Zack Hample tells SI Now of a scenario in which he would hand over Alex Rodriguez's 3,000th hit ball to A-Rod and the New York Yankees.
“I am planning on meeting again with the Yankees soon,” Hample said. “And I am contemplating a scenario where they and A-Rod could get this ball back involving a large donation to my favorite charity.”
Hample has selected Pitch In for Baseball as his charity of choice. The charity provides new and gently used baseballs and softball equipment to boys and girls in the United States and around the world that lack equipment to play baseball.
Rodriguez hit the home run in the bottom of the first inning of the Yankees’ 7-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday off pitcher Justin Verlander. Rodriguez is just the 29th member of the exclusive 3,000-hit club.
Hample is known for catching baseballs at games and even wrote a book about it in 1999. The New York native is having second thoughts after reviewing his initial comments to Rodriguez and the Yankees.
“I have softened by stance a bit,” Hample said. “I kind of cringe when I see my earlier quotes. I kind of came out swinging and told the Yankees, ‘I appreciate all the offers. I gotta take this ball home with me tonight and just think about it over the weekend.’”
The Yankees open a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night.
- Christopher Chavez