Sep 11, 2009
Zack Hample snagged his first career foul ball at Citi Field Tuesday night, and was lucky to come away from the experience with only a few minor injuries. After diving on the concrete and grabbing the ball, Hample had to withstand a violent onslaught from an overzealous fan in order to hold onto it.
Enjoying the game from the luxury "Sterling Level" seats behind home plate, Hample was in great foul-ball territory. It didn't take long for one to come his way as Angel Pagan sent one in his direction in the bottom of the first inning. "I raced up the stairs and came within five feet of it as it landed," Hample wrote on his blog. "The ball then bounced back toward me and sailed one foot over my glove as I jumped and reached for it. I turned around and noticed that the ball had come to a rest against the bottom of a seat several rows below me. Normally, I wouldn't have had a shot at it, but here in Moneyville, everyone else reacted in slow-motion. I bolted back down the steps, squeezed past an old man wearing moccasins, and dove on top of the ball."
Before Hample could enjoy the feeling of getting his first foul ball at Citi Field, another fan who was going for the ball dove on top of him. "I don't know what he was thinking," Hample wrote. "He actually tried to grab the ball out of my hand after I clearly had sole possession of it. I mean, it wasn't even close."
The fan simply wouldn't give up, and tried to pry the ball out of Hample's hand. A struggle ensued, and Hample managed to fend him off and maintain possession of the ball. Thankfully, no one got seriously hurt, although Hample had a few battle scars. "I scraped my knuckles and slammed my right knee on the ground," he wrote. "There was a little blood. Nothing serious. But most importantly, and as I already said, NO ONE was hurt except me."
Despite the scrapes and bruises, it was a great experience, and also another big night for Hample. He snagged 10 balls to increase his first-place totals to 418 Season balls and 4238 lifetime balls.