy of wearing hats from both teams.

4. I have since read your book The Baseball, and will be reading Watching Baseball Smarter when I go on vacation next week. I hope to run into you one day at either Camden or Nationals Park so I can ask you to sign them for me.

5. After reading your blog and book, I have now successfully snagged balls in 2 of the 3 games I've been to since I caught the foul ball (I don't go to many games), thanks to your tips.

6. One of those 3 games didn't have batting practice due to rain, and I still got 3 balls, including from one of your favorite player, Jeremy Guthrie, at a game between the Royals and the Orioles.

7. After tossing me the warm up ball, he approached the fans, shook hands, chatted and signed autographs. I approached him and after pleasantries I said that: "Zack should have mentioned you in his book," just to make conversation and see what reaction I'd get from him. He didn't miss a bit, kept on signing for someone, didn't look up puzzled as if asking "who's Zack?", and simply replied: "He just wants the attention to himself." I thought it was cool that a MLB player knows you on a first name basis. But then, he's not the only one.

8. If you come to either Camden or Nats Park this season, please let me know, and I'll try to be there as well.

Thanks for your tips and happy snagging!


August 13, 2012


I am a 54 year old man who has loved the game of baseball since I was 6 years old. I played HS baseball, and like you, played some college ball. Actually I played in one college game, going 1 for 1. So I always tell people I retired with the greatest college batting average of all time. I know you are high on that batting average list yourself!

I wanted to tell you that I am a big fan of yours. I have watched all the YouTube video of your appearances and interviews. You are a very engaging, charismatic person, and I admire you for those qualities. I live just north of George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, so I go to as many Yankee (Spring Training) and Tampa Yankee games as I can. I have taken up the hobby in the last couple of years of "Ball Hawking" I absolutly love it. It never gets old getting a baseball. My wife and daughters think I'm nuts, but thats about par for the course.

I recently purchased your book, "The Baseball". Thank you. It has helped me snag a few balls I normally wouln't have caught, or found. When I first started this, I felt a little weird. Was it normal to get so excited about getting baseballs from games and practices? Reading your story put me at ease. There is something about baseball that is hard to verbalize, let alone, explain to others. There is a symmetry and a karma about baseball not everyone can understand or appreciate.

I developed nerve damage in my feet about 4 years ago, so I can't quite get around like I used to. That means your records are safe :). I am going for my 100th ball this week. I hope I catch it. I look forward to hearing more about you. Have you ever considered starting your own Baseball Glove company? "The BallHawk" sounds like a great name for it.

Anyway, if you are ever in the Tampa area, please look me up. I have a big house and if you need a place to stay, you have it.

Take good care.


July 14, 2012

hey man, gotta say-your advice in "The Baseball" has helped me so much. I've caught balls at 132 straight games so far, thanks to you.

July 2, 2012

loved your book best book i ve ever read. Guess the other to are for my two book reports i have to do over the summer. Great job Zack. Best author ive ever known  

May 26, 2012

Hey Zack! Huge fan here of your blog and your book! Are you going to come out here to Minnesota to attend some games at Target Field this season?


May 16, 2012

Hi Zack,
I just wanted to take a moment to say that it was great meeting you on Monday night in Philly! I really enjoyed our conversation and thanks for all your advice. It was kind of cool that both players we were talking about before the game had big hits that night. Did you by chance snag Placido's 2K hit? If so, way to go man! I thought that you might like a couple of pictures from that game. Thanks again for writing a great book. I look forward to your next work. All the best!

For the Love of the Game,

March 15, 2012


my name is philipp and i am from germany. for a baseballfan overhere its hard to get any original mlb stuff, like baseballs etc.

i got a question do you know any good site on the internet where i can get autographed baseballs? i know ebay, but i dont trust stamped on autographs. my next problem is, what should i pay for a ball, like i said overhere there is no "market" for stuff like this (same for baseballcards, i buy the teamsets from topps).

i hope you get my problem and you can help me?!

btw your books the baseball and watching where great fun to read!

maybe i will catch this year the mets or a yankees game...the first mlb in my life! :)

have a nice day.


