No one knows what really happened to Bill Mazeroski’s World Series-winning home run ball. Kirk Gibson’s homer in the 1988 World Series didn’t win the whole thing for the Dodgers although it seems that way. It was only Game One but it’s one of the most memorable moments in baseball history. It’s not really ancient history yet but no one knows where it is either.
Difficult as it may be to believe, home run balls weren’t that big of a deal at the time. There were no MLB authentication guys at the World Series like there are today. Heck, there are authentication guys at regular season games now.
Everyone was focused on Gibson, pumping his arm as he rounded first base. The ball landed in the Dodger Stadium seats and there’s a chance we know who may have gone home with it, but nothing is certain. Even Roger Maris’ home run ball found a safe haven. In ’88? No one seemed to care.
Today, that ball would fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction.
Gibson wishes he had it. He’d probably have sold it along with his jersey, helmet and other items from that World Series that went to bidders a couple of years ago. The money went to scholarships back in his home state of Michigan.
Finding the ball became a quest for one writer for whom 1988 isn’t a pleasant memory at all.
David Davis weaves the search for Gibson’s missing home run ball with a family tragedy via SB Nation.