Saturday, July 1, 2017

Game Thread: New York Yankees @ Houston Astros 7/1

Saturday night baseball on FOX just like the good ole days between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros, let’s get to it here inside Minute Maid Park. In the middle game of the three-game set between these two clubs the Yankees will send Jordan Montgomery to the mound to face off with Francis Martes for the Astros. The game will be played at 7:15 pm ET inside Minute Maid Park in Houston and can be seen on FOX. I am almost positive that these games on FOX are blacked out on MLB TV but it’s worth a shot to look if you don’t get FOX. If worse comes to worse though you can always hear the Yankees games in your car and on the radio by tuning into the WFAN broadcast featuring John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Follow us on Twitter by giving @GreedyStripes a follow and enjoy tonight’s game. Go Yankees!!!

ICYMI: The TGP Exclusive Interview w/ Zack Hample

This morning we talked about Zack Hample and some of the advice that he was giving out to the USA Today about catching fly and foul balls at the ballpark. In the article we reminded everyone that if the name Zack Hample sounds familiar it is because he was the man who caught Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit, a home run to right field, inside Yankee Stadium. As you may remember there was a lot of controversy surrounding the home run ball after Hample caught it, so much so that Hample decided to come on The Greedy Pinstripes to talk about it and try to clear his name. Here is that interview from the 2015 season just in case you missed it. Enjoy and Happy Saturday!

Zack Hample is the lucky man that caught Alex Rodriguez's 3,000th hit that cleared the right field wall into the Bleacher Creatures, maybe you've heard of him? Zack's relationship with the Yankees fans immediately took a hit when he balked at the chance to return the historic baseball to Alex and the Yankees and has been on the defensive ever since. We have seen Mr. Hample on Good Day America, Conan O'Brien, Sportscenter and on many other avenues and today he lent his ear to us here at The Greedy Pinstripes. I admit that when I first sent the request to Zack I didn't expect to get a response but I had to have a horse in the race if I wanted a chance to win, to my surprise Zack responded. Zack was excited to be able to speak to the Yankees fans directly and give his side of the whole A Rod and 3,000 hit situation and I was more than happy to bring him an avenue. This is his avenue and this is his interview, Mr. Zack Hample:

The Greedy Pinstripes:

I think the first question my readers and Yankees fans everywhere want to know is are you a Yankees fan or would you consider yourself a general MLB fan?

Zack Hample:

I'm not a Yankees fan, but I'm not your typical Yankees hater either. I know it might sound weird, but I don't have a favorite team. For the last twenty years, I've rooted more for individual players, probably because I've attended games at 51 different major league stadiums and gotten a bit jaded in the process. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera were two of my all-time favorites, not just on the Yankees, but in all of baseball, so whenever they were directly involved in the game, I rooted for them. I still root for the team in certain situations depending on who's hitting, pitching, etc.


Can you put into words how much of a tug of war is going on inside your head right now when faced with the question of whether to give the ball back or not?


The president of a major auction house told me that the ball could be worth $500,000, but you know what? On a personal, sentimental level, it's worth much more to me than that, so I'd rather keep it than sell it. Of course it's also worth a lot to Alex Rodriguez, so I'm taking that into consideration and considering all my options, including using the ball to raise a whole lot of money and awareness for my favorite children's baseball charity, Pitch In For Baseball. The point is, this is a HUGE decision, and I'm incredibly conflicted.


Can you share some and maybe explain the spectrum of the uproar you are receiving by Yankees fans and non-Yankees fans alike? I assume your most hateful responses have come from Yankees fans, are they any that are “PG” enough that you feel comfortable sharing?


Bald Vinny has said the nastiest things on the biggest platform. I don't care to repeat them here, nor do I feel like getting into a war or words. I can deal with being insulted, but I don't appreciate false accusations, so I'd like to let everyone know that I don't knock over little kids. Despite what Vinny and various media outlets are claiming, it's simply not true. Come watch me during batting practice for five minutes or for the next twenty-five years and you won't see me knock anyone down. I've never done it -- not once in more than 1,200 games! It's not who I am or what I do. Before every single pitch is thrown, I glance to my left and right and often look over my shoulder to make sure I have some room to move in case a ball flies my way. I'm hyper-aware of my surroundings and take special care not to cause physical harm to anyone.


Do you have any regrets for reportedly tweeting out, to paraphrase, that if you caught the 3,000 hit home run ball you would give Alex a “dummy ball and the finger?”


