Gustavo Watch, Part 28

jinxed_with_the_astros.jpgWorld Series over?

Thanksgiving right around the corner?

Doesn’t matter.
The Hample Jinx cannot be stopped.
You remember our old “friend” Gustavo Chacin, right? It’s been three months since my last update about him, so in case you’ve forgotten or are new to this blog, he stole a ball from me on 8/1/06 at Yankee Stadium and has been paying for it ever since. The latest news is that the Astros outrighted him today, which is basically a formal way of saying, “You stink and we don’t want you anymore so GTFO.” Here’s a screen shot of the article about it on
The article is much longer than that. This is just the first few paragraphs. But anyway, if Gustavo is lucky enough to get signed by some other team in 2011, he better improve upon the 4.70 ERA that he ended up with in 2010.
That’s all.
Happy holidays, everyone.
(Well, almost everyone.)


  1. 25gocubsgo25


    I’m really looking forward to seeing the book come out! I got “Watching Baseball Smarter” last year and I absolutely loved it.

    Two quick questions: 1) Who else (besides Chacin and Mitch Williams) has fallen victim of the Hample Jinx, and 2) Do you have any tips for snagging baseballs at Dodger Stadium? (I know you get a lot of questions like the second one, but I’ve had terrible luck: 4 balls in 6 Games, 0.67 BPG, *WAY* below the Mendoza Line of Snagging.)

    –Cubs (and Zack Hample) fan in SoCal

  2. yougo1000

    Hey Zack,
    I am new reading your blog and I was wondering how many players have you cursed with the Hample Jinx?

  3. zackhample

    Haha, yes!

    Thanks so much. It’s great to know that people are looking forward to the new book. To answer your questions, I put the Jinx on Hector Villanueva (he was on the Cubs…sorry) and maybe a couple other guys back in the 90s that I can’t think of. I think Rick Reed was also a Jinx victim as well. He was NOT a nice man. As for Dodger Stadium, I would recommend that you read my old blog entries about that place, but basically, you can either play the foul lines and focus on getting balls thrown or you can hang in the bleachers and go for home runs ball. Balls don’t carry too well in L.A., so you’ll be better of playing the staircases and the areas right behind the outfield walls.

    Welcome to the blog. Glad to have you on board. Check out my answer directly above to “25gocubsgo25” and you’ll see about the Jinx.

    Being on the Mets is enough of a jinx as it is.

  4. hooksfan

    Zack, glad to see that your book will be coming out before our family trip to Spring Training next year. I really liked your book “Watching Baseball Smarter”. I always like learning new things.

    25gocubsgo25, some other advice is talk to other ballhawks. Some will be willing to give you some good advice. During the 2009 season at our minor league park I talked to an older gentlemen who gave me a couple of good pointers. Our left field berm is not ballhawk friendly since it has a walkway with a handrail that cuts it in half. So depending upon how many fans are out there dictates how I play it. Taking that man’s advice worked well in the 2nd half of 2009 as I snagged seven HR’s. This year I snagged 15 HR’s and 17 foul balls. Also, check up the history of the batter and where he hits.

  5. zackhample

    Thanks so much. The new book only has a little bit of Spring Training advice, but the overall snagging tips will definitely help you out. Good advice about talking to other ballhawks, BTW.


    Wow… pretty sad, a player takes a ball from you, so you curse him?

    What would you do if someone actually took something important from you? Kill them?

    Oh and your blog about the ‘ridiculous rules’ at Dodger Stadium was a real laugh… How dare those security guards try and protect the safety of the park, its employees and its players!! The great Zack Hample can do whatever he wants! HE’S ZAK HAMPLE! He doesn’t care if the Stadium isn’t officially open. . . He’s ZAK HAMPLE! I mean he’s been on television and what not!

    Hahaha escorted out by security, and told not to come into the stadium until 5:10… what does Zak Hample do? He disregards the man and goes back… and guess what, gets caught again! You need a field level ticket to get on the field level! WTF?! OH GOSH THATS SO DUMB.

    And uniforms? Uniforms aren’t a way to show allegiance to a team, oh no, not to Zak Hample… They’re a tool to “outsmart actual major leaguers and get in their head,” and for what? A baseball. YAY!

    And throwing elbows? Well its rude when anyone else does it, but when Zack Hample does it, its all a part of the ‘ball hawking’ game.

    Oh gosh…. You’re too much for words.

    You say you’ve only had one bite of McDonalds… is that because after said bite you found it tasted nothing like ***** and vowed never again to eat McDonalds?

  7. kslo69

    Hello Zack. We dig your blog, loved “smarter”, looking forward to your new book. Great material, great for the game, great that you give so much back to the game that we love, unlike this hater, joshwood1987. And yes, McDonald’s is crap. No Q’s today, just wanted to respond to that that chump entry above. He sounds like a yankees fan.

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