What would you do with the ball from the final out of the World Series?

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Remember Doug Mientkiewicz? He caught the final out of the 2004 World Series and kept the baseball. A baseball that, on the open market, would’ve snagged a gabillion dollars given the 86-year World Series drought and Boston craziness and all of that. He kept it, though, as many guys who caught final World Series outs kept it. What was the big deal, right?

Well, since it was Boston, it became a big deal. It was a controversy. He got death threats. The Red Sox insulted him publicly as a “rent-a-player” and they filed a lawsuit against him. He was otherwise hounded until Hell wouldn’t have it before, in 2006, both sides agreed to donate the ball to the Hall of Fame.

The ball which led to the final out of the 2015 World Series is in the possession of a player too. That player: Drew Butera, who has it in a safe at his Florida home. Jon Morosi of Fox tells his story. It’s not that controversial a story. Butera plans to donate it to the Royals Hall of Fame at Kauffman Stadium. I guess we live in a simpler time now.

My favorite bit from the story is this, when the MLB people approached him right after the final out:

“As soon as we started jumping around, they came straight to me and said, ‘We need that ball,'” Butera remembered. “I said, ‘I don’t know if I want to give it to you.’ But they said, ‘No, no, we just want to authenticate it.’ So they put the sticker on it, gave it back to me, and I went right back into the pile.

All of which makes me think that the greatest baseball heist would not be to steal any memorabilia. Rather, it would be to steal those little stickers. It wouldn’t be easy to pull off, of course. I’d say you’re looking at a Boesky, a Jim Brown, a Miss Daisy, two Jethros, and a Leon Spinks. Oh, and the biggest Ella Fitzgerald ever. For starters.

But really, a man could do a lot of damage with those.

All of this makes me wonder about what I’d do if I caught the final out of the World Series. I suppose, the Doug Mientkiewicz situation — a truly historic ball that people REALLY care about — is somewhat rare. Maybe it’d be a similar situation if the Cubs won the World Series after all of this time, but beyond that, even those such balls aren’t so insanely valuable, especially compared to what baseball players make.

But would you want it around to look at sometime? Maybe some day, after your career is over, and you’re feeling bad about life? Maybe you’d want it on your mantle or in your den to remember the time when, man, you were at the top of the world?

Cards’ Yadier Molina says he tested positive for COVID-19

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St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina says he’s one of the players on the team who tested positive for COVID-19.

The nine-time All-Star revealed his results Tuesday in a Spanish-language Instagram post. Soon afterward, the Cardinals issued a release naming six of the players who have tested positive.

The others are infielders Paul DeJong, Edmundo Sosa and Rangel Ravelo along with pitchers Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley.

“I am saddened to have tested positive for COVID-19, even after adhering to safety guidelines that were put in place,” Molina said in a release issued by the team. “I will do everything within my power to return as soon as possible for Cardinals fans, the city of St. Louis and my teammates.”

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Monday that seven players and six staff members had tested positive. At the time, Mozeliak said the people to test positive hadn’t been identified publicly because they had declined to have their names released.

The Cardinals said Tuesday that six players had decided to grant permission to have their names revealed.

“I will approach my healing as I do all other things in my life – with education, commitment, and persistence. I look forward to re-joining the team soon and ask that you respect my privacy at this time,” DeJong said in a statement released by the team.

The outbreak resulted in the postponement of the Cardinals’ scheduled three-game weekend series at Milwaukee as well as a four-game series with Detroit that was supposed to run Monday through Thursday. The Cardinals have played just five games this season and are hoping to return to action Friday hosting the Chicago Cubs.

As of now, the Cardinals who have tested positive have returned home while the rest of the team remains isolated in Milwaukee hotel rooms. Their last game was July 29 at Minnesota.

Mozeliak said Monday that five of the 13 overall members of the Cardinals’ traveling party to test positive were asymptomatic. The other eight had minor symptoms including headaches, coughs, sniffles and low-grade fevers. Mozeliak said none of the eight had required hospitalization.

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