For all of Major League Baseball’s nearly obsessive efforts to authenticate each piece of game-used and game-worn gear, not every ball comes with a sticker. Even really important ones.
The wild celebration that usually ensues after the final out of a World Series can result in some confusion. Usually, though, the final out ball is one that’s treasured by the player who usually winds up with it. Barring a game-ending hit, it’s usually a guy who catches the fly ball or snares the throw to first base.
In the case of San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, the whereabouts of the ball that ended the 2014 Series—Bumgarner’s signature moment—appear to be a bit of a mystery.
Pablo Sandoval, then playing first base for the Giants, snared a pop up to end it. He was photographed with it afterward, but that was his last appearance in a San Francisco uniform. Kung Fu Panda was soon off to even more riches in Boston, where he hasn’t exactly been a rousing success.
Now, there are reports that he’s sold the ball…and such souvenirs can fetch nice money at auction.
The San Jose Mercury-News wrote about it—and also tracked the whereabouts of some other recent final out balls.