On September 16, 2009, Jonny Gomes hit his 20th and final home run of the season. The shot came on "Hal McCoy Day," honoring the retirement of the 37-year veteran sportswriter who covered the Reds. Gomes, who had told McCoy that he would try to hit a home run for him that day, presented him with the bat, now signed: "To Hal, thanks for the support. HR #20 on Hal McCoy Day." The story was picked up by the Associated Press, garnering national sports-page coverage; reading those articles and looking at photos of the bat, the idea of somehow getting it—much as I would have loved to—seemed fanciful; undoubtedly McCoy would hold on to it for years, and regardless, if ever sold it would surely be priced out of reach.
Last month, the bat appeared on eBay. It arrived today: