Zack Hample

Fan mail for "Watching Baseball Smarter"

 Watching Baseball Smarter -- fan mail


June 27, 2019

Hey Zack,

I read you are planning to visit The Netherlands, my home country. Any chance of meeting up for a couple of minutes when you are in Amsterdam? I would love for you to sign my copy of ‘Watching baseball smarter’. I live in Leiden which is only a 30 minute trip by train for me so it’s no problem to come to A’dam.

If it’s not possible I hope you’ll have a great time in Amsterdam. Don’t forget to eat a ‘kroket’, ‘frikandel speciaal’ or a ‘kapsalon’.

Folkert Harmsen

May 11, 2019

In my childhood, I read a book that called '야구 교과서(Baseball textbook)'-And that book's American name is Watching Baseball Smarter- and that helped me to understand whole baseball rule and major league baseball. I read that book ton and tons of time so that the cover had been ripped. There wasn't a quality baseball book in Korea at that time, so that was the only way to understand baseball, especially American baseball league.

10 years later, in 2019, I found you youtubin'! I'm really happy to see you here and thank you for making me a deep baseball fan guy. And also, I would really like you to see Korean baseball stadium. Lot's of things are different from MLB. I had been to Dodger Stadium when I was in LA about a month, and that was a great experience too, but KBO is quite special.

Crazy fans, bat flip, players who were in Big league before, cheerleaders... It will be a great experience for you, and you won't regret it. Thank you again. I read your book really interesting when I was young, especially 'Groin' part. :) -Korean baseball fan guy!! (also a big fan of you)

February 11, 2019

Hi Zack,

I’m a 15 year old boy in NJ and a huge fan of yours (also a huge Yankees fan). I was gifted “The Baseball” for Christmas and I just finished it up! I loved it and have just ordered “Watching Baseball Smarter”. Anyway, the purpose of this email was to ask if there’s anyway I can send the book to you for a signature. If not, I’ll just bring it with me to yankees games and hope to see you there! Thanks for your time in reading this email, keep up the great work!


P.S. I also got your bobble head for Christmas (231/500)

January 17, 2019

I got your 2 books watching baseball smarter and the baseball for Christmas. They are great so far. I’m so happy I got them.


November 4, 2018

Hello Zack how are you doing, I just writing this email cause I would like to know why you don’t make this great books translated into the Spanish language, I mean theirs a lot Hispanics that they like baseball but they don’t understand the rules, and this book Watching Baseball Smarter it’s like the Bible for us, this books I love it. That’s my opinion hopefully you can translate in other languages.


August 29, 2018

Dear Zack, I LOVE your YouTube videos sooooo much. Your book watching baseball smarter is one of my favorites ever. I am a baseball addict (Go nats). I have been with you for sooooo long and have only caught one ball at a game before (thrown by Denard Span) and it was awesome! Thank you so much for being a great guy who loves baseball, I was also wondering if we could do a watching with zack and if a friend can come along as well. I live in Washington dc and you have not been here since the all star break.

-Sincerely, Felix

May 16, 2018

Greetings Zack,

Hope all is well.

With an ever-growing passion for baseball, the need to expand my knowledge of the game became quite clear. I wanted to know how and why something happened. Now that I have read the book, I understand the why, and now I need to see a live game to comprehend the how.

The NH Fisher Cats host a double-header against Binghampton this Friday.

I have read a lot of blogs, but in your opinion, where is the best place to sit? 3rd baseline?

Thank you for your time.

Joe Lyle

November 4, 2017

Hello from Texas!

I wanted to let you know that I bought your How to Watch book during the post season play-offs to learn more about the game while my Houston Astros, aka World Series Champions, played. I looked all over Amazon to find the perfect guide and chose yours. I carried it everywhere I went for weeks - to the hairdresser, coffee shop, doctor’s office, etc. It is has been an incredibly useful tool and entertaining as well. I will refer to it often.

More importantly, it has served as fun-fact game to play with my 73 year old dad during commercial breaks while watching all the Astros games these past three weeks. I will forever cherish the bond my Daddy and I have with baseball. We attend Texas A&M games (my alma mater)) each spring and I grew up going to games in the Astrodome as a kid. My grandpa and father-in-law (both deceased) would have been so proud to see my enthusiasm for the game now.

This is coming from a 54-yr-young woman who didn’t have the privilege of growing up playing baseball and has to learn by watching and reading. (I did play softball in jr high). My dad taught me how to throw a baseball at a young age, along with a football and play golf - yep, I only child and he needed a kid to teach sports to, lol. 

I’ve just subscribed to your YouTube channel. Lots of fun to watch. 

Happy to see that your passion is also tied to a charity. I started a charity 11 years ago. I have volunteered to help over 400 low income students to get into and through college. It’s a huge blessing to help others.

Would love to meet you in Houston someday. You’ve motivated me to go early to batting practice now to catch my first Major league baseball!

All the best to you Zack,

September 16, 2017

Your book, Watching Baseball Smarter, has actually helped turn me into a baseball fan. Since both my children live in Milwaukee now, it has become routine to take in a ball game or two with them each summer. I used to think watching baseball was as fascinating as watching paint dry, went for the beer, hot dogs and tailgating. Your book made a difference in my attitude! Watching the Brewers has become very, very enjoyable and an additional hobby in my retirement. Thank you for a great book with good explanations and also really fun facts and stories.


July 22, 2017

Hi Zack, I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book,
watching baseball smarter, before I even knew that you were my son's ball hawking hero. His name is Wade and he's 12 years old and is a huge fan of your videos. I saw that you will sometimes do private sessions with kids for special occasions, etc. We are in the New York metro area and wondering if you have any dates available for either the Yankees or Mets through the end of the season. Let me know, looking forward to hearing from you. Play ball!


July 5, 2017

Aloha, Zack. (I'm being informal because I'm a lot older than you. Please don't be offended.)

I'm getting the opportunity to get to major league games in Cleveland, Baltimore, and Boston now that I'm traveling to those cities to see elderly parents and in-laws (and Boston just because). One of two baseball books I read this Summer was "Watching Baseball Smarter" and just wanted to say it's terrific. Learned a lot (not that I thought I knew a lot to begin with, but even so, the book is loaded with great stuff). Love the style, including the first line of the Acknowledgments. Great stories, too. Now on to "The Baseball" so I can finally catch a ball. My experimenting with seats in various sections of ballparks hasn't worked so far.

See you at a game. I'm the guy with the Aloha shirt (or the Boston jersey), the glove on one hand and the camera with the 400 mm lense in the other. Have some pretty good shots, in case you're interested.

Best of luck to you and thank you once again for writing your books.


October 16, 2016

My name is Eli. I am 8 years old and live in Long Island New York. I just finished reading your book "watching baseball smarter". AWSOME BOOK!!!
In addition I watch all of your YouTube videos and they are AWSOME. 
Would it be possible to ball hawk with you at a NY YANKEES game this coming season??
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

September 23, 2016

Dear Zack (if you'll allow me to address you so informally),
It would be bold of me to come right out and say your book Watching Baseball Smarter is the best baseball book I've read on the sport so far, so I won't say that. But I will deeply imply it and if you could see through the computer screen, you would see me winking and moving my eyebrows in a suggestive manner. And I'm not saying that it's the best out of the two I've read. I've read a lot. I'm kind of a book nerd, and I currently have a job that allows to me read a book almost the entire time. So, I've experience on this and consider myself educated enough to make such a bold claim.
Some straightforward thoughts:
--You have avoided all things pretentious and communicated clearly without adding unnecessary factoids that would only be there to make the reader think you're brilliant. I can tell you're pretty smart without you having to do this, and I appreciate the lack of rubbing it in my face with really big words.
--Drawings: yes please. I believe baseball to be a sport that encompasses all the senses, and seeing that visual is one of them, I love that you have used that to demonstrate certain things I would be ignorant of without (such as how to hold a ball in a particular pitch).
--You have an exhaustive glossary at the end for quick reference. Should I happen to forget a term, which of course would be ridiculous seeing as I love the sport and am naturally gifted at knowing the multiple acronyms (yes, that's sarcasm), you make it so easy to keep at the forefront of my brain.
--Off-the-record information detailing what baseball fans fight about and argue over has saved me from making a fool of myself in public. Seriously, my social interaction on the subject actually sounds pretty hard core just using some of the tricks you have suggested ("I hate that the Tribe has DHs").
--You have made the book the perfect size and length to convey the topic in just the right manner. I can literally carry it in my purse, which I do. I can pull it out waiting in the line for groceries and it also adds weight to use as defense against a purse-snatching (although is purse-snatching even a crime people try anymore?).
Anyways, I understand that you are a very busy guy, what with the writing and the ball-catching and the sitting around and having intelligent baseball conversations, but I figured you wouldn't mind hearing from your genuine fans that have not given up the possibility of understanding the Baseball Prospectus and its impossible statistics because they have your clever glossary to keep flipping through.
Well done. 
Should you need any excuse to implore any more of your brilliance, do not hesitate to reach out, as I am a happy student of the aforementioned (yes, that was a bit of a pretentious word, but it's just a fun word to say).

