Fan who caught Alex Rodriguez's 3,000th hit ball refuses to give it up

Fan who wrote a book on how to catch baseballs at MLB games snags Alex Rodriguez's 3,000th hit

The guy who wrote the book on snagging home run balls says he isn't planning to give up Alex Rodriguez's 3,000th hit ball.

Zack Hample, a New York fan who wrote a book on how to catch baseballs at major league games, told Newsday he will not give the New York Yankees the ball from Rodriguez's milestone hit.

Rodriguez achieved the feat on a first-inning home run off Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander in a 7-2 Yankees win Friday.

Hample said the Yankees offered him "tons of memorabilia and promotion" in exchange for the ball, but he declined. Hample later tweeted a photo of himself holding the ball with a message stating he was keeping it.

"Got it authenticated by MLB," Hample wrote. "This is un-REAL."

Hample has caught more than 8,000 game and practice balls from MLB stadiums, the New York Times reported.

Rodriguez, 39, became the 29th player in baseball history to join the 3,000-hit club, but his milestone is marked with controversy due to his 2009 admission to using performance-enhancing drugs earlier in his career.

In addition, Rodriguez was one of 14 players suspended by Major League Baseball in 2013 for their alleged roles in the Biogenesis drug scandal. He was initially suspended 211 games, but the suspension was eventually reduced to 162 games. Rodriguez apologized in February "for the mistakes that led to my suspension."

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