February 24, 2012

Congratulations on truly remarkable achievements this past year - both with your ballhawking accomplishment and your book (which I read and thoroughly loved). While the summer for me wasn't exactly a great one, keeping track of your travels was a bright spot. Well done!


February 4, 2012

Hi Zack,
I just wanted to say that I read your book The Baseball and got SIX baseballs at a college baseball game. I didn't ask many times but EVERY time I
Asked I got a ball! Thanks so much Zack!

February 4, 2012

Hi Zack,

I just started reading The Baseball, and I can't put it down. Nice job.

I'm currently researching sources for a book or article I'm writing, and I was wondering where you were able to search the Sporting Life issues you reference? I can't find a library or web site that has them. If you could let me know, I'd appreciate it.

I also read about your family's bookstore. What an awesome place. You're very lucky to get to work with such interesting items every day.


January 26, 2012


I hope life is well. I was able to catch your reading at the Philadelphia Library down here, & enjoyed it immensely; they did a good job pairing you with the author of the Campanella biography, especially since he seemed a little deathly serious about things & you really gave the reading its life as it were. I hope your book is doing well & that you are looking forward to the upcoming season.


January 23, 2012

Hi Zack,

I'm a huge fan, bought at least 15 copies of Watching Baseball Smarter. I give them as gifts, except my own treasured copy which you signed. Anyhoo, my husband got me The Baseball for Xmas, and it is terrific. You're as good a writer as you are a ballhawk, managing to capture that conversational tone in your style which eludes most sports writers. It leaves their books rather flat, while yours are funny, informative, and a joy to read.

This will be my new go-to gift for my baseball geek friends. Thank you!


January 18, 2012

Yo, Zack. Hope all is well with you. So I finished The Baseball yesterday on another business flight...this time to Milwaukee. Good stuff, man. Really looking forward to the season now! Actually, I've had a couple baseball dreams lately and I've managed to boot live game foul balls in at least two of them. Hopefully that's not foreshadowing real life!

-Todd, age 35
Wyomissing, PA

December 25, 2011

Thank you very much Zack for your help with the essay I could send you a copy if you want I am looking forward to reading more of your book over my winter break it has been great so far. When do you think you will be at Camden yards this year? 
Thank you for all of your help
Merry Christmas happy holidays and happy new year


October 24, 2011

I read your book and I absolutely loved it. The stories were fantastic and I learned a lot about baseball. The most interesting was how the baseball was made. I never knew that each ball was hand stitched. I am a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan and I wanted to thank you for your helpful hints for snagging baseballs. I'm definitely going to try them next year and I hope that they work. I've always wanted a major league baseball. I've got some great autographs, but nothing compares to a game used ball. I go to games at Wrigley field, so if you're ever in the neighborhood please let me know. I'd love to meet you in person. Also, how were the World Series seats? Did you snag any balls? Thanks again Zack!

-Alex, age 14
Franklin Park, IL

September 21, 2011

This is Zach again. We went to the library today, and I checked out your book. I'm home schooled and I cant wait to get all my work done so I can start reading.

August 4, 2011

I wanted to let you know that I purchased your third book, "The Baseball", last month and am really enjoying it. At the dinner table the other night, I was telling my husband about the good old days when fans could not keep baseballs. I don't get a lot of time for reading, but sometimes I take it in my car to read when I'm early for an appointment or have to wait for someone.

Sunset Beach, CA  

August 2, 2011

Hello Mr. Hample,
I am a 12 year old boy from Oakland, California. I really want to catch a ball at a game, but, unfortunately, my dad is not real considerate of that. Do you have any ideas about how to get around that?

PS: I read "The Baseball" and I think it's really good!  

July 23, 2011

Hello Zack,

I am hoping to have you sign a copy of your book at the Oakland Coliseum when you are there. There are four entrances to the coliseum. Do you know what entrance you will be at? If not, will you tweet it once you figure it out?

Since reading your book my 12yo daughter and I have gotten 31 baseballs this year (Adv A, AAA, and MLB).

Looking forward to meeting you on 9/2


June 24, 2011


My kids got me a copy of The Baseball for Father's day and I have already plowed through it. I cannot count the amount of games i have been to in my life but with out a major league team nearby. My son and I go to the Charleston Riverdogs almost every sunday. Tonight I scored my first ball ever on a toss from one of the Kannapolis bull pen pitchers. Thanks for all the great suggestions. Hopefully we can put them to good use next week when we go on a mini baseball road trip through Ohio. We plan on hitting the Indians vs. Yankees and all of their minor league affiliates.

Email me if you ever make it to Charleston SC, we would love to treat you to a game at "The Joe".


June 23, 2011

Hello Zack,

My wife and I are taking our boys (8 & 12 years) to NYC for a week in July and we'd like to get to a Mets game and possibly a visit to Yankee Stadium. I hope you're not headed to Chicago that week. I'd like to take my boys to a game you'll be snagging.

I'm saving your new book for our travel day. I did read the first page and I can't tell you how much I appreciate the first few lines; it was hard for me to get past the 1994 strike. In fact, I threw away all of my old ticket stubs from the mid-70's on...anyway, well done and I can't wait to enjoy the book!

Chicago, IL

June 12, 2011

Great to meet you at Coors! Thanx for signing my copy of "The Baseball" -- truly a fun and informative book that should be on every fan's reading list. Might see ya on Sunday after we chase autographs!

Denver, CO  

June 3, 2011

My first game after reading The Baseball was last night. I couldn't come early because I was going with my neighbors, and I had to stay in one section (luckily it was right behind the dugout). I got three balls, gave two away. The one I kept was thrown by Albert Pujols who I was dying to get a ball from. :D Thanks for all your help and congrats on your 5,000 ball. If you come to STL maybe we can meet each other at a game. Do you know when you may be coming? Thanks.


June 1, 2011

Zack, my name is Roger and i'm a huge Royals fan and have read watching baseball smarter and the baseball, love them both great books, well my wife and i go to several games a year and went tuesday 5-31-11 and got my first BP ball, what a freakin rush my heart was pounding when i locked eyes on the cotton ball coming to take my head off i put my glove out and snagged that SOB, couple people there went for it but i was the only one with a glove, it was in left center field first row. Dont mean to ramble but hey, you got me hooked !!!! You probably wont read this but if your back in kansas city i would love to go to a game, of course i will get the tickets. I'm 33 years old but baseball makes me a kid all over again. Thank you for writing the books and hope to read more, maybe about the bat, glove and whatever else. Have a good one man!!!!!

April 26, 2011

Hi, my name's harry and first off i want to thank you for your great writing both on your blog and in your recent book that i bought and loved. Your writing has inspired me to pick up the hobby of ballhawking. I'm pretty new to ballhawking and your tips have helped me alot. But unfortunately, my parents wont take me to many games and i live in omaha nebraska so i can only go to AAA games. I am within driving range of kansas city, and id love to know a date that your planning on visiting kc to get my book signed. Thanks again and good luck at your future games. Your fan and admirer harrison

April 21, 2011

hey zack, hows it going? My friend told me all about you and how you are an amazing ballhawk! Ive already read "the baseball' and it was an amazing book! I think it's great that you enorse ballhawking and have snagged so many balls. In fact, my name is zach to and im 10!  