I deeply regret that. I didn't have many followers then, and of course I had no idea that I'd actually end up snagging the ball, so I was just trying to be snarky. But it was a dumb, unnecessary, negative thing to say. Most people say things that they wish they could take back, and for me, this is it.


I think everyone would like to hear your stance on Alex, the game of baseball in the steroid era and his repeated offenses and how it’s affected and shaped the game.


Some of my favorite players of all time -- guys I practically worshiped as a kid -- turned out to be steroid users. It really hurt, and I instantly stopped rooting for them. A-Rod is no different. I understand that many people, especially Yankees fans, still love him, but I hope that people will respect the way I feel.


If you can get into it and name specifics what are some of the things that the Yankees have offered you?


Initially they offered me a chance to meet A-Rod, have my own press conference at Yankee Stadium, appear on the YES Network during the game, receive Legends tickets and all sorts of signed memorabilia including balls, bats and jerseys. I told them I appreciated it, but that the ball was worth more to me than anything they could possibly offer. I had no intention of selling it at first. I was actually planning to keep it forever because it really was THAT meaningful to me. At the very least, I knew I needed to leave the stadium that night with the ball still in my possession. I needed to think about it.


Has Alex Rodriguez tried to contact you directly in any way?


No, and I'm sure he won't. The Yankees said I could meet him if I give the ball back, so if he were to reach out to me, that would diminish their offer. I don't blame A-Rod for staying out of it.


Would this have mattered at all to you if you were the one to catch Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit and not A-Rod's 3,000th hit?


If I had caught Jeter's 3,000th hit, I still would've wanted to leave the stadium with the ball and think about it. I don't think that's unreasonable.


For those who haven’t heard about your blog,, and your books, "How to Snag Major League Baseballs", "Watching Baseball Smarter" and "The Baseball: Stunts, Scandals and Secrets Beneath the Stitches,"tell us how that came about and maybe share a few trade secrets for those of us who have not read the books or seen the blog.


I wrote my first book, How To Snag Major League Baseballs, when I was 19. It was my dad's idea. He was a writer, so he helped me brainstorm and then organize my ideas into an outline. The next book, Watching Baseball Smarter, was his idea too, but he didn't help in any way until the first draft was complete and I wanted his opinion. The third book, The Baseball, was my own idea. My publisher approached me and said they wanted me to write another book, so I worked with them to develop the idea. Then I signed a contract for it up front, quit my regular job, and worked on the book full-time for 18 months. Trade secrets in terms of snagging baseballs? The number one piece of advice is to make sure you have some room to move. I always make sure not to get trapped in the middle of a long row of people, but at Yankee Stadium that's tough because it always so crowded.


Surely you have a fourth book in the works after this whole A-Rod ordeal, any ideas for a title?


I'm considering a bunch of different ways to write about the whole A-Rod thing and share the story with everyone, but I'm not sure if it's book-worthy.


How many baseballs have you caught as of doing this interview?


Including batting practice and all the various ways that I get them, my current total is 8,172. That includes 159 foul balls during games, 32 home runs, and one ground-rule double.


Will your foul ball grabbing record ever be broken and where do you think your 10,000th ball will be caught?


It's certainly possible for someone even crazier and more obsessed to break my record, but I'd say it's unlikely. Camden Yards is my favorite stadium, so I'm thinking it'd be cool to snag my 10,000th ball there.


Is the A-Rod ball the highest profile ball you’ve caught? Do you think it is worth the most monetarily?


It's the highest-profile ball by far -- no question about it -- and I would say that it's worth more by itself than my entire collection.


We’ve heard stories of you catching Barry Bonds 724th home run ball and consecutive home runs inside Yankee Stadium in 2008, which would you say in your favorite memory? Is there a milestone home run ball we missed or don’t know about?


Prior to A-Rod's 3,000th hit, my favorite ball that I caught was the last home run that the Mets ever hit at Shea Stadium. I also caught a Derek Jeter homer in 2012. That was his 3,262nd career hit. And here's another random one that remains as one of my most cherished baseballs: the final out from Mariano Rivera's 313th career save. Later in his career, he saved all the final-out balls, but at that time, he used to toss them into the crowd when he walked off the field.


This isn’t really Yankees related but how did the whole controversy over Mike Trout’s first home run ball come about and how do you think you got stuck in the middle of it?


I'm not aware of any controversy. I caught his first career homer in 2011 at Camden Yards, and I gave the ball back to him after the game, no questions asked, other than to be the person to hand it to him.


