Zack Hample, Conan O’Brien and why ballhawking is still a bad choice

I like to think that I am the world's foremost expert on d-bags who wear gloves to a baseball game. When I am asked to go on CNN to comment on the Happy Youngster's inevitable serial killing spree, I want it to to look like this.

cnnpic

I can talk and write about this topic forever. They never stop being fun to make fun of. I know the ins and outs of the game and in some ways I'm the Bill James of the hating-ballhawks community. So you should know that NOTHING on this planet gave me more pleasure than seeing Conan O'Brien give him the business on the Tonight Show. In case you missed it:

If anything my only complaint is that he didn't make fun of him enough, but Conan and Jeff Garlin did a fine job of doing the Lord's work with comments and a general "can you believe this guy?" attitude. I almost started to feel sorry for the guy and his complete inability to realize the joke was on him. Then I saw his pants and what he looked like when his hat fell off and it all washed away. Here's some of my favorite quotes:

"I actually raise my voice an octove."

He was serious when he said this. Really.

"You sit next to me at a ballgame I'm gonna sit on you."

Glad to see Jeff Garlin get disgusted. You'd think he was on the Deadspin podcast or something.

"I think you're the worst man in America."

I love this quote because while it's not really true it says to the entire viewing audience "F this guy. I don't like him and neither should you." Which is all we can ever really ask for.

"I like to go alone because I don't like to be bothered."

Translation: I have no friends.

Hopefully this appearance will be Hample's last appearance on TV or any sort of media. I am tired of every couple of months having to get annoyed because ESPN, CBS or some other media outlet can't think of anything to write about so they bring one of these idiots on to explain their craft. The reason these guys are doing this is because they want attention. They want to feel special. For whatever reason, most likely because they are completely lame, they have never gotten to feel special in their lives but when they catch a baseball at a game people think they're cool. It's not easy to catch a baseball at a game, even if you are wearing a glove, and you have to run over a lot of little kids to do it, but when you do make that catch people think it's cool and give you a high five. It feels good to get a high five from strangers, but it's not enough to base your livelihood upon. You have to do stuff. You have to put yourself out there and be somebody. You can't just expect to gain the adulation and respect you feel you have been wronged out of your entire life by simply catching baseballs and getting players to throw you balls because you ask them in their native tongue. That's not real life. That's not life. It's a sad pathetic excuse for a life.

So listen to this all you wannabe ballhawks out there, want to be something else. Want to be something that makes people stand up and notice you, not something that makes you stand up and ridicule you. With this appearance on the Tonight Show, Zack Hample has reached the pinnacle of what a ballhawk can be. A book deal, a ton of baseballs with no value to anyone besides himself, a few write-ups and television appearances followed by public humiliation on one of the world's biggest stages. Is that the kind of life you want for yourself? Is this the way you want people to view you? Ballhawking is a dead-end people, find something else to do.

[BigLeagueStew]

Vince Morales is the guy who runs this site. He likes the Milwaukee Brewers, pro wrestling and beer. If he offended you he is very, very sorry.

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22 comments on “Zack Hample, Conan O’Brien and why ballhawking is still a bad choice

  1. Anonymous on said:

    Can I like this twice?

  2. Anonymous on said:

    This year I actually caught a ball that was thrown into the stands by Braun….it was way cool, after several hundred games in my life, I was able to get a ball, no glove used either. I would like to get ahome run ball someday but I can’t see how the excitment would last after 10 or so balls.

    I would be more impressed if he could catch a few in his mouth or something.

  3. Anonymous on said:

    Remember the episode of Family Affair where Jodi’s dad caught 3 balls at the Astrodome? Of course Jodi was asleap and did not appreciate it….how sad. Mr. French made things etter by the end I think.

  4. saw this live the other night. Didya hear the part about his imaginary girlfriend named Joan?

  5. Anonymous on said:

    I was so disturbed by his appearance on Conan that I googled him and then found his terrifying website. That FAQ is longer than a telephone book.

  6. SconnieGirl808 on said:

    I’m SO bummed I missed the ‘live’ version of this. Wow. I think I set a new record for the number of times I said, “What a JERK!” in a single guest interview.

  7. Anonymous on said:

    I like how you can call people who wear gloves dbags and then you put THAT picture up of yourself. Next time try wearing a snuggie, that might help the coolness quotient! I see why you stick to writing and not tv. By judging of your picture you have no athletic skill so you choose to finally let out all that repressed high school angst here on this site. So please continue to tear apart people you will never understand or ever be like, why? It shows me that you are in fact a bigger DOUCHE than ANYONE you make fun of!

    I will pay you one compliment. You’re man enough to admit that you are nothing but a typical band wagon jumper. “I only became a fan after Mark bought the team.” I am glad that your “valued” opinion is just a dude who can’t even remember the great days of county stadium.

    Just a quick fyi, I am NOT Zach or the happy youngster, more just a fan sick of seeing you raining on others parades so you can have the best float. For your next website maybe call up Perez and do a joint effort. Seeing that you both are one and the same.

  8. Miller Park Drunk on said:

    I love being one of those typical band wagon jumpers who follow a team more intently the year after they finish 67-94.

  9. Anonymous on said:

    Should have kept that bottled up a little longer.

