You’ve all heard Russ Hodges exclaim, “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” You’ve seen the replay of Bobby Thomson’s home run in the bottom of the ninth in the Polo Grounds off Ralph Branca, the 3-run homer that beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 5-4 and sent the New York Giants to the 1951 World Series.
But you might not know something kind of important about what happened after what’s widely considered the most memorable moment in baseball history…
What happened to the ball?
I had never thought about it, and if you’re someone who’s curious and loves reading books about baseball history, you’ll be interested in the book I recently read, Miracle Ball — My Hunt for the Shot Heard ‘Round the World, by Brian Biegel, who made it his life’s mission to find the ball after his dad, a lifelong Dodgers fan dating back to their time in Brooklyn, thought he bought it at a flea market.
Biegel grew up as a Dodgers fan, but don’t hold that against him. This book is a fun, fast-paced read, and it taught me about one of baseball’s greatest mysteries that I didn’t even know existed. He also talks to Thomson and several others involved in the incident, including the men who worked in the clubhouse as kids, which provides some great anecdotes about old Giants and Dodgers, including some cool stuff on a young Willie Mays.
I’m giving away three copies of this book, but I’ll need something from you first. Since most of the people reading this either weren’t alive or were too young to remember Thomson’s “Shot,” to be eligible for a copy of this book (which will be shipped to you for free), head to the comments section and list what in your opinion is the greatest Giants-related moment of your lifetime. It doesn’t have to be from a game you attended, just whatever you think represents the modern-day equivalent to “The Shot Heard ‘Round the World” for Giants fans.
If you write one of the three comments on this post with the most thumbs up by noon on Tuesday, Oct. 25, you’ll win a copy of Miracle Ball (so make sure the email you type is legit).
And in case you’re foggy on what happened on October 3, 1951, check it out: