Bobby Thomson died yesterday.
He was 86 years old.
In baseball, the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" is the term given to the game-ending home run hit by New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca at the Polo Grounds to win the National League pennant at 3:58 p.m. EST on October 3, 1951. As a result of the "shot" (baseball slang for "home run" or any hard-hit ball), the Giants won the game 5–4, defeating the Dodgers in their pennant playoff series, two games to one. It is one of the most famous moments in Major League Baseball history.
The phrase shot heard 'round the world is from a classic poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson, originally used to refer to the first clash of the American Revolutionary War and since used to apply to other dramatic moments, military and otherwise. In the case of Thomson's home run, it was particularly apt as U.S. servicemen fighting in the Korean War listened to the radio broadcast of the game.
Thomson's homer, and the Giants' victory after overcoming a double-digit lead in the standings by the Dodgers in the weeks preceding the playoff, are also sometimes known as the Miracle of Coogan's Bluff.