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Collecting Bobby Thomson and The Shot Heard Round The World Game

One of Major League Baseball history’s most iconic games was the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World Game.” The shot refers to the game-wing home run that Bobby Thomson hit off of Ralph Branca on October 3, 1951, to win the National League Pennant. The three-run home run gave the New York Giants the win over the Brooklyn Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the best of three playoff series. The Giants went on to lose the World Series to the Yankees in six games. But, the fact that this was the first televised game nationally, coupled with an epic homer and cross-town rivalry, made it legendary. There are many theories on why the name “shot heard round the world” stuck, but I think it’s just because of the extended media coverage.

Russ Hodges gave the epic live description of Thomson’s home run on WMCA-AM:

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! The Giants win the pennant! Bobby Thomson hits into the lower deck of the left-field stands! The Giants win the pennant and they’re going crazy! They’re going crazy! I don’t believe it! I don’t believe it! I do not believe it! Bobby Thomson hit a line drive into the lower deck of the left-field stands and this blame place is going crazy! The Giants! Horace Stoneham has got a winner! The Giants won it by a score of 5 to 4, and they’re picking Bobby Thomson up, and carrying him off the field!

Russ Hodges

Weeks ago, I wrote an article about the greatest game ever pitched, and collecting the cards of players related to that game. In this post, I’ll focus on some obtainable collectibles of Bobby Thomson and his legendary home run.

First, collectors can obtain signed prints of the moment as it happened.

Bobby Thomson Shot Heard ‘Round the World Signed Image

Encapsulated playoff tickets are also available, though they’re pretty rare. Three stubs, seven full tickets, and three “game 2&3” passes exist in the PSA Population Report.

1951 N.L. Playoff Game 3 PSA Ticket

Bobby Thomson also signed baseballs with the game’s date. Sometimes he inscribed “shot heard ’round the world’ on them. Some are available with Ralph Branca’s signature too.

Bobby Thomson Signed Baseball – Oct 3, 1951

The game was described or commemorated on three different cards, the 1953 Red Man Tobacco #25, 1961 Nu-Card Scoops #480, and 1991 Bowman #410.

1953 Red Man Tobacco #25 Bobby Thomson
1961 Nu-Card Scoops #480 Thomson’s Homer Sinks Dodgers
1991 Bowman #410 The Shot Heard ‘Round the World
1991 Bowman #410 The Shot Heard ‘Round the World Reverse

Additionally, the 1952 Topps and Bowman cards of Bobby Thomson enumerate the season he had played leading up to this epic playoff game,

1952 Topps #313 Bobby Thomson
1952 Bowman #2 Bobby Thomson

Other artifacts, like the game bat and shoes worn by Thomson, can be found in the National Hall of Fame and Museum. His game jersey is part of a private collection, but the location of the ball isn’t known. However, the other items described give you a great way to grow your post-war collection and commemorate one of the greatest games of the 20th century.

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