Perfect game ball accounted for

Updated: July 24, 2009, 8:49 PM ET
By Kevin Ware | Special to ESPNChicago.com

On what was a perfect Thursday afternoon for the Chicago White Sox, Josh Fields thought he made the only mistake.

Fields, playing first base, caught the final out of Mark Buehrle's perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. In the hoopla following the game, Fields handed the ball off.

He wasn't sure where it ended up.

"I found out later I screwed up," Fields said Friday morning on the "Waddle & Silvy" show on ESPN 1000. "I held on to it as long as I possibly could during the celebration after the game, and I think one of the MLB authenticity guys came out and was mugging me down pretty hard and saying, 'Give me the ball.' And I didn't know that I could say, 'No, don't take it.'

"So I ended up giving it to him, thinking he was going to put his little authenticity sticker on it and give it back to Buehrle. So as of right now, I guess the MLB has it."

The White Sox said Friday evening they have had the ball all along. Fields did exactly as he should have by handing it off to the MLB authenticity official.

"It was never misplaced," Patrick O'Connell, the White Sox assistant director of media relations said. "We've been in possession of the ball the entire time."

Craig Muder, assistant director of communications for the Baseball Hall of Fame, said the HOF had asked for the ball. Muder said the White Sox would let the Hall of Fame know which artifacts the museum in Cooperstown would receive.

"At this point, it is more of a general request because we have to work with the player," Muder said. "It has to be something viable. We put the request in, but it has to be stuff Buehrle is willing to part ways with because it is pretty rare and pretty special."

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