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Zack Hample: The Master of Ballhawking

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Zack Hample

You can see him in the stands of your local baseball stadium trying to catch a ball, it does not take you more than a minute to realize that it is Zack Hample, who for his charisma and delivery with people makes him unique in this activity: The ballhawking.

Hample attended his first baseball game when he was just 6 years old at Yankee Stadium, had already seen several games on TV, and wanted to be like the fans he always saw catching baseballs in the stands and celebrating. “I caught my first ball when I was 12, and I really got hooked at that point,” says Hample, who adds that his first catchball was hit by Mike Stanley at Yankee Stadium in 1992. “I didnt catch that one on the fly, though. It used to be very empty in the outfield seats, so I chased that ball down after it landed, “adds Zack.

His family is the owner of the oldest independent book store in New York City, where he works daily, also runs a huge writing group, spends lots of time with friends, has a 294 pound rubber band ball, holds several world records on classic arcade video games, and help raising money for a children’s baseball charity.

Luckily, Hample has companies that support his traveling all over the country “I’ve had several sponsors over the years including BIGS Sunflower Seeds. I’m being sponsored by the ticket app SeatGeek”, comments Hample, who recently snagged three home runs during a two-game span in Cleveland-numbers 50, 51, and 52. “I caught the last two on the fly just several innings apart with all my friends in the Astros bullpen watching me from 50 feet behind, so that was extra special,” he exclaims.

And how many balls does Hample owns, we ask: “I’ve given away thousands of baseballs over the years, and I counted those in my grand total,” explains Zack, “I know the exact number that I’ve caught, which is 9,604, but I’m not sure of the exact number that I actually own.”

His next goal is to reach 10,000 lifetime, but also want to snag at least 100 balls in every current stadium, as well as reach 100 game home runs lifetime, and also catch a world series home run. “Im not sure what will happen to the balls themselves,” says Hample. “Hopefully I will have kids someday and I will pass along my love of baseball along with all the memorabilia to them”.

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Zack Hample wears Beisbolista