The Yankees wrapped up a three-game set with the Diamondbacks last night. It was a 14-inning affair that eventually ended 6-2 in the D-Backs’ favor, but that wasn’t the most interesting thing about the game. Zack Hample, a baseball collector and author of several books including How to Snag Major League Baseballs, caught two home runs in the Yankee Stadium stands last night hit by Didi Gregorius and Francisco Cervelli.
As it was the first career homer for Gregorius, he wanted his ball back and Hample obliged as you can see in the photo. Watch Hample catch both homers along with a brief interview with FOX Sports Arizona.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.