Arlington Heights native nabs Cubs home run ball, gives it back

  • Paul Fromm posted this picture of himself holding Anthony Rizzo's home run ball.

    Paul Fromm posted this picture of himself holding Anthony Rizzo's home run ball.

 
 
Updated 10/13/2015 9:50 PM

The Cubs were up 4-2 in Game 3 of their National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night when Anthony Rizzo stepped up to bat.

He belted a home run toward the right-field bleachers -- one of six homers hit that night. Fans lunged forward to catch it the ball, but improbably it rolled to a stop right in front of Paul Fromm, who scooped it up before anyone else could get to it.

 

The Prospect High School graduate and Arlington Heights native said it was a "surreal" moment. "I almost don't even remember it happening," said Fromm, 30, and now living in Chicago. "It was fairly unbelievable."

Texts started pouring in from friends and family who saw him on TV with the home run ball.

"When I picked it up my mind was just all over the place," he said. "It was a pretty fun evening."

Fromm has been a Cubs fan his whole life, but until last week he had been to only one other playoff game, the infamous 2003 "Bartman" game.

After that heartbreaking loss, Fromm joined the long online waiting list for Cubs season tickets, hoping one day his team would be back in the race.

He went to college in Virginia and lived in New York City and Michigan before moving back to Chicago this year -- coincidentally when his name finally came to the top of the list.

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"It happens to be the year the Cubs have started putting an amazing team together," Fromm said. "The timing was pretty perfect."

Fromm posed for pictures with Rizzo's home run ball before a team representative sought him out. Rizzo wanted to keep the ball as a reminder of his first playoff home run, and Fromm happily turned it over.

"I just really love this team," Fromm said as he headed back to the North Side Tuesday afternoon for Game 4. "Hopefully I'll get another one, but more important is the win."

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