Notorious ballhawk Zack Hample gets told off by Clayton Kershaw

Big League Stew

Zack Hample is a guy whose claim to fame is catching so many foul balls and home runs at MLB games that he once sat in a bathtub full of baseballs. Hample is the guy who caught Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000 hit and then went through the very public negotiation of returning the ball to the then-Yankees star. Hample is also the guy who weaseled his way into MLB game at Fort Bragg last year, which was intended only for military families.

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We remind you of all these things so that you’ll have adequate context for what happened to Hample on Father’s Day. Hample, who usually patrols the New York City stadiums for his coveted souvenirs, was in Cincinnati to watch the Reds play the Los Angeles Dodgers. At some point, Hample got in the ear of Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and asked for one of MLB’s special blue-stitched Father’s Day balls.

Here’s what happened, as relayed by Hample on Twitter:

Zack Hample in 2015 as he returned A-Rod’s 3,000th hit ball. (AP)
Zack Hample in 2015 as he returned A-Rod’s 3,000th hit ball. (AP)

Yes, because Kershaw’s paycheck from doing his job is the exact same thing as a ballhawk getting a baseball he wants. Entitled, much?

Now, we’ll admit that Hample is an easy punching bag because he’s caught (by his own count) more than 9,000 balls over the years and he either gets super defensive or plays the victim whenever he’s criticized. He does do some good — part of his A-Rod payoff was the Yankees donating $150,000 to Pitch In For Baseball. But it’s still hard to take his begging for balls too seriously. He’s out here trying to dominate ball-hawking when most fans are just hoping they’ll luck out and get a ball.

Nonetheless, Hample sympathizers will be happy to know he caught a ball later anyway:

As for Clayton Kershaw? He deserves another MVP award, if you ask us.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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