Zach Hample — famous for snagging baseballs at ballparks across the country — is the guy who caught the homer that was Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th career hit. At the time he said he was keeping the ball. Now he’s reconsidering.
Sports Illustrated spoke to Hample, who is prepared to work out a deal:
“I am planning on meeting again with the Yankees soon,” Hample said. “And I am contemplating a scenario where they and A-Rod could get this ball back involving a large donation to my favorite charity.”
The charity: Pitch In for Baseball, which provides new and gently used baseballs and softball equipment for kids who lack equipment to play baseball.
Hample didn’t come off too well on Friday after catching the baseball. Seems now he’s at least trying to make something good come out of this.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.