The Beckett Blog

New York Giants legend Bobby Thomson dies at 86 by Chris Olds

Bobby Thomson, whose dramatic home run gave the New York Giants the NL pennant in 1951 and inspired one of the most memorable calls in baseball history, has died. He was 86.

“The Shot Heard ‘Round the World” came off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca in a playoff game to determine who would face the New York Yankees in the World Series, forever linking the duo in baseball lore and on baseball memorabilia.

Thomson, who also played for the Milwaukee Braves, Cubs, Red Sox and Orioles, played 15 seasons in the bigs, hitting .270 with 264 home runs and 1,026 RBI.

The three-time All-Star appeared on just 219 baseball cards during his career, just 25 of those certified autographs and 17 of them featuring memorabilia swatches. His Rookie Card appears in the 1948 Bowman set, which can be found for $100 or less.

Thomson was a prolific signer for baseball fans through the mail over the years and his autograph can often be found in tandem with Branca.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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A very sad day for me. Not only was a I rabid Giants fan (I was even at the time and actually watched the game on my twelve-inch Dumont TV set!), but it inspired me to write my second novel, ONCE UPON A FASTBALL. Anyone who loves baseball would, I think, enjoy this novel, available at I also have learned to admire Ralph Branca in terms of the way he has handled this gaffe his whole life. The greatest moment in sports history, in by humble opinion. –Bob Mitchell

Comment by Bob Mitchell

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