Sep 21, 2010
Zack Hample's Blog
When Zack Hample breaks the single-game record at a particular stadium, more often than not he's breaking his own record. Such was the case on Friday night in New York when he set a new Citi Field record by snagging 21 balls, shattering his old record of 15 that he set back in May.
It was just the third game he's been to in the past month, but he showed absolutely no signs of rust. When he started the day by snagging double-digits within the first 30 minutes, it was clear he was in for a huge day.
Hample was in the zone throughout the Mets' portion of BP, snagging five home runs including three hit by David Wright, and also getting five toss-ups. He picked up right where he left off when the Braves came to bat. With a Billy Wagner toss-up and three consecutive home runs, he put himself at 14 balls and in good position to set a new record. He got a toss-up from Melky Cabrera to tie the record, and shortly thereafter set a new Citi Field record with what he described as a "routine" home run snag on the fly. Just for good measure, he then added a basket catch of another home run ball to increase his total to 17.
Still, he wasn't done snagging for the night. He got a toss-up from Craig Kimbrel for number 18, and then finished up BP with another on-the-fly home run catch in left-center.
The final BP snag was significant in another way. "That tied my single-game record for New York City," Hample wrote on his blog. "On April 19, 2004, I somehow managed to snag 19 balls at Shea Stadium."
Wanting to try to break that record, Hample headed down to the Braves' dugout for the start of the game. He bolted to the front row at the end of the first inning and successfully scored a toss up from Brian McCann to break his NYC record and hit the 20 ball mark for the eighth time in his career.
After the game he got a toss-up from umpire Bill Hohn to finish the night with 21 balls, setting the bar extremely high for future ballhawking at Citi Field. With an attendance of 28,002, Hample's Competition Factor for the game was a staggering 588,042.
Through 27 games this season, Hample is averaging 9.93 balls per game and is seeking to become the first myGameBalls.com ballhawk to finish a season with a double-digit average.