Thursday, October 3, 2013

"Hit Heard Around The World"

On Oct. 3, 1951 New York Giants Bobby Thomson hits a walk-off home run to win the pennant, defeating their cross-town rivals the Brooklyn Dodgers. Thomson’s home run has been named the “Hit heard around the world.”

Despite Thomson’s heroics to win the pennant, the Giants would end up losing the World Series to the New York Yankees in six games.

While best known for his walk-off home run against the Dodgers, Thomson had a great career which saw him play for 15 years with the Giants, Milwaukee Braves, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles.

Over his career Thomson, nicknamed "The Staten Island Scot," was a three-time All-Star, including back-to-back appearances in 1948-1949. Though never an MVP, Thomson was in the MVP conversation three times over the course of his career, with his highest voting for the MVP Award coming in 1951 when he finished eighth. That year he had career highs in home runs with 32, which was the fifth highest total in the MLB that year, and walks with 73. Thomson also had the fourth highest slugging percentage in MLB.

Thomson put up solid numbers over his career including playing in 1,779 games over 15 seasons. Over those 15 seasons, Thomson had 6,305 at-bats with 1,705 hits, consisting of 1,100 singles, 267 doubles, 74 triples and 264 home runs for a .270 lifetime batting average. Thomson also knocked in 1,026 RBIs, scored 903 runs, totaled 38 stolen bases and walked 559 times, while striking out 804 times.

Thomson led the league in triples once, with 14 in 1952. That was also his highest single season total of triples.

Scottish baseball team, the Edinburgh Diamond Devils, named their home "Bobby Thomson Field.” It was opened by the man himself in 2003 while he was in Scotland to be inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.

The UK Chapter of The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is named the Bobby Thomson Chapter.