THE SHOT HEARD AROUND THE WORLD

There has been a considerable amount of evidence for years that the Giants were stealing signs in the 1951 pennant race with a telescope and buzzer system in center field, including the playoff championship game against the Dodgers, when Bobby Thompson hit, “the shot heard around the world.”

Thompson always insisted that he had no foreknowledge of Ralph Branca’s pitch. Branca was privately skeptical of Thomson’s denials but made no public comment at the time.

Later Branca told The New York Times, “I didn’t want to diminish a legendary moment in baseball. And even if Bobby knew what was coming, he had to hit it…. Knowing the pitch doesn’t always help.”

Too bad that pitcher Mike Fiers, who was with the Astros in 2017, did not have the same attitude for his former teammates, which Branca had for an opposing player’s achievements.

Bobby Thompson and Ralph Branca became fast friends after they retired from baseball. I doubt that Fiers will ever have any good friends among the Astors or other players for that matter. He never should have gone to the press in his whistleblowing vendetta. If he was so concerned, why did he not go to the Commissioner at the time? I doubt if this guy will be around baseball much longer.

Branca rightly put the game first, not his own personal loss. Too bad the Commissioner of baseball and the teams who lost to the Dodgers could not have the same priorities, which were still virtually common place at the mid-20th Century.

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