My buddy owed me a favor so I put him to work.... The lower ball is turned from Delrin plastic and threaded onto a tool steel shaft. The lower shaft is attached to the aluminum block by a pinch bolt and the distance to the lower ball is adjustable. The aluminum center section houses a delrin bushing and steel sleeve for linkage attachment. The shaft is longer than stock and uses the same 12x 1.25 thread on both ends and is locktited into the aluminum block. It also has a 12mm wrench flat machined into it in case it needs to be removed.
I'm pleased with the outcome. the shift knob sits about an inch higher but the throw is reduced by 30-40%. Shifts feel more solid now and with the taller know I no longer elbow the center console. I prefer the knob to be close to the wheel so I don't have to reach far in an emergency. The whole project cost me exactly $0.