Playing baseball has been one of America’s favorite pastimes since the Major League Baseball (MLB) organization was founded in the 1870s. But one competitive aspect of the sport that’s not as widely discussed is fans catching baseballs, which is known as ballhawking, from the stands.
Enthusiastic MLB fan, Zack Hample is the country’s leading ballhawker, as he has snagged more baseballs in the stands at major league stadiums than anyone else in history. His passion for catching baseballs is highlighted in the new documentary, ‘Zack Hample vs. the World.’
Hample has been racking up MLB statistics for decades, which led him to catch thousands of baseballs, including Mike Trout’s first career home run and Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit. To talk about his accomplishments as the organization’s most successful ballhawk, he has appeared as a guest on many shows, including ‘Conan’ and ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.’
‘Zack Hample vs. The World’ shows that the titular fan isn’t a professional baseball player, but for decades he’s been known as if he were. The legendary ballhawk has attended thousands of MLB games in every ballpark across the country on his journey to snag 10,000 baseballs from the stands. Along the way he’s found himself at the center of some of the game’s biggest moments and controversies, and has undeniably become baseball’s most celebrated and infamous fan. The movie takes an intimate look into Hample’s astounding, true-life story that must be seen to be believed.
While Hample has been frequently covered in the media over the years, the film tells the complete and untold story of who he really is outside of the ballpark and why he has devoted so much time and energy to becoming such a phenomenon. In recent years, he has become an internet sensation with over half-a-million YouTube subscribers and over a million followers across social media.
The film will be widely available for rental and purchase on digital platforms, including Apple, Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube Movies, Vudu, Vimeo On Demand and the Microsoft Xbox store, courtesy of 1091 Pictures. It will also be released on DVD and Blu-ray disc via online retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, and Target. A portion of all proceeds from the movie will be donated to Pitch In For Baseball & Softball, a charity that Hample has worked closely with for over a decade, and provides equipment to underserved children and communities all over the world.
‘Zack Hample vs. The World’ features interviews with three-time MLB All-Star closer Heath Bell, Tyler Kepner of The New York Times, Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal, Maria Marino of SportsNet New York, sports psychologist Dr. Jonathan Fader, sports business reporter Darren Rovell, MLB broadcaster Matt Vasgersian, “Marlins Man” Laurence Leavy, and the ballhawk’s mom, Naomi Hample.
The documentary, which was 14 years in the making, was produced and directed by Jeff Siegel, an Emmy award-winning filmmaker and graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, who has created projects for MLB, ESPN Films’ ’30 For 30′ series and Billy Joel. He produced the Netflix original documentary series, ‘This Is A Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist’ (2021).