Copyright ©2011 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

It is Friday morning when we hear from our project StoryCorps, and today we have a baseball story for those baseball fans who are not so dismayed by developments earlier this week they can't listen anymore. The Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves failed to make the playoffs this week with historic late season collapses, and that is eerily similar to something that happened 60 years ago.

That season the Brooklyn Dodgers lost their hold on first place and ended up in a playoff with their cross-town rivals, the New York Giants. The Dodgers lost in spectacular fashion giving up a ninth inning homerun to Bobby Thomson. It was known as the shot heard round the world.

Today we hear from Harvey Sherman, who like everyone else living in Brooklyn at that time, remembers every detail about that day.

HARVEY SHERMAN: In 1951 we blew a 13 and a half game lead and we had to playoff against the Giants. I think a guy by the name of Thomson hit a home run off a guy by the name of Branca. Still hurts to talk about it.

Many of our fathers were Giant fans. But all of the sons and daughters were Dodger fans, because Ebbets Field was a neighborhood place. And those were the days when baseball was during the day.

So in 1951, when Thomson hit the home run, my pals and I were in school. The teacher, Mrs. McPherson, lovely old Irish lady, stopped teaching. Put your radios on. Let's listen to the Dodger game.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPORTS CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Wide, wide to the right, Bobby Thomson takes a strike called on the inside corner.

SHERMAN: And that's what happened in the whole high school. Everybody had a portable radio and we all listened to the game, including the teachers.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPORTS CLIP)

MAN: Branca throws. There's a long drive, it's gonna be, I believe ? the Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! Bobby Thomson hits..

SHERMAN: Well, my friend Bobby had his maroon portable radio on. And again, we didn't have a lot of money in those days. But when Thomson hit the home run, class was dismissed. Bobby took his radio and he threw it down the staircase.

How can you forget? Sort of like Pearl Harbor, and stuff like that. We remember it very, very well.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Stuff like that. Harvey Sherman telling that story to his friend Alex Reisner in New York City. Their conversation will be archived with all the others at the Library of Congress, and you can find the Podcast at npr.org

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.