Oct 18, 2014 3:05 PM

Giants fan who caught home-run ball gives it back

The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) A lifelong San Francisco Giants fan had a piece of team history in his hands after Thursday's game: the walk-off home-run ball that sent the Giants to the World Series.

Then he gave it back.

Frank Burke, who owns a transmission repair business in Oakdale told the San Jose Mercury News (http://bit.ly/1yLewi0) that he wanted the hitter, Travis Ishikawa, to have the ball.

"Ishikawa is the guy who hit the ball," Burke said. "I'm just the lucky guy who caught it."

So after having it authenticated by a Giants official and learning Ishikawa wanted it back, Burke went down to the clubhouse area and handed it over. Ishikawa gave him a signed bat in return.

Burke said he had asked for World Series tickets, but was told that might not be possible.

"So I said, 'All right. I was going to give the ball back either way,'" he said.

After doing a media interview the next morning, he got a call from the Giants. Burke now has four tickets to Game 3 of the World Series at San Francisco's AT&T Park on Friday. It will be the Giants first home game against the Kansas City Royals.

Burke was at Thursday's game with his friend, Greg Leutza, who is battling cancer. He wanted to do something special for Leutza and went searching for tickets after the Giants clinched the National League Division Series, he told another newspaper, the Modesto Bee (http://bit.ly/1y3D1DZ).

Ishikawa's drive came their way as they sat above the stadium's right field wall in the bottom of the ninth inning with two Giants on base.

"My main thought was to keep it in front of me and don't let it fall to the field," Burke told the Bee.

The ball went off his left hand, but he was able to corral it. Burke posed triumphantly with the ball for photos and said he gave other fans a chance to touch it as well.


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