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General Questions

I keep all my ballhawking data on a spreadsheet. What can this website give me that a spreadsheet can't?

myGameBalls.com has several advantages over keeping a personal spreadsheet:
  • Ease of Use - Games and Balls can be entered and saved in minutes (or even seconds). Easy-to-use dropdown boxes eliminate almost all typing.
  • Publicity - Your complete database is on the web and viewable by all your friends and family.
  • Competition - You can compete with other ballhawks for a spot on the leaderboards
  • Searchability - You can perform complex searches on your database in a matter of seconds. Want to see all the balls you caught on the fly in the right fields seats of Yankee Stadium during batting practice? This information can be generated in just a few clicks.
  • Automatic Updating - Your statistics and active streaks are updated instantaneously after each new game is entered

Is this only for ballhawks with gigantic collections?

No. All ballhawks of any age or experience level are welcome to document their ball collection on myGameBalls.com. If you are a rookie ballhawk, start recording your game balls now, and in 10 years you'll be able to look back and see how you went from getting 5 balls a year to 20 balls a year to 100 balls a year.

Is this free? Is there a catch?

Completely free. No catch.

Can I enter data for games that I attended 10 years ago? 20 years? 30 years?

Absolutely. In fact any game after 1900 is fair game. If the game involved a team and/or stadium that doesn't exist in the database, select 'Historical' for these value(s).

I've been ballhawking for decades and have thousands of balls. There's no way I could enter them all into the system. Is there any way you can do it for me?

Absolutely. As long as you have a spreadsheet that is well organized, we should be able to get it loaded into the database. We can work with members on an individual basis to get this done.

Rules and Regulations

How can I be sure that the stats for the people at the top of the leaderboards are legit?

You can't. myGameBalls.com operates on the honor system. However, as of 2014, myGameBalls.com has developed a Verification System on its MLB site. Only Verified members are eligible to be listed on the leaderboards. On the MLB site, new members are initially unverified and can be verified by the myGameBalls.com Verifier at their local ballpark. The minor league site is the reverse -- members are initially verified but can potentially be unverified if there are widespread concerns with their stats.

Are there any rules regarding what type of games count towards your overall stats (i.e. regular season vs. spring training, all star game, home run derby, etc.)?

As of the 2011 season, all balls snagged at regular season games, the all-star game, home run derby, and post-season games count in your personal stats. For Spring Training balls, they can be logged on your page, but they will not count in your stats. They will, however, be tallied in a separate category for Spring Training balls.

When entering balls into the system, what exactly is a "Live Game Ball"?

The answer to that question varies from ballhawk to ballhawk. Some consider a "Live Game Ball" to be any ball that was used in any capacity during an official game, while others will only consider a ball to be a "Live Game Ball" if they obtained it off the bat (so they exclude all toss-ups, retrieved balls, etc). Members can use whatever criteria they'd like when decided whether or not to mark balls as "Live Game Balls."

What criteria does the website use to determine what constitutes a Game Home Run?

There are conflicting opinions on whether a Game Home Run must be snagged off the bat as opposed to via a toss-up, but for this website Game Home Runs must meet this criteria: 1) Be flagged as a "Live Game Ball", 2) Be snagged during the game, 3) Be snagged from a location in home run territory (i.e. LF Bleachers, RF Bleachers, etc), and 4) Be marked as "Hit".

Is there a way to set up a league on myGameBalls.com that is limited to only a set number of users? Can we establish our own rules?

This feature is not currently available, but may be in the future. For now, any group of members can get together on their own and form a league, establish rules, and even publish leaderboards on a separate website.

Are the leaderboards on the homepage updated automatically?

Yes. As soon as you update your individual stats, your position on the leaderboard will update automatically.

Database Maintenance Questions

Will my data be backed up regularly?

Yes. We perform weekly backups of all data for all members. Upon request we can email you a copy of your backup files.

Why is the game attendance a required field? I don't want to have to look this up every game.

The game attendance helps to establish a statistic called the "Competition Factor" that was invented by Zack Hample. It multiplies the number of balls obtained by the attendance. You can find attendance figures on retrosheet or mlb.com, but if you don't really care about your competition factor you can just enter a rough estimate.

When I entered a game ball, the player name that I typed was not in the database. Why?

The player database is pretty extensive, but it is not directly linked to the mlb.com player database so there may be some omissions. If you enter a player that is not in the database, a menu will come up showing all players with similar names (in case you just misspelled it) as well as the option to add the player to the database. If you add a new player, you will be asked to enter the player's team.

I don't usually keep track of location, time, and method for all of my Balls. How can I enter balls that don't have all the information?

For each of these there is an option labeled 'unknown' that you can use.

Photo Questions

What are the filesize limits for uploaded photos?

A single uploaded photo can be no larger than 976KB.

Is there a limit to how many photos I can upload?

Yes, each member can upload a maximum of 100 photos.

Someone uploaded an inappropriate photo. Who can I contact?

Contact the myGameBalls.com administrator. The photo in question will be taken down immediately and the member's account will be deleted.

Where did you get the stadium images that appear on the game pages?

The photos were provided generously by Zack Hample, Don Chilcote, Todd Cook, and Matt Jackson (click on their names to see their respective blogs, where you can see more photos as well as recaps of recent games).

Scheduling

I don't really want to publish my schedule. Do I have to?

No. Publishing your schedule is not a requirement, and nothing else in your account will be affected if you leave it blank.

