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Watching Zack Hample Take Creep Steps Before Every Pitch 450 Feet From Home Plate Might Make You Physically Cringe

I think everybody has their own line when it comes to Zack Hample. Some might say traveling the country to go to baseball games four hours early and asking professional baseball players 20 years younger than you to throw you baseballs is too much. Others might say it's being seemingly willing to risk life and limb for any home run ball hit to your section when you already have more than 10,000 baseballs in your collection. I've never been physically repulsed by Hample, however, until I saw this video. Sure, I thought he was a weirdo, but this is a bridge too far.

He's 450 feet from home plate — and not a member of either of the teams on the field, it somehow feels necessary to note — taking creep steps like he's an outfielder who may have a liner ripped in his direction on any pitch. Even if Zack gets a home run ball hit in his direction, he would have five or six seconds to react before it got there. He doesn't need to be on the balls of his feet, ready to dive for one in the gap after a few steps.


I guess this is how you reach the pinnacle of your craft, though. For whatever you think of the guy, Hample is unquestionably the Michael Jordan of collecting baseballs from Major League games. You can debate if that's something any 45-year-old should be doing, but you can't argue there's ever been someone better.

If you see a man at an MLB game this season who's wearing a glove and absolutely dialed in to every pitch from the outfield concourse, go up and ask him for baseballs for several hours until he decides it would be easier to give you one than have you keep asking. That will get you started on your own way to 10,000.