The Untold Story Behind: "The Shot Heard 'Round The World" ...and Why Ralph Kept It A Secret For Sixty Years!
This famous moment in sports broadcasting was nearly
lost. This was in an era before all game broadcasts were recorded. However, in his autobiography, Hodges related how a Brooklyn
fan, excited over what appeared to be a certain Dodger victory, hooked up his home tape recorder to his radio. The fan wanted
to capture Hodges "crying." Instead, he recorded history; the next day, he called Hodges and said, "You have
to have this tape."
Harwell & Red Barber: 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... 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...Hartung
down the line at third not taking any chances... Lockman with not too big of a lead at second, but he'll be runnin' like the
wind if Thomson hits one...
Hodgers: 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!!!'' [ten-second pause for crowd noise] 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!
The Book "A Moment
In Time - An American of baseball, heartbreak and healing": Ralph Branca's tell all book is in development
and scheduled for release Summer of 2011. The publisher of the book is Simon & Schuster Inc.
The Mini-Series: The Mini-series surrounding Ralph Branca's career and the back story leading up to The
Shot Heard 'Round The World is in development and scheduled for release by the 60th anniversary; October 3, 2011.
Branca was traded to Detroit in 1953 and learned from
Detroit Tiger Ted Gray, that the Giants had illegally stolen the signs to the two pitches he threw Thomson. Josh Prager,
book the Echoing Green, 2006; detailed The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and "The Shot Heard Round the
World" in the famous 1951 baseball playoff game. Thomson acknowledged to Prager that the Giants had "stolen"
signs in 1951. That rumor was confirmed in The Wall Street Journal in 2001, when Giant Sal Yvars a Major League Baseball
catcher who played with the New York Giants, admitted that he relayed to Thomson the stolen signs for Branca's fastballs.
Prager documents, beginning July 20, a Giants coach used a telescope, a Wollensak
German World War II “Spy telescope…” trained on home plate and had been stealing signs to view
the catcher's signs to the pitcher. The Giants had a bell to relay the signs to players seated in the Giants' bullpen,
a player in the bullpen then signaled information on the upcoming pitch to batters by their position in the dugout. This
was an elaborate system designed to steal signs between the pitcher and catcher, not to be confused with a 1st base coach
or 3rd base coach trying to steal a sign, which is accepted within MLB. Thomson denied that he had foreknowledge of the pitch
he hit off Branca for the pennant-winning home run.
Prior to facing Thomson, Branca had been warming up in
the bullpen with Carl Erskine. Carl Erskine is a former right-handed starting pitcher for the Brooklyn & Los Angeles
Dodgers from 1948 through 1959... Dodger coach Clyde Sukeforth noticed that Erskine was bouncing several curve balls in
the dirt and instructed manager Charlie Dressen to call on Branca—this despite Thomson having homered off Branca in
Game One. (The Dodgers fired Sukeforth shortly thereafter).
Shot Heard 'Round The World" Jackie Robinson, with his back to the camera, is in a posture of complete disbelief.
Bobby Thomson Home Run 1951 Pennant Race – October 3, 1951 at 3:58pm
Ralph Branca -
Just After The Pitch
Father Pat Rowley, was a priest. When
Branca asked "Why me?" Father Pat told him, "Because God knew your faith would be strong enough to bear this
13 'Hawk' - Ralph Branca
A Triskaidekaphobia is fear of the number 13; it
is a superstition and related to a specific fear of Friday the 13th. Branca wore uniform number 13. In 1951. Branca was
photographed on Friday 13th, 1951, flaunting the number and holding a Black cat. Branca forsook the number 13 for No. 12 but
resumed wearing No. 13.
Robinson, Ralph Branca & Pee Wee Reese
Ralph, supporting Jackie Robinson, the first Negro MLB baseball
player in 1947, drafted by The Brooklyn Dodgers. Ralph was photographed sitting next to Jackie on opening day, April 15, 1947.
When there were death threats that Jackie would be killed if he took the field.