April 20, 2011

Dear Zack,

My name is Brad. I am a 33 year old 2nd grade teacher as well as a high school softball coach in the district I teach in. I live in New Carlisle, OH and have been a die hard Mets fan since I saw them play in Cincinnati back in 85. I even have one tattoo on my arm, and its a Mets one. I am a father to an amazing 8 year old boy named Pierce. 
The reason I am writing you is to thank you for writing such a wonderful book. I just finished your book The Baseball, and I have to say it was one of the best reads I have ever had. I love getting game balls and when I saw your book in the book store, I had to get it. I only have 18 balls, but they are all very special. Some are from MLB games (Timo Perez, remember him, gave me one in Cinci and during the same game, I caught a Todd Pratt home run ball, and one other is from the first game I ever went to at Shea, the year before it was demolished) while others I got at minor league games from around the area where I live (Dayton Dragons-A ball and Columbus Clippers-AAA ball). 
My son and I are so very fortunate to have baseball. A number of years ago, my ex-wife became severely addicted to pain meds and bounced over 30 grand in checks. I gave her an ultimatum, get help or leave. Well, she left my son and I and never came back. All we had to keep us sane was baseball. We went to countless games and watched hundreds on Directv. We used baseball as a way to bond and keep our minds off of the bad times. The game is such a beautiful thing, and thanks to its' saving grace, we are doing great today. We already have our tickets for the Mets four game series in July at Cinci and plan on putting some of your tips in action in hopes of snagging a ball or two.
Once again, thanks for writing such an incredible book for all of us die hard baseball fans and when my son and I get a chance to make it to a game at Citi Field, hopefully we'll be able to look you up. 

"Let's Go Mets!"

April 2, 2011

I'm about halfway through the book -- i expected it to be awesome, but its even better than i imagined -- you've got this frantic energy that bleeds into the writing -- perfect for the subject matter.

-Bassey, age 23
Brooklyn, NY  

March 31, 2011

I finished your book a week ago and now I'm ready for baseball season. I loved your book. The history was fascinating, and you really showed how the ball affected every aspect of the game. The amount of detail was quite impressive and made for a thrilling read. Truth be told, I wasn't as interested in the ball hawk tips, but the interviews with the top guys really brought out some of what drives them to have such a crazy passion. Great!

-David, age 42
New York, NY  

March 25, 2011


Just wanted to let you know I picked up your new book today and think it is awesome. First of all, I love the cover--the black is nice. Your voice is strong and I'm only a few chapters in (I read for two hours while sitting on the hard bench at my daughter's noisy Irish dance class, so it wasn't exactly a meditative setting) and I'm really liking it. I will finish it this week as we take our two hooligans on a road trip to Southern Utah to get warm.

As a sidenote, I was thinking about how to get it autographed by you (I had that on my mind because I was also buying a Markus Zusak book to take to a reading of his I'm going to this week) and then I remembered that you live on the other side of the country and it would cost more for me to mail it and enclose a SASE for the return than it did to buy it (with my Barnes and Noble Educator Discount Card thankyouverymuch) and also I spilled Chinese food on it tonight.

Ah well, it was a fun thought.

Good luck with all of your publicity stuff--enjoy it--you deserve it!

Boise, ID  

March 24, 2011

Friggin' sweet!

Oh, wait . . .

Dear Mr. Hample,

Now that formal correspondence etiquette has been achieved I must tell you that you have made my month!

I was forwarded your note to NYJB regarding my review. Having been an author myself I can assure you that in some esoteric sense I see both sides of this coin. As a reviewer I don't expect to hear from authors or publicists post-review; I do the reviews because the publisher has given me a copy of the book, a gift of their process and of their author's time -- I don't take either lightly.

To have heard from an author is special in itself -- moreso because I heard from you (forgive the lack of text formatting, please, as this Blackberry doesn't allow for such niceties). I confess I'm not a hardcore, live-and-breathe baseball kind of guy, but the game is -- by far -- my favorite sport. I have a deep respect and appreciation for our pastime, and as I learn more about it the affection grows. I played left field a couple of seasons in my childhood, and my son plays as well, although far better -- and more positions -- than I ever did. We typically attend a few games each season at Chase Field (my Dbacks sucked you-know-[insert lower anatomical extremity of your choice here] the last two seasons, but it's still baseball!). Your passion for the game is something you clearly can't hide, and I really connected with that in your book.

