He was no spectacular physical specimen but in 1988, Orel Hershiser had a presence. He pitched as close to perfect for much of the season as any man ever has. It ended with a couple of playoff MVP awards and the Cy Young. In between was one of the most remarkable stretches any pitcher has ever enjoyed. Hershiser put together a streak of 59 consecutive scoreless innings, breaking a long-held record set by Don Drysdale two decades earlier. A collector, Hershiser recently decided to pare down what he has accumulated and a ball from that record game in September of ’88 was part of his consignment.
Not so fast.
After Grey Flannel Auctions put the catalog together and shipped it to the printer, Hershiser called and told the auction company he had changed his mind. They could auction off jerseys, some of his awards and other material, but he wasn’t quite ready to part the scoreless innings streak ball One of his card-swapping partners, fellow collector Keith Olbermann, wrote about it in his Baseball Nerd column for MLB.com.