I entered a game into my schedule but now I can't attend the game. How do I remove it?

Just click the "Remove" link that appears right under the game on the calendar.

I missed a game I was supposed to go to, and I never removed it from my schedule. Is a game with 0 balls now included in my stats?

No. Scheduling games and saving games you attend are two entirely separate operations. Any Game that you schedule is not considered an attended game until after you attend the game and then enter the game through the "Enter new Game" link. Your statistics are only based on attended games, not scheduled games.

I have season tickets. Is there a quick way to save all the games at a specific stadium?

Yes. At the top of the calendar is a stadium drop-down box along with a button that says "Save Season Tickets". Just select your stadium and click the button. If you don't have season tickets but attend a lot of games at a certain stadium, you can do the same thing and then delete the games that aren't part of your schedule.

I tried to save my season tickets, but I accidently selected the wrong stadium. How can I fix it?

In the upper right is another stadium drop-down box with a button that says "Remove Season Tickets". Select the incorrect stadium and click the button.

Awards

Who is eligible for the Ballhawk of the Year Award?

All members.

Who is eligible for the Junior Ballhawk of the Year Award

Members who are under 18 years old (as of the All Star Game). Please note that some people choose not to list their age on their page, so you may have to ask around or make an educated guess on someone's age when deciding whether to vote for them or not.

Who is eligible to vote?

All members.

Can you vote for yourself?

No.

What is the point system?

3 points per first place vote, 2 points per second place vote, and 1 point per third place vote.

How should I decide who to vote for?

Vote for whoever you want, for whatever reason you want.

Are there prizes for the winners?

No, but the winners will receive a really cool certificate, and bragging rights of course.

Will there be other awards in the future besides Ballhawk of the Year and Junior Ballhawk of the Year?

Possibly. It's currently up for debate.

BallhawkFest

How is the location of BallhawkFest determined?

myGameBalls.com President Alan Schuster makes this determination after talking to a variety of potential participants. Factors such as availability of ballhawks, travel considerations, scheduling conflicts, and popularity of the venue all come into play.

Who is eligible to participate in BallhawkFest?

All myGameBalls.com members, including members of the minor league site.

Can I bring a guest?

Yes, in fact you can bring along anyone you'd like to.

What if I'm terrible at baseball/softball?

The BallhawkFest baseball/softball game is very laid back and it's all about having fun. Past games have been enjoyed by EVERYONE, from those who hit 20 home runs to those who could barely make contact.

How much does it cost?

The cost is fairly minimal. Other than the typical costs of attending an MLB game (which you'd incur even if it wasn't BallhawkFest), the additional costs are an optional t-shirt for around $20, lunch for around $15 per person, and about $5 to help with the field rental.

Won't it be too hard to snag balls with so many ballhawks there?

It's definitely difficult, but in past BallhawkFests almost everyone has snagged at least one ball. But aside from that, BallhawkFest isn't about padding your stats -- it's about hanging out with others who share your hobby, swapping stories/ideas/strategies, and building friendships.

I can't afford to travel across the country for this. Are there any other options to experience something like this?

Yes, in fact last season Oakland ballhawk Nick Badders organized a regional BallhawkFest for those on the West Coast. The West Coast BallhawkFest will most likely continue, and there is talk of having one in the Midwest as well.

Can ballhawks under 18 attend BallhawkFest?

Yes, but you'll either need to be accompanied by a parent/guardian or obtain their written permission.

How can I stay informed of all the latest BallhawkFest plans?

Contact Alan Schuster to get on the email list. Most BallhawkFest announcements are made via this list so you'll definitely want to be on it.

Troubleshooting

When I created an account, I never saved the url for my site, and now I can't find it. Where is it?

Your url is http://www.myGameBalls.com/baseballdata?db=Your username. You can also get to it from the "Member Pages" dropdown box in the top right corner.

All the profile data on my homepage is blank and my picture is just a huge baseball. How do I change this?

This is the initial state of your page when you create an account. To change your data and upload a photo, go to the Member Login page, login with your username and password, and you will see these options on the home screen.

I entered a bunch of balls but the stats on my homepage don't seem to be right. Why?

You forgot to press the "Update Streaks and Stats" button. Because we don't want the ball entry process to be slowed down by constant re-calculation of stats, the stats are not automatically updated after each ball entry. After entering all the balls for a game, you need to click the button on the bottom to update your streaks and stats. On your member homepage it shows the date and time that your stats were last updated, along with a button to recalculate. If you are not sure whether your last game is included in the stats, go ahead and recalculate.

I entered a game but left some of the balls out. Can I go back and add balls to the game?

Yes. Click "Browse Games" and navigate to the correct game. Then click "Edit". Then you can enter in more balls for that game. Be sure to update your stats after entering the new balls.

I am getting an error message that I don't understand. What should I do?

Email support with the specific error message and we can work with you to get the issue resolved.

Miscellaneous Questions

I forgot my password. How can I get it reset?

Email support. Keep in mind that we will only be able to email you a new password if you have entered a valid email address in your member profile.

I have some suggestions for improving this site. Who can I contact?

Email the myGameBalls.com administrator. We try to personally respond to all emails within a day or two.

I'd like to be a member, but I'm strictly a Minor League ballhawk. I rarely attend Major League games.

Good News! We also offer a Minor League site where you can enter all your snagging data from the Minor Leagues. Please note that the accounts in the two websites are not linked, so if you already have an account on the MLB site you will need to create a second account on the Minor league site.


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