we should never have won the pennant.” -2007 Beyond The Game Interview with Sal Yvars, 1951 NY Giant.
Brooklyn Dodger Great Ralph Branca
recently graced the Beyond The Game television studio to talk about his newly released book A MOMENT IN TIME: An American
Story of Baseball, Heartbreak and Grace. Diamond Game enthusiasts know Branca was the hurler victimized by the elaborate
Leo Durocher inspired sign-stealing scheme which propelled the New York Giants past the Dodgers and into the 1951 World
Series. But how many Seamheads are aware that by 1954 Branca knew all about the Giants tainted NL flag race?
He vowed to not say anything until some else revealed the
rigged Polo Grounds playing field. Branca moved along with his
MLB pitching craft for the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees.
His rich baritone voice
gave him opportunity to sing not once but several times on the Ed Sullivan show. His razor sharp mind captured a record-setting
seventeen wins on the television show Concentration.
He successfully transitioned from baseball to business. Once fellow Westchester County resident Sal Yvars confirmed
to Wall Street Journal scribe Josh Prager the telescope and buzzer system in the Giants sandlot, Branca felt he could
weigh in on that topic as well as many others in his baseball career.
Would you believe a young school boy Ralph
Branca grew up rooting for the Orange and Black? Or the Boston Red Sox enticed the Mt. Vernon, NY prospect with Bonus
Bucks? Or for that matter a teen-aged Branca going a mano a mano at the negotiation table with Veteran Sport Biz Guru
Branca described baseball “..as a game played outside of time. You play it not until the clock
runs out, but until there is a clear winner. That takes as long as it takes.”
It has taken a long time,
A MOMENT IN TIME is here and upon perusal there’s no question in the game of life Ralph Branca is a winner.
Concentration, September 13, 1963 Tournament of Champions:
Ralph vs Art: Part 1
September 13, 1963 Tournament of Champions: Ralph vs Art: Part 2
LITTLE GOLDEN RECORDS: In 1952 Arthur Shimkin and Little Golden Records label brought New York Yankees’ Phil Rizzuto, Tommy Henrich, and
Brooklyn Dodger players, Ralph Branca, Roy Campanella to record two classic baseball songs – “Take Me Out To The
Ballgame & the rarely heard song, “The Umpire”.