Fan gives Travis Ishikawa his NLCS-winning home run ball, gets World Series tickets


Travis Ishikawa lined a three-run home run to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 5 of the NLCS against the Cardinals, sending the Giants into the World Series against the Royals. Frank Burke, who owns a transmission repair business, about two hours east of San Francisco, was the lucky fan who came up with the baseball.

Burke could have taken the baseball home and kept it as a collectible, or sold it on the Internet or personally to a memorabilia merchant, but instead gave the ball back to Ishikawa. From NBC Bay Area, Burke had asked for World Series tickets but was told he may not be accomodated. Burke gave the ball back anyway, saying, “Ishikawa is the guy who hit the ball. I’m just the lucky guy who caught it.” Ishikawa did give Burke a signed bat.

As it turns out, the Giants were able to reward Burke for his generosity after all, giving the man four tickets to Game 3 of the World Series, the first of the two or three games the Giants will host in San Francisco.

Burke was in attendance at AT&T Park on Thursday night with his friend Greg Luetza, who is battling cancer. Burke wanted to do something special, so he bought tickets to the NLCS once the Giants had wrapped up their NLDS series with the Nationals.

This is a really great story all the way around. For more details, including reactions from Burke’s family, check out the full article at NBC Bay Area.

Grudge continues to fester between Braves, Marlins

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The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.

In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.

Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.

Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.