SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A lifelong Giants fan who caught Travis Ishikawa’s pennant-clinching walk-off home run ball said he had no problem giving it right back to the player who took the unlikeliest of routes to baseball immortality. In return for his gesture, he’s been given four World Series tickets.
Frank Burke from the Central Valley town of Oakdale said he wanted to give the ball back to Ishikawa in recognition of what it took for him to get to that point.READ MORE: COVID: Initial Vaccine Booster Availability Met with Low Turnout, Confusion
“I’m the lucky guy that happened to be in the right place and catch the ball … so If anybody deserves to have that ball in the trophy case is the man who hit it and put us in the World Series for the third time in five years.”
Burke got the ball authenticated by a Giants official and was able to deliver the ball personally to Ishikawa, who gave him an autographed bat in return and posed for a few pictures with him.
A lifelong Giants fan, Burke related his thought process as the ball was in the air: ” “I knew it was coming to me …hard ….so soft hands …It hit in my left arm palm and bounced off for a send and I just snatched it up and the party began.”READ MORE: UPDATE: Thousands Forced To Flee Fawn Fire; New Evacuations Ordered South Of Shasta Lake
After he gathered it in, Burke said fans in the promenade section of the right-field bleachers swarmed him. “Everyone wanted to touch the ball and take a picture with me. I’ve never taken a selfie in my life that night I must’ve taken 300 selfies with people I don’t know”
Friday morning, he got a call from the team. “Giants executive called me and told me they would like to invite me to Friday night’s [World Series] game and give me four tickets,” said Burke. “Yes, I’m going to World Series!”
Frank says the memory of catching the home run ball and then meeting Ishikawa is what’s priceless. Getting four World Series tickets is not too bad, either.
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