May 14, 2010
Zack Hample's Blog
When the gates opened at Camden Yards on Wednesday night, Zack Hample got sidetracked during his usual 100-yard dash to the left field bleachers. While Hample stopped to chat with Orioles' pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, Baltimore ballhawk Matt Hersl was the first to arrive in the bleachers.
Upon arriving in the left field seats he was greeted by a scattering of baseballs that were laying there waiting to be claimed. Wasting no time, he started gathering them up and was joined by a couple other ballhawks. Hersl got the most by far, ending up with a total of 11 easter eggs.
There would be no more balls flying into the bleachers, however, because by that time rain had set in and batting practice was called off. But ironically, the rain was actually the reason that he was able to find so many balls. "Once in a while the ushers are not there to throw them back the BP balls that are hit into the stands," he said. So before the gates had opened, the ushers were taking cover while Orioles hitters were peppering the bleachers with balls.
"If I would have ran a little faster, I may have had 20!" he remarked. "I usually give most of them away anyway."
Hersl snagged a couple toss-ups during the course of the night, finishing with 13 balls, his new career high. He is now seventh on the season leaderboard with 59 balls.
A season ticket holder for the Orioles and a Baltimore resident, Hersl is a fixture in the Camden Yards bleachers throughout the season. Living in close proximity to the stadium, he takes every chance he can get to go out to the ballpark and snag balls.