The Baseball: Stunts, Scandals, and Secrets Beneath the Stitches


The holy grail, the fountain of youth, the golden fleece, and the baseball: rarely do objects inspire such madness. The Baseball is a salute to the ball, filled with insider trivia, anecdotes, and generations of ball-induced insanity.  
Which Hall of Famer once caught a ball dropped from an airplane?
Why do balls get stamped with invisible ink?
What’s the best ticket to buy for catching a foul ball?
Which part of the ball once came from dog food companies?
How could a 10,000-year-old glacier help a pitcher grip the ball?
In this enlightening, entertaining, and often wildly funny book, Zack Hample shares ballpark legends and lore, details the evolution of the ball, and offers up his secret methods for snagging your own from major league games.




North American publisher: Anchor

Foriegn Rights contact: Vintage, Carol Janeway (

Film Rights contact: Gillian MacKenzie (


"This one isn't about baseball; it's about baseballs. Hample (Watching Baseball Smarter) is not simply an articulate and accessible baseball writer, he's a zealous collector of game balls. He gives readers every perspective on baseballs, from their game use to the historical and cultural. And he literally deconstructs them, from the early lemon-peel variety to today's Rawlings. His advice on how to catch a ball at the stadium shows how meticulously he hones his hobby. Along the way there are lots of personalities and top-ten lists at the end for every active fan. All ball buffs should try to catch this one." -- Library Journal

"The latest by self-proclaimed “ballhawk” Hample (Watching Baseball Smarter, 2007) brings a whole new dimension to the term “inside baseball.” In contrast to the countless other books celebrating the sport, this one focuses on the ball itself—its history, production, place in popular culture, desirability as a collectible and pretty much anything else that the author has been able to dig up concerning the sphere. Because Hample is plainly a resourceful sort (“Since 1990 I’ve snagged 4,578 baseballs at forty-eight different major league stadiums”), he provides plenty of revelations to even the most passionate follower of the game." -- Kirkus Reviews