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Sports Detectives

Sports Detectives

  • Premiered: 
    April 24, 2016
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Smithsonian
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Based on the book (Miracle Ball: My Hunt for the Shot Heard 'Round the World) by Brian Biegel 
  • Subject Matter:
  • Tags: sports, collectibles, memorabilia

Buy This Show on DVD or Watch Online

  • Click a button to buy a DVD at Amazon
  • Season 1
    • Amazon
Legal Full Episodes
Not Available Online
(That We Know Of)

Plot Synopsis

SPORTS DETECTIVES is a one-hour series that follows former FBI Agent Kevin Barrows and sports reporter Lauren Gardner, as they hunt down the truth of what happened and find missing treasures behind some of the most iconic moments in American sports history. With state-of-the-art technology, sports analysis, and real-life detective work -- along with stories told through first-hand accounts from the players, managers, announcers, and fans -- this series plunges into the moments that made these objects so coveted, piecing together the evidence for what happened and why. In the series premiere, the SPORTS DETECTIVES attempt to track down the American flag that was draped over goaltender Jim Craig after the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team's Gold Medal game victory over Finland in Lake Placid. That game came two days after the team defeated the Soviet Union in the famous semifinal known as the "Miracle on Ice." Did that iconic flag end up back in the hands of the man who brought it to the game, or did Craig give it as a gift to another Olympian? Faced with two credible and compelling stories, the SPORTS DETECTIVES piece together the evidence to uncover the truth -- with help from the hero himself, Jim Craig. Subsequent episodes feature: the ball from Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception"; the 1964 NFL Championship ring of Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown; Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s pink racing car from early in his career; the A1 saddlecloth worn by Secretariat in winning the 1973 Kentucky Derby; the home run ball hit by a hobbled Kirk Gibson in the 1988 World Series; a game-used Lou Gehrig bat; the basketball used by Wilt Chamberlin in his 100-point game; a trophy attributed to War Admiral; and Muhammad Ali's gold medal from the 1960 Rome Olympics, which he tossed in the Ohio River, making it an enduring symbol of his struggle for Civil Rights.
On Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 9pm ET/PT, Smithsonian Channel premiered the season finale of SPORTS DETECTIVES. The season ender, "Ali's Missing Gold Medal," documents a young Muhammad Ali returned from the Olympic Games a champion in 1960, only to be victimized by bigotry in his segregated home city of Louisville. Disillusioned, he threw his gold medal off the Second Street Bridge and into the Ohio River. This dramatic story appears in Ali's autobiography, but can we prove any of it is actually true? Join hosts Kevin Barrows and Lauren Gardner as they head to Kentucky to get some answers, search for the missing medal, and discover the story of this complex and compelling sports legend. This episode premiered two days after Muhammad Ali's death.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Left/Right Productions