Aug 31, 2009
For the second consecutive season, Zack Hample has eclipsed the 400 mark. "It was something I'd been shooting for by the end of August," he wrote on his blog. And in his final game in August, a day game at Coors field, he reached his goal with his 5th and final baseball of the day.
Hample showed up to Coors with a giant glove, ready to get lots of attention from players and hopefully lots of balls. Upon entering the stadium, however, he learned that neither team was taking batting practice. Averaging just 3.5 balls per game this season in games without BP, Hample was concerned that he wouldn't snag the 5 needed to accomplish his goal. "Not good...not now...not when I needed to snag five balls in order to reach 400 for the season," he wrote.
With only a few players taking the field to warm up, Hample tried to make the most of every opportunity, using the big glove whenever neccessary. By game time he had managed to snag 4 balls, and as National Anthem was about to be played he saw an opportunity for his 5th of the day and 400th of the year.
Rafael Furcal, who had thrown a ball to Hample a couple days earlier, was jogging in towards the dugout. "I held up my big glove and shouted his name," Hample wrote. "He looked up and lobbed the ball to me. I was convinced that someone else was going to reach in front of me...but no one touched it! I made another careful two-handed catch with the big glove and felt great about having just snagged my 400th ball of the season."