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The Ball: Mark McGwire's Home Run Ball and the Marketing of the American Dream
When Mark McGwire sent the first pitch from Montreal Expos rookie pitcher Carl Pavano rocketing into the left field stands at Busch Stadium on September 27, 1998, it was baseball's latest "shot heard round the world." A 26-year-old research scientist named Phil Ozersky happened to be sitting in those left field stands that fateful afternoon, and when he...
When Mark McGwire sent the first pitch from Montreal Expos rookie pitcher Carl Pavano rocketing into the left field stands at Busch Stadium on September 27, 1998, it was baseball's latest "shot heard round the world." A 26-year-old research scientist named Phil Ozersky happened to be sitting in those left field stands that fateful afternoon, and when he dove on the ball and hugged it close, his world was remade. The Ball offers readers an inside account of what happened next --and what happened first. Author Daniel Paisner retraces the arc of this one ball, from the moment it was stitched by factory workers in a Rawlings plant in Turrialba, Costa Rica; to the moment it was finally sold at auction for a staggering $3.005 million to comic-book publisher Todd McFarlane. This is a tale of fortune and legend, honor and greed, substance and style, based in large part on Paisner's unique access to Ozersky and his advisers, including St. Louis sports agent Michael D. Barnes. The Ball is the only in-depth account of the remarkable aftermath to this remarkable baseball season, shot through with compelling personalities, backroom dealings and unearthed legends from our national game. It is itself a gem of a collector's item, sure to find a place on the bookshelves of baseball fans and observers of the American scene.
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