You have made a 35-year-old woman feel just a little bit cooler when it comes to following her favorite sport (and it's not easy to make a freckled redhead a "bit cooler", but just trust me on that).

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


September 11, 2016

Dear Zack,

My name is Jake and I am 12 years old. I play travel baseball. Just this summer I went to Cooperstown. I love baseball, and I could not live without it.

Just like you, I am a fellow ballhawk. I just started to log my findings. My first serious game I got 7 baseballs, including 2 during the game. My second game, i got 5 including 4 during the game. I got a Blue Jays 40th anniversary ball so that was good. I go to MiLB and MLB games. Minor League games are so much easier to ballhawk.

I always watch your videos and always talk about you. I have one of your books "Watching Baseball Smarter". That is my favorite book of all time. I was wondering if you have any tips, tricks, or anything else you could tell me.

This is my second letter to you because my first one wasn't finished, but this is the complete one. so it will be a little different.

Once again I wanted to tell you I am a HUGE fan of yours.

Your Friend,

August 18, 2016

Hi Zack - My son, Adam, age 10, is a talented player and big fan of the game in general. He watched your videos and now gets toss ups and is figuring out where to stand during bp. He is also reading your watching baseball smarter book. A big fan of yours to say the least! I really love seeing him so excited about baseball. I was wondering if you're coming to the SF bay area anytime soon and if so can we meet you in person?


Adam's Dad

July 30, 2016


I want to start off by saying I am a huge fan of yours. Every time one of your videos comes out, I have to watch it. I am 15 and I live in Scottsdale, AZ and I am a huge Diamondbacks fan. I know that you were just here in June, but unfortunately I was on vacation in Florida. I was wondering when or if you will be coming back to Chase Field to see another game this season. I loved your video that you made from Chase, and I am actually going to a game this Wednesday and will be using all of your tactics. I also love your books, they have helped me so much, especially Watching Baseball Smarter. If you do come again this year, I would love to hang out with you and talk baseball and ball-hawking.


May 14, 2016

Hey Zack this is Jonathan . I live in North Carolina and I like the Phillies . My grandpa my dad and I always go to see them for a series at citizens bank park . This year we are going to see them play the Diamondbacks on Father's Day weekend. I have your book Watching Baseball smarter and I love it . I think it's great what you are doing for charity's and I like your YouTube videos as well . I was wondering if you would be there for a game so I could meet you and get your autograph in the book . It would be a honor

Thanks Jonathan

Oh and go get 10,000

October 10, 2015

Caps off to you Zack, for writing THE BEST Baseball 'How To' book ever! Just wanted to take a moment today to say THANK YOU! 
ok, you're already famous to most, but it's Newly discovered for me...& I think your amazing book will entertain & educate for centuries. immediately sent birthday copy to my multi-sport nephew.
Well, it wouldn't take much to make me smarter in baseball, but the fun way you humorously wrote made it a "For everyone" book--& almost like being there. Could almost taste the hotdogs & popcorn. laughed out loud on several parts, but liked the "pros & cons" @ those "wimpy" 2nd basemen. ha! And altho' I'd been "watching" it a long time, I rarely comprehended what the heck was going on out there. Thanks for solving That mystery! :-). 
So, Many thanks for your creative writing, the Smiles... Fun...& Great education! ~ Mary in San Diego

September 15, 2015

First of all, the book is fabulous! I use it often and have it in both real book form, as well as on my Kindle. I have also bought 7 copies for friends.

Here's my request: Please think about updating to include the newest rules, especially regarding the instant replay.

I'm enjoying your latest a lot. Keep up the great work!!

P. S. If you're ever in Dallas, I'll take you to a Ranger game; my treat if you'll autograph my book. I'll even throw in a copy of my book "Dallas Spirit". It's not about baseball, but it is dedicated to my grandfather, Bobby Goff, who was in pro baseball for 50 years, as a player, manager, GM, and scout. He is the reason I'm a baseball geek.

Thanks again for your great books about baseball.


September 4, 2015 (forwarded by a friend)

Hi, Will. Tricia Green here, one of your Mom's oldest friends--since she was 14 and I was 15. At some point a few years ago she told me that you are friends with Zack Hample and I told her how much I enjoyed his book "Watching Baseball Smarter." In his preface he says he wrote it for folks like his parents (and me) who know something about the game and were curious to know more. He nailed it, but I hope the next edition will have an index.

I hadn't heard the final outcome of the A-Rod ball brouhaha, so appreciated the video you sent to Bonnie and she forwarded to me. He did the right thing to take his time, not cave, and get a far more significant outcome to the whole thing. 

If you should happen to pass along my appreciation for his book, you might mention to him that the only person who has taught me more about the game is Vin Scully--pretty exalted company.

Hope to meet you and your family someday. I did get to meet Georgia a couple of years ago when she was in LA for work and came up to Santa Barbara for a weekend.


July 5, 2015

First of all, congrats on snagging A-Rods 3000th. You've probably have heard that many times so I won't go into it. I wanted to tell you that your book, "Watching Baseball Smarter", is really an enjoyable book to read. I'm 15 and have been playing baseball since I was 4 and I still learned little things from the book. For example, I had no idea players got $75 for food on away trips. That's all I wanted to say, don't get yourself down from all the haters recently. You inspire me to be a better fan. 
I know you probably won't respond, but if you could that would be fantastic.

Good luck in the future!!

June 27, 2015

Hello Mr. Hample,

I just finished your book "Watching Baseball Smarter" and I would just like to tell you that I thought that it was amazing. The way that you wrote it in a funny relaxed way while telling us literally everything there is to know about baseball. You brought together anecdotes, examples, rules, and a sense of humor that fluently brought together the book (Not to mention those awesome footnotes). I thought I knew a lot about baseball, but when I read this book, I feel like I'm a real expert. I now know the true definition of an infield fly, why players do all the stuff they do, and how tough it is to get to the show. I just have one question: where did you get all this knowledge about every aspect of the sport?


Gavriel, age 14

June 25, 2015

Hey Zack,
I am one of your biggest fans! I have read a lot of your blog posts, seen almost every single one of your youtube videos (I’m one of your subscribers) and read most of your books. Literally, I read "Watching Baseball Smarter" 7 times. I live in Philly and have been to many baseball games.

I am a novice ballhawk who would like an in person experience with the best ballhawk ever. Do you happen to be going to the Phillies game on July 20, 2015? I would love to meet and ballhawk with you.

Your Biggest Fan,
Ethan A. (age- almost 12)

P.S. Congrats on A-rod’s 3,000 hit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 15, 2015

Hey Zack,

I went to a game in Oakland last week, and found an easter egg in the stands. It was really weird-- it was a game ball, and there was no batting practice. The ball was 400+ feet away from the plate (it was the second deck of left field, in fair territory-- I would like to say section 233). I know the ball was game used, because it was mud rubbed.

My question is- how could a ball (a gamer, even) end up that far away from home plate, if there was no bp. Do players throw balls into empty stands just because? What are the odds that bp could have ended before the gates opened (Oakland opens their gates 90 minutes before first pitch) and would they have used leftover game balls in bp? Does stuff like that happen often?

Also, I read your blog on a fairly regular basis, and I love it-- especially the entries on the Sydney Cricket Ground (Im a Dodger fan, and it killed me to miss the Australia series). Watching Baseball Smarter is also one of my favorite books (the other, of course, is The Baseball). Keep up the great work!!!


June 4, 2015

Hey lifelong baseball fan (started with dale Murphy an the Braves) and loved/learned so much from reading Watching Baseball Smarter. Just wondering if I could send you my copy of the book to be signed?

May 17, 2015

Hey man,

Just wanted to say that I'm pretty excited to read your book 'Watching Baseball Smarter'. I'm from Melbourne, Australia and followed baseball pretty closely in the late 90s (Yankees fan) but dropped off from the early 2000s until I went back to the US last year and my love for it was re-ignited. Now I remember some things from watching those old games, but I want to understand the sport more comprehensively and once your book makes its way here I'll hopefully be able to do that!

The next time I go to the US I'm going to try and snag a few balls using your methodology.

Cheers, M

April 11, 2015

I got your book in the reddit gift exchange for baseball and I thoroughly enjoy it and has made me understand baseball better than before. Thanks.

March 28, 2015

I gave my current gf my "watching baseball smarter" copy during last season and she promised to read it before opening day this year. 8 days left and she's still on pitch types. Think you could send her some motivation?

March 16, 2015

Mr. Hample,

Will you be writing and publishing an updated version to "Watching Baseball Smarter". I have read your ebook version a few times from a number of years ago.


February 14, 2015

I found the book on amazon. I committed this year to learning baseball. I stacked about 10 books, but felt yours would be the best start, I was SO right. This will be the gift to every girl that dates one of my guy friends who loves baseball. I am also going to share it with a boy I sponsor in sports...I can't believe how much your book has changed my views on baseball.