Tell us about the charity work that you do with “Pitch in for Baseball” and the work you do with BIGS Sunflower Seeds and your fans to donate money to underprivileged children so they can have baseball and softball equipment.


Since 2009 I've been using my collection to raise money for Pitch In For Baseball, a non-profit charity that provides baseball and softball equipment to underprivileged kids all over the world. Basically, people pledge money for every ball that I snag -- kind of like how your friend will run a marathon and ask you to pledge some money for every mile -- and it all goes to the charity. I've raised nearly $40,000 with the help of BIGS Sunflower Seeds, who sponsored me in 2013 and sent me to all 30 stadiums and made a large donation to the charity. If people Google my name along with the word "charity," they'll find more info about how it works.


Speaking of charity and interviews, is Conan still the worst interview you’ve done since all this went down? Also how many interviews do you think you’ve done since catching the 3,000 hit ball?


Yup, Conan was the worst. When I tried to talk about the charity, he cut me off twice, and when I forced it into the conversation, he made fun of me. He wasn't interested in anything I had to say -- just making me look bad and getting laughs. I did 16 interviews the day after snagging the A-Rod ball, and I've done approximately 35 more since then. There are still at least 100 interview requests that I haven't even responded to. I needed a break this week, so I went to a couple of Yankee games and then spent an evening hanging out with friends. I've also had to stop scheduling interviews because I'm losing my voice.


Is there anything you want to say to the Yankees fans directly? The stage is all yours.


I'm sorry for the negative comments I made about A-Rod. If you guys can forgive him for using performance-enhancing drugs, I hope you'll forgive me for some of the dumb stuff I've said. The Yankees have been so kind to me throughout this whole process, as have most of the fans I've met in person at the Stadium, and I truly appreciate that. I'm hoping to work out a way for A-Rod to get the ball back and for the charity to receive a huge donation and for myself to get some cool experiences and perks at the stadium, but it's taking time. That's why it's dragging on -- not because I'm holding the ball for ransom or trying to get more interview requests. If you see me at the Stadium at some point, please don't hesitate to come say hi.

Zack, thank you so much for probably the most interesting and most hyped interview I have ever done in my years as a blogger. I appreciate you doing this interview for us as the owner of the blog and as a Yankees fan because I was able to get answers to the questions that I and every Yankees fan wanted after the home run was hit. While the saga continues of whether Mr. Hample will or won't give the ball back to Alex we can at least make our judgments now knowing both sides of the story. 

I have found a whole new respect for Zack after doing this interview and see him in an entirely new light, I hope that everyone reading this can as well. I told Zack when I asked for the interview privately and I will reiterate it here on the blog, I was hyper-emotional when the ball was hit and it was not immediately given back. Like Zack did, I said some things that I am not proud of and I didn't mean and I apologized to him and told him it was nothing personal, if he hadn't forgiven then I don't think you would be reading this now. I think when all is said and done 
Pitch In For Baseball will get their donation for a very worthy cause, Zack will get more than ample perks at the Stadium, Yankees fans will forgive and forget and Alex will get the ball.

Yankees Send Two to All-Star Futures Game in 2017

The All-Star Game and their festivities in Major League Baseball is one of, if not the greatest All-Star Game set in all of the four major sports. Sure everyone gets hyped over the slam dunk contest in the NBA and many people enjoy the Pro Bowl in the NFL but no one puts on a show quite like Major League Baseball. You have the Home Run Derby, you have the actual All-Star Game itself and you also have the XM Futures Game which showcases top prospects from around the league representing not only their team but their countries as well. It has become quite an honor to represent your team and country in the XM Futures Game over the years and two members of the New York Yankees will be representing the team and Team World here in 2017, Domingo Acevedo and Estevan Florial.

Acevedo is currently pitching with the Double-A Trenton Thunder while Florial is an outfielder with the Charleston Riverdogs. Florial was born in Port Au Prince, Haiti while Acevedo was born in Villa los Almacigos in the Dominican Republic.

It’s also worth mentioning that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays Class-A team and Yoan Moncada of the Chicago White Sox Triple-A team will be teammates of both Acevedo and Florial in the game.

Game Preview: New York Yankees @ Houston Astros 7/1

Welcome to July baseball Yankees family and welcome back to Minute Maid Park in Houston where the Houston Astros will play host to the New York Yankees in the second of a three-game weekend set. These may very well be the top two, and most injured, teams in all of the American League which can be fun and at the same time extremely frustrating for the fans. In today’s contest the Yankees will send out Jordan Montgomery to the mound looking to get the Yankees back atop first place in the American League East Division and atop the division to stay while the Astros will counter with Francis Martes.

