Best Buy announced yesterday that it would be Sprint’s exclusive retail partner (for 60 days, we hear) for the highly anticipated HTC Hero, which will be available at each of Best Buy’s 1,044 locations across the country beginning October 11th. As is always the case with Best Buy Mobile, there is no need to bother with that pesky mail-in rebate as BBYM is spotting customers the $100 and offering the Hero for a straight $179.99 on a 2-year contract. We’ve also learned that while pre-orders aren’t officially available yet, some locations are already offering to cement your position at the front of the Hero line. For those of you with nearby Best Buys that aren’t willing to bend the rules, pre-orders should officially be available in just over a week. If you’re lucky however, a lax location, a friendly sales rep and a $50 deposit are all you need to make it happen — as you can clearly see from the image above.