January 3, 2015

So last season we attended more baseball games then we ever have. It was a awesome Summer! A Dodger fan speaking here. Extremely sad Matt Kemp got traded to the Padres. This Christmas I bought 2 people who have never been to a baseball game Dodger T-shirts. I am determine to take a large group of friends to a Dodger game next season and we all have to be wearing our gear.
Last season not only did we go to many Dodger games I also followed the playoff games very closely. But when I am at a game or watching it on TV I wish I knew MORE. I wish I could speak the language and understand all the numbers! Well yesterday I turned 32 and my boyfriend gave me as a gift one of your books Watching Baseball Smarter !!!!! Super excited to read it! I can't wait to soak in all the knowledge and have a real baseball conversation!
Thank you.


November 19, 2014

My wife and I have both read Watching Baseball Smarter. My wife was fairly new to baseball about a decade ago and it really helped turn her into a serious fan of the game. I learned a lot from it too. Thanks man!

May 14, 2014

Hi Zack,

I am considering to use some data from Page 238-239 in your book "Waching Baseball Smarter", and I would like to ask your policy regarding this matter.

By the way, I really enjoy reading this book and I will introduce it in the chapter of Baseball Books in my book (my first ever will be book as a baseball fan) to introduce Baseball to chinese readers.


Hamilton, Ontario

May 1, 2014

Hey I just finished reading your book watching baseball smarter and honestly thought it was the best book I ever read. Im a huge fan of u and ur blog. I would appreciate it if you could follow me on Twitter @[nameremoved] thanks!


March 19, 2014

Dear Zack,

After taking the Umpire Test in your book "Watching Baseball Smarter" I would like you to know the only situation I got wrong was a ball landing on home plate. Very good test to know if a ball is fair or foul. Hope to see you at O.CO later this year


December 26, 2013

Thanks for writing such a great book. it was originally recommended to me by a hockey playing, baseball neophyte friend of mine so I didn't expect much. But I was duly impressed, and I am a life-long baseball player and fan. I've recommended the book many times.

December 23, 2013

Hi Zack, thank's for offering to sign my book, I would love that! It was a great read and even though I know pretty much everything there is to know about the game, it filled in ALL of the cracks for me really well.  

August 9, 2013

Hello Zack,

I just finished reading Watching Baseball Smarter and I loved it! Great book! I am a new baseball fan. My wife is a big baseball fan and she bought me your book so we could enjoy watching MLBTV together. I'm an obsessed baseball fan now! You book has helped me appreciate the game on so many levels. We live near Pittsburgh and we have been following the Pirates. It has been awesome to watch them.
I am a professional classical musician and I see many parallels between classical music and baseball. For example, it is easy to appreciate a Beethoven symphony without knowing anything, but if you know about how Mozart wrote symphonies before him you can appreciate Beethoven much more deeply. In the same way, I could always appreciate a home run but now it is so much more interesting knowing the different types of pitches the batters are dealing with. 
In your "Random Stuff To Know" chapter you have a section called "Rosters, Transactions and Contracts". You say that "this is the true guts of the game". It sounds fascinating to me! Can you recommend a book or website for further reading on the subject?


June 26, 2013

He mr hample my name is nick I'm 12 and I read you blog have watching baseball smarter and am preparing to try to catch a ball at wrigly in aug 1 against the dodgers I'm buying a dodgers hat, learning Spanish to try to get a ball from puig I do you glove trick I did it all day today. I was so happy my parents bought me your first book I can't wait to read it. Keep doing what your doing it would be an honor if I ran into you at a baseball game

June 16, 2013

Hi Zack, I just wanted to say I really loved your book "Watching Baseball Smarter" and that it's really cool to find you floating around reddit. You've actually inspired me when I go to games, I'm working on a collection of my own. (I've gotten probably 20 balls, but it's slowed down as I've aged. I guess it's a lot easier when you're a cute kid.) Well anyway, just wanted to say I loved your book, and keep it up. Cheers.  

May 27, 2013

Hi Zack, I'm reading your book watching baseball. It is an amazing book I'm learning a lot!! You pretty awesome. My favorite team is the Rockies so please visit Coors Field more offen.


March 11, 2013

Stoked to see you on reddit sir! (Even though it looks like you've been here a while)

Re-read my copy of "Watching baseball smarter" every spring training and try to get one ball at every game I attend, all from reading your blog.

Stay awesome Zack, and lets go Mets!

March 11, 2013

I enjoyed "Watching Baseball Smarter," it was helpful for me as the only member of my family who isn't a rabid sports fan to appreciate the strategy a bit more for when everyone's watching the game together.

March 10, 2013

I've read watching baseball smarter several times. It's a great book, and it's what got me into baseball. Never thought I'd have the opportunity to thank you for writing it though. 

December 28, 2012

Hello Zack,

I just wanted to say I love your book Watching Baseball Smarter.

I've always liked baseball and followed it casually. I fell in love with baseball in the final at-bat of the 2012 World Series. Beyond my SF fan bias, the suspense of Romo facing Cabrera awakened something in me. When I heard the "Got him looking!" call, I was happy because my team won, but I had chills because of the guts it would take for a young closer to throw a 4-seam (I know what this is now because of your book!) down the middle to a Triple Crown winner. I'm hooked.

In trying to learn more about the nuances of the game, I came across your book and it is absolutely phenomenal. It somehow manages to be entertaining, sublimely informative and easy to digest. It is the perfect bridge for the gap between casual fan and budding enthusiast. I haven't finished it yet, but I'm enjoying every page and my love of baseball is growing at the same time as I finally understand more of the little things I would gloss over in the past. I will definitely be revisiting this book often and recommending it to potential converts.

Thank you for not being an elitist fan, and keeping all this knowledge for yourself and whoever you deem "worthy." Thank you for taking the time to open the doors to such a fulfilling fandom.

Happy holidays!

Sincerely, Andrew  

December 6, 2012

I read 'Watching Baseball Smarter' summer 2011 and really enjoyed it. I just wanted to tell you that. Oh, and also wanted to know if you really caught Mike Trout's first HR. I've loved the Angels since I was a kid and wanted to congratulate you on that catch!


October 10, 2012

just finished your book "watching baseball smarter" great book even if your a die hard. Can't wait for the next 1. Keep it up.


October 3, 2012

Mr. Hample,

I'm currently enjoying your book: "Watching Baseball Smarter". Lots of good stuff in there.

I really like your short list of baseball slang. I was sure you didn't have "dying quail" (for Texas Leaguer, Bloop, etc.) so I checked... it's in there! - nice job.

I seem to recall you don't have "flare" (same as bloop) - but that's sort of 70s-80s which was when I heard it on NBC - and the old-timer announcers didn't much like the term:

"they call it a flare these days"

If you don't already have it, you might like The Dickson Baseball Dictionary:

I see that my copy of the 1989 2nd edition pales in comparison to this 2009 3rd Ed.

On wikipedia it says you have visited 50 major league ballparks! Given that we only have 30 teams, many of those must be torn down by now.

Next time you go to Seattle - try going to Safeco in the morning. When no day game is scheduled, they have a $9/80-minute/tour of the ballpark which includes some history you might like - and chance to rub a ($6) ball in the dirt and on the grass.

Anyway, it's a pleasure to see that someone is more nutty about baseball than I am.

Best Regards.


July 5, 2012

Hey Zack:

I've been meaning to get in touch for some time, just to say hello and let you know that as your (very) old English teacher, I have been thrilled to follow your writing career.

I moved to Portland, Oregon about 6 years ago. As a bookshop guy, I'm sure you know of Powell's, our tremendous, great bookstore. I spend a lot of time there, and was browsing in the baseball section yesterday and saw that Watching Baseball Smarter has an employee "must read" tag -- a great honor at Powells -- especially because most of those tags are reserved for fairly obscure poetry, political rants, and the like!

Stay well, Zack. Keep writing and loving life.


July 3, 2012


I love your book, "Watching Baseball Smarter." I first heard about it when John Rothmann interviewed you.

Have you thought of doing an app for the iPhone? I know information is available online, but you have a unique, clear way of explaining things. Putting the information from your books into an app format, especially one where you could update things, would be a welcome addition to other apps.

Thanks, and keep up the good work.

Salem, OR

May 18, 2012

Hi Zack,

First off, let me say I'm (so far) a big fan of your book "Watching Baseball Smarter". I saw your post/picture with Neil Degrasse Tyson on reddit a while back, read the comments, one thing lead to another and I ended up buying your book and am absolutely loving it.

I do however have one problem/comment with the book. I bought it for the Kindle and using the glossary sucks on it! It's just a complete pain in the ass to flip back and forth in that format and really detracts from an otherwise fantastic experience. I know (or at least guess) the authors don't really have a lot of control over the process of kindle-ification of a book, so maybe it's too difficult to figure out from that side. But a good workaround, and what I would LOVE to be able to do (and which would solve all my problems) is to be able to print out the glossary so that I could refer to it easily. But the kindle being the kindle, you can't do that as near as I can tell.

A solution to this might be to make the glossary available on your website, or available with a code, or as a pdf download through amazon or something like that. I'm planning to see if I can't get a printable copy of the book, copy the glossary, and then keep enjoying it through the kindle while referring to a paper glossary. But it's just a serious shame that the experience of reading such a great book is really hampered by reading it on the kindle.

