When I was a kid one of my hobbies was collecting autographs of baseball players through the mail. Recently I’ve been reading The Echoing Green, a book I borrowed from my brother Dylan about what is probably the single most famous home run in baseball history. So I decided to revive my old hobby by writing to Bobby Thomson.
In 1951, the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers battled for the pennant down to the last game of the season. The Giants staged an amazing comeback and forced the Dodgers to a playoff. In the deciding game, the Dodgers were up by two in the bottom of the ninth. With the Giants at bat and two men on base, Bobby Thomson hit a rocket into the stands in left field to win the ballgame and the pennant, sending them to the World Series to face the New York Yankees.
This famous home run has become known as “the shot heard round the world.”
I bought an 8×10 photo of Thomson slugging the famous homer and mailed it to him with a letter and a self-addressed stamped envelope. It’s only been a week since I mailed it, so I was happilysurprised to find it waiting for me in the mailbox today.
Mr. Thomson signed the picture and wrote “The Shot Heard Round the World, Oct. 3, 1951.”
Though I’d never done this before, I decided to send a brief questionnaire with the picture. I never thought he’d actually fill it out and return it! But he did, so here are the questions along with his answers:
- Who were your favorite teammates? Whitey Lockman and Alvin Dark.
- What were the personal highlights of your career? Hitting “The Shot” against the Dodgers & winning the pennant in 1951. Also the homer I hit on Oct. 1, 1951, to win the first playoff game.
- Who was the toughest pitcher you ever faced? Don Drysdale.
- Who was the toughest team you ever played against? Brooklyn Dodgers.
- Who was the greatest hitter you ever saw? Ted Williams.
- Who was the greatest pitcher you ever saw? Allie Reynolds.
Pretty cool mail day! Now I remember why I had so much fun doing this as a kid.