boston’s moonlight graham

Here’s one I heard on local sports radio, driving home the other day from my July 4th weekend. It explains why $149 might not be such an outrageous price for a baseball after all.

Yankee Stadium. September 30, 1951. In the final game of the regular season, a young Red Sox rookie played in his first, and last, Major League Baseball game of his career. His name was Harley Hisner, and after five seasons in the minors, he was called up to be that day’s starting pitcher.

Impressively, the rookie lasted 6 innings, giving up 3 runs, and scattering 7 hits, including the final career regular season hit by Joe DiMaggio. Hisner also struck out 3 batters, twice fanning a young, promising rookie named Mickey Mantle.

Hisner began the next season back in the minors. He never made it back to the big leagues.

(Was it giving up that hit to DiMaggio?)

Today Hisner lives in Monroeville’s Village of Heritage nursing home, back in his native Indiana, where the (barely) former major-leaguer still fields (excuse the pun) dozens of requests each year to sign jerseys, bats and baseballs, one of which reportedly popped up (and again) recently on eBay for the unbelievably outrageous, or incredibly reasonable, asking price of $149.

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