Alex Rodriguez will finally be reunited with the milestone 3000th hit ball which has been held hostage by a notorious baseball collector who finally came to terms with the New York Yankees for its release.
The Yankees announced they will hold a press conference before Friday night's game against the Rays at Yankee Stadium which will feature ballhawk Zack Hample handing over the celebrated ball to A-Rod.
In return, the Yankees will make a $150,000 donation to Hample's favorite charity, Pitch In For Baseball, in exchange for the ball's return.
.@zack_hample, fan who retrieved Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit on June 19, will present ball to @AROD today. pic.twitter.com/eL5SLLARUN— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 3, 2015
Hample caught A-Rod's solo home run in the first inning of the Yankees' June 19 against the Tigers at the Stadium. He initially slammed A-Rod and said he had no interest in giving the ball back to the steroid-tainted Yankee slugger.
"I'll give him the finger and a dummy ball," Hample said in a tweet he later deleted. "That man deserves favors from no one, least of all a fan."
But later he softened his stance.
"Part of me really wants to keep it, but now I'm thinking that if I sell it, I could give some or all of the money to (Pitch In For Baseball)," Hample said later. "But I'm also going to talk to the Yankees again and discuss it further."
And those discussions — and possibly the threats and criticism from A-Rod fans — seemed to convince him to hand it over.
So let me get this straight -- I was "disrespecting the game" when I kept the ball & now I'm an "idiot" for giving it back? Ha, whatever.— Zack Hample (@zack_hample) July 3, 2015
A-Rod is the 29th player to reach 3,000 hits and only the second Yankee to do so.