So I don't know what if anything you can do to help me out (probably not necessary besides), but thought you should be aware in case there's an easy way to get something working.

But otherwise, thanks for a fantastic book; I really am enjoying it very much, as well as going to/watching more ball games because of it.


May 18, 2012

Hi Zack!

I am a baseball mom, actress/playwright (not famous) and acting teacher here in New York City. I read your book, "Watching Baseball Smarter" a few summers ago (It was my Bible) to help me get through travel baseball with my son and husband. I was asking them too many questions and I was really annoying them. So, I bought your book! I absloutely love it! It saved my marriage and relationship with my son.

I am writing a play about my experiences with travel baseball and I wanted to ask if I would be allowed to quote from your book? The mom talks to the audience about her son playing first base and also pitching and I was thinking of using your book to illustrate. I can always send you some pages to read at some point when I have re-written some things, but just wanted to know if there is a process I need to go through first to get your permission? 

Thanks so much for your time!

Best Regards,

May 14, 2012

Zack: Met you at Argosy Books and subsequently read your Watching Baseball Smarter guide. You have revitalized my marriage! For over 32 years I never got the baseball thing and your book has made it so much fun to watch that I am the one cruising StubHub and trying out seats all over Dodger stadium to get a different viewpoint of the the Game. In the last month I have seen a triple play, a suicide squeeze, back-to-back bunts, fake substitutions, and happily, many Dodger victories (albeit in a pretty empty stadium usually). Thank you for your book, and I highly reco to any guys with girlfriends/wives/kids who don't get the game but want to.


 April 19, 2012

hey zack. im going to start ball hawking at AAA games because mlb games are too much. i was wondering what tips u have for me, and can u tell me where i should stand during the game, and before the game. i will put the link to McCoy Stadium. i would also like to tell u that i am a big fan of you and that i bought your book "watching baseball smarter" on my kindle fire. its a great book so far! so can you tell me where to stand for BP, during the game, and what to bring so i can try to snag at least 3 balls. my goal for the game is 3 balls. also you should come to a pawsox game some day!


-Andrew, age 15

April 13, 2012

Thanks Zack. that was exactly the situation i was talking about. my son had a scrimmage the other day and the opposing coach called 2 of our runners out because they avoided stepping on the back of the catcher as he was sprawled across the 3rd baseline! from now on I’ll keep my rulebook in my backpack, right next to my copy of “Watching”.  

April 11, 2012

Hi Zack,

i am midway thru your "Watching Baseball Smarter" and thought that it would make a great short series for PBS. I figure that "Ken Burns Baseball" got a lot of people really happy and there are several other documentaries that are pretty good, 
but the science and stategy of the game is not represented much. 

The way I envision it would be: 
Slow Motion film & animation like the science programs (Nova, Nature and others.)
Interviews with living ledgends and film of their explots, old fim recreation films 
and a little still picture magic like ken Burns Civil War series.

now I don't have any in with anyone that could do it but i figure out there is a need and PBS might be the best outlet. Maybe MLB and MiLB might sponsor as well as sporting good makers. You could also appeal to some of the movers and shakers in public life to add weight to the idea that it would be a great show.

i actually have friends that made a documentary on the oviatt building out here in LA but this is beyond their level.


April 8, 2012

I am really pretty big on your work right now, maybe just because I'm seriously exploring baseball as a subject. I have your second book, I'm really a very new fan of baseball and it's really very helpful, maybe the most helpful book I can find. Then I got the scorekeeping book and was surprised to find you in there, and I have found your blog which also like very much, so it's fun to find a new writer that I really like.

October 24, 2011

Hey, I made my girlfriend read your book and it's made the last 7 months of my life much better, so thanks!  

September 19, 2011


I've been a casual baseball fan since college, but with my 3-year-old being baseball obsessed, I've really gotten into it pretty hardcore to have something to do with him. I picked up your Watching Baseball and The Baseball books, which were both great. Every game I watch or attend, I appreciate more because of things I got from your books. Although far from instructional baseball books, they even helped my softball game.

I took my son to his first game in Fenway on Friday (Beckett v. Shields!) and with your tips, getting him his first MLB ball in BP was cake. I just showed up when the gates opened, sent my wife over to the front row with him, and they were immediately handed a ball. Sometimes it's easy being a kid. I can see how with some effort and your guidance, we could have left with our pockets full of balls!

Enjoy the playoffs,


April 27, 2011

Dude, you’re hilarious! I just read the FAQ section on your website and thought it was very entertaining and well written.

I recently bought your book, Watching Baseball Smarter, and I was impressed by your knowledge and intrigued by your insanity so I Wikipedia’d you and that led me to your website. I was a little shocked to learn that you’re from NY because you “sound” very So Cal.

Anyway, that’s it. Thanks for writing the book; it’s been a fun read. I carry it with me almost everyone I go, lol! BTW, Facebook IS the new myspace … sorry …


March 25, 2011

Hi Zack,

Just a quick note to say I have just finished reading your book "Watching Baseball Smarter"

Let me tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed it - cover to cover.

I live in Sydney Australia, so don't get to see much baseball on TV, but I have loved the game for 30+ years....(I'm 45)

I'm a huge Yankees fan, and hope to one day visit the states (hopefully in September!)....

My dream is to see a postseason (or World Series) game at Yankee Stadium.

Well that's enough ranting......stay safe mate, I love your work....

Best Regards,


March 8, 2011

Zack, Awesome! I'll order my copy tomorrow. I just re-read "watching baseball smarter" as I have done every spring since I bought it. Thanks for the notice. Keep 'em coming. How about one on tips to get autographs without shoving little kids!


February 19, 2011

My uncle has a book of yours on his coffee table. I flipped when I saw it was you... Seriously seeing that book and connecting the dots was one of the weirder moments I've had lately. Baseball. What do you like about it? I have to read that book. I'm trying to write a book but its so hard to structure it all.


-Victoria, age 20
New York, NY

November 23, 2010

Zack, My wife Nancy and I met you at Argosy the other week. We have been enjoying your book. One point on the hit and run. You note it probably should be called the run and hit. Red Barber the great Yankee announcer when I was growing up would call it exactly that for the same reason. He also had another term I remember if Mantle had hit a home run and the score was 1-0 or 2-0 he would say the Yankees are ahead 1-0, compliments of Mr Mantle. At any rate, we look forward to finishing this one and reading the next book as well.


September 20, 2010


I recently purchased your book, 'Watching baseball smarter' in order to get a better knowledge on the game. I have to say, it is one of the most interesting books I have read in recent times and I applaud the work you have put into it.

Baseball is a sport I have always had an interest in and I have tried to make an effort of keeping in the know. I'm from Scotland so the media attention on the game is limited.


September 16, 2010

The best thing about WBS -- I actually purchased that book for my girlfriend in hopes that she would become more interested in the game and at least better understand my passion for baseball. It totally worked! Thanks!!

Phoenix, AZ  

August 31, 2010

Hi Zack-

For another feather in your cap, just wanted to show you that you've made it into the annals of higher education (at least at my alma mater, which according to U.S. News is number 13 in the nation, if you believe in that stuff): Now you can consider yourself a scholar:)

Anyway, I stumbled upon your blog earlier in the year around February, and I've read every entry you've posted since you started. It's a really great read, and your entries keep getting better as the years progress. I can actually see you maturing each year that you post. I also just finished Watching Baseball Smarter (yes, the same book listed on the library website). I've picked up quite a few tips from both that I had no idea about, despite my many, many years of watching baseball.

St. Louis, MO

August 10, 2010

Hi Zack I read your book watching baseball smarter, GREAT book! And I never got the chance to read your first book but since I read your blog ever day I still got 4 baseballs at target field (also thanks to you for replying to my emails) which was amazing cuz everyone was like 18 + and like 60% of people didn't get a ball and everyone else that did got only one, I'm 12 and got 4 hahaha! ANYWAYS I was wondering about your new book, is it gonna be about how to snag baseballs or about baseball? Or both??


June 6, 2010


You are my new hero. I got your book in the mail a few days ago (Watching Baseball Smarter ) and I cant put it down. Well, I mean I do put it down for various reasons like going to work, eating, sleeping etc. You get the idea. But man. I mean how does it feel to be a genius? Lol.

This book has it all. It really makes you THINK about the game instead of watching it, and saying "thats just how things go" Everything in baseball happens for a reason or has some kind of purpose as to WHY it happened.

Besides CitiField at the end of the month any other planned baseball games ?

Much respect,


May 14, 2010

Zack, you rule. Watching Baseball Smarter is a great book. I started watching and playing baseball in 1977, but I still learned a lot. Thanks for all the good writing and keep it up.

May 4, 2010

Hi, Zack!

I am a staff writer for Slurve Magazine, an online publication. Essentially, I will be covering the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but am not limited to that topic. Your book, "Watching Baseball Smarter," is my Baseball Bible and I am wondering if I may quote from it at times. Any quotes from your book or website would be noted in the text of my articles, and may trigger visits to your website, as well. I already told my Managing Editor about your book. Thank you for your consideration.

