Selected as part of the Sunday Long Read's "Best of 2018"
In 1986, the space shuttle Challenger stunned the nation when it broke apart 73 seconds into flight. This is the story of the soccer ball that survived -- and the family that sent it into space, twice.
"The fans she spent decades entertaining are conspicuously absent from the ballparks this year. Instead, the music piped in over the sound system reverberates off of empty seats and cardboard cutouts. To celebrate her impact on the game is only to be reminded of the things we miss most this year. We all want to be taken out to the crowd.