I am the product of a mixed marriage — my father was a NY Giants baseball fan, my mother grew up on the Yankees. The Brooklyn Dodgers didn’t factor into their Bronx upbringing (although I now certainly have a fondness for LA Dodger blue), and the Mets were just never a big deal to them (although I believe that the 1969 Amazins were, well, amazing).
With this kind of pedigree, it’s not surprising that one of my favorite sports moments involved two New York baseball teams — the historic 1951 Bobby Thomson home run that brought the Giants from behind in the bottom of the ninth (down 4-2) to a walk-off win (5-4) against the Dodgers for the National League pennant. What makes that moment so indelible is the broadcast by Russ Hodges (listen and watch here).
Anyone with even a hint of a love of sports will appreciate Hodges’ unadulterated joy as soon as he heard the crack of Thomson’s bat (the “shot heard ’round the world”) and knew what it meant. And his ecstatic “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” has defined for generations what it means to come from behind and win — and how that kind of victory is often the sweetest.
A moment like that can make believers of us all. Batter up.
© 2013 Claudia Grossman