Joe Stanka's Pacific League MVP trophy was missing for over 30 years.
He won the award with the Nankai Hawks during the 1964 season. Pitching to catcher Katsuya Nomura, "Big Thunder" went 26-7 with a 2.40 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 277⅔ innings. He was the first American pitcher of non-Japanese decent to win an MVP award in NPB.
There were plenty of baseball reasons to want to track down the trophy, but for Stanka's grandson Josh, it became personal as he watched his grandfather's health begin to fade. Joe Stanka died in October of 2018.