Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bobby Thomson

Bobby Thomson... up there swingin'... He's had two out of three, a single and a double, and Billy Cox is playing him right on the third-base line... One out, last of the ninth... (Ralph) Branca pitches... Bobby Thomson takes a strike called on the inside corner... Bobby hitting at .292... He's had a single and a double and he drove in the Giants' first run with a long fly to center... Brooklyn leads it 4-2...(Clint) Hartung down the line at third not taking any chances... (Whitey) Lockman with not too big of a lead at second, but he'll be runnin' like the wind if Thomson hits one... Branca throws...

There's a long drive... it's gonna be, I believe...THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! Bobby Thomson hits into the lower deck of the left-field stands! The Giants win the pennant and they're goin' crazy, they're goin' crazy! HEEEY-OH!!!''

I don't believe it! I don't believe it! I do not believe it! Bobby Thomson... hit a line drive... into the lower deck... of the left-field stands... and this blame place is goin' crazy! The Giants! Horace Stoneham has got a winner! The Giants won it... by a score of 5 to 4... and they're pickin' Bobby Thomson up... and carryin' him off the field!

Bobby Thomson. Thank You Always, and RIP.

(Thanks here and here)


  1. Interesting to revisit the Shot Heard Round the World not long after a Friday Post partially dedicated to debunking the idea of the "aging Mays losing his power".

    As the mlb.com link notes, Thomson came up with one out and runners on second and third, trailing by two. In the on-deck circle was a struggling rookie. In hindsight, the right decision for Branca was to walk Thompson and pitch to the rookie with the bases juiced - indeed, Thomson hit a bad pitch out, maybe it was supposed to be an unintentional intentional walk.

    I'm generally not one for "Butterfly flaps its wings in China"-type speculation about how the world would be different if particular events happened differently, but the Shot Heard Round the World is irresistible:

    If Thomson had walked and a rookie Willie Mays had hit a walk-off extra base hit, or even Grand Slam, how might that have changed Mays' career or our perceptions of his couldawouldashoulda power results all these years later?

  2. A very sad day for me. Not only was a I rabid Giants fan (I was even at the time and actually watched the game on my twelve-inch Dumont TV set!), but it inspired me to write my second novel, ONCE UPON A FASTBALL. Anyone who loves baseball would, I think, enjoy this novel, available at Amazon.com. I also have learned to admire Ralph Branca in terms of the way he has handled this gaffe his whole life. The greatest moment in sports history, in by humble opinion. --Bob Mitchell

  3. It was the single greatest moment of joy for me except for my marriage and the birth of my kids, Thomson had always been my favorite player so this was especially sweet. Bobby always was a terrific guy and he was kind enough to write me and send me his autographed pictures, cards, baseballs, etc. RIP, Bobby. I will never forget you.


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