BOSTON (CBS) – When Zack Hample settled into his seat for Game 4 of the ALDS between the Red Sox & Rays Monday night, he liked his chances of snagging a baseball. “These seats that I was in at Fenway last night – dead center. So, I knew that lefties or righties could both hit balls there,” he told WBZ-TV in Boston.
So, it was both a surprise and not a surprise at all when he caught not one, but two home run balls during the game.READ MORE: Nigerian National Sobanke Idris Sunday Adereti Guilty Of Elder Fraud Related Violations
“I have them right here. This is the one that Rafael Devers hit in the third inning, this is the one that Wander Franco hit,” said Hample.
The New York City man has now caught 81 MLB home run balls during games over the years. The two from Monday night’s game are the first he’s caught in the postseason.READ MORE: Woman Hit, Killed By Car While Walking In Grapevine Roadway; Drunk Driver Crashes Into Firetruck On Scene Say Police
He admits being in the right spot at the right time is an investment. “I’ve spent more than $40,000 dollars this season traveling to different baseball stadiums. The tickets, the flights, the hotels, rental cars, tolls, parking, you name it. It really adds up,” said Hample.
But it’s one that’s paid off, in the form of a YouTube channel with more than half a million subscribers. And of course, having a hand in some of baseball’s memorable moments. “There’s been a lot of big ones. I snagged Alex Rodriguez’s 3000th career hit back in 2015. I caught Mike Trout’s first career home run in 2011 in Baltimore,” said Hample.
He says he’s been to 99 MLB games this year alone and tells WBZ-TV Monday night aside, he’s struck out plenty of times.
“One thing that I try to think about when I’m picking a spot is will I have some room to maneuver left and right. Because the key to catching batted baseballs in a crowded stadium is, if possible, to have some lateral mobility,” said Hample.MORE NEWS: Report: At Least 59,000 Meat Workers Caught COVID, 269 Died
Hample says he’s currently debating whether he should end this season’s ballpark trips on a high note, or if he should come back to Fenway for one game during the ALCS.