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Ron Gardenhire Almost Literally Took Jim Thome’s Ball and Went Home with It

Jul 17, 2012, 2:48 PM EDT

Remember the ball Jim Thome hit over the wall and into the flower bed at Target Field that seemingly no one could find until a gentleman in a harness went digging for it the following morning? Well, it's now on Twins manager Ron Gardenhire's desk.

Remember the ball Jim Thome hit over the wall and into the flower bed at Target Field that seemingly no one could find until a gentleman in a harness went digging for it the following morning?

Well, it’s now on Twins manager Ron Gardenhire’s desk.

The Pioneer Press of Minnesota (via Big League Stew) has an article detailing how Thome has been collecting as many of his home run balls as possible since he hit No. 500 with the White Sox back in 2007. As Thome previously played for the Twins, Gardenhire knows the ball is worth something to him and is holding it as if he’s Gary Sinese and it’s Mel Gibson’s son.

The story has popped up since the Orioles are actually in the Twin Cities for a series this week. So how much will it take for Jim to leave Minny with No. 607?

From the Press:

“He’s got to do something to get this ball. I know that,” Gardenhire said. “He hurt our feelings. So if he wants the ball back, Jim, make my day.”

By “hurt our feelings,” we assume he means when Jim went 5-for-11, hit two homers, scored four runs and drove in nine as a DH for the Phils back in June.

Alright, Ron. What do you want for it?

“Thrill me,” Gardenhire said. “I’m not talking about on the field. I want to see something that helps one of our favorite charities.”

Actually… not a bad idea. Ron Gardenhire — humanitarian.

Speaking of which, ever have those AL Central managers who just always make you think of tracks from your favorite band? I know, right.