We have watched you on YouTube and even deconstructed a couple balls as you showed. Your efforts have answered questions about the ball I always wanted to know, and you did it, clearly, through the eyes of a fan . . . as one of us.

As this season gets started I want to get and read Watch Baseball Smarter. I am only now beginning to really appreciate and understand the true elegance within the game and have no doubt your second book will enhance that.

With your permission I'd like to use part of your note on my blog (

If there's anything I can help you with regarding the review I'm only too happy to do so. I could send a PDF copy of it or something like that.

I apologize for rambling but the little boy in me is still jumping around like he's on a sugar high.

J.W. Nicklaus

March 24, 2011


Caught your interview on Here & Now on the Boston NPR station this afternoon. Nice job. Can't wait to read the book. Do you have any book events planned in the Boston area?

Chris Klein
Author, The Die-Hard Sports Fan's Guide to Boston

March 22, 2011

Congratulations on the good reviews Zack. I just finished the book last night and I give you an A+. I shouldn't have read it so close to opening day because now all I can think about is going to a game.


March 21, 2011

Zack, I'm just nearing 1900 (the year) in your book. Good stuff. Its crazy to think how different baseball could be game-to-game with such widely varying baseballs being used.

-Todd, age 34
Wyomissing, PA  

March 17, 2011

Thanks for autographing the three books I bought for myself, my son and a friend. Your personalization took some thought and effort, it is greatly appreciated. I got the books on Monday and I flew to Seattle (from Denver) on Tuesday and returned on Wednesday. Nearly 3 hours each way. Now I'm not a big book reader, but I am a huge baseball fan. I'm at a rather advanced age and know a lot about baseball, you know, over 3,000 autographed baseballs and nearly 2,000 MLB balls from batting practice, but I was amazed at your book. I told my wife, "I know a lot about baseball, right?", but I said I literally learned something about "the baseball" on every page. Zack, your research was incredible, remarkable and fantastic. . . . .and you put in a book I couldn't put down. What a great job! So my flight to and from Seattle "flew" by. I'm thinking of buying a dozen books just to hand out to my other baseball friends. Thanks so much for the great book. Nettie and I look forward to hosting your stay at Coors Field this summer.
Our best to you.

-Danny, age 63
Denver, CO

March 15, 2011

Dude. I love the book. I got it the other day and I've already read just about all of it. The commemorative ball visual came out brilliantly. The how-to section is perfect. The top ten ballhawks part is hilarious.

It's great to see it all come to completion.

Thanks for the shout-out at the end. It was really nicely put.


-Greg, age 22
New York, NY  

March 13, 2011

Hey Zack,

Both local Indigo book stores didn't have any copies of your new on a trip to Buffalo this weekend I got the last copy from Barnes and Noble.

I'm halfway done. And that's with a demanding 15 month old, and a cranky, pregnant fiancee! So far the book is great.

I consider myself pretty knowledgeable, and I'm learning SOO much that I didn't already know...Some of the stories you touch upon have driven me right to the net to do even more reading on the topics!

Fantastic book - defintely the best of your 3! Congrats! Hope it is a best seller!

3 more weeks until opening day! Can't wait!

This year we have 2 big trips planned - PNC (we are getting married there during a game!) and Wrigley for our Honeymoon!!!!

Hope all is well.

Hamilton, Ontario

March 13, 2011

Got your book Wed. and just finished it Saturday. Loved the book! It was like going to the movies, I was lost in another world. One of the best books I have ever read.


March 12, 2011


Just picked up my 3 copies of your book!

