Ah, Independence Day. A brilliant reminder of more than two centuries ago, when we declared our independence so that Donald Trump can run for president 240 years later.
If they knew this would eventually happen, our founding fathers might have been like, “You know what? British control isn’t so bad.”
But if that was the case, then instead of celebrating Independence Day today, we’d all have spent the day kicking and screaming over the Brexit, and now we’d be having our own discussion over declaring our independence. And Donald Trump would be leading the charge.
So, no matter which way you slice it, this was our destiny.
Even worse, had our founding fathers done nothing back in the late 18th century, then we never would have had the play “Hamilton.” And then where would we be?!
I can’t speak for everyone, but, while the fireworks were out in full force this evening, I couldn’t help but feeling a little subdued this particular 4th of July, knowing the chaos that is happening across the globe. ISIS attacks are happening with such frequency that it’s becoming hard to keep up.
An attack in Bangladesh on early Saturday, which killed at least 20 people, is already old news. Most people probably don’t even know it happened.
Then came the bombing in Baghdad on Sunday, which resulted in an astounding 200-plus deaths.
The last thing we want is to become numb to these tragedies. This should not be normal. I know that there are intelligence and counter-terrorism agencies working around the clock to try to prevent these attacks before they happen, but, it appears that right now they aren’t doing a very good job.
But while the world has seemingly become a place of doom and gloom, this blog doesn’t have to be. So let’s shift gears to a rather unique news item from this weekend.
Sports fans — and particularly those who focus on baseball — already know the name Zack Hample. He’s a professional ball hawker.
And while I could form a list of inappropriate jokes describing what ball hawker could possibly mean, in this sense, it’s somebody who goes to baseball games for the sole purpose of catching baseballs.
Every kid — and heck, many adults –who goes to baseball games dreams of catching a baseball that was used in the actual game. It’s why we bring our gloves to the stadium, in the hope that we will be prepared in case a ball makes its way into our laps. It doesn’t matter if it’s a home run, a foul ball, or a ball tossed to us by a ball boy. We’ll take whatever we can get.
In my 20-plus years of attending baseball games, I have never caught a ball. But if I did, especially when I was in my youth, it would have made my day.
So this is where Zack Hample comes in. The dude, now 38 years old, has allegedly caught nearly 10,000 balls in his life. He moves throughout the stadium over the course of a game to situate himself in prime ball catching spots. He shows up for batting practice and also catches many there, as well.
There’s reports of him knocking over kids during games to fetch balls. He also complains on social media when other fans get in his way when he is trying to catch a ball. And it’s reasons like that why he’s pretty universally hated by all in the sports community.
It’s certainly impressive that he’s been able to essentially make a career of going to baseball games. But that does not make him any less of a tool. If you’re in your 30s, you should not be bringing a baseball glove to a game, let alone depriving young kids from catching their first ball just so you could simply add to your already disgusting collection.
Well, the national animosity for Hample culminated this past Saturday, when the despicable manchild maneuvered his way into a historic game at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the first to take place on an active military base, which was only open to military personnel.
Hample reportedly paid $1,000 for his ticket — using Tinder of all places, to scalp a ticket — and caught 11 baseballs.
The following day, national media outlets picked up on the story. #Things BetterThanHample was the number one trending topic on Twitter. And Hample issued his own long-winded apology that no one will probably read.
The Internet can be vicious on people sometimes, whether it’s warranted or not.
In this case, it is well-deserved.
And now, as I wrap this post up at the end of this 4th of July weekend, I can still hear the loud fireworks that have been blasting nonstop since sundown.
It’s annoying, but hey, it’s still better than Zack Hample.
Most things are.
I’ll be in Orlando for work the rest of this week. Don’t miss me too much.