Sunday, February 13, 2011

Book Review: The Baseball By Zack Hample

This came in the mail last Thursday....

Zack Hample "The Baseball" Book

And I finished reading it.

New book by Zack Hample titled "The Baseball". On sale March 8, 2011.

A quick bio on Zack in case you don't know who he is.

Zack has snagged 4,662 baseballs (and counting) from 48 different major league stadiums. He is the author of "How to Snag a Major League Baseballs" and "Watching Baseball Smarter". He has appeared on The Tonight Show with both Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien, The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, The Rosie O'Donell Show, The CBS Early Show, CNN International, ESPN, Fox Sports, Bloomberg TV, and NPR, among others. Hample also snags baseballs to raise money for the charity Pitch In For Baseball and chronicles his obsession on a popular blog called "The Baseball Collector". {linked here}

Now you know who Zack Hample is.

I'm not a "ballhawk". I think I've received 2 or 3 baseballs in my lifetime. I will always remember when I told my brother in law (who was 13 at the time) to ask Esteban Loaiza for a ball. We were sitting next to the Dodgers bullpen area. Loaiza was flirting with a young lady sitting in the next row of us. This was going on the whole game. I told my brother to ask him for a ball. It didn't work at first. Then I told my brother to ask him in Spanish. That worked! He gave him a ball during the 5th inning.

That's my only great "ballhawk" story that I have. Even though I don't go to the park to grab baseballs, I still enjoyed this book. Zack has thousands of stories. The first big chunk of this book is about the Baseball in general. Literally, I'm talking about the "Baseball". How is it made? Where does it come from? What the hell is inside a baseball? You will get the answers in this great book. Hample also had the opportunity of touring the Rawlings offices in Costa Rica. Which is unbelievable because no one has access to check out the Costa Rica offices. I bet it's easier to check out the White House!

The other main part of the book is giving you tips on how to snag a baseball. The secret methods on getting a player to pay attention to you. What to do while inside the stadium. How to roam around. Where to stand. What to look for when a certain player is at bat. Where to sit. A bunch of great tips for those that want to grab a baseball. He did mention a couple of times that the main thing is to bring a glove.

"Fun Facts About The Baseball"

Every baseball contains nearly 1,000 feet of yarn and thread--nearly enough to circle the bases three times--and gets stamped with invisible ink.

To make a year's worth of base balls, Rawlings uses 1 million square feet of cowhide. This requires roughly 20,000 cows, and during the manufacturing process, 35 percent of the hide gets scrapped.

It takes the average worker 14 minutes to hand-stitch a baseball.

Cool facts! I didn't even know about the invisible ink. The book is entertaining, funny and teaches you the history behind the "Baseball". I can go on but then you wouldn't get the book. :)

Get your copy this March 8th!

Thanks to the folks of Random House and Anchor Sports for sending a copy.

And I'll leave you with two videos. The first one from Anchor Sports....

Zack Hample deconstructs a Rawlings Official Major League Baseball, as shown in his book THE BASEBALL: Stunts Scandals and Secrets Beneath The Stitches, available in March 2011 from Anchor Sports.

And here's a Zack Hample TV Reel -

Good luck Zack!