WOW you are fricking kidding me!!! Awesome inscription this means a lot to me thanks!! I am so glad I got a 3rd copy cause no one is touching this book! I am so happy right now thanks a lot. I missed out being a kid around this great sport but I totally feel like a kid right now!!

A record I will treasure!

Good luck for this season hope to catch you at a game soon!

A friend indeed

-Stuart Jon

March 11, 2011

Just got it in the mail. Plan to finish it by sunday. Thanks for writing 3 of maybe 10 books I've ever enjoyed.

-Joe, age 16
Sag Harbor, NY

March 11, 2011

Z-Man- you outdid yourself on the book man! I am loving it. I can tell that it was a labor of love. I know your dad is looking down and beaming with pride.

-Bob, age 37
Minneapolis, MN  

March 11, 2011

The book looks fantastic! I can't wait to curl up with it tonight. And hug you congrats tomorrow! Thanks so much for the note and acknowledgment too--your books are always so fun and enjoyable to edit/make comments on, so you'd better keep writing them so I can read them :)

-Lia, age 29
Brooklyn, NY  

March 10, 2011

My copy of The Baseball got here and I'm only in the Celebrity Ballhawks section but I must say it is already up there on my all time favorites. Though I don't understand how a PRE- order would get here well after I would have been able to go out and get the book at a bookstore.

-Mateo, age 16
Bronx, NY  

March 9, 2011

Hey, Zack,

Got your book in the mail on Monday morning from Amazon! Great read! I'm almost finished already, and I'm normally a slow reader!

I read the "How to Snag a Major League Baseball" section first. I'll be testing out your foul ball strategies today at the Dbacks new Spring Training stadium in Scottsdale. They have a special inaugural logo printed on all the game balls, so it would be nice to snag one to have something a little different.

Hope you have a great season this year!


March 8, 2011

Well I was able to purchase the book believe it or not last night!!!!!!... I called my local Barnes and Noble Bookstore yesterday around 3pm and asked if they would be carrying a copy..She said they would be and would call me when it came in. While at my son's baseball game I recieved a call back from the bookstore saying the book was in and waiting at the counter (this was around 8pm).......I have to say I was very excited..Been looking forward to reading this ever since you blogged about your experince in Costa Rica at the Rawlings factory... Just the first few chapters read, I have to say you have hit a home run with this book Zack.. Being a father and having been lucky enough to have a great dad of my own, the single blank page with the words "This one's for my dad." had me holding back tears. I'm sure your dad would be very proud of you and this book. Best of luck and looking forward to this years ballhawking...


March 8, 2011

Hey Zack I just picked up your new book and must say that this thing is a work of art and was wondering that if I sent you my copy if you would take some time to sign it for me but I know that your busy with opening day only a couple of weeks away!

Please write back 
Fellow ballhawk
Drake .J. Tytler  

March 7, 2011

My ex just sent me this text message. I hadn't told him anything about your book being released tomorrow, but he still works part time at Borders down in Delaware and said this:

"I see your bud has a new baseball book out tomorrow so I'm making sure it gets a good spot on the front of our new paperback table. He's representin' in the D-E."

Congratulations, kid. I'm glad your day's finally here :)

-Dorkys, age 29
New York, NY

March 7, 2011

Zack- I just saw your book and it looks terrific. I read the introduction which is also terrific & makes me want to read on, which I will do. Congrats!

-Judith, age 75
New York, NY

March 6, 2011

Can't wait for the book. I'm getting it at 8 AM and I may just finish it all on Tuesday!  

March 6, 2011


Its GO TIME, baby! Congrats on the imminent release of "The Baseball." Its bitter sweet -- bitter because we now have no more book updates to look forward to debating topics/titles/etc. for the book; sweet because we get to actually read the thing finally. I remember in 2009 reading in a book update that it was coming out in March 2011 and thinking, "that's forever away!" Now, its just a little over 24 hours away.

Take care and good luck with it.

