Hample has a ball with hobby

Posted: Monday, August 27, 2012, 9:15 am

When Zack Hample started snagging baseballs at Major League games at the age of 12, his parents thought it was a "cute" hobby.

Zack HampleNow, in pursuit of his hobby, Hample's collection contains 6,279 baseballs, including Barry Bonds' 724th career homer, two of the last 10 homerun balls hit at the old Yankee Stadium and the very last homer hit at Shea Stadium.

Even with so many, Hample has no plans to call it quits, but admits that he thinks about being more selective about the baseballs he gets. "I really want to catch a milestone home run (such as a player's 100th or 500th career homer), and I'd also love to catch a World Series home run."

For now, though, he loves his hobby – even turning it into a fundraiser for the non-profit charity, Pitch In for Baseball – and enjoys sharing the secrets of his success with others.

Hample, who wrote Watching Baseball Smarter, The Baseball: Stunts, Scandals, and Secrets beneath the Stitches and How to Snag Major League Baseballs, will be in town doing just that.

The event is part of the Hear & Now author series, co-sponsored by Worthington Libraries and the Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center (MAC), 777 Evening St. It will start at 7pm on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at the MAC.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and under, including a meet-the-author reception. Tickets are also $5 for members of the Friends Foundation of Worthington Libraries and McConnell Arts Center (author reception included).

Tickets are available now at the MAC; by phone at 614-431-0329; and online at mcconnellarts.org/wp/events. In order to receive their discount, Friends Foundation of Worthington Libraries members must use a special code when purchasing tickets; call 614-807-2605.

Former advertising executive Jane Maas will read on Sept. 27 during Hear & Now, which is also sponsored by The Ohio State University Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing and Holiday Inn.

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