Several years ago, my mother caught on to my love of baseball and bought me the book, "Watching Baseball Smarter." At first, I thought to myself, what on earth could a BOOK teach me about baseball that I couldn't learn from watching a ton of baseball? But from new rules and old facts and intriguing questions I never thought to ask, the book actually opened my mind to a lot of different things about baseball.
A few years later, I found myself having read the book several times, and bringing it to every baseball game I attended. At one point, I literally threw my book at an umpire (who was unfortunately protected by the netting) for getting the rules wrong, exclaiming, "I'm a girl and I know more about baseball than you!" And furthermore prompting him to pick up a copy of Zack Hample's literary work.
Little did I know that Alex Rodriguez would soon be up for his 3,000th hit*, a feat commonly debated upon whether or not he has truly earned. A Rod has been caught using steroids, swears by his life he never did anything wrong (despite admitting to using steroids for a brief stint of his career), appealed a 211-game suspension, served a 162-game suspension after whining and crying about it, and now fans are saying he "earned" his 3,000th hit.
While Zack Hample, the man who caught the home run ball, refuses to give it back.
So far, he's had plenty of responses, including some that think the "right thing to do" is to return the ball to its owner.
Seriously, I think it's impractical to refer to anything to do with A-Rod as the "right thing to do."
(I honestly don't even want to dignify these guys with space in this post.)
The best part about all of this, however, is his tweet reply approximately 23 hours before catching the ball, to which he answered the question, "If A Rod's 3k hit is a HR and you catch it, would you give him the ball?" Unfortunately Hample has since deleted it, but thank goodness for screen shots:
Hample, however, stays true to the baseball-loving personality I've come to know through his books. His biggest concern is how much of the game he's missing from all this spectacle.
This night has been a whirlwind. I think I've only seen about one inning of the game.— Zack Hample (@zack_hample) June 20, 2015
Don't worry, Hample. You have at least one person who stands behind your decision.