Montgomery has been great in his last three starts for the Yankees posting a 2-0 record with a 3.44 ERA. Montgomery has had his highs and lows this season as should be expected from any rookie pitcher but he has been consistent more times than not and has given the Yankees valuable innings at the back end of the starting rotation.

Martes will be making just his fourth start of his MLB career tonight and his first start against the New York Yankees, no pressure. In Martes’ last outing he allowed two runs on two hits and four walks only lasting a total of two innings against the Seattle Mariners. Yeah, more of that tonight against the Bronx Bombers please.

The game will be played at 7:15 pm ET inside Minute Maid Park and can be seen on FOX. You can also follow along in your cars and on the radio for this game and all season long by tuning into WFAN with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. Say what you will about the “Mr. and Ms. Baseball” broadcast but I’ve always enjoyed hearing Sterling’s commentary, gaffs and home run calls. Enjoy the game. Go Yankees!!!

Feliz Navidad, in June, for the Yankees...

Credit:  Associated Press
Yankees 13, Astros 4…

I have to admit that I thought Friday night’s game against the Astros was going to be a struggle.  The Yankees did not arrive in Houston until 6 am after playing and the losing the rain-delayed game in Chicago the night before.  They arrived deep in the heart of Texas to play MLB’s best team and were scheduled to face the very tough Lance McCullers, Jr, the son of a former Yankee.  It was noted before the game that McCullers had not given up more than three runs in any of his home starts this year.  Against the Yankees, he was 2-0 with 0.75 ERA since 2016.  Fortunately, the Yankees came together as a team…as they’ve frequently done this year…and came away with the decisive victory.

Early on, it looked like it was going to be another struggle for runs that would potentially come up short.  The Astros scored their first run in the bottom of the inning when George Springer led off with a double against Yankees starter Michael Pineda.  He moved to third on a ground out and scored on a sac fly by All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve.

The Yankees picked up a run to tie the game in the third.  Brett Gardner led off with a double when the ball dropped in despite a running dive by Astros right fielder Josh Reddick.  It looked like McCullers might escape when he struck out the next two batters, but Didi Gregorius doubled  down the first base line to score Gardy.

The Yankees had two runners in scoring position in the top of the 4th with no outs.  Unfortunately, both Tyler Wade and Chris Carter struck out.  The inning was over when the runner on third, Austin Romine, attempted to score on a wild pitch.  Nice trick slide though as Romine tried unsuccessfully to evade the tag.

Credit:  Bob Levey-Getty Images
In the bottom of the 4th, the Astros led off with two singles.  A throwing error by right fielder Tyler Wade put runners at second and third.  After former Yankee Brian McCann struck out, another former Yankee, Carlos Beltran, hit into a ground out which scored the lead runner.  Marwin Gonzalez followed with a single to score a run and the Astros led, 3-1.  With McCullers Jr pitching well, it looked like it would be difficult to make a comeback.  

But the light at the end of tunnel occurred in the sixth inning.  Didi Gregorius opened with a single.  After Chase Headley struck out, Austin Romine walked and the Astros made a pitching change.  They brought in Michael Feliz to replace McCullers Jr.  Ronald Torreyes greeted Feliz with a single to left, scoring Gregorius.  Tyler Wade struck out for the second out, but Chris Carter, Brett Gardner, and Jacoby Ellsbury followed with run-scoring singles to put the Yankees up, 5-3.  A fielding error allowed Gardy to advance to 3rd.  He scored the fifth and final run of the inning when Feliz threw a wild pitch.  6-3, Yankees.  I really hated to see Feliz go but the Astros brought in Reymin Guduan and he secured the final out.  

Credit:  Karen Warren-Houston Chronicle
Nevertheless, the 7th brought more Yankee offense.  Chase Headley and Austin Romine opened with singles, and Ronald Torreyes walked to load the bases.  Tyler Wade hit a grounder that erased Headley at home and Chris Carter (wait for it) struck out.  So, with two outs and the bases loaded, Brett Gardner, who largely struggled during the month of June, came to the plate.  On a 3-2 count, Gardy put one over the right center field wall for the grand slam (his 15th homer of the year, and just two away from his career high).  

