Zack Hample, the unrivaled king of catching foul balls, asked Clayton Kershaw for a ball on Sunday and was whiffed by the Dodgers’ left-hander.
Hample, a New York City native, was on hand at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park for the series finale between the Reds and Dodgers. He wanted the ball because it was a special, limited edition ball for Father’s Day.
Hample tweeted: Today, I asked Clayton Kershaw if I could have a baseball. He said, “No, you got 7,000 of ‘em.” #rejected.
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But you don’t collect nearly 10,000 (according to Hample’s Wikipedia page) without being persistent. He caught home run balls at the old Yankee Stadium on consecutive nights in September of 2008. Less than two weeks later, Hample caught the last home run hit by a Mets player (Carlos Beltran) at Shea Stadium.
Hample’s next Tweet stated: … it was a blue Father’s Day ball. I said, “It would mean so much to me,” and Kershaw was like, “No, it wouldn’t.”
A few minutes later, Hample was back at it: … with that logic, Kershaw’s next paycheck shouldn’t mean all that much to him, right?
The 29-year-old Kershaw, one of the top pitchers in the game, signed a seven-year, $215 million contract prior to the 2014 season. He will earn more than $35 million this season.
A day later, Hample Tweeted a 14-second video clip that showed a pleasant interaction between Kershaw and Hample at the 2016 All-Star Game at San Diego’s Petco Park.
Hample pointed out in that same Tweet that Kershaw has tossed baseballs to him on three other occasions.