Virtually everyone who attends a baseball game in person dreams about heading home with the ultimate souvenir in the form of a foul ball or home run a handful of lucky fans are typically able to snag during a contest.
While realizing that goal is usually a once-in-a-lifetime achievement, there are plenty of people who’ve ended up in the right place at the right time on multiple occasion—although there’s no one who’s managed to do so more frequently than Zack Hample.
Hample is a fairly well-known and somewhat divisive figure amongst the baseball fans who probably know him better as the “Foul Ball Guy” who has managed to collect over 12,000 baseballs over the course of a “career” that’s seen him roam stadiums across North America since the 1990s.
His ability to post up in areas where balls tend to land has allowed him to secure Mike Trout’s first career home run and Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit, but he’s also been accused of going a bit too far in his quest to collect as many baseballs as possible (in 2022, a Rockies usher claimed he witnessed Hample steal a ball from a kid during batting practice).
On Tuesday, Hample was in attendance to watch the White Sox host the Angels in Chicago, and he once again found himself in the prime position that allowed him to catch the leadoff home run Taylor Ward hit in the top of the first inning.
Taylor Ward leads off the game with a homer!!!
— Locked On Angels (@LockedOnAngels) May 31, 2023
The bleacher creatures at White Sox games comprise one of the many fanbases that traditionally throw any home run hit by an opposing player back onto the field.
However, Hample declined to partake in that pastime and subsequently found himself soundly booed by the fans who weren’t thrilled he refused to participate.
Not Zach Hample 😂😂 first inning pic.twitter.com/CGwlqy0ApS
— Ronny Gonzales (@lordofthebeats) May 31, 2023
Zack Hample struck again last night, snagging Taylor Ward's home run. Look, I honestly wouldn't mind it that much and would actually respect his hustle if he didn't act like 𝘀𝘂𝗰𝗵 a fucking dweeb about it. The only 45-year-old m̶a̶n̶ boy in the world who gets boo'ed for… pic.twitter.com/UtLhcpEaIs
— Dan Clark (@DanClarkSports) May 31, 2023
At the end of the day, Hample is well within his rights to do whatever he wants with a ball he caught, but it’s also hard to blame the fans for not supporting his decision.