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Zack Hample is without the doubt the most (in)famous baseball fan.
In case you don’t know who he is, he’s the guy who caught Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit that was a home run – and claims to have caught over 11,000 baseballs in his lifetime.
He has made “ball-hawking” into a legitimate skill, yet has upset plenty of people in the process.
Now, ballpark ushers are fighting back.
Zack Hample, a 35-year-old New Yorker holds the two balls he caught in the right-field seats Thursday April 18, 2013, during the Yankees-Diamondbacks game. (AP Photo/Jeremy Engdahl-Johnson)
In a recent video posted to his YouTube channel, the 44-year-old wanted to build his baseball-catching resume and get another home run ball, this time at Coors Field, the home of the Colorado Rockies.
But a stadium guard stopped him in his tracks, saying that his ticket was not for the section he was trying to enter.
Hample grew visibly upset.
“Come on, don’t be that strict, Hample said. “That’s ridiculous. Telling me I can’t move 10 feet for a home run is ridiculous. Stop enforcing BS rules that you make up on the spot. It’s a home run ball, people can try to catch a home run.”
Hample recorded another interaction with what seemed to be several other ushers, who gave him an ultimatum: stay in his assigned seat, or leave the ballpark.
Zack Hample, left, presents New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez with the baseball on which Rodriguez got his 3,000th career hit during a news conference. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
He responded with a rant about the “fan experience” in Denver.
“I’ll stay in my seat, but I want you guys to know how lousy the fan experience is here,” he said. “This really stinks, I have to say. Really really really stinks. You guys don’t know how to treat people. It’s not good. Big L. You guys get an F on the fan experience.”
Hample has drawn controversy before – he illegally attended the Fort Bragg game that was meant only for military and their families, and has been accused of snagging baseballs away from kids they were seemingly intended for (in his defense, he has given plenty to them, as well). Clayton Kershaw also refused to give him a baseball because, by his own account, the future Hall of Famer told him “you got 7,000 of ’em.“
Because of his controversies, the New York Post has dubbed him “baseball’s most hated fan.“