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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard Round The World

Bobby Thomson will be remembered forever by baseball for this pennant winning three-run home run of Ralph Branca of the Brooklyn Dodgers to give the New York Giants the National League pennant.  The Giants would go on to lose the World Series to the New York Yankees four games to two. The Giants had trailed the Dodgers by 13 1/2 games in mid-August before they made a miracle run to the pennant. The home run would vault the outfielder into a stardom, but would cast a shadow over the rest of his accomplishments in an outstanding Major League career.
Thomson was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and was raised in Staten Island, NY after his family immigrated to the United States. He was signed by the Giants out of high school for only $100.  He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II but spent no time overseas. At the age of 22, he made a brief appearance with the Giants in 1946. In his official rookie season he would hit 23 home runs with 85 RBI. He would be a starter in the Giants outfield for the next seven seasons.  In six of those seven seasons he would hit 20 or more home runs, and in four of the seasons he would drive in more than 100 runs. 
After the end of the 1953 season the Giants traded their 3-times all-star outfielder to the Milwaukee Braves.  In his first season with the Braves, he broke his ankle in spring training. It paved the way for another historically famous outfielder to break into the Braves line up. A kid named "Hank Aaron." Thomson's season never really got going , and he slumped to .232 batting average. His time in Milwaukee was marginal by his career standards. He hitting a modest .257 in 1955, and .235 in 1956. He was shipped by the Braves back to the Giants for the finish of the 57' season.  
After the 1957 season, Thomason was traded by the Giants to the Chicago Cubs. Thomson looked more like his old self with the Cubs in 1958. He his 21 home runs with 82 RBI, and a slash line of .283/.351.466. His numbers would fall dramatically the next season. Thomson would go on to play for the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles in the American League to close out his career.
He hit 264 career home runs in his career, and knocked in 1, 026 runs, but he will always be remembered for the three-run homer off Ralph Branca that gave the New York Giants the 1951 National League title. 

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