Charlie Culberson got the souvenir of a lifetime Saturday. He had Vin Scully autograph the bat he used to hit the walk-off home run in the Dodgers’ National League West-clinching win last Sunday — in Scully’s final home game.
“GOD BLESS CHARLIE!” Scully wrote with a silver marker, then signed his autograph below.
What Culberson would really like is a matching set: the bat he used and the ball he hit for the home run. No one has come forward to offer him the ball.
“It would be nice to get the ball back,” he said. “If I don’t, it’s a good keepsake for whoever has it.”
Culberson, a 27-year-old journeyman infielder, entered the season with five major league home runs. The Dodgers signed him to a minor league contract last winter — a good defender as insurance against a major injury to shortstop Corey Seager — and he played twice as many games in Oklahoma City this year as he did in Los Angeles.
As Scully said on the air last Sunday: “Charlie Culberson, a game-winning home run. What a moment to have it, and would you believe his first home run of the year?”
Culberson said he was so caught up in the moment — and its champagne-drenched aftermath — that he didn’t get the bat back for two days.
He has other favorite sports memorabilia — jerseys signed by Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, baseballs signed by Clayton Kershaw and Sandy Koufax — and now he, too, has a play that is the stuff of legends.
“I guess it was just meant to be,” Culberson said. “It was like a Hollywood ending, especially with Vin Scully. I can’t comprehend how and why it happened, but it did.”