Aug 13, 2009
For most ballhawks, snagging two game balls in one game is a once in a lifetime feat. Zack Hample, on the other hand, accomplishes this feat about once a season. Well almost - in 20 seasons of Ballhawking, his lifetime total for games with at least 2 game balls now stands at 15. His latest occurred Tuesday night at Camden Yards in Baltimore when he snagged two foul balls in a two-inning span.
Hample attributes the multiple foul ball snags to simply being in the right place at the right time. Alternating positions between right field and the lower third base side, the two balls just happend to come right towards him while he was moving through foul ball territory.
The first came in the fifth inning, when Mark Ellis hit a foul ball right behind home plate, about 40 feet to Hample's left. Luckily, the ball was dropped by another fan, allowing Hample to snag it after it bounced in the aisle. "It was embarrassingly lucky and easy, and I won't lie -- I love it," he wrote on his blog.
The second came an inning later, when Hample was traveling towards home plate from right field. He looked up and saw a foul ball off the bat of Scott Hairston heading right for him. "The ball went HIGH up in the air, and I really didn't think I was going to have a play on it," he wrote. "I couldn't be certain where exactly it was going to land, but I knew it was going to come close, so I got myself into position to give myself a chance."
Dodging people and seats, Hample made his way into position, where several other fans were tracking the ball. "I reached up as high as I could with both hands and squeezed my glove around the ball when it landed," he wrote. "Ha-HAAA!!! It was a totally unexpected foul ball. I hadn't even been in a 'good' spot. I was merely passing through. The whole section erupted with cheers, and I got high fives and fist bumps from half a dozen fans."
Besides his two game balls, Hample snagged 10 balls during BP and 1 after the game, giving him 13 for the night. His season total is now 369 and his average per game now stands at 8.79.