On this day in 1951 Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ‘Round The World” possibly the most famous home run in baseball history. It would rank up there with Bill Mazeroski’s home run in game 7 of the 1960 World Series and Carlton Fisk’s Game 6 home run in 1975.
On August 11th the Giants were 13 1/2 games behind the Dodgers and all but out of it. Then they caught fire winning 16 games in a row. The Giants went 37-7 in their last 44 games while the Dodgers went 26-22. They finished in a tie for first place with 96-58 records. This was in the day when there was a National League and an American League. No divisions. The first place team went to the World Series. They would play a three game series. The Giants won the first game, the Dodgers the second. In the deciding Game 3 played at the Giants ballpark, the Polo Grounds the Dodgers led 4-1 going into the bottom of the 9th inning. The Giants rallied. With 2 men on Ralph Branca of the Dodgers was pitching to the Giants Bobby Thomson. The first pitch was a strike. The second pitch Bobby Thomson hit his game winning 3 run home run. The Shot Heard Round The World.
Bobby Thomson and Ralph Branca have been forever linked with that moment. Bobby Thomson died in 2010 at the age of 86. Ralph Branca is still living. He is the father-in-law of embattled Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.
The greatest call in baseball history was called by the Giants announcer Russ Hodges. “The Giants win the Pennant, The Giants win the Pennant”