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October 3, 1951: Bobby Thomson’s “shot heard around the world”

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The New York Giants won 37 of the last 44 games to tie Brooklyn on the last day of the season.    They forced a 3-game playoff with the Brooklyn Dodgers.   The Giants erased a 14 game deficit in August and September.  

The teams split the first two games and everything came down to game 3.   The Dodgers took a lead into the bottom of the 9th but the Giants came back to win on Bobby Thomson’s “shot heard around the world“:    

The Dodgers were winning 4-1. People in the stands were gathering their belongings and heading for the subway. But then the Giants came to life. Al Dark and Don Mueller hit respectable singles to right field. Then, after a Monte Irvin pop-up, Whitey Lockman doubled to left and sent Dark safely home. Now the score was 4-2, with runners on second and third.

While Bobby Thomson waited to bat, the Dodgers sent in relief pitcher Ralph Branca. Thomson was a reliable hitter, and since first base was open and the new rookie Willie Mays waited on deck, many thought that Branca would throw a deliberate walk. He didn’t. The first pitch was a called strike. Thomson drilled the second into the left-field stands.

“The Giants win the pennant!” radio announcer Russ Hodges howled. “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” He kept screaming until he lost his voice. Meanwhile, inside the Polo Grounds, pandemonium reigned. Fans flooded the field. Thomson took curtain call after curtain call. People in Manhattan and Brooklyn made so many phone calls in the half-hour after Thomson’s homer that New York Telephone nearly lost service in the two boroughs.

Wouldn’t it be a nice to get on a time tunnel and watch that game at The Polo Grounds?     It must have been one heck of a party in New York that day.

Later, the Yankees beat the Giants in the World Series!    




Written by scantojr

October 3, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Posted in Baseball

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