Credit:  Bob Levey-Getty Images
With the seven run lead, Michael Pineda’s night was finished.  Much better results than the last time Pineda faced a Texas team.  Pineda (8-4) went 6 innings and allowed 7 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), and struck out 3.  He didn’t walk anybody and more importantly, he didn’t give up any home runs.  It wasn’t a perfect outing but he gave the Yankees exactly what they needed…a fighting chance until the offense got untracked.  

The Astros picked up a meaningless run in the 8th when Josh Reddick opened with a double and advanced to third on a throwing error by Jacoby Ellsbury.  He scored when Jose Altuve grounded out.  Despite a subsequent single allowed, Bryan Mitchell, who had relieved Pineda in the 7th, was able to get out of the inning without any further damage.

The Yankees tacked on three more runs in the 9th.  Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade both walked.  Chris Carter struc…I mean…doubled to score Torreyes.  Brett Gardner lofted a sac fly to right to score Wade, his 6th RBI of the game.  Jacoby Ellsbury hit into a groundout, scoring Carter.  The runs gave the Yankees the final margin of victory, 13-4.  Bryan Mitchell set down the Astros in order in the bottom of the ninth to earn his first save of the season.  Great job by Mitchell to protect the bullpen and to keep the Astros down.  

The Boston Red Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-4, in 11 innings, so the Yankees (43-35) remain one game behind in the AL East Standings.  The Tampa Bay Rays also won in extra innings (6-4 over the Baltimore Orioles) so they are still 3 games behind the Yankees.

This was a great team victory.

Ronald Torreyes, the "Tall" One...
Credit:  Karen Warren-Houston Chronicle
Odds & Ends…

All of our hearts are with Yankees outfielder Dustin Fowler as he begins his recovery from knee surgery on Thursday night.  It will be a long, hard road of recovery and rehabilitation.  It’s been reported that he’ll be on crutches for three months before he begins physical therapy.  Everyone is hopeful that he’ll be ready by the time training camp in Tampa opens next February.  I thought it was cool the team had a face-time call with Fowler in Joe Girardi’s office before yesterday’s game.  

In the aftermath of Fowler's devastating injury, the Yankees made a few expected moves on Friday.  With the placement of Fowler on the 10-Day DL and the demotion of Ronald Herrera to Triple A, the Yankees recalled RHP Bryan Mitchell and 3B Miguel Andujar.  For Andujar, he returns as a Major League Vet albeit with just one game under his belt.  But it will be hard for him to match that terrific first impression (3 hits, 4 ribbies).  I hope his defense is ready to play at the MLB level.  I'd like to see him get a few turns at third as an alternative to Chase Headley and Ronald Torreyes.  I am glad to see that Mitchell is back.  He is a Major League pitcher that just gets caught in the numbers game.  But he's always been one of my favorites.  Best of luck...and both men.

Clint Frazier, according to multiple reports, will be called up today for his first trip to the big leagues.  I was surprised when the Yankees recalled Miguel Andujar after previously saying they wanted him to get more reps at third.  Nothing against Andujar and of course he had the greatest possible MLB debt performance, but the Yankees have a greater need in the outfield.  Rob Refsnyder is not the right answer to rotate with Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Aaron Judge (keeping those guys fresh).  I’ve heard the most likely candidate to be sent down will be reliever Bryan Mitchell who made an extended appearance in last night’s game in relief of Michael Pineda.  I assume that Andujar is another potential candidate for the trip to Scranton, PA.  He was a convenient call-up for the Yankees following Fowler’s injury because he was still in Chicago.  Frazier will be the 10th Yankee to make his MLB debut this year (counting Fowler’s very brief appearance).  

Credit:  J Conrad Williams, Jr
CC Sabathia pitched a simulated game on Thursday and is expecting to make his next start.  I assume that Luis Cessa will be return to Scranton when Sabathia is activated off the DL.  Still no word about Matt Holliday as tests continue.  This is a bit frightening, to say the least.  I really hope this is not something more serious than we’ve been led to believe.  Tyler Clippard was away from the team on Friday to attend his grandmother’s funeral.  He is expected back today.

Have a great Saturday!  Even better if the Yankees can pull out a second victory against a very tough Astros squad.  Let’s Go Yankees!

Dustin Fowler Out, Jake Cave In?

EDIT: Clint Frazier called up making this entire post moot. Meh.

