Jun 1, 2011
Zack Hample's Blog
Perhaps the greatest milestone in ballhawking history was accomplished this past weekend in Toronto, where Zack Hample, a veteran ballhawk of 22 years, snagged his 5,000th career baseball.
"I was hoping that No. 5,000 would NOT be thrown to me by a player," Hample wrote, pointing out that all of his previous major milestones (one, two, three, and four thousand) had been either toss-ups or glove tricks. Partway through batting practice, Hample got his wish.
He picked up four quick balls at the beginning of the day to run his total up to 4,999, and at that point he made the conscious effort to avoid toss-ups and glove tricks. He patiently waited until Alex Rios lifting a long fly ball to right field. Hample ranged to his right and made the snag on the fly, then celebrated a feat that had taken him over 20 years to accomplish.
Fittingly, the entire event was recorded and later posted on Hample's blog.