The Smithsonian Channel will debut a new series next month focused on hunting down the truth of what happened to some of sports’ missing treasures.
Sports Detectives will go in search of items from some of the most iconic moments in sports history that have seemingly been lost to time including the ball used in the 1962 game in which Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points, the American flag draped around goalie in the 1980 Olympics, Dale Earnhardt’s legendary pink race car and other items. Some have been lost; others are in dispute according to the show’s producers.
The six-hour docu-series will begin airing April 24 at 9 PM EDT. Each episode will last an hour.
The show’s stories will be told through first-hand accounts from the players, managers, announcers, and fans who witnessed sports history unfold. Smithsonian says the show will use “state of the art technology, sports analysis, and real-life detective work” as it attempts to piece together the evidence for what happened and why.
The series enlists the investigative acumen of Lauren Gardner, a CBS Sports Network reporter, and Kevin Barrows – a private investigator and former FBI agent.
In the series premiere, Sports Detectives attempts to track down the American flag seen in countless images of Craig after the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team’s Gold Medal game victory over Finland in Lake Placid. That game came two days after the team defeated the Soviet Union in the famous semifinal known as the “Miracle on Ice.”
Ensuing episodes will help to explain other mysteries within the American sports landscape including the Immaculate Reception football, Jim Brown’s 1964 NFL Championship ring, the “A1” saddlecloth worn by Secretariat in winning the 1973 Kentucky Derby, the ball from Kirk Gibson’s famous 1988 World Series game-winning homer, a Lou Gehrig bat and Muhammad Ali’s 1960 U.S. Olympic boxing gold medal.
Smithsonian Channel says Sports Detectives builds on a formula established by executive producer Brian Biegel in his documentary, Miracle Ball, which attempted to search for the ball from Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard Round the World” in the 1951 National League playoff series that sent the New York Giants to the World Series.