The white ball with Peter Ueberroth’s signature next to a 1988 World Series logo stamped in red ink actually left a nick near the top of the barrel of Kirk Gibson’s bat.
It landed somewhere in the right field pavilion at Dodger Stadium, over Jose Canseco’s head. NBC’s TV cameras followed it.
At least one person claims have a photo proof of once having it.
But more than a quarter of a century later, we still aren’t sure what happened to the damn thing. How do we even sleep at night not knowing where this most important relic of L.A. sports history lies?
Brian Biegel, a New York-based documentarian who once wrote about how he most likely determined what happened to the 1951 Bobby Thompson “Shot Heard ‘Round The World,” says he’s on the case here.
The Smithsonian Channel, a spinoff of the premium cable Showtime that goes with the mantra that this is where “curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease,” has taken up a documentary series that Biegel created and is the executive producer called “Sports Detectives.” It is in production and should debut later this fall.
Based on Biegel’s amazing 2009 book “Miracle Ball” and a 2010 documentary he followed up with that aired on the Discovery network – as well as optioning the movie rights to a major studio — the blueprint for this series is clearly in place. A team of investigators and historians will identify something in the sports world that has gone missing. Then, if not actually finding the artifact, it will at least lead viewers on the journey to determine its fate. In the process, new information often surfaces from leads that might not have been considered before.
Fact is, that’s what we’re kind of hoping happens here with this story.
So where’s the ball used in Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game? One reported to be it was sold at auction 2012, but it’s not been completely authenticated. Muhammad Ali’s 1960 Olympic gold medal hadn’t been seen in years. The story was he threw it off a bridge and into the Ohio River. Volunteers reportedly found it last July.
But the fate of Gibson ball that ended Game 1 of the ’88 Series and launched the Dodgers’ last World Series title is still to be determined.
“This has been at the top of our list,” said Biegel. “We’re going to shake the bushes.”
Read more at this link …
== Also: When ESPN.com’s Jim Caple tried to write a fictional account of a pursuit of the Gibson ball ….