-Todd, age 34
Wyomissing, PA

February 12, 2011

Hey Zack! I have the book pre-ordered and am looking forward to reading it.

-Bob, age 37
Minneapolis, MN  

February 11, 2011

Zack you look like you've aged about 10 years in the past month or two! Haven't seen that many photos of you lately but what are you doing in the off season dude??? I love your blog by the way and very excited for the new book!


January 18, 2011

Unreal. It's amazing. I'm halfway through it, stayed up until 6 a.m. last night, loving it. I just completed The Rawlings Method. Should finish it tonight. The timeline of the evolution of the ball is amazing. So many details, and conspiracies! How did you find all that information?! It must have been a painstaking process to put that all together, I'm impressed.

Favorite part is probably that timeline, or the opening chapter, or even the Rawlings process. I dunno. So many cool anecdotes too. The baseball pics are so cool, very excited to see all of those. Can't wait to read the rest tonight.

I won't quote a thing, and I'll run everything past you before I post a word. I'd like to do a review on my site, ask you a few questions, if you're open to it? But I'll wait until you can publicize it, maybe after it comes out?

And thanks so much for that personalization and for singing it, and for sending me a copy. It means a lot, it feels very rewarding after all those pictures, although the process was rewarding enough.

OK enough praise, I'll finish and go into detail on some things I have questions about. Oh and one of my favorite things, all the little footnotes at the bottom, with the subtle humor, that was a surprise. I'm so used to reading boring stats in those notes, nice surprise to find something unique like that.

Kick ass man, excellent work.

-Zach, age 31
Pittsburgh, PA

January 17, 2011

Got the book Z!

Awesome and thank you! I can't wait to plunge into this, starting tonight. I'm trying to resist the temptation to skip to the pictures too, but I did take a quick peak at two pages. I think it's awesome, but I'll wait until I get to that part before I really study it closely.

Thanks very much for sending a galley, I feel privileged, again! I'll get back to you this week as I get through the book. I'm a pretty slow reader but it will probably be impossible to put this down.

-Zach, age 31
Pittsburgh, PA

January 9, 2011

Dear Zack,
I was just about to go to bed last night when I decided to read another couple of pages from the galley. Well a couple of pages turned into ten pages; and ten turned into a whole chapter. Before long, you guessed it, I finished the rest of it. I couldn't help myself. It was such a great book, that I wanted to keep reading, and reading, and reading. I even read the introduction.(Something I never do when I am reading a new book.)

I learned a lot of new things that I didn't know about the history of the ball. There were even some things that I thought I knew, but had completely wrong. My three favorite parts of the book are the sections about: The Rawlings factory, Celebrity ballhawks, and the amazing timeline of how baseballs have changed over the course of the game. It is amazing how something so poorly put together was tweeked, almost every year since the 1840's, to become the masterfully assembled baseball of today.

I have never read "How To Snag Major League Baseballs" or "Watching Baseball Smarter", but I can't see them being much better than this.

-Matt, age 15
Willow Spring, NC  

December 15, 2010


Not to seem anxious -- but let's be honest i am -- but I was wondering if you knew when i should expect to see the galley? I've been checking my box every day since you said I was getting one. I can wait as long as I need to, but I'm super excited to read the book.

Provo, UT

December 11, 2010


Reading in my opinion is terribly painful, unless it is of my interest (i.e. sports, film, and really nothing else) but HOT DAMN! am I excited for this masterpiece that is about to be released in less than three months! 

Hit me up soon brothaaaaaa!

-Donnie, age 21
Kenilworth, NJ

December 5, 2010


I'm so excited for your new book, I have been following you on Twitter and the blog of course! Very impressive! I can't wait to check it out!

Next time we are in person I am dying to hear all about the factory in Costa Rica! That is so unbelievable!

Peter Luger's in '11!!!

Talk with you soon!


