By: Andy Slater
Was a civilian able to pay $1,000 to get into a baseball game exclusively for active-duty service members and family at Fort Bragg?
It's quite possible a guy best known for snagging home run balls may have also snagged a ticket to Sunday night's MLB game between the Marlins and Braves.
Ballhawker Zack Hample apparently offered the money on Tinder and seemed to be getting bites from service members --- even though strict guidelines said no tickets were allowed to be sold or given away.
Any active-duty service member and their dependents were eligible for a ticket, provided they had a Department of Defense ID.
Hample posted a few photos on Twitter Sunday night showing he was in attendance.
(Update 9:45p ET) The 82nd Airborne Division weighs in.
(Update: 10:00p ET) An active-duty service member contacted me and sent me Twitter direct messages from Hample, based on anonymity. In the messages, Hample mentioned he'd be able to buy a ticket and also have "an escort all day" while on the military base. The service member said he was originally offered $500 from Hample as a "finder's fee" if he could find someone to sell their ticket to him. The service member says he did not oblige, but apparently Hample was able to find a seller.
During the 7th inning, Hample responded to the questions.
Early Monday morning, Hample responded to an earlier email request on how he obtained the ticket.
"I initially offered to pay, not realizing that was a big no-no," Hample said. "So then I just hoped my reputation would prompt someone to help me and it did... pretty simple, really."
Hample also mentioned the quick story he wrote in his tweet.
Meanwhile, Marlins Man confirmed he would not be there.