A new book hits store shelves this week, focused on one man’s search for the famous 1951 home run ball hit by Bobby Thomson. But it’s not just a sports memorabilia book.
It’s among the great mysteries of the sports memorabilia world.
What became of Bobby Thomson’s 1951 ‘Shot Heard ‘Round the World’?
Thomson’s October 3, 1951 home run is still considered the most dramatic in the history of baseball. The moment occurred in the bottom of the ninth inning of a sudden-death playoff game between the New York Giants and the arch-rival Brroklyn Dodgers. People across the nation watched on their new TV sets, and broadcaster Russ Hodges’ famous “The Giants Win the Pennant!” call is among the most iconic in sports.
But after clearing the left-ﬁeld wall, the central artifact of the play–the ball itself–inexplicably went missing. Even important home run balls weren’t as coveted since there was really no market for baseball memorabilia on a national stage. The mystery of what happened to the legendary baseball has remained unsolved for a half century.
Miracle Ball is the account of author Brian Biegel’s two-year effort to unravel the mystery that experts said could never be solved. After his father, Jack, ﬁnds a baseball at a thrift store with clues dating back to 1951 and believes it could possibly be the Thomson home run ball, father and son begin a journey to prove its authenticity. Biegel becomes consumed with the quest–recognizing it as the only chance to rescue himself from an emotionally devastating personal crisis that had long been crippling him.
The trail takes Biegel, a sports fan and documentary ﬁlmmaker, from an auction house in Long Island to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, to a backroom meeting straight out of a Martin Scorsese ﬁlm to a dusty oil ﬁeld in Texas, ﬁnally arriving at his ﬁnal destination on a quiet gravel road in New Mexico, the last place he ever expected to be.
Along the way the author meets an amazing cast of characters, including Bobby Thomson himself, who help him in his quest. Each adds their personal memories of the golden age of baseball, giving a broader scope and greater depth to this real-life detective story.
Sports memorabilia collectors know the ending–the ball hasn’t been identified. But the book, set for release on Tuesday, has been drawing rave reviews from those who’ve had a chance to read it.
You can order it here.