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.
Another fan was struck by a line drive foul ball during Sunday’s game between the Rockies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Mike DiGiovanna and Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times report. The ball was hit by Cody Bellinger in the first inning, going just beyond where the protective netting ends at the first-base dugout, striking a young woman in the head. Play was delayed for two minutes while the woman received medical attention. She initially stayed in her seat holding an ice pack to her head but was taken to a hospital for evaluation. According to someone in the Dodger Stadium first-aid office, the girl was alert and responding.
After the game, Bellinger said, “It was weird. It’s the first time I think I’ve hit a fan. I saw it literally hit her face. That was tough. I just tried to regroup. I’m sure it was tough for everyone.” He added, “I went over the next half-inning just to make sure she was all right. She said she was all right. She gave me a thumbs up. Obviously, it’s a scary situation.”
Both Bellinger and manager Dave Roberts expressed support for extending the protective netting at Dodger Stadium.
Bellinger was involved in yet another incident involving a fan later in the game. According to Michael Duarte of NBC Los Angeles, a 14-year-old girl ran on the field in the ninth inning. Bellinger said the girl came up to him and said, “I want a hug.” As she hugged Bellinger, a security guard tackled her. Bellinger said to her, “You know you’re going to jail?” She replied, “Yeah, I know. It was worth it.”