Growing up a baseball fan and watching the playoffs on those cool, crisp, October Houston evenings (by the time October came around and the temperature gauge dipped below 100, any evening where the temperature was in the low 80s and upper 70s was cool and crisp) I often would see a highlight of Bobby Thomson’s dramatic homerun in 1951 that sent the New York Giants to the World Series. The “shot heard ’round the world'” that Thomson hit that lifted the Giants over the Brooklyn Dodgers on October 3, 1951 is one of the most memorable homeruns in baseball history. Like many other baseball fans and historians, I believe it to be the most dramatic point in baseball playoff and World Series History.
So today when I heard that Bobby Thomson had passed away, I paused a moment to remember what that moment meant for me. I have always held a special place in my memory for Bobby because we practically shared the same last name, (mine is Thompson and his is Thomson). Because of this, I often would proclaim Bobby Thomson to be a distant relative. It is one of those stupid things that I did as a kid and a little as I grew older. Often as a kid playing ball and standing at the plate during a game, I imagined what it must have been like for Bobby standing at the plate on the October day. When I would connect with the ball and drive it as far as I could, my imagination would propel me to New York and listen to the fans of the old Polo Grounds going crazy as I circled the bases. As I get older and I recollect this, I realize how crazy this is, but I am a baseball fan. This is part of baseball’s lore and why fans such as myself stick to the game threw thick and thin. Baseball is a part of us and to me Bobby Thomson, good ole Uncle Bobby, will always be a part of me. So to my famous Uncle Bobby: may you rest in peace and understand that you gave a young Texan whom you shared last names with (almost) a lifetime of dreams where anything is possible. Unfortunately for me and most other people, those dreams did not include sending your team to the World Series like your big homerun did for the New York baseball Giants.
To any of you who have never seen the homerun live, click here for the actual broadcast. Enjoy. I have.