MINNEAPOLIS - There is no debating that Minnesota baseball fans love Jim Thome.
Even when he plays a major role in crushing the hometown nine.
The big, loveable former Twins homered for the second night in a row to help lead the Philadelphia Philles over Minnesota 6-1. The towering shot to right center landed in the flower beds within easy reach of fans who scrambled to get their hands on the coveted tater ball.
They looked... and looked... and looked some more. As the innings passed, television cameras would check in as fans picked through the flowers and dug in the dirt.
Still, no ball.
Friday came word that a Twins Operations employee strapped on a harness late Thursday night after the game, lowered himself into the plant area, and the ball was eventually found in a flower pot.
Twins Senior Communications Manager Dustin Morse says the ball is still covered in mud and dirt, but is otherwise no worse for wear and tear. The team will ship it to Thome over the next few days, as the slugger collects every home run ball he can.
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