December 1, 2010

Checked out the cover of your new book. Looks terrific. I wish you lots of good luck
with it.


November 26, 2010

I'm really looking forward to seeing the book come out! I got "Watching Baseball Smarter" last year and I absolutely loved it.

-Dan, age 42
Corpus Christi, TX

November 16, 2010

Congratulations on your book, that is EXCELLENT news. I don't know if I've ever said this, but I so admire your stick-to-it-ness. Your ability to see things through is impressive, and your work speaks for itself...I've always been so impressed not just by your writing, which goes without saying (I mean, I could care less about baseball but I liked your books) but your discipline and follow-through. As a person who's working on developing discipline and follow-through in her writing, it's inspiring (OK, it inspires envy, too...but in a good way!). 

-Liz, age 35
New York, NY  

November 8, 2010

I don't need to read the first 50 pages to know your book doesn't suck. I've heard pieces of it here and there at different meetings remember? And my impression of it has consistently been that the writing is clear and concise, conveying information in an interesting way.

-Dave, age 38
Staten Island, NY

October 8, 2010

Really cannot wait to read your new book looking foward to my 1st edition signed copy to go with your other 2 signed that I have!!!!!

-Stuart Jon  

September 1, 2010

Can't wait to see the book. I am really pumped about it.

-Danny, age 63
Denver, CO  

August 1, 2010

Reading the foul ball section. It is amazing. Where did you find all of these anecdotes?!?

This book is an addictive read.

-Gillian MacKenzie, literary agent
New York, NY

March 10, 2010

Keep up the good work on the book-I'm eager to read it and I'm sure it will be just as fabulous (if not more so) than the last ones.


February 27, 2010

It always amazes me how the chapters you read from your baseball books are so interesting...your writing is so accessible, and you make the old history so exciting. You introduced me to something I would never have thought about.

-Ariel, age 31
Brooklyn, NY  

February 8, 2010

Hi Zack,
I've read a chunk of your book and I'm really enjoying it! Unfortunately, my attention keeps getting pulled away by a few other timely issues -- two novels that we are considering that go to auction this week -- so I haven't had the chance to finish even though I desperately want to! I'm going to try and get this other stuff off my plate as quickly as I can so I can focus on YOU!
More soon, Jenny
Jenny Jackson
Senior Editor
Vintage and Anchor Books
The Knopf Doubleday Group  

January 30, 2010

The book is just filled with fabulous quotes...every quote you're using has a purpose.

-Brad, age 54
San Mateo, CA

January 21, 2010

I was ready to fall asleep last night - 11:30-ish when I thought I'd read just a bit more of your book. I enjoyed the chapter on important ball-hawking moments. I was particularly impressed with your lingo in describing plays. I think you had a great training experience writing up games for MLB. I mean, your writing is fascinating. But - what I really want to say is that when I started reading your critiques of the media showing foul-ball catching, etc., I started to laugh so hard that I stopped being tired. I mean - that's big time funny.
That's all.


January 9, 2010

I cant wait for the next book, so anxious i am reading the first two all over. You are a GREAT author.


January 6, 2010

I know you hear this at just about every meeting, but I'll say it again: I don't know anything about baseball. I don't really care about baseball. But you do make listening to you so interesting, your writing is always so compelling. I literally never thought I would look forward to hearing about something like baseball. But I always look forward to you reading.

-Sarah, age 17
Brooklyn, NY

November 26, 2009

Hey pimp. Greetings from newport beach! Thanks again for the hangs. The book is abbsaatudalutely awesome! I had lot of fun getting a behind the scenes look. It really is going to turn out great! Big fun coming this spring/summer. Hang in there the light is on at the end of the tunnel! See ya soon. Happy hibernating. Laaataa

-Brandon, age 25
San Diego, CA

September 17, 2009

I hope you are getting some more work done on the book. The parts I have heard are great, I am super excited to read it.

-Megan, age 34
New York, NY