Fan Gives 500th Home Run Ball Back to Thome

Don’t look for Jim Thome’s 500th home run ball in any upcoming sports memorabilia auction. The fan who caught it made a deal with the Sox slugger–and he wasn’t even from Chicago.

His career may not last long enough for him to get to 600, so Jim Thome wanted #500 back. Not to stick on a shelf in his house. He was planning on presenting it to the Hall of Fame himself.

Thome reached the milestone with a game-winning blast Sunday and the ball couldn’t have landed in better hands to help push the Peoria native’s plan along. Will Stewart, a 28 year-old Texan who just happened to be in the neighborhood, snatched the ball on a bounce and presented it to Thome after the game, getting some autographs in the process, but also giving the big prize back to the popular White Sox player.

Read the story, watch the homer and see Stewart give the ball back to Thome.

Then, find out to what extremes the Thome family and friends went to try and make sure the ball got back in his hands via the Peoria Journal-Star.