The Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves played a game Sunday at Fort Bragg, a military base in North Carolina. It was the first MLB game to be played at an active base, and the crowd was filled with military members. Also in that crowd was ballhawk Zack Hample.
Tickets for the game weren’t available to the general public; a Department of Defense ID was required to enter the lottery. The tickets also weren’t transferable or for sale. Somehow, Hample bypassed all of this and finagled a way into the seats. He also caught 11 specially marked balls, including this one:
His attendance didn’t sit well with some, including one of the divisions based at Fort Bragg:
A Twitter user dug up a screengrab of Hample using Tinder to try to score a ticket to the game:
A ballhawk is already an unsympathetic figure, and a ballhawk taking a seat—and baseballs—away from the troops even more so. When Hample caught shit, he claimed that he got the ticket from a friend and vowed to donate money and the balls he caught:
Hample issued a lengthy apology, saying that he got a ticket from “a friend of a friend whose entire unit got tickets without even entering the lottery,” and took Hample because his girlfriend didn’t like baseball. “I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong because the entire process had been so easy,” Hample said.