How heartbreaking was it to watch as Dustin Fowler ran into the wall in right field during his Major League debut only to have to undergo season-ending knee surgery in the first inning? I was personally pretty shook up about it because I have been watching these prospects fight and claw their way to the Major Leagues for what feels like forever so now that the Yankees organization is now giving them their shot I almost feel like a proud father of sorts. To see one of them go down in their first inning in the big leagues is just utterly disappointing but as I have said many times on this blog… the New York Yankees are resilient. The New York Yankees will just plug in someone else and the New York Yankees will bounce back so with Dustin Fowler out with a pretty significant tear in his knee could this open the door for fellow outfielder Jake Cave?

Jake Cave has been hot and he may be hot at just the right time. In his first 10 games back in Triple-A the lefty has hit .429/.459/.886 with three home runs and seven runs scored collecting at least one hit in all ten of those games. Could this kind of protection get him a spot on the 40 man roster with Dustin Fowler now done for the season?

Cave has many outfielders in front of him on the depth chart including Clint Frazier but Frazier is deemed not ready for MLB action yet and the Yankees need an outfielder with Aaron Hicks on the shelf. For now New York may seem content with running Rob Refsnyder out there… but for how long? Will we see Cave soon? Maybe this weekend or at the beginning of next week? Stay tuned.

Also, how awesome of a story would it be if Cave were to get the call to the Major Leagues and succeed? After being selected in the Rule 5 Draft back in December of 2015 by the Cincinnati Reds the center fielder went to almost the last day on Spring Training before being returned to the Yankees before Opening Day. Cave was assigned to Double-A Trenton where he got off to a .288/.353/.510 start in 27 games earning him a call-up to Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders. Cave finished the 2016 campaign in Triple-A with a .261 average in 89 games and was once again left unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft. This time no teams came calling for his services.

This would be the ultimate rags to riches story if I’ve ever seen one. Cave has stood up to diversity time and time again and won so there’s no reason to believe he won’t do so again if and when he finally gets that call to the show. I’m rooting for you Jake.

CC Sabathia: “I’m Ready”

The New York Yankees have been hit by the injury bug more than most teams this season but if you read my “So it Seems” on Friday you saw that the Yankees are as resilient as any team in the league. This team has hung around despite the injuries and I predicted that when the team gets some of their stars back off the disabled list that they could be a scary team to keep an eye on going forward in the second half this season. The first wave of reinforcements could be on the way soon though for the Yankees, especially if you ask a certain somebody.

CC Sabathia, in an interview recently, told reporters “I’m ready.” Sabathia went on to say that “I feel like I’m ready to go” after throwing a 50 pitch simulated game on Thursday. Sabathia simulated three innings and believes he can avoid a minor league rehab start or two despite being on the disabled list since June 15 with a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring.

Naturally the Yankees and their manager Joe Girardi are being cautious with Sabathia, and I guess for good reason although my fandom and my patience sometimes blind me of that fact, and will wait for Sabathia to throw another bullpen session today before deciding the next step for the left-hander.

So how will it go today and when will Sabathia be back in the Bronx? Stay tuned. 

So it Seems Zack Hample is in the Advice Giving Profession Now

Zack Hample used to sell books, now it seems he is in the advice giving profession. What do I mean? Hample spoke to the USA Today this week and was giving advice to fans about how to catch baseballs in the stands at Major League games. If you really want to catch a ball I guess Hample is the person you need to be talking with as he has caught around 9,800 baseballs since 1990 including Barry Bonds’ 724th career home run and Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit, a home run in the right field bleachers inside Yankee Stadium.

Hample suggests getting to the ballpark early, at least 90 minutes before first pitch, to catch balls from batting practice or to get a ball thrown to you from the players on the field. Hample has a few other suggestions for catching fly and foul balls that I won’t bore you with but if you want to read about it then head over to the USA Today and check it out.

No bigger or better catch has ever been made, even by Zack Hample, than you Kari Ann Burch. I love you. Enjoy your weekend everybody. 

This Day in New York Yankees History 7/1: Andy Hawkins No-Hitter

On this day in 1990 Yankees pitcher Andy Hawkins throws a no hitter against the Chicago White Sox and loses the game 4-0. He is not credited with an official no hitter since he only had to throw 8 IP and the White Sox did not have to hit in the 9th inning.

Also on this day in 1944 Joe DiMaggio tied the major league consecutive hit record of 44 held by Wee Willie Keeler.

Finally on this day in 1914 Yankees first basemen Harry Kingman became the first person born in China to play in a major league game. He would go 0-3 with a walk but the historic aspect remains relevant.