Bobby Thomson, whose historic homerun for the Giants in the 1951 National League pennant race was deemed the “Shot Heard Round the World” died today at his home in Savannah, Georgia of natural causes. He was 86.
Thomson played third base and outfield during his nine seasons with the Giants (1946-53 and 1957). He has the seventh most home runs in Giants franchise history (New York and San Francisco combined) with 189 and was a three-time All Star (NYG - '48,'49 and '52). As a Giant, he hit .277 (1,1171-for-4,223) with 648 runs, 192 doubles, 56 triples, 189 home runs and 704 RBI. Overall, throughout his 15-year career, he hit .270 (1,705-for 6,305) with 903 runs, 267 doubles, 74 triples, 264 home runs and 1,026 RBI.
Thomson's historic walk-off home run at the Polo Grounds on October 3, 1951, is regarded as the granddaddy of all walk-off home runs as it capped the Giants' spectacular charge to the pennant after they had trailed the Dodgers by 13 and one half games as late as August 11. The "shot heard 'round the world" ended the best-of-three playoff series with the Dodgers and resulted in the Giants winning the National League pennant.
"The news today of the passing of New York Giant Bobby Thomson brings great sadness to our organization. While Bobby was so well known throughout the world as the man who hit the most famous home run in baseball history, he was also a true gentleman who showed the respect for the game and carried himself with dignity that is so important to baseball," said Bill Neukom, Giants managing general partner and chief executive officer. "Many of us in the organization had the opportunity to meet and spend time with Bobby and for that we will be forever grateful. We express our deepest condolences to his family and will have them in our thoughts and prayers."
Baseball Commissioner) Selig issued on Thompson’s passing saying, “Bobby Thomson will always hold a special place in our game for hitting one of the signature home runs in baseball history. ‘The Shot Heard ’Round the World’ will always remain a defining moment for our game, illustrating the timeless quality of the national pastime.
“Bobby’s baseball career was highlighted by that long drive at the Polo Grounds on October 3, 1951, but ‘The Flying Scot’ was an accomplished, three-time All-Star in a 15-year Major League career. A true gentleman, Bobby was a perfect choice to have earned one of the game’s most memorable moments. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest sympathy to Bobby’s family and friends as well as to all the fans of the Giants franchise.”