Google+

A Sports Miracle With a Poetic Twist!

Seeing as that the ‘season of miracles’ is now upon us, readers will be introduced to some of the top sports miracles of all time.  For this particular article, we turn to some pretty famous words that were said by a man named, Russ Hodges, who was broadcasting a baseball game one day.  This particular broadcast was not national, just a local game for Giants’ fans to enjoy.  Hodges was definitely a calm, laid-back sort of guy who no one would ever ‘deem’ excitable.  However, on this particular day, it was his calm, steady voice that captured a true sports miracle.

 

The call began with the quiet words:  Bobby Thomson…up there swingin’…  And the announcement ended with the most famous words ever spoken in baseball history:

 

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!!!

That was the incredible moment in 1951 when the New York Giants needed a huge miracle in order to get that pennant away from their cross-town rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers. In the bottom of the ninth inning of a tie game, Bobby Thomson stepped to the plate with two men on base, and two pitches later he hit a high fastball just far enough to clear the fence in left field. He jumped wildly around the bases, and was carried from the field on the shoulders of his teammates.  This shot – this one incredible shot – rang out through all five New York boroughs and beyond!

The phrase, “shot heard round the world,” was actually used by the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1837, when in the Concord Hymn, he referred to the ‘shot’ as the first battle of the Revolutionary War.   But the use of the phrase with regard to Thomson’s home run may also have been inspired by the high number of U.S. servicemen who listened to the game on Armed Forces Radio while stationed in Korea.

 

On August 11, Brooklyn had held a thirteen-and-a-half game lead on the Giants.  But the Giants turned around and won their next sixteen games, putting together a streak that is almost unequalled in baseball today!  They went 37-7 in their last 44 games, and with their fourteen-inning victory over the Phillies – who were the league champions he year before – they made the Dodgers force a best-of-three showdown.

 

Brooklyn won the coin toss to decide home-field advantage in the series and the manager, for some odd reason, chose to play only the first game at home rather than the last two.  Even though fans were upset, he thought that if the Dodgers won their only home game, they would only need to win one out of two on the road – and that would be simple.

 

However, the Giants won the first game at Ebbets Field, with Thomson being the hero of that one as well when he hit a two-run home run to seal the win up. When the series moved to the Polo Grounds, the Dodgers won the second game – a complete shutout with a rookie pitcher.

 

For this famous third game, Thomson tied it up with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh, and in the eighth inning the Dodgers did so well that they ended up heading to the bottom of the ninth with a secure 4-1 lead.  However, their pitcher – Newcombe – was seriously tired.  Before this, he had pitched a complete game, then thrown for almost six innings in relief the next day in the season finale. Pitching with only two days’ rest, he attempted to take himself out of the game, but was talked into finishing the inning.  The Giants shortstop singled and a rally began. Newcombe did finally head to the bullpen, where the bullpen coach made a choice that fans simply didn’t understand – and a choice that also ended up costing him his job.  The relief pitcher who was sent in was the same one who had pitched and lost Game 1 of the tiebreaker on a Thomson home run; a pitcher who had actually given up several home runs that year to Thomson, who had hit thirty-one during the season.

 

But the man, Branca, headed to the mound and met face-to-face with Thomson yet again.  A fastball sailed down the middle for a strike, but his second pitch was also a fastball – one that Thomson yanked down the left-field line.  A Dodgers’ left fielder rushed toward the fence, thinking the rapid line drive might bounce off the wall but, no luck.  The ball disappeared into the stands for a game-ending three-run home run.  With one swing Thomson had transformed a definite defeat into a victory, and snatched the pennant for the Giants.

 

It was truly a sight to see when that ball disappeared over the fence.  In videos, every fan can still see Thomson as he hopped crazily around the bases before disappearing into the huge pack of extremely excited teammates who were waiting for his arrival at home plate.  The Dodger players were absolutely stunned as they headed for the clubhouse.  And another amazing notation in history is that the man waiting to hit behind Thomson was a young rookie who would end up hitting his own excess of thrilling home runs – Willie Mays.

