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Oakdale Man Catches Ishikawa Homer, Leaves Game with Incredible Story

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OAKDALE-

Travis Ishikawa's walk off home run to end Thursday's Giants-Cardinals game will go down as one of the great moments in Bay Area sports history.

But the fan who was lucky enough to catch that ball lives in the central valley town of Oakdale.

If you were watching the game closely, you might have seen Frank Burke snatching the ball up.

"That ball is going to hit the wall right in front of us, we're going to the World Series! And then the ball keeps carrying, and I'm like, 'That ball is not going to hit the wall, that ball is coming to me,'" Burke told FOX40.

It was a moment Burke said he isn't likely to forget.

"Then all really I could think of was, you know, soft hands, you know, don't let that ball bounce away from you," Burke said.

A life long Giants fan, Burke explains going to the game was already important to him because of who he went with.

His good friend Greg is in the middle of his fight with cancer and both knew they had to enjoy as many games as possible.

So they both spent the money and went on Thursday.

"We've been Giants fans for over 40 years," Burke said. "We've been to a lot of big games, and what could have been bigger."

At the moment that ball landed, back in Oakdale, Burke's wife Michelle was watching the game at a fast food restaurant and realized it landed close to her husband's seats.

"Thirty seconds later, my phone rings and it's my husband," she said. "I'm like, 'Babe, did that ball come close to you?' and he goes, 'That wasn't only close to me, I caught that ball, i'm holding that ball!' And I just screamed out in the middle of Wendy's, 'My husband caught the home run ball!'"

While that ball could have returned to Oakdale, Burke told FOX40 in his heart he knew he wasn't the rightful owner.

"It was set in my mind from the time I caught it, that I wanted the ball to go back to Travis (Ishikawa)," he said.

Staff at AT&T Park took Burke to the clubhouse after authenticating the ball.

"We could see everybody in there shooting champagne all over the place and Travis came out came over to me and I showed him the ball shook hands," Burke said.

But Giants left fielder Ishikawa didn't let Burke leave empty handed.

"He went in the locker room got me one of his bats, signed it," Burke said while holding Ishikawa's bat.

That bat will be going up in Burke's trophy room, next to softballs he hit out of the park while playing adult softball in Oakdale.

"Thanks again, Travis, not only for the bat but for taking us to the World Series in 2014," Burke said.

After word of his selflessness spread on KNBR's Gary and Larry show, Burke said he got a call Friday from the San Francisco Giants offering him four tickets to Friday's World Series game.

He told FOX40 his wife and friend Greg are going to come with him and that the fourth ticket is going to one of his kids- whose name he will pick out of a hat.