Glove tricks: Man catches 6,500 major league baseballs in lifetimePosted: Updated:
Avid fans probably bring their glove to the ballpark, hoping to get lucky and catch a fly ball or homerun.
But one passionate fan says forget luck, he can guarantee someone will go home with a souvenir every time.
Zack Hample has spent the past 20 years developing a system he says is fool proof.
Just last month, he showed off his skills to a national audience, getting featured on ESPN's SportsCenter for catching two homerun balls at a single New York's Yankees game.
Many might think he just got lucky, but Hample says his record proves it is no aberration.
"I personally have gotten at least one ball at every game I've been to since 1993. That is 880 consecutive games. I have my own little Cal Ripken streak going here," Hample said.
In all, Hample said he has snagged more than 6,500 balls at 50 professional ball parks across the country.
So how does he do it?
First and foremost, Hample said fans should get to the ballpark early for batting practice and always bring a glove.
He also says to people know the players so they can shout out their names, hoping they'll toss them a ball.
Hample even learned how to shout, "Throw me the ball," in several different languages to up his chances.
Another good tip, Hample says, is to bring hats and shirts from both teams. And change clothes depending on who is at bat.
"I know it is sneaky, but baseball players want to throw baseballs to little kids or beautiful women. I'm neither, so I have to get a bit creative," Hample said.
Hample is so successful, he has developed something of a cult following, including "Big Glove" Bob who admits he has a long way to go to make it to Hample's level.
"He's the gold standard. I'm one of the less precious metals," Bob Fox said.
Hample is using his skill for charity, accepting a challenge by BIGS Sunflower Seeds to catch a game-used ball at every Major League park.
His mom is just hoping he doesn't take any more home with him.
"I still own more than 5,000 balls. They are all at my mom's place in New York City. She's not happy about it," Hample said.
Hample is 8-8, so far, at stadiums he has visited. He feels confident he will get a ball at all 30 Major League stadiums.
Next up for Hample, he will head to Texas to try to snag a few more balls at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Friday.
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