The Royals are tasting success for the first time in decades while the Giants are reveling in success / Reuters
Let me set the stage for those of you who may not have been around 63 years ago.
I will never forget that afternoon of October 3,1951 ~ it's emblazoned into my soul for the sheer emotion and excitement lifted me to unparalled bliss, if not ecstacy. Yes, it was the day I became a Giant fan forever.
It was a crisp typical late fall afternoon in Western Massachusetts ~ I had just finished football practice and was sitting on the stairs of the Mount Hermon Prep School Fieldhouse listening to the radio play by play of the last game of the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers National League playoff.
Things looked very grim indeed for the Giants ~ but Newcombe was showing the effects of overuse from the season's final days. Pitching on only two days' rest and tiring badly, he attempted to take himself out of the game, only to have Jacky Robinson talk him into trying to finish the ninth inning.
Giants shortstop Alvin Dark singled to start the ninth inning rally. Then Don Mueller singled to right, which sent Dark from first to third base. Monte Irvin followed, with a chance to drive in a run, but he chased the first pitch and popped out. Whitey Lockman followed with a double down the left-field line, scoring Dark and advancing Mueller to third. Mueller slid awkwardly into the bag and broke his ankle, forcing the Giants to send in Clint Hartung to pinch-run for him.
Charlie Dressen, the Brooklyn manager, finally pulled the obviously drained Newcombe and sent Ralph Branca into the game. (That move has bewildered baseball historians to this day ) Branca had pitched and lost Game 1 of the series and had given up several home runs that year to Thomson, who had hit 31 during the season. However, in Dressen's defense, he had no well-rested pitchers available; in the last regular-season game alone the Dodgers had sent seven men to the mound . Besides that , Willie Mays was on deck behind Thomson ~ so he couldn't pitch around Thomson. During the pitching change, Giant manager Leo Durocher reportedly implored Thomson ~ " If you ever hit one, hit one now ! "
So the stage was set and I was frantic in anticipation ~ Branca's first pitch was a fastball down the middle for a strike. His second pitch was a fastball up and in to Thomson, intended as a setup for his planned next pitch, a breaking ball down and away ~ which never happened. For Thomson pounced on that fast ball and drove it down the left-field line, a rising shot toward the invitingly close outfield fence, and into the third row of a frenzied mass of Giants fans who went stark raving mad ~ including myself as I screamed with broadcaster Russ Hodges ~ The Giants win the Pennant, The Giants win the pennant ...
This Oct. 3, 1951, file photo shows Bobby Thomson of the New York Giants hitting a home run, to win the national League pennant against the Brooklyn Dodgers, in the ninth ining of a baseball game at the Polo Grounds in New York. AP Photo/File)
My prediction: Kansas City is much faster on the base paths than SF and it's bull pen is rock solid in the late innings ~ but the Giant's 10th man is their indomitable manager and master strategist Bruce Bochy and he will not be denied his Hall of Fame worthy third World Series victory in five years. See article ~ http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/10/10/sf-giants-bochy-heading-for-hall-of-fame/
Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist and transformational counselor Allen L Roland is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private Skype consultations firstname.lastname@example.org