Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Zack Hample: Ball Collector

I happened to look up Zack Hample’s blog a week or so ago. He had a post about being interviewed by the AJC, with lots of photos. He has no problem breaking rules, disobeying authority figures, pushing people out of the way, and being rude to get what he wants. Isn’t that what’s wrong with America? Guys like him may be invisible to most fans, but they sure get in the way of lots of people, treating the ballpark as their personal playground. At one game we observed a teenager during batting practice scampering about, decked out in a Blue Jays shirt and cap. Later during the game he had changed clothes and was moving from one side of the field to the other based on whether the batter was left-handed or right-handed. He must’ve walked ten miles that night, and I never saw him get a ball.

Zack Hample seems to have carved out a life he enjoys…good for him. He maintains a detailed blog, and evidently a Wikipedia page (who else would update it?). He is 35 years old and unmarried. Hample is sponsored by a sunflower seed company, and people donate to charity for every ball he collects. So at least he’s having some sort of positive impact.   

Did the article mention where he gets the money to travel across the country like he does? I may not be in second place behind him, but Charles’ friend John probably catches more balls than any other Braves fan. As a season-ticket holder, he’s at most games, and usually gets at least one ball every game. His basement is like a baseball museum, with balls, bats, bobbleheads, baseball cards, etc. A few weeks ago he was chasing a ball at the Rome Braves game, slipped, and broke his wrist. He said it will cost him 50 balls.

More on the HBP: There was also a war of words between the official twitter accounts of the Nationals and Braves, which was interesting. Mark Bradley wrote about it. One Braves fan replied to the Nationals about being below .500.

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