New York Author Hoping for Hollywood Home Run

Brian Biegel's recent tome is a hell of a father-son story.

MiracleBallCoverFor his latest Forbes blog post, sports collectibles beat expert David Seideman sat down at an Upper West Side café with Brian Biegel, co-author with Peter Thomas Fornatale of a recent book about the search for the famous 1951 World Series-winning Giants home run ball hit by Bobby Thomson. Biegel confirmed that he is currently in talks with a major Hollywood studio for the rights to adapt the book, which Biegel previously turned into a 2012 Discovery documentary.

If and when that movie gets made, one of the scenes will most certainly have to involve a certain New York tabloid. From Seideman’s piece:

A big break in the case, straight out of TV show CSI, came at a forensics lab on Northern Long Island. Two forensics detectives, with long distinguished careers at the NYPD, studied an iconic New York Daily News photo for visual clues of where the ball actually landed.

By tracing the sight lines of fans, they determined that the News art department – surely on a tight deadline – pointed an arrow [in the photo] at the wrong fan 64 years ago. The detectives further pinpointed the ball’s location using 3-D imaging. But the photo’s most crucial piece of evidence in a book with more twists and turns than a knuckleball had been there all along in plain sight. The baseball was clearly visible in the photo because the top half was back lit from the sunlight streaming through the left field stands. Once again, the arrow was a mistake.

This summer, ESPN’s 30 by 30 will air The Counterfeiter, a documentary by Biegel about an autograph forgery ring. And in the fall, The Smithsonian Channel will debut a six-episode series from the filmmaker titled Sports Detectives. How much fun is that one going to be? Again, from Seideman’s piece:

The show will follow the successful detective formula of Miracle Ball. Biegel is trying to track down the missing home run baseball that the Dodgers’ Kirk Gibson hit to win the first game of the 1988 World Series, the 1960 Olympic gold medal Muhammad Ali tossed into the Ohio River and the ball from Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game.

[Jacket cover courtesy: Broadway Books]