Saying Goodbye to Bobby Thomson, the Man Who Hit the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Saying Goodbye to Bobby Thomson, the Man Who Hit the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”

Former Major Leaguer Bobby Thomson passed away Monday at the age of 86, but his 1951 “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” will undoubtedly live on as long as the game of baseball is played. Thomson’s walk-off homerun, which sent the New York Giants to the World Series over their bitter cross-town rival Brooklyn Dodgers, capped an improbable comeback that saw the Giants 13 ½ games back of the Dodgers on August 11 and going 37-7 down the stretch to force the three game playoff. This playoff was eventually, and so famously, decided by Thomson’s left-field wall-scraper that barely escaped the confines of the Polo Grounds.

Thomson’s homerun, labeled the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” because of the large number of American troops listening to the game from Korea on Armed Forces radio broadcast, has been etched into national lore for reasons much bigger than the smash itself. Thanks to the exuberant commentary of radio broadcaster Russ Hodges alone, as a young sports fan growing up I was captivated by the play even with zero understanding of its context or importance, other than the obvious fact that the Giants had made the World Series. This happened half a century before I ever saw it and I didn’t know any of the incredible back story, but even still I could certainly have told you about the time “THE GIANTS WON THE PENNANT!”

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