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gravitational potential energy?

i am having some understanding problem with the gravitational potential energy.........as i am following the "RESNICK HALLIDAY WALKER 8TH EDDITION" , at one line it is told that "we then chose some reference configuration of the system as having a gravitational potential energy as zero.often in this configuration the particle was on earth surface.for the particles not on earth surface , the potential energy decreased when the separation between earth & particle decreased."

now, i am confused about the line that "

the potential energy is zero on earth surface".........i understood previously that when a baseball is shot at a distance of infinity from the center of earth, then the work done on it to take it back to the center is the measure of gravitational potential energy....i am not sure if my understanding is right.....so i got from the formula that the energy is more negative in magnitude when it is approaching earth, but what will be the value when it reaches the center of earth?? i thought it will be minus infinity, buut my course instructor says it will be zero.........plz someone explain me the causes........& also explain how it can be zero at earth surface??

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