Fan Gives 500th Home Run Ball Back to Thomas

Todd Eisenlohr went to the Twins/Blue Jays game in Minnesota Thursday to help celebrate his Mom’s birthday. Instead, he gave Frank Thomas a nice gift–the ball Big Frank belted for career home run #500.

It was an afternoon game and the Eisenlohrs of Pennock, Minnesota were spending a lazy summer day at the Metrodome, watching the Blue Jays take on the Twins.

Their seats in left-centerfield were prime targets for home run balls and it didn’t take long for one to land close enough for 24 year-old Todd Eisenlohr to catch one. This ball, though, was special. It was off the bat of Frank Thomas and gave the Big Hurt 500 homers for his career.

Thomas figured the ball was long gone once it landed in the stands–headed for eBay or an auction house. But instead, Eisenlohr asked only to meet the future Hall of Famer. He got his wish and traded the historic ball to Thomas for an autographed jersey, ball and bat. He may not have been aware of what the ball would have fetched–or he may just be an incredibly nice guy.

"I don’t care about that," Eisenlohr told reporters later. "It’s only money."

Thomas was thrilled to get the ball back. "That was very classy of him. He was very gracious," said the Blue Jays’ veteran, who said he plans to keep the ball unless the Hall of Fame requests it.

Thomas was later ejected from the game, which could be a baseball first; a player kicked out in the same game in which he hit his 500th home run.

Eisenlohr did say he might sell the Blue Jays jersey he got from Thomas. He’s a Twins fan, after all.



Hoosier Bat Company has selected Ironclad Authentics, LLC to be the exclusive seller of the limited edition commemorative Frank Thomas 500th Home Run Bat. Hoosier Bat Company has only created 500 Commemorative Bats; each one retailing for $500.

All 500 bats are being signed by Thomas and authenticated by Major League Baseball, and will be sold exclusively through IronClad Authentics and Hoosier Bat Company immediately.

“We are thrilled that Hoosier Bat Company has selected IronClad to sell such a valuable and historic collectors item, commented Ray Schulte, President of IronClad Authentics. “Frank Thomas is one of the premier players in the game today, and it is an honor to have his name added to our collection of one-of-a-kind memorabilia.”