Ball Hound Zack Hample Totally Busted His Ass Chasing a Homer in Philadelphia

Ball Hound Zack Hample Totally Busted His Ass Chasing a Homer in Philadelphia

You hate to see it.

You hate to see it

Most baseball fans probably recognize 43-year-old Zack Hample as the guy who wears a hat with the MLB logo on it while running around the right field bleachers at Yankee Stadium trying to collect as many baseballs as possible. His obsession has netted him a collection of more than 11,000 baseballs, which he stores in 32-gallon garbage cans, according to the 9,000-word FAQ on his website.

He sometimes goes to extreme lengths to add to his collection, like the time he got a military member to take him to the Marlins–Braves game at Fort Bragg that was meant to be only for service members and their families. Last year, with stadiums closed to fans, he resorted to standing outside ballparks and hoping to luck into a ball or two. He stood outside the gate behind the Mets’ bullpen at Citi Field and yelled into the ballpark until someone finally threw him a ball. According to the incredibly exhaustive statistics on his website, Hample “attended” nine games at six stadiums in 2020 (including two NLCS games inside Globe Life Park) and came away with 42 baseballs.

Stadiums are open again, though, so Hample can get back to his normal ball-chasing ways. He has been to five parks so far this year, including a trip on Monday night to Philadelphia, where he came oh-so-close to collecting a home run ball off the bat of Giants first baseman Brandon Belt.

Hample came sprinting down the aisle, into the second row, and when the ball rolled down to the first row, threw himself over the seats and fell flat on his ass. Another fan came away with the ball.

Hample does this for a living, making money through his YouTube channel and a baseball-hunting concierge service where he’ll accompany you to the ballpark and guarantee you’ll leave with at least one ball. He loves what he does, but many baseball fans find him obnoxious. In addition to the Fort Bragg controversy, he also held the ball from Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit hostage for several weeks. His attitude can be off-putting, too. He’s all too eager to engage with his detractors online.

Hample came away with 12 balls on Monday night, bringing his 2021 total to 104. Take that, haters. 

The best of SI

Alex Smith’s toughness ran deeper than just his comeback. … A group called Our Fair Shot is drawing attention to disparities between men’s and women’s college basketball. … Why are there so many blowouts in the NBA this season? … How the Super League could impact U.S. soccer.

Around the sports world

Rockets guard Sterling Brown was assaulted in Miami the night before Houston’s game against the Heat. … LaMelo Ball might not be done for the season after all. … Patrick Marleau broke Gordie Howe’s record for career NHL games played. … Manchester City is having trouble selling its allotment of 2,000 tickets for this weekend’s League Cup final. It isn’t exactly a result of the Super League announcement, but that can’t be helping. … NFL teams are quite interested in the throwing arm of Georgia Tech punter Pressley Harvin III

Steph brings it every night

The White Sox had two position players pitch, and one hit a guy with an absolute lollipop

The defense never stood a chance

Vin Scully got a World Series ring from the Dodgers

He knew exactly how many doubles that was and immediately called for the ball

So the Jaguars, Bengals, Lions and Panthers have taken him off their boards

What is “the right way”?

Worth it

Not sports

The hot new thing in New Zealand is getting buried in a gaudy customized casket. … A DMX album almost topped the Billboard 200 after his death. … A suspected poacher was trampled to death by a herd of elephants in South Africa.

NASA flew a small helicopter on the surface of Mars

A good song

Email dan.gartland@si.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.

Follow us on Twitter