Each year, in memory of his mother, central Illinois native Jim Thome hosts a special fundraising dinner and auction to benefit Children’s Hospital of Illinois. This year, the event will be held Saturday in the Peoria Civic Center Ballroom beginning at 6:00 PM. Thome will have a variety of items associated with his 600th home run up for bid and there will be about 400 different auction lots in all. One item, though, is catching a lot of mainstream media attention for its unusual story.
It's a 2011 World Series commemorative cap apparently autographed by St. Louis Cardinals World Series MVP David Freese, catcher Yadier Molina, relief pitcher Jason Motte, several other players and former Cardinals' player and current analyst Al Hrabosky. Cards' fan Joe Couri found the cap on an off-ramp along Interstate 74 four days after the Cardinals clinched the 2011 World Series title. The story got some media play but no one came forward to claim it, so Couri decided to donate it to the auction.
2012 marks the 17th anniversary of the Joyce Thome Benefit for Children’s Hospital. A record breaking $259,875 was raised last year with more than 650 guests from all over the country attending.
To read more about the cap--and the auction--read this story in the Peoria Journal-Star.