Tag Archives: Brooklyn Dodgers

“It’s gonna be I believe…”

OCTOBER 3, 1951 | NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK 

“Branca throws.

There’s a long fly. 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!”


Those were the words that blurted out of Russ Hodges‘ mouth as he described, arguably, the most dramatic moment in sports history – Bobby Thomson’s pennant clinching home run for the New York Giants to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers. Hodges was the Giants’ play-by-play man. His description was as much disbelief as excitement.

The drama was the result of a perfect storm; a Giants comeback from 13½ games down in August, a Brooklyn Dodgers‘ collapse, the third game of a best of three playoff to decide the pennant, the Giants’ last chance in the bottom of the 9th down 4-2, two men on, one out.

Bobby Thomson hitting a home run wasn’t so unusual. He hit 32 of them in 1951, 264 in a 15-year career. Thomson also had over a thousand RBI (1,026) in his career, and was a lifetime .270 hitter. Still, what happened at 3:58 p.m. Eastern Time on October 3, 1951 was as dramatic as anything that had ever happened in sports. The discovery of an audio recording of the play-by-play only intensified the drama.

It’s ironic that a recording of the radio broadcast is saved for posterity in that that game was one of the first to be televised nationally, but the TV broadcast was apparently not recorded.

Contributing sources:
NPR Story on Shot heard round the world
October 3, 1951 box score
The Wall Street Journal, Sept 19, 2006
The Echoing Green, by Joshua Prayer, 2006

Dodgers score 12 runs after 2 outs

AUGUST 8, 1954 | BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – There are rallies and there are rallies. How about one the Brooklyn Dodgers had on this date in 1954? The Dodgers scored 12 runs after two outs in the eighth inning. They scored 13 total. They went on to pound the Cincinnati Reds 20-7 at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.

Here’s a good indication why the official scoring for earned runs should be changed. Amazingly, only one of the 13 runs given up in the eighth was earned, despite four Reds pitchers giving up seven hits and seven walks. Neither Cincinnati pitchers Jackie Collum nor Frank Smith got anybody out, but their ERAs did not go down a lick (there’s something not right about that type of scoring) because twelve of the runs scored after an error by Reds third baseman Chuck Harmon long before Collum or Smith got in the game.

Here’s another example of what’s wrong with ERA scoring; a relief pitcher can be called into a game because the starter is showing some weakness. He could give up a bases clearing triple. None of those runs are charged to him. I get that. But here’s what’s crazy. Despite giving up a bases clearing triple, if he gets the next batter out his ERA goes down.

Contributing Source:
August 8, 1954 box score