Zack Hample, a 38-year-old baseball fan who has made a name for himself by collecting foul balls, appears to have gained entrance to Sunday night’s Fort Bragg game illegally.
Officials said last week that tickets to the game, which were only given out to Department of Defense members and MLB employees, were non-transferrable. If tickets were given away, even if there was no money exchanged, spectators could be removed from the ballpark and face “repercussions.”
Despite these regulations, Hample secured tickets.
This led to public outcry online among fans who claimed he was taking a baseball, and a seat, away from a member of the armed forces. That fact was confirmed by someone who says she is the mother of a soldier.
Some digging online found that Hample had searched for tickets by using Tinder, and even followed up with a prospective seller on Twitter.
In a note on Facebook, Marlins Man, a superfan who is known for attending a wide range of big sporting events, explained that he was not at the event because he respected the fact that no one outside of the Department of Defense and MLB were allowed in. Then, he advised Hample to leave.
The 82nd Airborne Division also weighed in.
Hample claimed to have got the ticket through a friend whose entire unit got them, and that he was taking the place of the friend’s girlfriend. Then, he said he’d be donating money.
FYI, I got my ticket through a friend whose entire unit got 'em. He was gonna bring his GF who doesn't like baseball so he took me instead.— Zack Hample (@zack_hample) July 4, 2016
Last year, Hample caught Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit, and after deliberation, gave it to the Yankees in exchange for a large donation to the Pitch In For Baseball foundation, memorabilia and the right to enter Yankee Stadium before the general public to collect baseballs.
– Kenny Ducey