New York Yankees

Zack Hample, the man who caught Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit this past weekend has brought a very interesting and deserving dynamic forward.

By Kevin Flynn

We, in New York, have had this debate for the last half-decade.

Derek Jeter gets it. Alex Rodriguez doesn’t.

The two former friends and teammates will almost forever be linked with this comparison.

Captain Clutch understands how to play the game the right way. Jeter is about the team, the franchise, making life-long friends during his tenure, and last but certainly not least, winning.1yanks2

Rodriguez, has always been about his statistics, his records, his reputation, his legions of women and most certainly, his money.

It wasn’t until 2009, when A-Rod really helped the New York Yankees win a World Series title. His first, and Jeter’s fifth. Still, make no mistakes about it, Rodriguez was the one that really helped the Yankees knock off the Philadelphia Phillies for Championship No. 27.

But as irony and karma got together for drinks, or rode the subway back from the game, it is almost comical how the comparison between the same two players comes to light over the same similar feat they both accomplished: hitting a home run for career hit number 3000.

Unfortunately, #ARod3K has brought an already sickening narrative to the forefront.

In the last few days, we have had to lay witness to the self-serving ego of one Zack Hample. The self-proclaimed “ball-hawk,” who has a ridiculous collection of over 7,000 Major League Baseballs had to be the one to catch A-Rod’s 3000 home run ball.

As Alex has played out his career by using PED’s and having to apologize for it not once, but twice, he now has to suffer the selfishness of one Zach Hample.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Hample can do whatever he wants with the ball. I’m certainly not going to say what he should do versus what he should not do. That is not my decision, and it is only his.

But what he is doing is making us suffer so he can fill his own personal agenda of gaining fifteen minutes of fame…and running with it for four-days.

Personally, I’m done with this saga. Hample has his own website. He wrote three books about “catching baseballs,” and seriously, how else would you know about them if it weren’t for the promotional tour that he is on?

That same tour that he is creating for himself is now getting ridiculous.

Keep it. Sell it.

This dramatic back and forth is not Shakespeare, it’s not even reality TV, it’s just you trying to sell yourself. No one is buying and you’re just not getting it.

Now let me prove the all important point beyond a reasonable doubt. Remember Christian Lopez? I think we all do.

The reason we remember Christian Lopez is because he does, indeed, get it.

The man who caught Jeter’s 3000-hit home run ball understood that it’s only a baseball. It’s a sport that grown men play for a living and that he would have a lifetime ahead of him to make money.

Mr. Lopez referred to Derek Jeter as Mr. Jeter. He had respect for the players and their accomplishments and literally just gave the ball to The Captain because it was the right thing to do.

In turn, Lopez was rewarded with tickets to every Yankees game for the rest of the season, some sports memorabilia from the Yankees, and a job at his local Modell’s Sporting Goods.

Oh, and there’s that little thing he acquired called “respect,” from each and every fan of baseball.

Mr. Hample, you sir are not getting it.

I looked at your website and it’s all about you. You are preaching to sports shows that you may or may not give the ball back. You have been saying that you want to do something for charity.

Great! Do something good for others with A-Rod’s 3000 hit ball or not, but stop serving yourself and your own fame because it won’t last if you keep this up. Yankees fans will forever remember Christian Lopez as “one of us” because he did the right thing. We’re still waiting on your move, but not on bated breath like you may think.

Just please know that actions speak way louder than words.

Perhaps something bigger is at play here. Perhaps, because this was A-Rod who hit the home run, there would be no easy answer with the ball and the fan who caught it.

It makes sense. This is A-Rod, nothing comes easy.

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A Rabid NY Giants and Yankees fan, with a soft spot for all other NY Sports teams. A Poker loving, Fantasy Sports playing phenom who is also a former Professional Wrestler. Yes, I said it....the Squared Circle. I cover Professional Wrestling, along with the NFL, MLB and some other fun stuff for Elite Sports NY. A successful and loyal Husband, Father, Brother and Son. A Man who wears many hats in life, figuratively and literally.