The Houston Astros won the 2017 World Series and are champions for the first time in franchise history, besting the Los Angeles Dodgers in a thrilling series that took all seven games to decide. But because this show aired live on the night of Game 7, there was no way to discuss the outcome of the World Series. Instead, we had the pleasure of chatting to someone who attends baseball games for a living to collect baseballs.
Before we get into Episode 90, as a reminder, The Bridge is broadcast as a one-hour radio show every Wednesday night at 7 ET / 4 PT on Sports Radio America. A rerun is then aired the following hour as well. Once the dust settles from that live broadcast, the show is released as a podcast on iTunes and on this website the following day on Thursday. You can listen to the show every Wednesday on Sports Radio America here or through the TuneIn app, and find some bonus content, including a weekly gambling segment, when the show comes out in podcast form.
- “Sports News Read Like Real News” told the tale of the Cleveland Browns making yet another Cleveland Browns blunder in failing to complete a trade because of emails (2:19).
- The Bridge Question of the Week is: What is your biggest moment from the 2017 MLB season, and why? Leave a voicemail or text in your answer to 929-BRIDGE7, that’s 929-274-3437, and you’ll make it on the next show.
- This week’s guest is Zack Hample, a published author, Arkanoid world champion and someone you might know as Foul Ball Guy. Whether you love him or hate him, Zack is a polarizing figure in baseball fandom, turning a passionate hobby of snagging baseballs for the past several decades into a career. He’s the grandfather of ballhawking, and not only will you see him roaming the stands during batting practice, you’ll also see him taking the time to sign countless autographs and pose for countless selfies before, during and after games. You also might know Zack from some more negative portrayals in sports media, from his decision of what to do with A-Rod’s 3,000th hit, to attending a game put on for service members in Ft. Bragg, to most recently being in prime position to catch a home run in the ALDS at Yankee Stadium, only to have Aaron Judge jump up and rob it. He’s been featured on several different outlets, he’s written three books, he holds a world record in an 80s arcade game and has a rubber band ball that is most likely heavier than your family members. I wanted to know who Zack Hample is, how he turned his hobby into a career and why some people on the internet hate him so much. The first two were easy, but I just cant figure out the last one, and maybe this will change your mind, too. Zack has been very thorough in answering any question you can think under his FAQs page on zackhample.com, and has addressed any of the “scandals” that he’s dealt with in recent years, both with blog posts and on other shows. So, if we don’t touch on something particular in this interview, you’ll be able to find it somewhere else, even though Zack was incredibly generous with his time and in answering everything I thought to ask. We’ll chat about how this all got started, some tips and tricks to his success of ballhawking and how he’s handled the good and bad of that success, what he does once baseball season is over and much more.
- Follow Zack on Twitter -> @zack_hample and on YouTube. The interview starts at the 13:07 mark.
– In the interview, we discuss:
What is on the back of his ballhawking baseball card (14:04), how he started collecting baseballs (16:56), if he had a favorite team growing up (18:15), if the ballhawking hobby helped allow baseball to still be something “played” (19:21), what attending a typical baseball game is like (21:01), how long it took him to become skilled at ballhawking (23:31), advice to the aspiring ballhawker (25:37), what made him decide to make all his “secrets” public (29:00), why he doesn’t like his first book, “How to Snag Major League Baseballs” and re-writing the information in his third book, “The Baseball” (31:21), when his hobby began taking off in the public eye (34:39), what the lowest point through all this has been and the fallout from it (38:24), how Barstool Sports has helped his hobby (42:31), what it means to have a following and dealing with fans (46:26),
Eazy (or) Pass, featuring some quick-hitting questions (51:25)
* The worst injury sustained from ballhawking (52:01)
* What baseball glove he uses (52:34)
* “The Glove Trick” (53:28)
* Throwing back a home run (54:05)
* Friendship with Lisa Ann (55:04)
* Best thing in his apartment (55:57)
* First album and first concert (40:24)
* What era of baseball he wishes he could have attended a game (57:47)
* Any disappointment for not actually catching the A-Rod 3,000th home run (59:34)
* Favorite children’s board game (1:01:34)
* Favorite language to ask for a baseball in (1:02:08)
* Future ballhawking goals (1:03:17)
* Can I have a baseball (1:04:43)
* The offseason (1:06:24)
- “The Toll Bridge with Donnie RightSide.” Donnie is a professional handicapper who knows a thing or two about the lines of the sports world and joins The Bridge for a weekly segment to help us get on the right side of those lines, based on his years of numbers, strategy and overall knowledge of the market. This week, Donnie offers up some of his best bets to correspond with The Bridge Fade of the Week, where listeners are urged to completely go in the opposite direction of the show. You can find Donnie at DonnieRightSide.com and SportsBookReview.com and follow him on Twitter @RightSideVP. And remember, this segment is for entertainment purposes only (1:08:57).
- “Five Minutes in the Film Room” with Joe Baress, former star of the prestigious John and Joe Sports Show, breaks down “Jigsaw,” which Rotten Tomatoes describes as: After a series of murders bearing all the markings of the Jigsaw killer, law enforcement find themselves chasing the ghost of a man dead for over a decade and embroiled in a new game that’s only just begun. Is John Kramer back from the dead to remind the world to be grateful for the gift of life? Or is this a trap set by a killer with designs of their own? (1:14:30). You can follow Joe on Twitter @dukemich and read his movie reviews, previews and ratings at cupof-joe.com.
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Show music: ‘Actionable’ and ‘Epic,’ courtesy of www.bensound.com.