Bobby "Shot Heard 'Round the World" Thomson died at age 86.
While outfielder Thomson had a lengthy major league baseball career that lasted 14 years, he is best known for hitting one of the most famous home runs in baseball history, the aforementioned "shot."
It came when his New York Giants were playing the Brooklyn Dodgers for the 1951 National League pennant. The home run came in the third game of the playoff series.
It was the bottom of the ninth and the Dodgers led 4-2. Two men were on and there was one out when Thomson came to bat and hit his famous four bagger against Dodgers' pitcher Ralph Branca.
What made the moment for everyone who's watched he play by play at the time and the years since was the excitement of announcer Russ Hodges shouting into the mic, "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!...."
The Giants went on to the world series which they lost to, who else, the New York Yankees in six games.
The "shot" achieved legendary status from the moment the bat met the ball. It also has had a bit of controversy attached to it in recent years.
As the Associated Press reports:
More than a half-century later, it was revealed the Giants during the season had used a buzzer-and-telescope system to steal the signals from opposing catchers. Helped by the inside information, the Giants overcame a 13½-game deficit to the Dodgers, won 37 of their final 44 games and forced a playoff.
Thomson steadfastly claimed he did not know what pitch wascoming when he connected. Branca was never quite so sure.
Thomson was a three-time all star. His health had been in decline in recent years.