Sunday, October 11, 2009

meet zack hample

not only was wednesday's dodger game one of the best i've ever been to, i also got to meet an obscure hero of mine. zack hample is a self described 'ballhawk' from new york, but he happened to be in los angeles to 1) go on the tonight show, and 2) snag some baseballs at a playoff game. i was also at the game early and was surprised to recognize zack from his fantastic blog (here is his account of that particular game).

you have to keep your eyes open - for starters, he changes his shirt and hat depending on which team is taking batting practice because players are more likely to throw baseballs to their own fans - dodger blue above, cardinal red (which wasn't such a fan favorite) below.

zack is unique because he knows how to get baseballs. a lot of them. he has written a book about how to snagging them. this season he has actually been collecting them for charity. his story is often featured in the media - plenty of youtube videos our there and here is a recent espn article on him. in real life he's just as i imagined him. a super nice guy (willing to sign my ticket stub), but also totally preoccupied with snagging baseballs. the whole time i was near him he had his eyes on the field, and while talking and signing for those who recognized him he was leaping around trying to snag that next ball.

oh, and for the record, after that game (in which he snagged 7 balls), his lifetime count currently stands at 4352 total baseballs.

the dodgers wrapped up round one of the playoffs yesterday by sweeping the st. louis cardinals. this is exciting news! next up is round two, although their opponent has not yet been decided. if there are any extremely generous dodger fans out there with extra tickets to round two, please pass them my way. sadly, round one was about as much as a seminary student (or his wife) can afford.


Antjas said...

I was listening to NPR the other day and they were doing a story on a travelling ticket booth out in L.A. that sold Dodger tickets real cheap. I suppose you could hunt it down, but on the other hand, playoff tickets may be sold out already. As an ex-Pasadena resident, Canadian, and someone who met Tommy Lasorda, I would be tempted to congratulate you on the win. But, as a Red Sox fan who is going to see the game today, I can't possibly root for Manny being Manny.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Thanks for introducing us to Zach Hample. I will enjoy reading about him and hope to find him at a DBack's game some day!

Michael Coppess said...

Wonderful story and links. Baseball's certainly got its characters!

Cafe Pasadena said...

Antjas, then root for Manny being a Dodger or the Ange!s!

Thanks, BW, for the very obscure facts.