What’s coming up for Sunday:
Dan Patrick has a decision to make about his career. Not any time soon, but soon enough.
Patrick, who just turned 60, has two years left on a contract to do his “Dan Patrick Show” syndicated radio program that simulcasts as a TV product on DirecTV and NBCSN every weekday morning from 6-to-9 a.m. (heard in Southern California on KLAC 570-AM).
He says he’ll decide in about a year how much longer he wants to do this.
Whatever happens also affects the future of “The Danettes.”
Executive producers Paul Pabst and Todd Fritz, technical wizard Patrick “Seton” O’Connor and social media writer/Sports Illustrated editor Andrew “McLovin” Perloff have as much invested in the show’s success in a way that affects the listener/viewer who thinks he or she could join the club someday.
The chemistry works and the brotherhood is clear.
“I’ve told them this will be the best job they’ll ever have,” Patrick said after a recent show from the DirecTV studios in Marina del Rey as the staff made one of its once-every-three-months trip to L.A. from the Milford, Conn., studios. The trip is so that Patrick can tape more episodes of “Sports Jeopardy!” from the Sony studios in Culver City.
“I put the onus on them (about continuing the show). As long as we’re having fun, I’ll continue. If not, and some of them want to try something else, they’re all talented enough to do other things. But once this is done, it’s done. Kind of like when Keith (Olbermann) left ESPN to do Fox Sports … I had something special for five years, then it was done. It could never happen again.
“I’ve told these guys, let’s keep this in tact as long as you can because you’ll look back and say: I wish we could have done it longer.”
But then again, it got us thinking: What would it take to be considered “Danette” material if a spot ever opened?
What’s the “Danette” etiquette on just broaching this?
We put that question to them in a quasi group interview and got some interesting feedback. The results are the foundation of Sunday’s media column and an extended Q&A post here.
What’s worth putting forward here and now:
== About half-way into a six-episode run of the new Smithsonian Channel series “Sports Detectives,” and the documented search for Kirk GIbson’s 1988 World Series Game 1 home run ball is on the docket.
Half of the hour-long show Sunday at 9 p.m. hosted by Lauren Gardner and Kevin Barrows is dedicated to this pursuit, with the other half trying to verify the authenticity of a Lou Gehrig bat that a woman had kept in her house for some 40 years without knowing its history.
So … was the Gibson ball found?
Put it this way: If it was, wouldn’t we have likely heard about it by now? But then again …
The ball’s search as an element of this series that seeks to link the history to a lost sports artifact began long before last year, when we talked to New York-based documentarian Brian Biegel and author of the astounding real life mystery book of 2009, “Miracle Ball: My Hunt for the Shot Heard ‘Round the World” on the Bobby Thomson 1951 home-run ball against the Dodgers.
The “Miracle Ball” in the Shot Heard ‘Round Chavez Ravine and beyond by Gibson had presented some myth-busting material that some writers had pursued a bit but no one, before Biegel’s crew, had really challenged.
The foundation of this “Sports Detectives” piece starts with writer David Davis and his 2013 piece for SBNation. We’re not going to spoil anything in this storytelling, but let Biegel explain that the “lead suspects” were found and interviewed, even submit to a polygraph test, some video analysis was done and more lab work on a photograph with a time stamp that appears to show the ball later that night.
Davis, and Dodgers team historian Mark Langill, are included in the piece, as is Oakland pitcher Dennis Eckersley. So, too, are Doug and Chad Dreier, who in 2010 spent some $1.9 million at auction to secure Gibson’s helmet, jersey and bat from that game.
They’d love to add the ball. Anyone willing to give it up?
“We eliminated some clues that we knew were dead ends and did a nice job focusing on the more credible information and took it as far as we could,” said Biegel. “I’m pleased, and proud, to have been part of hunting down the ball — however it turns out. It was quite a journey.”
Same with this other piece Sunday about the Gehrig bat, which we won’t attempt to spoil the viewing experience.
This episode repeats later Sunday at midnight and Monday at 10 p.m.
Biegel believes this series on the Smithsonian Channel, owned by CBS and Showtime, has more than a healthy shelf life based on what they’ve been able to produce so far and what could come out of it. Still to air is the pursuit of Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point basketball and Muhammad Ali’s 1960 Olympic boxing gold medal.
“This series could go on for years,” said Biegel. “The history behind sports is what people love and each time we get new objects, the viewer gets a chance to watch history unfold.”