 

If you think media is an unbelievably large industry nowadays, it was absolutely crazy on that day.  TV and radio broadcasters captured the moment for baseball fans across the globe, although Russ Hodge’s words would be the ones to live in infamy. Harry Caray – the famous broadcaster – was also in the Giants’ radio booth with Hodges, and people wonder what the famous man was doing when Hodges screamed about the shot heard round the world.

 

The official attendance of that third game was only a little over thirty-four thousand – quite low considering the importance of the game and the bitter rivalry that existed between the two teams. Oddly enough, historians agree that this only represented the number of tickets sold before the game began, and did not account for the New Yorkers and Brooklyn-ites who had left work early to head to the massively important game.

 

The Giants advanced to the 1951 World Series, but they would only be given that one miracle for the season.  The New York Yankees would end their miraculous ride by winning the Series in six games.

 

But, in the end, the winners of the Series that year just didn’t matter.  For all any baseball fan will ever remember from 1951 are the words of Russ Hodges when he heard the crack of that bat and announced to everyone:  THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!!

 

 

Article Sponsored by:

www.PreciousGemsPublishing.com

www.BefirstInc.com

www.RoadTrekin.com

Entertainment

Blake Lively Shines as Surfer Stranded in Shark-Infested Waters

  The Shallows Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams Blake Lively Shines as Surfer Stranded in Shark-Infested Waters Nancy Adams (Blake Lively) was so shaken by her mother's (Janelle Bailey) untimely death that she's dropped out of med school. In order to feel closer to her dearly departed mom, she's decided to vacation at the same exotic Mexican retreat where she was reportedly conceived back in 1991. An avid surfer, she also plans to search … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

More Than a Score

  ACRONYM TO FOLLOW by Peter Brav   Finally Our Day has come There’s a Day for everything For doughnuts, siblings, eight track tapes Grilled cheese, daughters and sons to work Encouragement, Alzheimer’s Coffee, math, chewing gum Blasphemy, yo-yos And now finally One for us Truly a Day to celebrate National Don’t Shoot An Unarmed Brother Doctor King Not Seeing Progress George Orwell Laughing It Is So About the … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Richards Rocks!

  Sandra L. Richards The “Rice & Rocks” Interview with Kam Williams Richards Rocks! The American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, Sandra L. Richards is the author of “Rice & Rocks.” She hopes that her debut picture book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity. Sandra completed both her undergraduate and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

230 LXF from Tidewater Packs A Punch in a Small Package

  230 LXF from Tidewater Packs A Punch in a Small Package By Ted Lund Are you looking for a family-friendly center console that’s got the luxury of a larger boat in a smaller package? Then look no further than the 230 LXF from Tidewater. The 23-foot, center console has the same features as the rest its large LXF brothers, including comfortable full upholstery, stainless steel cup holders. And a newly-designed console with glove box and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

There Are Superheroes Among Us

  There Are Superheroes Among Us by Amy Lignor   This story truly proves that a superhero does not require a cape, tights, or the ability to fly. In a world where all headlines seem to be centered around who shot who, who is being put upon, who’s “getting away with it” – all the way to who is getting divorced and who may or may not be kneeling at NFL games – negative stories seem to be the only ones covered anymore by the media. … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

  Scholastic Announces Sales of More Than 3.3 Million Copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two New York, NY (August 10, 2016) — Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two script book, the eighth Harry Potter story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne, published in the U.S. and Canada by Scholastic has sold more than 3.3 million copies in North America to date.Scholastic announced a first printing … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky”

  Vacation Time Has Turned “Spooky” by Amy Lignor   Myths and legends, both spooky and surreal, are becoming the subject of many books and newspaper articles lately. And the location of many, oddly enough, happen to be in the Southwest. It used to be that a nice white sandy beach was the one place we yearned to go on vacation to get away from it all. Now, however, people are searching for places to travel where legends still exist, and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Doing Our Part

  Doing Our Part by Amy Lignor   There are books being published as of late – wonderful books telling the stories of amazing wildlife rescues, as well as neighborhoods and communities across the U.S. that have taken on projects to save the wildlife in their own surrounding areas.   We always talk about these “success stories,” yet never actually give information on exactly how these “problems” turned into “victories.” … [Read More its Good for You...]