Zack Hample was featured on the CBS Evening News last night with Katie Couric and although he appears a little obsessed with the pursuit of snagged baseballs, it was interesting to see the methods he employs to increase his chances of obtaining them. He is even able to plead for a baseball in many different languages in case he is watching a game with foreign players.

In a sense, his positioning in the stands would have to be based on statistical modeling of player tendencies and where they might hit a ball. And his using a bit of deception and clever ways of snagging free balls raises interesting ethical questions.

Well, “the squeaky wheel gets the oil” and “he who asks gets” and “the early bird gets the worm” are three sayings that come to mind in Zack’s case. Assertive ball snagging.

Here are some of Zack’s tricks for catching baseballs:

1. Get to the stadium early and claim a spot near the field during batting practice.

2. Know the players. During batting practice, call them by their first names and specifically ask for a ball.

3. If you know a player speaks Spanish, Japanese or another language, learn how to politely ask for a ball in his language.

4. Avoid crowded games. Try going to the first game of a double-header or a game on a rainy day.

5. Watch games on TV carefully to see where balls are most likely to land in your stadium.



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