Huntington Beach, CA  

April 26, 2010

Zack, I have read and re-read Watching Baseball Smarter I can't even tell you how many times. It is a permanent fixture next to me when I'm watching my Sox play. To think I found it in a tiny bookstore in Miami one summer! Thank you.

I am a life long Red Sox fan and unbelievably true have never been to Fenway (I will get there before it's all said and done!). I have the luxury of living in Florida so I manage to catch quite a few Spring Training games and have managed to accomplish getting autographs but have never caught a ball. I am eagerly awaiting your revised version of How to Snag Major League Baseballs. I may go ahead and find one on Amazon but will buy the new one regardless.



April 8, 2010

hey Zack my name is Michael and i live in Tennessee. this is my first time writing to you. I have been a fan of yours since 08. Every year my grand mother ask me what i want for last year i said i want Zack Hamples book Watching Baseball i got that for Christmas and i read the whole book and i loved it...the ? i want to ask is can i send my book to you so you can sigh it...if so just write me back...thanks.

February 17, 2010


I wanted to mention that I went to a party this weekend and spoke with one of my sister's friends who has become a big baseball fan in the past two years. She mentioned that her boyfriend's mom had given her your book Watching Baseball Smarter, and that it was excellent. She said it taught her so much about what to look at and for while watching the game. Anyway, I thought you'd appreciate her comments.

See you tomorrow.


January 25, 2010


I am currently working on an EDUCATION section of my website ( "Commentary & Community for the Female Fan").

Out of all the books that I went through, yours is definitely the BEST in explaining the rules.

I was wondering if I can use some of it as a reference (I'm writing the explanations to appeal to women who know absolutely nothing about the sport).

I was also wondering if you have any time or interest on doing a guest article/blog post on our website.

Please let me know what you think.



January 18, 2010

I think your book really fills a need, and I keep it within reach so that by the time the next baseball season comes around, I'll be able to watch with more understanding. You also have a very catchy way or writing. Putting my money where my mouth is, I've ordered three copies which I intend to give to friends.

-Bernard, age 89
Berkeley, CA  

January 14, 2010

Loved your last book - Watching Baseball Smarter. My wife bought it for me for a cold winter weekend and I finished it in 2 days. What a pleasure! Best of luck with editing and finishing the next book.


January 6, 2010


I'm reading Watching Baseball Smarter right now. I put it down to write this email. I had no idea you had a blog. I cruised through it a bit and found it very entertaining and enlightening. I hope you don't mind if link your blog to my own page's blogroll. Watching Baseball Smarter is BRILLIANT by the way. The publishing world NEEDED this book and I'm just at the part where you diagram the various pitches.


December 26, 2009

Hey Zack!

Guess what one of my favorite Christmas Presents was. It was your book Watching Baseball Smarter! I got it from my aunt and uncle in Seattle. I think that they saw the title, and decided to send it to me not knowing who you were.

There is some great stuff in the book. I have learned quite a few things that I didn't know about. I love it! Whats your new book called?


December 14, 2009

hiya zack,

i just finished "watching baseball smarter" i figured, you know, i kinda didn't need it... so it sat around for a while. i mean, i knew that during warmups the pitcher threw signs to the catcher and i (sort of) understood the infield fly rule. anyway, i grabbed it from my shelf last week and plowed thru it. i really dug the book and just finished it and am reading it again. there was a lot of great stuff in there.

i read you are into MiLB. i picked up "swinging for the majors" to reread also. i read it in late 04... and am reading it again as in late 04 i was, well, i think i was drunk until february 05.

anyway, later and great job! the book was great!


December 8, 2009

Just got Watching Baseball Smarter, it's really great. Cant wait for your next book.

-Milo, age 13
New York, NY  

November 1, 2009

When I became a true Cubs fan, I tried to immerse myself with baseball knowledge. Your book taught me most of what I know now. I love your sense of humor and wit. I actually think I'm starting to write like you!


September 30, 2009


Just read "Watching Baseball Smarter" and had to let you know how much I enjoyed it - such a great mix of facts, general knowledge, and witty humor. I've been a baseball fan for over 40 years thanks to my dad (I'm the son he never had!) and I *still* learned new things, like why some positions shouldn't be played by lefties - I never thought about it before, but it makes perfect sense! Thanks again.


September 29, 2009

After the Colorado Rockies had their miracle run in '07 I got interested in watching baseball. I found your book and couldn't put it down. Then my wife read it. I'm convinced more people would love baseball if they just UNDERSTOOD it. Anyway, thanks for a great book. You made me a baseball fanatic who watches over 140 games a year.


September 27, 2009

Mr Hample
I read your book Watching Baseball Smarter. I got so much out of it I am reading it for the 2nd time. I've even surprised some of the "serious geeks" with the information in the book.


September 17, 2009

Hello Zack i'm a 37yers old huge baseballfan from sweden unfortanly baseball does not exist here but i watch my games on cable tv and drive my girlfriend crazy,she does not know the game:)

Have a nice day and thanks for a great book "whatching baseball smarter"


September 14, 2009

Hello Zack,

I read "Watching Baseball Smarter" about two years ago and since then have been reading your blog. I would be the first in line to buy your next book, so please put me on your mailing list to notifiy me once the book comes out. Thank you!

Kind regards,
Pierre Weydert

Zurich, Switzerland  

August 9, 2009

It was soo much fun meeting you,and watching you in action. I sent this email to let you know that i got your book Watching Baseball Smater and finished it in a week. it was one of the best books i have ever read. I cant wait for the next one.

-John, age 12
Philadelphia, PA  

July 26, 2009

Dear Zack,

First off, that article was pretty great. I think you did a fine job of sticking up for yourself (and all of us ballhawks) which I think is greatly important. The more I've gotten involved in this hobby, the more I've seen the negative attention paid to people like you, Nick, and the rest of us.

I had some lazy summer hours and started reading Watching Baseball Smarter again, the copy you signed for me at Dodger Stadium back in September of last year. This time, more than just soaking up the facts, I paid close attention to the passion with which you write. I'm a few chapters in (my second time through) and I'm enjoying it just as much as the first time. You are a great collector and a great writer and I know that when negative stuff is said about what you choose to spend your time doing it might help to hear, read, and know that there are quite a few of us, myself included, that think your passion is really freakin' cool, dude. I want you to know that anytime someone asks me about catching baseballs or getting autographs, or just about baseball stuff in general, I am sure to spead the good word about you and your charity efforts as well as your true fandom for the game itself.

As far as the Twins baseballs in Anaheim (in your latest blog comment)... maybe a few made it into the Angels bucket... I'll see when I'm there on Monday for the Indians. Keep up the great writing! The blog's great! I am certain your newest book will be a great success and I can't wait to read it.

Best of luck with everything,


July 14, 2009

I just got done reading your book “Watching Baseball Smarter” for the second time (in a row). I thought of myself as a pretty astute baseball fan, but I learned so much from the first go round that I had to do it again. Thank you so much for such a great book. I’ve already recommended it to several friends and I know of one who has mowed through the book also. Thanks again!!!

Bullafo, WY  

July 9, 2009

hi zack......
i've been reading and rereading "Watching Baseball Smarter," and it has made me much smarter about the game i really love. my husband and i are both native New Yorkers, he's from Hell's Kitchen and i was born on Long Island and spent most of my childhood at the US Military Academy at West Point, frequently going to the city to see my grandparents at 88th and Riverside. we're both Yankees fans to the bone.....i have a Yankees tattoo, and for a woman, that's significant. anyway...i have to tell you how great your book is. thanks.


July 9, 2009

Hi Zack--

Just wanted to drop a line and let you know that we are big fans, here in Boise, ID (home of the (last place) Hawks!)

I'm sorry about the negative press in the WSJ and others, but I hope you don't pay attention to people who don't get what you do. You have brought a lot of fun into our family with your books and blog. My husband has only become interested in baseball after reading Watching Baseball Smarter.

Also, I gave a copy to my brother-in-law, whose claim to fame up to now has been that the only book he ever read was 'The Outsiders' in seventh grade. Now he can add yours to his list! Yay!

Take care and keep up the awesomeness!

Boise, ID

p.s. I think the Watch with Zack program is so cool. I have been impressed with how respectful you are of the families and kids. I really appreciate your passion and love for the game. If we were closer I'd send my seven year-old with you in a heartbeat!  

June 22, 2009

Hey Zack, my name is Dan, I'm a SSgt in the US Air Force. I just read your book Watching Baseball Smarter; what a great read! I've played ball for about 15 years as a pitcher, so I thought I knew ALOT about the game, and I learned a few new things, and this book helped me explain the game to my wife, (who is a Boston fan, I'm all Tribe), she finally understands the infield fly rule. Anyways, thanks for the book, and I plan to get your first book next; I've been to about 500 games at the Jake, and have never caught a ball, so I guess I need help. Later!  

June 14, 2009

I bought Watching Baseball Smarter for my brother-in-law for Christmas... and I ended up reading it all day yesterday. I loved it.


