1957 Gil McDougald Line Drive Baseball that Almost Blinded Herb Score.
Many baseball fans will tell you that neither was ever the same again. On May 7, 1957, Herb Score was pitching to Gil McDougald at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland when the New York Yankees shortstop scorched a line drive back up the middle. With no time to react, Score was struck in the face, dropping him to the mound in a bloody heap. Score never lost consciousness but had severe hemorrhaging in his eye, a swollen retina and a broken nose. McDougald was almost equally traumatized, vowing to retire from baseball if Score lost his sight. Ultimately both returned to action, though Score would win only seventeen games over the next five seasons before his retirement, and McDougald likewise saw his numbers drop precipitously, haunted by what he had done.
Presented is the Official American League (Harridge) ball that, in an instant, changed the trajectory of two great stars. A handwritten and signed 2009 letter of provenance from the widow of fellow Indians ace Mike Garcia reads, in part, "The night of May 7, 1957, Mike brought home this ball and said, 'Put this ball away. This is the ball that hit Herb in the eye. Herb did not want the ball.' The ball has been in my possession from that date until the present." Letter of provenance from widow of Mike Garcia.