Fan returns home run ball, gets bat instead San Francisco Giants Travis Ishikawa hits a three-run home run (AP photo / Thinkstock)
Fan returns home run ball, gets bat instead
Lexile

A San Francisco fan had a piece of team history in his hands last week, the home run ball that sent the Giants to the baseball World Series.

Then he gave it back.

Frank Burke, who owns a transmission repair business in Oakdale, Calif., said that he wanted the hitter, Travis Ishikawa, to have the ball.

"I didn't hit that ball .... if anybody's going to have that ball in their game room or trophy case, it's going to be the guy who hit it."

Burke said he hadn't planned on keeping the ball. He keeps home run balls from his high school days in his own trophy case.

"They're still important to me, they're part of my memories," he said. "So why would I think that he (Ishikawa) wouldn't want the same thing?"

After being told that Ishikawa wanted it back, Burke went down to the clubhouse area. He handed it over. Ishikawa shook hands and thanked him. Then he gave him a signed bat in return.

Burke said Giants officials asked him what he would like. He suggested World Series tickets but was told that was unlikely.

After doing a media interview the next morning, however, he got a call from the Giants. Burke now has four tickets to Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night. The Giants will play the Kansas City Royals.

Burke plans on taking his friend, Greg Leutza, who is battling cancer.

The two were at last Thursday's game because Burke wanted to do something special for Leutza. Burke had bought the tickets after the Giants won the National League Division Series.

Ishikawa's drive came their way as they sat above the stadium's right field wall in the ninth inning. Two Giants were on base. The home run meant the Giants had won.

The ball went off his left hand. But he was able to grab it with his right.

"The whole place erupted," Burke said. Other fans clustered around.

"I couldn't move from where I was because everyone around me wanted to touch the ball, take pictures with the ball. I must have taken 300 selfies in 15 minutes," he said.

After meeting Ishikawa and turning over the ball, Burke and Leutza walked out of the clubhouse. They were "like two little kids, hootin' and hollerin'," he said.

But Burke said the ball and the bat weren't the things he treasured most.

"Just the memory for me and my buddy, that's priceless," he said. "That meant more to me than anything else will."

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COMMENTS (13)
  • Jesseb2020
    10/29/2014 - 10:09 a.m.

    When he got the bat, it probably felt like an out of the park achievement.

  • John0724-YYCA
    10/29/2014 - 09:06 p.m.

    This article is cool but I don't kind of get it but hearing an home run by the team GIANTS is just awesome. Also it is so kind for saying such nice words like "Just the memory for me and my buddy, that's priceless" "That meant more to me than anything else will." That is an awesome motto right there guys. His friend should be happy to have a friend like that.

  • 21edsode
    10/30/2014 - 12:05 p.m.

    This is amazing how he could hit a home run on their teams last chance to win the game. I have gone to a baseball game and the same thing happened. It must of been the teams lucky day.

  • ashleighb-Hyl
    11/05/2014 - 12:00 p.m.

    This was a great article Would you give the ball back to the player that hit it? I don't think I would because it's a play ball you normally get once in a lifetime to catch a play ball. :)

  • aliciac-Hyl
    11/05/2014 - 12:02 p.m.

    Burke is lucky. His friend Leutza is also lucky but I also feel bad for Leutza because he has cancer. I bet Ishikawa was happy. Burke got a signed bat by Ishkawa instead of a home run baseball.

  • robertd-Hyl
    11/05/2014 - 12:07 p.m.

    when the fan caught the ball I thought he would keep it but instead he gave the ball back. He was very generous.

  • kaylal-Hyl
    11/05/2014 - 12:07 p.m.

    I think that this article was my second favorite article. I like how they tell you were he was sitting and who was with him and that he wanted to bring him because he had cancer and that he just wanted to make him happy. Its good for him that he got a bat in return. I also like how he did the right thing and returned the bat.

  • tylero-Hyl
    11/05/2014 - 12:07 p.m.

    I really like baseball I stile would not gave the ball back to the hitter but it was a nice thing to do. When I saw the tittle I thought he cothe the bat in sted of caching the baseball I thought it was a good idea to get the bat singed insted of the baseball

  • brandond-Hyl
    11/05/2014 - 12:08 p.m.

    This passige was very naligeabal.I could get what it was saying.And it was ingeouabel!

  • margareth-Hyl
    11/05/2014 - 12:08 p.m.

    I think that catching a ball then re-turning it getting a bat then catching another ball and getting to keep it is aw some! When he bought his friend who is battling cancer is so sweet. You never know how long you have left with him. I also think it is cool that he got FREE tickets to game three of the World Series and it was not one but four!

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