1951 The Shot Heard ‘Round The World

03 Oct 1951, Harlem, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA --- 10/3/1951-New York, NY- Bobby Thomson, surrounded by excited and worshipping fans, runs for the Giant dressing room after his pennant-winning homer in today's game. With the Dodgers leading 4 to 2 in the ninth inning, Thomson hit a homer with two men on base to give the Giants a 5-4 victory and the National League pennant. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

03 Oct 1951, Harlem, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA — 10/3/1951-New York, NY- Bobby Thomson, surrounded by excited and worshipping fans, runs for the Giant dressing room after his pennant-winning homer in today’s game. With the Dodgers leading 4 to 2 in the ninth inning, Thomson hit a homer with two men on base to give the Giants a 5-4 victory and the National League pennant. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

In 1951 it seemed The Brooklyn Dodgers had the NL pennant all wrapped up. By August 10th they led cross town rivals the New York Giants by 12.5 games and it appeared that they would face off eventually against the New York Yankees in the World Series. Giants would win 16 straight games later in the month of August to pull within 6 games. Then by September 20 the Giants made it to within 4.5 games back with only 10 days left in the regular season. Dodgers would lose 6 out their last 10 while the Giants won their final 7 games (winning 37 out of their last 44 games) to catch the Dodgers in a tie at the end of the regular season. With the Dodgers and Giants both with identical records of 96-58, the NL used a three-game playoff to decide the NL pennant and a trip to the World Series. The Dodgers won the coin toss to choose the playoff schedule, they elected to play the first at home in Brooklyn (Ebbets field) and the final two in Manhattan (Polo Grounds). The Giants won the first game 3-1 then the Dodgers won the second game 10-0 to tie the series at 1-1. The deciding Game 3 was at Polo Grounds and proved to be a classic. The Dodgers struck first right away with a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning then late in the game in the bottom of the 7th inning the Giants would tie it 1-1. Right after that in the top of the 8th inning the Dodgers responded with three runs of their own to take a 4-1 lead that looked like the Dodgers were finally going to close the deal for the NL title. The Giants meanwhile had other plans and wouldn’t give up. The Dodgers were three outs away but the Giants would rally and right away cut the lead in half 4-2. With Giant’s Mueller and Lockman on 2nd and 3rd base with one out, Bobby Thompson came to bat. The 3rd pitch Thompson saw he crushed it into lower-deck stands near the left field foul line for a walk off NL pennant winning home run to win the game 5-4 and the Giants fans went insane. Giants broadcaster Russ Hodges had the famous call The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The game was the first game televised nationally as it was watched by millions and millions across America. The Giants would eventually fall to the New York Yankees in 6 games in the 1951 World Series but it was a season that Giants fans and baseball fans won’t forget.

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