One of the most popular questions we hear is “when is the FBI investigation going to be over?” It hangs like a dark cloud over an industry that, on one hand, could probably use another reminder that illegal and unethical behavior won’t be tolerated. On the other hand, of course, is the prospect of another black eye for a “hobby” that has already suffered through Operation Bullpen and other nastiness.
The answer is…we don’t know. It’s been going on for three years so at least we do know that it’s pretty thorough. It’s possible that it’s taken this long for the government to make an airtight case to hand down indictments. It’s also possible that there may be much more to the whole thing than investigators thought when they first started asking questions and gathering evidence. Sports is a collecting niche that covers a lot of ground. It’s part of what makes it great. It also means there are a lot of different types of opportunities for fraud and deceit.
The long term impact of whatever happens–if anything ever does–is hard to measure. Those who’ve been answering some of those tough questions will likely face more of them. Those who’ve testified before the grand jury may be called back. New witnesses could emerge. Everyone involved, either directly or indirectly, is probably hoping that if the shoe falls, it falls soon so that the rest of the industry can move forward.
The fight between the principals of the former Mastro Auctions, which is believed to be at least one focus of the investigation, and SGC’s Dave Forman, is getting uglier with new court papers recently filed by Forman’s attorneys. The accusations are serious. The New York Daily News filed this report last Friday after taking a look at the documents.
One of the ‘holy grails’ of baseball memorabilia is the home run ball hit by Bill Mazeroski to win the 1960 World Series for the Pirates. No one has been able to document any ball as being ‘the one’. Proving it 50 years later would seem all but impossible, but at least one new piece of video is about to surface that could provide a small clue.
It seems Bing Crosby, part owner of the Pittsburgh club at the time, was too nervous to watch Game 7. He was in Europe and had someone record the game on a kinescope, the early forerunner of the VCR. The Crosby estate recently found two reels in metal containers containing the entire broadcast. They’ll be part of a special MLB TV broadcast at some point.
It seems Bing pretty much saved everything. The New York Times has the incredible details of the baseball archaeology that has baseball historians excited.
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