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Oakland’s Greg Kampe celebrates his first foul ball

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — It took 61 years, but Greg Kampe finally got a ball.

The Oakland University men’s basketball coach hauled in his first foul ball at a baseball game, during the Tigers’ series finale with the Mariners on Thursday at Comerica Park. He proudly posted a picture of his prize on Twitter, before giving the ball away.

Kampe got the ball in the third inning, on a line drive off the bat of Ian Kinsler.

Kinsler hit a rope to the seats behind the first-base dugout, and Kampe momentarily went to catch it on the fly. Then he thought better of it, and pulled his hand back.

“Kinsler rips a line drive right at the empty seat next to me,” Kampe said in a text message during the game. “I pull my hand back at the last second. It hits the chair and I grab it off the ground. Didn’t want to break my hand.”

Kampe offered the ball to a young boy nearby, and the kid politely said no thanks. Then a women nearby said, subtly, that she had a grandchild, so Kampe gave it to her.

Kampe is a big Tigers fan, and a big fan of many other sports — not just his profession. He’s an avid bowler and he golfs, too.

On the golfing front, Kampe again is participating in the Coaches Beat Cancer fundraiser, along with Tom Izzo, Stan Van Gundy, Rick Barnes and a number of other coaches. Up for bid are packages involving each coach, with winning bidders getting a round of golf with a coach at Oakland Hills Country Club’s South Course on June 5, plus a one-night stay at MotorCity Casino Hotel.

The starting bid for each package is $15,000, with a buy-now option of $24,000. Kampe’s actually has sold for $24,000, the only package already gone.

Bidding for the rest of the packages runs through May 8 at