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Baseball’s lost treasures

Sep 2, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT


My brother used to like to go through old junkyards, because he was convinced that if he looked under the seats of an old rusted out junker he’d find a 1952 Mickey Mantle card or something. I used to tell him he was crazy, and maybe he was. But he was adamant that if you looked hard enough through junk, you’d eventually find treasure. I don’t know if he ever will, but you have to admire his optimism.

And maybe it’s warranted optimism. Because a lot of baseball memorabilia, knickknacks, oddities and collectibles have basically vanished. Today at Fox’s JABO, Erik Malinowski writes about several of them that have simply vanished. Things like The homer run ball Bill Mazerowski hit in the 1960s World Series. Joe Jackson’s admission in the Black Sox scandal. Even a giant statue of Babe Ruth:

It is these little moments, the moments that go beyond sheer happenstance and more toward outright serendipity, that make the history of baseball so richly compelling. And when you stop and consider that there is a whole other layer of lost knowledge that doesn’t make it into most of the mainstream books, that’s when you realize that any time you open a dusty trunk and rummage through a backwoods yard sale, there’s always that one-in-a-million chance you’ll stumble upon something greater.

Maybe the Ruth statue wouldn’t fit in a dusty trunk or under the seats of a car in a junkyard, but the idea still holds. Good read.

  1. bitlrc - Sep 2, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    the 1960s World Series was one to remember. i can’t see why they don’t go back to that once-per-decade format. i still get chills when i think of The homer run from Maz.

    • DJ MC - Sep 2, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      Yeah. Playoff expansion just gets worse and worse.

      • grumpyoleman - Sep 2, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        Everyone gets a trophy.

    • nvl004 - Sep 2, 2014 at 3:40 PM


      • DJ MC - Sep 2, 2014 at 9:21 PM

        “1960s” World Series.

  2. umrguy42 - Sep 2, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    I’m trying to remember if they found the transcripts where Joe Jackson “admitted” the fix. As I recall, they went missing shortly after, some said at the instigation of Comiskey and the White Sox’ club secretary, presumably to help protect reputations all around the club. I know they discuss the missing transcripts in Burying the Black Sox, but I don’t recall (and can’t go looking up right now) if they re-appeared again…

    • wallio - Sep 2, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      They did, years later. Comiskey’s lawyer of all people had it. In addition to Jackson’s and Cirotte’s confessions, a few other minor pieces of evidence were “stolen” to make it look less like an inside job.

      And thanks to Mr. Comiskey and his lawyer, we know have generations of people who refuse to believe the truth that Shoeless Joe was in on it.

  3. baberuthslegs - Sep 2, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Let’s see… Bill Mazeroski personally gives you permission to keep the ball he hit for a World Series winning homer.

    Do you:
    A. Keep it protected and perhaps locked in a safe deposit box, then pass it down generation to generation.
    B. Sell it many years later to the highest bidder because that was your plan all along.
    C. Give it to the Baseball Hall of Fame because of its significance to the sport.
    D. Play sandlot ball with it, scuff it up, then lose it in the weeds.

    I do not choose D.

    • sportsfan18 - Sep 2, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      John Q. Public = Mo Ron

      And it’s getting worse as time goes by…

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 2, 2014 at 3:42 PM

      Who is she?

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 2, 2014 at 7:27 PM

      Yeah, Babe, and as a teen, you never succumbed to peer pressure and did anything kinda stupid? If you never did, the only possible reason is that your parents or guardians kept you locked in a room for several years.

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