Suddenly, Butera realized what he was holding -- the ball from the final out. And soon a decision had to be made: What to do with that treasure?
"At first after I caught it and had it, I thought, 'Wow, how cool to have this myself.'" Butera said. "But then you think about the town we play in and the city and the fans that stood behind us for 162 games. It belongs to Kansas City and belongs to the team, so I am donating it to the Royals Hall of Fame."
After Game 5, Butera guarded the ball virtually with his life.
"I put it in a safe in my house," he said. "I have some family and friends who have seen it. If it's a small group I brought it out for them to show them. But hey, it wasn't like I won the World Series. We won the World Series. The city won. It belongs to them."
Butera will present the ball to Royals Hall of Fame officials on Saturday at the team's FanFest.
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.