What’s coming Sunday:
Who, by the way, owns the historic 1988 World Series ball that Kirk Gibson hit for a game-winning home run?
We don’t mean it in exactly the same way that Craig Calcaterra does in his piece for HardballTalk.com, which was inspired by Pedro Alvarez’s homer that left Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, landed in a boat docked in the Allegheny River and then swiped by a passerby.
In this case it’s really: Where is the Gibby ball, who has kept it hidden, and what will it take to produce it?
Brian Biegel is on the move to find out.
The author of the outstanding 2009 personal saga “Miracle Ball: My Hunt for the Shot Heard ‘Round the World” and a filmmaker who has an ESPN “30 for 30″ in the works about counterfeiters in the sports memorabilia field is the creator of a new documentary series that will be on The Smithsonian Channel coming up later this year.
“Sports Detectives” will be following any new leads for the Gibson home run whereabouts, so be ready to come forward if you’re got something.
“I think with the team of experts we have assembled for this show, we will have the best chance anyone has had since it has been missing,” Biegel says. “We have a recipe that will help us determine the truth to where the ball has been.
“Maybe during this go-around, someone took video that we haven’t seen before. Someone might be sitting on a prize that’s quite valuable, and this can also be a way to get provenance that’s on the record. It’s very difficult to get an auction house to verify something. Here, you’ll have experts leading the charge to make a determination and I think the chances of it coming forward and someone able to cash in on it will be much better due to the show.”
What’s worth dropping in on now:
== Rick Neuheisel rolled out of bed at his Manhattan Beach home last Tuesday morning about sunrise and, with acoustic guitar in hand, found his way to the DirecTV Broadcast Center in Marina del Rey.
By about 7:30 in the morning, was ready to sing.
But before attempting to do so, the former UCLA coach and current CBS Sports Net college football analyst prefaced his thoughts.
“Every red-blooded American male wants to be you guys – you realize that?” Neuheisel looked over his reading glasses and told Todd Fritz, Andrew Perloff, Patrick O’Connor and Paul Pabst.
These, if you didn’t know, are the “Danettes,” so obviously dubbed by Dan Patrick because they are the production backbone and designated show contributors to his weekday morning syndicated radio show, now in its seventh year on KLAC-AM (570).
With recent changes going on at the now Dodgers co-owned and operated radio station, there was some rumbling that Patrick’s show might be swaped out for something else, something local, and Dan and the Danettes would lose their L.A. home signal.
Not to be. At least for now. If smarter people are making decisions.
And perhaps because of that – and Patrick’s commitment to do another slew of tapings at the Sony Studios in Culver City for the “Sports Jeopardy!” franchise – the crew came out to L.A. as a group for the first time (minus Pabst, who had family matters to tend to but still appeared via a large TV monitor from the home office in Milford, Conn.)
And Neuheisel was among several important L.A.-based sports names – Jerry West, Reggie Miller, Al Michaels included – who made in-studio appearances at the DirecTV facility, since the El Segundo-based satellite dish company produces a TV version of said radio show — to recognize the five-day tour stop that at times resembled a star-studded Super Bowl remote.
“I mean, seriously, you guys hang out, talking ball, it’s too good to be true,” Neuheisel told them. “And you make a living doing it. This is America’s dream right here.”
Neuheisel then broke into his own version of Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets” with lyrics that included:
“Hey kids, pay close attention,
“The Dannettes are more than just delinquents in detention.
“They produce a show that is solid gold.
“Fritzy, McLovin, Seton and Pauley, they know …
“That this gig is too sweet to be screwed up
“They’ve got to keep Dan fresh
“Du-Du-Du-Du Dan and the Danettes ….”
That’s our highlight from their week in So Cal that ended all too soon this morning.
That, and of course, Fox’s Charissa Thompson doing the splits in such a dignified manner. Followed by Jim Brewer’s rant about it..