Friday, August 25, 2017

Every Day is Zack Hample Day

Got in line this afternoon at the Chop House Gate, looked around, and saw someone who looked familiar. In the line there was a buzz among the younger guys, who confirmed my hunch: the guy in Rockies purple and Braves cap was the notorious ball hawk, Zack Hample.
I told Zack my son was a big fan. Hample is famous for shagging thousands of balls at MLB parks across the country, and documenting his adventures on his website and YouTube videos.
For the hour we stood in line the teenage boys flocked around Hample.
Younger kids asked for his autograph.
Hample was in town with his assistant and videographer. Before the gates opened he filmed an introduction to today's video,
which will ultimately show up on YouTube.
My old buddy LJ will probably show up in the background.
Hample's autographs include his total number of baseballs collected.
It was another beautiful day for baseball,
with a cool breeze in the air.
Brick of the day.
Prize of the night. I traded two Gwinnett bobbleheads for four tickets,
and a kind usher friend gave me two more without me even asking.
I had sold one in advance, plus four more by the time I got home.
At the exact same time I was gathering Freddie Freeman bobbleheads,
Will was in Augusta grabbing a Jon Lester bobblehead.
The Braves and Rockies wore their players weekend jerseys,
which included some interesting-looking socks.
A kind usher let me get close to the starting pitcher to snap the pictures.
The Johnson Ferry choir sang the national anthem.
Not sure if "Baptist Church" was left out on purpose.
Broke out my KD's for their annual trip to the ballpark.
Good shot of the Braves relievers' stroll to the bullpen,
just after they'd passed starting pitcher Julio Teheran (second from right) making his way in from warming up.
...and the Rockies relievers making their trip.
During batting practice it was easy to spot Hample buzzing around the outfield bleachers. During the game he stationed himself down past the dugouts, hoping for a foul ball.
Even then a little kid tagged along behind him.
I could write an essay on Hample. Boys love him.
Some say he robs kids and other fans of baseballs,
though he does give some away.
Another highlight of the evening:
catcher Kurt Suzuki slugged a home run during the RaceTrac Inning,
so I get five dollars of merchandise tomorrow.

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