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FRANCISCO -- At the end of the movie "The Natural," Roy Hobbs breaks his bat and stands staring at it, along with Knights batboy Bobby Savoy.
"Go pick me out a winner, Bobby," Hobbs tells him.
The batboy returns with his handmade "Savoy Special," and the rest is history.
Something very similar to that happened in the first game of the 108th World Series.
Pablo Sandoval said after Game 1 that he broke his bat after his second of three consecutive home runs. The white Marucci bat was in a sleeve and headed for the Hall of Fame, the second time this season Sandoval has given up a bat to Cooperstown, along with the All-Star Game.
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Sandoval said he broke it on his backswing against Justin Verlander. If you thought three home runs in a single game was legendary -- only three others have done it -- then imagine how he felt.
"The bat flew out of my hands and hit the rail on my backswing," Sandoval said, walking across the field after the clubhouse had cleared out following an 8-3 triumph over Detroit. "It made it more exciting."
Sandoval got the equivalent of a "Savoy Special" to join Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols as Fall Classic immortals, the only ones to hit the homer trifecta in the World Series.
Coincidentally, the other time his bat was taken to Cooperstown, it was because of a smash off Verlander. Sandoval's big first-inning triple in Kansas City in July caused his bat to be museum-bound.
"It's exciting," Sandoval said. "It's the second bat they took there. It's exciting to be part of the Cooperstown museum."
Sandoval signed it with his name, the No. 48 and "Kung Fu Panda." That's what visitors to the Hall will see in coming years.
"We're glad to have it," said Brad Horn of the Hall of Fame. "As you can see, this one is broken, and that makes it even more remarkable."