May 31, 2009


I picked up your second book about a month ago. Terrific. Readable and informative. Even my wife is reading it (I hate to tell you, but it's situated where both of us can get to it easily--on the shelf above the toilet).

Keep writing. Thanks.

Corona, CA  

May 24, 2009

Hi Zack! My name is Devin. I am a 12 year old from River Vale, NJ. I am a HUGE fan of your blog! I go on it almost everyday to see if you went to another game and snagged any more balls! I bought your book Watching Baseball Smarter, and I loved it!

May 3, 2009

Hey Zack! My name's Danielle, I live in the Chicago area and I'm a huuuge White Sox fan.A while ago I found a list of 200-300 baseball-related books that I wanted to finish by the end of the summer,so I visit the library three or four times a month and finish one or two books a week.A while ago I made a list of 6 books I was going to get at the library and I accidentally found your book,"Watching Baseball Smarter". I opened it and I knew if I didn't get this book,I'd deeply regret it. So I got it and it only took me 2 days to finish,which is kinda unusual since it usually takes me 3 or 4 days to finish one book. I was amused by the facts I learned in the book and all the interesting information it held that I consider it one of my favorite books I've read. I'm still in high school so I always look forward to study hall,since that's where I get most of my reading done.I would be so attached to a book that I would blow off doing any home! work and just keep on reading about Willie Mays,Lou Gehrig,and Mickey Mantle,the three players I love reading,learning,and watching most.(So now my study hall teacher has to check to make sure I'm done with my homework before I read but I still say it's done anyway even if it's not because there's no way I'm gonna pass on a baseball book in my free time.) But your book was different.I knew Babe Ruth had 714 homeruns,but I didn't know he would've had 715 had Walk-off homers counted as a homerun back then.Like you said I've always thought it was odd that the NL has two more teams than the AL,but now it makes sense.So your book was a mix of the rules and topics I knew with the interesting facts I didn't.I mean at first,yeah,I considered myself a baseball geek,but now that title really belongs to me (well,more to you though).I love nothing more than going to the ballpark,it's where I find my refuge and where I'm happy no matter what the score.I even love going to see teams playing! I don't even like (I went to Miller Park last year,Brewers vs.Ca rds on Mother's Day).I have 3 main goals: Go to every single ballpark,read all those 200+ baseball books,and get Ken Griffey Jr.'s autograph.Oh yea,and catch a foul ball (came close when I went to the White Sox game April 24th vs. Blue Jays.Very close,actually.Looked on your list of baseballs you've caught on your website,you were actually at that game too).All in all though I loved your book,and I hope you write more!!!

PS-When's the next time you're coming to a Sox game?I'd love nothing more than to talk to ya for a little about baseball.  

May 3, 2009

Hey, Zack! I'm sitting at home in Arkansas watching for you and your Waldo shirt at the Rangers game on ESPN. I was blown away by Watching Baseball Smarter, and I love following you on your blog. I look forward to your next book, and I hope that I'll get to meet you at a game some day soon.

I'm a H U G E Cardinals fan and live about four hours away from Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Out of curiosity, do you have a visit to Busch planned? I'd love to drive up and maybe get a chance to hang out with you.

I wish you the very best in everything you do!


May 3, 2009

I forgot to say that when you said you were sitting in the "Batter's Eye"...I had to go to your book & look it up in the glossary to verify where that is. The glossary worked! - But I still haven't spotted you.


April 22, 2009

Hey Zack!

Just wanted to drop you a line.

I was standing on the subway platform in Brooklyn and noticed a woman reading your book. She kept flipping to the back, to the glossary, and was engrossed.

We were waiting forever for the train, and someone she knew walked up to her. They started talking about your book (!). I heard her saying how she enjoyed the little facts and the glossary. They talked a good long while, til the train came. The guy friend made the connection who you were (oh, he's the guy, the guy with the baseballs).

yes, I was close enough to hear all this and was thinking about whether I should step in and say dramatically 'Oh, I know Zack'....when the train came. There was a mad rush and I wound up getting on a different car.

Hope you're well!!


April 1, 2009

Dear Zack,
I just started reading your book yesterday and through 20 pages I have decided that my mom has to read this book so that I never have to answer another question during a game ever. I am a huge phillies fan, and it is not helpful when your mom is bombarding you with questions during the first half of the 5th game of the WORLD SERIES.

-Jeremy, age 13
Glen Mills, PA  

March 17, 2009

Hey Zack,

Just wanted to drop you a quick note saying I truly enjoyed your book. I picked it up at the airport prior to getting on a plane to Amsterdam. It definately made for an enjoyable flight. Also thanks for the youtube vid and all your tips...Keep doing what you're doing and forget about any negative comments on youtube or otherwise.

Take care,

March 2, 2009

Hello Zac,

Just thought i'd drop you a line to say your book has been a godsend for me. I'm Scottish and stumbled across baseball one late night on tv over here needless to say i got hooked,your book has been by my side since i bought it some months ago and i know i'll enjoy the new season more because of it,so thanks again.

-Stuart Jon  

February 16, 2009

It's the best book in the world. Seriously, I could probably read it once every night.

-Clif, age 14
Tenafly, NJ 

February 15, 2009

Dear Zack!

I am what you would call a serious baseball geek, although is not easy in a country like Germany where soccer is the king. But I still love playing and watching baseball. I got your book yesterday (Watching Baseball Smarter) and I read the first two chapters right away. I thought that I could write a book like yours but I think your are by far a bigger baseball geek than I am. You can be sure I will work as hard as I can to become a bigger geek...

It is amazing how Germans could overlook the greatest game on earth. I think I spend half a day thinking how much I love the crack of the bat, the white ball and the smell of my mitt (I play first base for the Buxtehude Hedgehogs). 

Maybe I will write a book about baseball in German, and I would be proud to quote you.

Take care

-Sebastian, age 34
Niedersachsen, Germany  

January 2, 2009

Hi Zack. My name is Jim, and I am a 59 year old baseball fan in England ! I follow the Yankees and have seen them live once at YS (they lost to the Halos}. I am pleased to say that my family bought me your book on watching baseball for Christmas and I have hardly put it down since.

November 11, 2008

Thought I knew baseball until I started umpiring.....then my future mother-in-law gave me your after the world series has been made bright and I can't wait to read your other book...."how to Snag Major League Baseballs"


November 6, 2008

I've read about 50 pages of WBS and really enjoyed it so far. You're a good writer and you do deliver. I'm a lifelong fan, a season ticket holder and a former employee of MLB and you've had at least a dozen things in there that I did not know.

Croton-on-Hudson, NY  

October 22, 2008

I bought your book "Watching Baseball Smarter" and it really has made me a more informed fan, also I am using it to teach my 8 year old nephew the game.

Newhall, CA  

October 10, 2008

Hi Zack,

Thanks again for writing "Watching Baseball Smarter". I have bought 10 copies already for gifts and because I keep giving mine away and need to have one on hand at all times for reference. Like today, there was a local column with a quiz question about what is rubbed on baseballs in the majors. I knew I had read about Lena Blackburne's Rubbing Mud in your book, but couldn't remember the exact name or other particulars. After 2 minutes of thumbing, there it was! I can't tell you how many times I have gone running to it for answers. You're my hero!

Congratulations on The Tonight Show appearance and the Skanks catches and especially the Beltran dinger! How exciting is it to be you right now?

All the best,

September 22, 2008

As someone from the UK who at 30 years old has just started getting into baseball I have found Watching Baseball Smarter a great read & very informative.
Your blogs are a good read and help pass the time at work LOL.
All the best

September 20, 2008

I have learned a tremendous amount from your book. It has been the standard gift for friends who are also baseball lovers. My son and his friend will be at the game tomorrow. Next year I'd like to have them take that "How to Catch a Major League Baseball Tour" that you give.

New York, NY  

September 18, 2008

Hi Zack,
I have a nephew (10 years old) who is a baseball fan. He tells everyone he wants to be a baseball player when he grows up.
So, I gave him your book on watching baseball smarter for Christmas last year and he devoured it in two days. He said it was cool! High praise for a 10 year old.


September 12, 2008

I got Watching Baseball Smarter. Great book. But to be honest, I didn't think that you would know that much abiut baseball. I didn't know you watched that much, I thought all you did was snag balls.

September 4, 2008

WATCHING BASEBALL SMARTER is fantastic. I, who rarely part with a dollar, bought your book not ONCE but TWICE. I was reading my first copy when I left Pa to go to the jersey shore for the week. I got to the rental house, dug thru' my bags for my bathing suit,book and beach chair only to discover that I'd forgotten WATCHING BASEBALL SMARTER. In spite of the awesome waves and stellar sunshine, I sent the kids and husband to the beach without me. I dodged bikes, surf boards, ice cream trucks and little red wagons loaded down w/ so much crap that they looked like the Jodes heading west and finally found a book shop, where I plunked down another $20 for the most useful book of my life. Thanks, kiddo. Well done.