  10. Anonymous on said:

    MPD-

    you sure spend an enormous amount of your time making fun of successful people. Why not use your time more wisely (ex. get your lazy ass on a treadmill, volunteer at a hospital or church, go pick up litter in your neighborhood, add meaning to your life, etc.)?

    But, that takes true effort. It’s so much easier to bring others down.
    Try this: worry less about others and improve your own worthless existence.
    You’ll be better for it.

  11. Anonymous on said:

    What you said

    ‘The reason these guys are doing this is because they want attention. They want to feel special. For whatever reason, most likely because they are completely lame, they have never gotten to feel special in their lives but when they catch a baseball at a game people think they’re cool. It’s not easy to catch a baseball at a game, even if you are wearing a glove, and you have to run over a lot of little kids to do it, but when you do make that catch people think it’s cool and give you a high five.’

    I think inside you feel completely lame and would like to get some attention and be something special and are baggin on Zack because Zack Hample is that, special. He can boast a list of achievements that make him utterly unique and original while I found out about you researching him. Your article reflects a large mouth and a small brain. Your intelligence could probably be measured with a tea spoon and there would still be room left over. Your existence is indeed what you project onto Zack and you in fact hate YOURSELF. Your writing reflects an opinion with no grounds or knowledge about who Zack is what makes him tick and what it takes to do what he does. Hate all you want, its just reflection of who you are, Zack is something you can’t touch and on a level you will never acheive.

  12. Anonymous on said:

    Zacks not really into what people think of him. Hes into doing what he wants to do and thinks people get in the way. He doesnt do it for glory, he does it because HE wants to.

  13. Anonymous on said:

    lol, i don’t think there is any glory involved in catching thousands of baseballs then getting laughed at by America on national TV.
    He’s a douche because he’s too blind and full of himself to realize that he’s getting made fun of. Get a clue ball-hawks, nobody’s laughing with you…they’re all laughing AT you.

  14. Anonymous on said:

    You said

    ‘Your intelligence could probably be measured with a tea spoon and there would still be room left over.’

    Why use a tea spoon when you can use one more fit to the volume?

  15. nwest33 on said:

    If the guy was a little more humble about himself, perhaps people might see him in a different light. I’ll bet Conan was hoping Zack would catch two balls, right on his chin.

  16. Anonymous on said:

    I came across this post while in the midst of a debate with Zack himself after I basically said all the same things about ballhawks. Here’s what I had to say (nearly 2 months ago).
    http://mccarpie.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/10/ugh_ballhawks.html

    And here was Zack’s rebuttal (like, 2 days ago).
    http://snaggingbaseballs.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/11/the_latest_attack_on_ballhawks.html

    Such a class act. Let it be known, this is my only response to the whole thing, as I’m not going to let it play out on mlblogs like certain other people think is necessary.

  17. Anonymous on said:

    Hey Zack, how bout you start helping those charities by donating your own stash of 4300 baseballs instead of mooching dough from others?

    “Zack is something you can’t touch and on a level you will never acheive.”(sic) Somehow I doubt MPD or any decent, thinking person would want to “touch” Zach or anything like him, or would consider what Zach has done as an “achievement.”

    What a king douche

  18. Anonymous on said:

    this guy isnt a douche your all just jealous because he has skill and you dont. and by the way, he raises money to buy equipment for those less fortunate ones in poor countrys.

  19. Anonymous on said:

    i dont see whats wrong with having a hobby of collecting baseballs. god you people need to quit crying.

  20. Anonymous on said:

    I was at a game and I saw this guy Zach Ha

  21. millerparkdrunk on said:

    amen this guy is a total DICK. let the kids get the balls or go play softball

  22. Anonymous on said:

    I don’t see what the big deal is? How is this guy a total dick? I find this post quite rude. He has raised $14,000 for charity since he started it, and that money goes towards baseball gear for kids who want to play baseball, but can’t afford it. He also gives away a lot of the balls that he snags to little kids. And what’s the problem with people who wear gloves? Do you know how much it hurts to barehand a ball hit at a Major League game? No you don’t. Trust me. I know. That’s why I always bring my glove to games. If a ball comes near me, I want to be able to try and catch it, rather than break my hand making an ass of myself.

    See..the major problem I have with people that are “against” ballhawks is the name calling, the negative assumptions, and the constant badgering over something someone does at a baseball game. The other problem I have with ballhawk haters is the fact that they think all the little kids at the stadium are entitled to every baseball hit into the seats. I have been about 50 games in my life, and every game I attend I witness more kids getting baseballs, autographs and whatever else the baseball players get. And I think that is wonderful. I encourage kids to come to the stadiums whenever they possibly can.

    I just dont understand why people have to call Ballhawks losers, douchebags, retards or no-life nerds.

    There are plenty of ballhawks, men and women alike, that are married, have successful jobs, families, girlfriends, boyfriends etc. Kids arent the only fans at games. Kids are entitled to everything hit or thrown into the stands. Kids actually get to participate in A LOT more programs than adults. And Zack Hample snags baseballs for charity.

    Just because these guys go to games and snag baseballs while youre up in the stands drinking $8 dollar watered-down beer doesnt make them any less of a fan. No one is trampling kids, no one is “stealing” baseballs, and no one is getting in the way of someone else trying to enjoy the game.
    Its time to get along, and let people do what they do at the stadiums.

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