‘Oh the places they’ll go’: Mystery behind ball from former Cardinal’s first MLB hit


ST. LOUIS, Mo. – On Sept. 22, 2010, Daniel Descalso, a member of the “Memphis Mafia” got his first major league hit, as a Cardinal off of Pittsburgh’s Brad Lincoln in what ended up as an 11-6 Pirates win over St. Louis.

As typically happens, the ball gets taken out of play, authenticated, and ultimately returned to the player. But Descalso’s momento took a journey in the intervening years since that not even he knew about until just last week.

“I was under the impression that it was in storage either at my house or my parents’ house. Somehow, through remodel and moves I lost track of it,” he wrote on Instagram Monday.

Then along came Jake Mihalich.

Mihalich, who lives in Massachusetts, buys baseball cards and memorabilia from a co-worker, told FOX2 what happened.

Without authentication, the man who ultimately obtained the ball from Daniel Descalso’s first major league hit likely would never have re-united him with it.

One day he brings in a box of non sports cards (movie cards from the 80s some star wars and ET stuff) and there was a ball in the box which said first hit major leagues out of PNC park and whatnot. I wasn’t really wanting to buy the box of cards but the ball intrigued me so I gave him 10$ for everything and started to do a little digging. The ball didn’t have a name on it except for the pitchers which I thought was odd seeing as the significance of the ball was first major league hit. Noticed that there was an authenticity sticker on the ball which you can use the serial number to validate where the ball came from on the MLB’s website. So that’s what I did and it came up being Descalso’s first hit

Jake Mihalich

After a direct message on Instagram, the wheels were in motion for Descalso to get his prized ball back, even though it begged the obvious question–how in the world did this happen in the first place?

“It’s still a mystery how it ended up from CA to MA. All I know is it was actually given to my co-worker as a door prize about 6 years ago at a card show and he was in possession of it ever since and then he sold it to me,” Mihalich wrote.

Mihalich got the ball on Monday and sent it to Descalso on Tuesday.

It was back in Descalso”s possession by the weekend.

“How it got across the country from CA to MA I will never know but thankfully I have it again. I appreciate him reaching out to me and returning a special piece of my baseball career,” Descalso posted Monday.

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