July 9, 2008

Just wanted to finally take the time to drop you a line. I'm an avid reader of your blog and check it every morning with my coffee. I never comment but wanted to say that you're a fantastic writer and person overall. Last week I finished reading your updated Watching Baseball Smarter and it's so refreshing to learn something new over and over about the game and maintain the passion for the sport. I would read aloud to my fiancee at night because she's eager to learn the game.

Austin, TX  

June 30, 2008

Zackers! (sorry a gross nickname I came up with on the spot) I was in Seattle for a few days and lo and behold, I am on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride away and so I am in the main bookstore, and guess what? I am checking out their "recommended by staff" section of the store. And your book was there! I inquired further and the lady at the checkout line said that another staff (a woman, no less, which made me proud since people forget about the female baseball fans) read your book, loved it and recommended it to the customers. And there was even a bookmark, about why she thought it was awesome and how people should buy it). I threw out my whole I am New York and to sound cool, I said that I know the author and he runs a writer's group in New York! They seemed quite impressed or thought I was lying to sound cool. But still, I felt cool, and therefore was.

New York, NY  

June 29, 2008

I just started reading your book! Love it so far! I have 3 nephews and will definitely be contacting you regarding a game or two!

Toms River, NJ  

June 19, 2008

Hello Zack,

I do not know if you remember me however you gave my mom your card and asked if I would like your card also. I said yes not knowing who you were however when I returned home to Utah I did a little research. WOW pretty impressive!!! I just became a baseball fan this year at the age of 30. I am obsessed about knowing everything I can about the sport. When I went on your web site and found out you wrote a book entitled "Watching Baseball Smarter," I went to Barnes and Noble where I am currently a manager and bought it. I just started reading it and so far I am really enjoying your book. I am sorry to say I am a Yankees fan however I am an Angels fan also. My goal is to see a game at every baseball field. I believe this is every baseball fan's goal. I do not have to go to work until next week so I am heading to the park to read more of your book. 

hope to hear from you soon


June 18, 2008

I just purchased a book for 1/2 price at a bookstore going out of business. After I got on the Airplane I was shocked to see your pic on the back of the book. Unreal, I've read your blog for quite some time, the accidentally bought your book, thats funny.

I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about the game, but as your book said, I did pick up several tips and ides I've never known. GREAT STUFF


May 21, 2008

I heard about your book during an interview a while back on XM and finally got around to picking it up (watching baseball smarter) on Monday (5/19). I had it read by 3:30pm on tuesday (5/20). Just thought I'd drop you a line and tell you that I thought it was great...its nice to see someone as passionate about the game as I am...I really appreciated your book, I have been following baseball since I was 8 (1988, yeah I know, bad year to pick the Orioles) and have loved it ever since. It has made me cheer (Ripken) and cry (Jeffrey Maier). It was cool to read about the game after 20 years of following it and still learn something new. I hope you write another book, I'll enjoy picking it up. Maybe one day we will cross paths at the park. Have a good one.

Cornelius, NC 

May 21, 2008

I am a big Yankee fan and have been to many games, but yet to catch a ball. I heard of your book How to Snag a Major League Baseball, and I actually have your second publication Watching Baseball Smarter, this book taught me everything I needed to know about baseball when I arrived in the States from London, UK.


May 6, 2008

Hi, Zack—

I’m a recent transplant to Los Angeles, having moved from Philly. The Dodgers have rekindled my interest in baseball that had faded sometime in the 80’s as the Phils reverted to mediocrity. (It’s fun to have Larry Bowa coaching third base as a nostalgia dividend.) I’m enjoying your latest book very much and finding it extremely helpful in getting back up to speed. 

Pasadena, CA  

February 28, 2008

I have read most of your book. I think it is great - especially for someone like me who didn't really know very much baseball but I am surrounded by two addicts.

New York, NY  

February 20, 2008

Not sure if I properly congratulated you on the tremendous success and response to WBS. With that, congratulations my friend. It was, and is, truly an enjoyable read. Equally enjoyable was to watch the combination of years of development, hard work, publicity, blogging, and everything in between culminate in your strongest outing to date, and a sure catalyst for future opportunity.

Adam, age 19
Cross River, NY  

February 11, 2008

hey Zack your book was great I did not want to put it down


February 9, 2008

Good Luck with the book.. I really REALLY Enjoyed it! Got it for a couple of people for gifts!

-Lanz, age 42

January 21, 2008

I own a copy of your book! I got it for Christmas, and I got a copy for my cousin as well. She seems to be enjoying it!


January 1, 2008

When I told my two sons (22 and 21) and my wife I wanted the book, all three said, "Hey, you know just about everything about baseball". After playing it as a kid of course, I've coached it, scouted (for Milwaukee), announced it on the radio, been an official scorer, umpired, ushered in a minor league park, and was a beer vendor in another minor league park, and - like you - been to hundreds of big league games.

Well, I did learn a few things and more and for those I'm grateful to your research and writing. Would I have ever guessed that the accursed wave began in Oakland? Never. The Black Panthers began in that city but I would've figured the wave came from a prissier place like Wrigley Field.


December 25, 2007 

Hey Zack merry christmas, hope you remember me, I just got your book a profesional fans guide... and i read some of it already and it is GREAT you have some amazing insite into the game, keep snagging Zack


December 7, 2007

Hey Zack,

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to send you my book to autograph. I really do appreciate it. This isn't something normal for me to do. I know a lot of guys who collect baseball cards and they send them in the mail to be autographed but I think this is different.

I heard about about your book when I first discovered you in a newspaper article about your massive baseball collection. Since this past summer I've been checking out your blog and your home page. I really enjoy reading your posts and following your passion for baseball.

When I heard you had a book out about baseball I just had to have it. The very day it was on the shelves at Barnes & Nobel I ran down and bought two copies. I think it's a fantastic book and you've done such a good job. I'm looking forward to the updated version. When I'm at the book store and I see your book, I move them to the sports new releases section for everyone to see. Your book is always hidden behind all the big, obnoxious books on the shelves. HAHA.

Anyways, thanks for all you do. 

-Mike, age 26
Albuquerque, NM

November 18, 2007

I heard your interview on NPR about Watching Baseball Smarter and went out and bought copies for family and friends. Thanks for all the fun and helpful info in the book.


November 12, 2007

I'm about 50 pages into your book, but I never have time to read. I used to think I knew the basic rules of baseball, but I have been humbled!

-Daphne, age 30
San Antonio, TX  

November 6, 2007

Dear Zack,

I love your book about watching baseball; I bought it, and have given to many people. I'm a pediatrician, and when I have a baseball loving family in the office, I often mention it.


November 5, 2007

I have been reading and enjoying your book, "Watching Baseball Smarter." I had just finished reading "Now I Can Die in Peace," about the '04 Red Sox, and was looking for a new baseball book. Yours jumped out, because I recognized your name. I bought it and have devoured it -- I'm almost done. I am a superfreaky baseball geek, but I think you actually take the cake. You know more than I do -- which is not easy to do -- and you certainly have more balls than me (no pun intended), which is also not common.

I am going to try to dig up your first book on-line. Ball hawking is a great hobby of mine. It all started five years ago, when a Juan Pierre foul ball fell in my lap (literally) on my birthday at a Rockies game at Coors Field. I was instantly hooked. I am up over 200 balls now -- nothing in comparison to you, but enough that most people think I need a support group! 

-Josh, age 32
Phoenix, AZ  

October 29, 2007

I thoroughly enjoyed your book WATCHING BASEBALL SMARTER, in fact it is going in my game backpack (along with the rules of baseball, scorebook, and other assorted paraphenalia (I hope spell check catches that one).

Nashua, NH  

September 7, 2007

Loved your WBS book, helped with explaining things to my daughter. She's learned a lot about baseball this season since she at long last found an interest in it. (The brainwashing & hypnotism finally worked, muahahaha!)

St. Louis, MO  

September 2, 2007

Hi Zack,

Just finished Watching Baseball Smarter, and I wanted to thank you for writing it. I already knew a lot about the game, (got all answers correct on the fair ball quiz,) but you have increased my awareness on the dynamics of every at bat, (never really understood the hit and run till now,) the subtle signs of players and managers, and just generally have made baseball even more enjoyable for me to watch than it's been for the past 40 years.

Today I watched by beloved Mets sweep the evil Braves and noticed that because the game was on TBS, the cameramen thought nothing of showing LoDuca sign Glavine for many pitches, yet the tv audience couldn't see one single pitch sign McCann showed Smotlz. The tv frame was always JUST above his stubby little fingers. If it wasn't for you, I would never have noticed that the home turf bias extends much farther than the colors worn in the stands.

I never had learned how to score a game either. While I probably never will do it, it's nice to know that I could, if I felt like it.

Anyway, loved the book, loved the anecdotes, and will be giving this book for Xmas to all my baseball friends.

Thanks again,

Red Bluff, CA  

August 23, 2007

My colleague was just telling me that when she read the start of your baseball book to her son, he became so delighted and over-excited, she had to read him another book afterwards to calm him down.

