Dead: August 16, 2010
High of His Life: To anyone who knows anything about baseball Bobby Thomson was the man who made the world cry with joy with his “Shot Heard Round the World.” The New York Giants (then a baseball team and not a football team) were 13 1/2 games back in August of 1951. No one comes back from 13 1/2 games back. No one. But apparently nobody told the Giants this because they won 37 of their last 44 games and went on to play the Brooklyn Dodgers for the National League Pennant. It was an historic moment in baseball and everyone was rooting for the underdog. In the bottom of the 9th inning (THE NINTH INNING!!!) the Giants were down 4-1. Three men on and Mr. Bobby “Staten Island Scot” Thomson was at the plate. A pitch from Ralph Branca came soaring over the plate and POW! Thomson shot it right out of the park. While the team would ultimately lose the world series to the Yankees everyone can agree that the most exciting moment in baseball of that year, and possibly one of the most exciting moments in baseball of all time, was hearing the crack of that bat followed by Russ Hodges, the announcer screaming into the microphone “THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!” over and over again. It brings a thrill to any baseball fans heart and a tear to their eye to hear that call.
Low of His Life: In 2001 the Wall Street Journal revealed that the Giants had been stealing hand and finger signals from their opponents to judge the pitches and calls from the catcher to the pitcher. However, even Branca had this to say about that auspicious moment in baseball history. ”I didn’t want to diminish a legendary moment in baseball. And even if Bobby knew what was coming, he had to hit it…. Knowing the pitch doesn’t always help.”
Who Sees Him as a Hero: the underdogs, the baseball fans, the underdog baseball teams (the Pirates…), and Bill Mazeroski