A couple weeks ago a MLB diehard fan named Zack Hample caught Alex Rodriguez’ 3,000th hit, which just so happened to be his 660th home run, tying him with Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time home run list. Hample isn’t just some ordinary fan though – he’s caught over 8,000 balls at MLB games in his lifetime. He’s even got his own Wikipedia page. Here’s his complete bio:
As of June 26, 2015, Hample has collected 8,173 baseballs from 51 different Major League stadiums. He acquired his first ball from a Mets pitcher at Shea Stadium on June 20, 1990 and set a self-proclaimed & personal, one-game record with 36 baseballs at Great American Ball Park on September 14, 2011. Some of Hample’s notable catches include Barry Bonds’ 724th career home run atPETCO Park on August 16, 2006; Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit, a home run, on June 19, 2015; Mike Trout’s first major league home run on July 24, 2011 at Camden Yards; and the first home run of the 2007 Home Run Derby, hit by Justin Morneau atAT&T Park. On May 12, 2011, he caught three foul balls during a single game at Camden Yards, and on May 28, 2011, he caught his 5,000th career baseball—an Alex Rios batting practice homer at Rogers Centre. In March 2012, Hample attended MLB’s Opening Series at the Tokyo Dome in Japan, snagging a total of 23 balls in two games. On April 18, 2013, he snagged two home run balls in a single game at Yankee Stadium, including the first career homer of Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Didi Gregorius.
During the final week ever at the old Yankee Stadium, Hample gained worldwide recognition by catching home run balls on consecutive nights. On September 16, 2008, he made a leaping catch on a Jason Giambi home run and immediately celebrated with a goofy dance that was captured on TV. The following night, in nearly exactly the same spot in the right field bleachers, Hample reached far over a railing to make a backhanded catch on a Johnny Damon home run and celebrated with the same dance. The Yankees’ announcers recognized him from the previous game, and within the next 24 hours the story was covered by ESPN, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN International, Japanese TV, and many other media outlets. Yahoo! Sports initially acknowledged Hample’s baseball-snagging skills, but did not know that it was he who had made the catches. Less than two weeks later, on September 28, 2008, Hample caught the last home run ever hit by a Mets player at Shea Stadium, this one off the bat of Carlos Beltran. On October 8, 2008, Hample appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and followed that nearly one year later with an appearance on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Prior to Hample’s three notable home run catches of 2008, he had been featured on The Rosie O’Donnell Show, the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, and on an episode of the John O’Hurley version of the game show To Tell The Truth, during which he managed to trick the audience and two of the four celebrity panelists.
Uh yea, that’s freaking insane. It doesn’t get much more professional than this guy. The Yankees sent their goons down to him to try to hustle him out of the ball, assuming he was a dumbass that would trade it in for a bunch of useless crap with signatures on it.
And that’s exactly what they offered him – a bunch of autographed memorabilia. Newsflash – this is 2015, and the autograph is officially dead. No one wants autographs anymore. Selfies are the new autographs. What am I gonna do with a signed bat? Go home and fap to it? Everyone’s signature looks the same anyway, so what’s the point? To prove that my memorabilia came in contact with a pen held by a celebrity? Cool story bro. Why would I want that when I can have a selfie, which I can then put on Facebook, which will then get upwards of 100 likes? Get with the times man.
That’s why when I saw that he was refusing to give the ball back, I had this guy’s back until the cows came home:
And Zack Hample really held out there for a while, he even tweeted this:
“I’ll give him the finger and a dummy ball. That man deserves favors from no one, least of all a fan.”
Exactly. First of all, I’m pretty sure Zack Hample isn’t even a Yankees fan. He goes to every park in America trying to catch foul or home run balls.
So what the fuck does he owe A-Rod anything for? Dude has made a mockery of the sport. Not only is he a cheater, he’s an even bigger asshole who’s made hundreds of millions of dollars off of his cheating. Why would a fan ever give up something that is worth so much money so an entitled millionaire can have another addition to his trophy case?
Too bad Zack Hample ended up selling out like a beyoch:
It took two weeks, rounds of negotiations and a directive from the Yankees’ owner’s box, but Alex Rodriguez has received the ball from his 3,000th hit.
The Yankees held a news conference Friday afternoon in which Zack Hample, the fan and persistent foul-ball catcher, presented Rodriguez with the ball at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees, in a news release, said they will donate $150,000 to Pitch In For Baseball, a charity Hample supports that helps underserved communities afford to play the game. Hample will also receive some memorabilia, tickets and other perks from the Yankees.
During the half-hour news conference, Hample, 37, removed the ball from his backpack and presented it to Rodriguez. The two posed for a series of photos.
During their opening remarks, Rodriguez accepted an apology from Hample, who before recovering the 3,000th-hit ball compared Rodriguez to the devil, on Twitter.
“First of all, you are forgiven,” said Rodriguez, 39. “I have a Ph.D. in saying some dumb things over the years.”
Rodriguez said he would give the ball to his two daughters.
What. A. Moron. Do you realize what he could’ve sold that ball for to A-Rod. AT LEAST a million. I would’ve started at $3 million. Why? Because by hitting that home run A-Rod made $6 million in incentives.
And what did he get instead? A couple worthless signed pieces of Yankee crap, and a donation for $150,00 to his favorite charity. Newslflash – you could’ve donated double that to the charity and still pocketed $700K if you listened to Turtleboy.
I mean, what the fuck Zack Hample? I thought you were a seasoned pro when it came to this sort of negotiation. You sound like Ed Augustus when Worcester State tried to bribe him into building a parking lot at the Chandler Ball Fields:
“They were just so nice,” Hample said of his dealings with Levine and Yankees COO Lonn Trost. “It was just unbelievable how cool those guys were. They didn’t pressure me or bully me or use any sort of sinister tactics. They just wanted to have a conversation to get to know me.
LOL. Awww, they were so nice!!! Yea, no shit sherlock. Of course they were nice. Because they didn’t wanna pay you the market value for the ball that you earned. If they were mean to you they knew you wouldn’t give them the ball. You had something that they wanted and you gave it to them for a pack of magic beans.
And how about A-Rod saying that he “forgives” this chump? I mean, that’s gotta be the most demeaning part of all of this right? Having to ask Alex Rodriguez for forgiveness for not handing over a ball to him that you could sell to him or anyone else for a million bucks. He literally got down and kissed the ring for A-Rod. It doesn’t get any lower than that.
And I don’t wanna hear about how this is going to A-Rod’s kids either. I’m sorry, but fuck them. His kids are growing up with EVERYTHING handed to them in life. They’ll survive without their cheater Dad’s 3,000th hit ball. If their Dad really loved them he would’ve hit a single, double, or a triple. But nope, he had to show off and hit it out of the park. Because at the end of the day A-Rod doesn’t even love them, he only loves himself.