New York, NY  

July 31, 2007

hi there,
I just started reading your new book. I am an avid Mets fan from NYC, as well a true Glav. fan. I saw him last year get 283 in Milwaukee, and was fortunate enough to have box seats last week to see 299. I have met him and chatted with him a few times at away games, and what a sensational personality.... I am thrilled for tonight's game, and just wanted to say thanks for writing such a witty, easy to understand baseball book, because I need to know more.......
almost game time... gotta run...


July 28, 2007

Hey Zack, I just bought your book at Barnes & Noble. It was EXPENSIVE($15.01) but worth it! I am really enjoying it.


July 24, 2007

I just finished reading "Watching Baseball Smarter" and thought it was just great ! It tells the average fan everything he needs to know to appreciate both the complexity and beauty of baseball. Even my wife, who has tolerated baseball for 45 years because of me, is reading it with enthusiasm. Thanks for writing the book that long needed to be written.


July 24, 2007

I read your latest book with great interest and admiration. I’ve collected baseball books like you collect foul balls, and I daresay our totals are somewhat similar, and found yours to be one of the best of its kind I’ve come across.

Whippany, NJ  

July 12, 2007

I read your Watching Baseball Smarter Book. I picked up a few tidbits I didn't know, but it was especially useful for my girlfriend. She goes to a lot of games with me, and had pretty good knowledge already, but now she knows way more than she probably ever wanted to.

San Francisco, CA  

July 12, 2007

I write a blog for the Hickory Crawdads baseball team (Low-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.) I just finished reading your "Watching Baseball Smarter" book. I'm completely impressed with it. I am NOT a sports guru, but I feel MUCH more educated on the game of baseball after reading this book. You did a great job with it.

Hickory, NC  

July 8, 2007

I've got just a few pages to go in your book but I can't believe how much I've learned. When the announcer talked about a come-backer I was so excited to know what he was talking about and there were other countless examples

Linda, age 50
Oneonta, NY  

June 28, 2007

Zack, I bought your book yesterday and began the preface last evening. I can already tell that I'm going to enjoy reading it. Even though I have attended a lot of baseball games, I don't consider myself a baseball afficionada by any stretch of the imagination, and normally would not be interested in reading a baseball book, but your writing is so good, that I think most anyone would enjoy reading it. Congratulations. Mazeltov!

-Gayle, age 73
Boise, ID  

June 25, 2007

Hey Zack,
Greetings from ‘old’ York, in Yorkshire, England! I’m in the middle of reading Watching Baseball Smarter, and am hugely appreciative of your efforts to explain the great game and its language to an English Cricketer. I’ve tried to follow MLB on the internet, and my enjoyment has reached a new level thanks to your book.

John, age 43  

June 22, 2007

It's funny, well written, and on the money. I like the format- I think you've done a great job on the structure. I also think it hits the right balance of depth vs. accessability. I'm not sure there's anything new in there for me, BUT it would make a GREAT gift for my 15 year old sister. I don't see her often enough to pass along all of the finer points and your book would make a good stand-in. The world would be a better place if everyone had a baseball mentor with your enthusiasm.  

June 12, 2007

I gave one of the copies of your book to my dear friend Kate, who is a real baseball fan.  She just called to tell me that her cousin from California is visiting and he's been reading it and has totally fallen in love!  He got on the phone and told me that he was really floored by all the stuff he learned and also about how well organized the book was.  He happens to be a recently retired college English professor who has taught non-fiction writing for years.

New York, NY  

June 10, 2007

The book is awesome, I saw it advertised on Maxim and decided to order it. We thought we knew everything about baseball, but we found out we didnt. I left the book for other soldiers to read at the Morale, Recreation and Welfare center (MWR) and the other day I saw a female officer with it at the mess hall. My soldiers loved it too.

-Richard E. Hernandez
Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army
Kirkuk, Iraq  

May 31, 2007


I have been a baseball fan all my life. I recently got engaged to a beautiful woman named Kaytee. She loves me, so she puts up with baseball. I wanted her to enjoy watching the games and not just tolerate them for my sake. She has seen the entire Mets season thus far!

I got your book and I read it, so that I could explain things more clearly to Kaytee. Now, she considers herself a genuine Mets fan! I thought your book was amazing. I was a huge baseball nut before reading your book, now I am a deeply serious geek.


May 24, 2007

I've been enjoying the hell out of it. I love the voice and I love how I'm conscious of the book's being exactly what it should be: that's a rare achievement.

-Jeff, age 51
Greensboro, NC  

May 18, 2007

I bought your book this week. I think it is written very well and your passion and your personality really come through. I can totally hear your voice reading/talking to me! So kudos, nice job, great work - all of that!! I have a new love for pitchers and catchers now - in fact let me just say that now i at least have somewhat of an understanding, thanks to you!! Can't wait to watch the next game on tv....

-Kim, age 29
New York, NY  

May 4, 2007

Just read through your new book. Loved it. I'm suggesting it to readers on my blog at, which is read by HS and college sports journalists. Good luck.

April 26, 2007

Having been cognizant of baseball since about 4 years of age I thought I knew the subject but I am learning a lot from your book!

-Joe, age 71
West Palm Beach, FL  

April 23, 2007
Subject: Chicks dig small ball and smart books

So, I sit here reading your book during the commercials that interrupt my scrappy Twins pulling one over on Cleveland (I hope.)

Just wanted to say thanks - for noting that it should, in fact, be called a "Run and hit." I have never understood that one.

If you are ever in the Twin Cities for a game, give a shout, let a hot chick show you the dome, before it is gone. Sigh.

-Jordan, age 37
Minneapolis, MN  

April 16, 2007

My mom is reading your book now and loving it.

-Brady, age 17
Gillett, Arkansas  

April 15, 2007

I went to the game on the 12th and decided that i was going to score the game. I had wanted to do it for a long time but never actually did it. so in order to learn how to do it I copied the section of your book on scoring and brought it with me to Shea. luckily i got an easy game to score and with your books help it went perfectly. thanks!

-Scott, age 26
Belleville, NJ  

April 5, 2007

I'm plowing through your book and am up to page 146...I never heard of a gyroball, so I liked that story. And I always thought that if a switch hitter stepped in as a righty he couldn't switch over to lefty. Thanks for enlightening me about the two strike rule. I recommended your book to a friend of mine and his kids. I said they would learn a lot and get a kick out of it.

-Brad, age 48
San Mateo, CA  

April 3, 2007

Hi Zack! It was really good to see you at your book signing...I have to admit I haven't started reading your book yet because my sister (Alison) won't put it down--I actually heard her say last night, "I want to watch a baseball game" (if you knew her, you'd be as shocked as I was). She passed it around to a bunch of our friends at the bar where we were watching the OSU game (sigh) and a few of them expressed interest in buying a copy.

-Lindsay, age 27
New York, NY  

March 30, 2007

Zack... Love the book man!!! I'm only to the part about the two scientists using a supercomputer to find out how to throw a Gyro ball. That was interesting. Again, I love the book.

March 30, 2007

hey zack, i finished your book today after forcing myself not to read it in one day (better retention at my age). i totally loved it and learned a lot of stuff. you really know how to make a TON of facts really entertaining. the way the book is organized is particularly impressive. i'm sure it is going to make my game watching better informed and therefore more fun. one thing you mentioned near the end of the book was something that had crossed my mind...listening to the game on the radio while watching it. i'm gonna try that.

-Mike, age 49
Birmingham, AL  

March 28, 2007

I think my copy of the book should be in the mail right now, so I'm anxiously awaiting it's arrival...

-Nick, age 17
Washington, D.C.  

March 28, 2007

I'm lovin the book, it's written so that it's really easy to understand yet really informative...
I might see you around Shea this year, maybe you could sign the book?


March 26, 2007

Wow, that's a really funny excerpt about the mound visits. I think I'll probably buy the book sometime soon, not sure when though. I wasn't sure if I was going to buy it before I read that, but now that I've seen the style it's written in, I think I will.

-Greg, age 17
New York, NY  

March 21, 2007 

Whats the deal with you book? How can i get one? Its actually perfect for my friend. He's from Ireland and knows nothing about baseball but wants to get into it.

New York, NY  

March 12, 2007

Zack, I loved your old book. I'm sure this one will be just as good. Can't wait for it to come out!

-Thomas, age 13
Washington, D.C. 

February 18, 2007

I just finished reading an advance copy of your new book. As a semi-expert, there was enough new information to keep me interested and enough old information that's still fun to read. Thanks for making the off-season a little less bleak. I finished just in time for Spring Training. Go Brewers!

-Ellen, age 26
Oklahoma City, OK  

November 2, 2006

i'd love to hear more about the new book. i pre-ordered it from amazon last week...hey now that i think of it...since i already paid...why not go ahead and send me a copy

-Mike, age 49
Birmingham, AL  

August 27, 2006

Zack, I run a monthly baseball book group out here in Seattle, and we're always looking for new stuff to read, so I'd be happy to pick your new book for March or April...

Seattle, Washington  

August 26, 2006

Hey I can't wait to read this book, I'll be sure to buy it. I've been trying to write a book for a while now, but I just can't do it. I get writer's block after like 16's great that you have another book coming out.

-Brady, age 16
Gillett, Arkansas