You know Bobby Thomson’s most famous home run as the ‘Shot Heard Round the World’ that gave the Giants the 1951 NL pennant against the Dodgers.
But let’s talk briefly about Thomson’s second-most notable home run.
This came the season after the famous one, on June 16, 1952 against the Cardinals. This was a Giants team without their young standout, Willie Mays, who missed most of that year after being drafted into the Army. Thomson was among those providing thump in Mays absence, though he entered the day in an 0-for-13 slump.
The Giants jumped on the Cardinals for a 3-0 lead, keyed by home runs from Davey Williams and Alvin Dark. But the Cardinals scored seven of the next eight runs. Food was a theme to their offensive output. Del Rice drove in two runs. Peanuts Lowrey had an RBI.
Jokes aside, the Cardinals took a 7-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Rice grounded into a double play with the bases loaded in the ninth, else it might have been worse. It was the fifth double play turned by the Giants.
The Giants then went to work in the bottom of the ninth assembling a miracle. Hank Thompson (my father’s favorite) led off with a walk. One out later, Williams singled and Whitey Lockman’s walk loaded the bases.
By this time, Thomson was 0-for-4 and in an 0-for-17 slump overall. This made for quite the predicament for Cardinals rookie pitcher Willard Schmidt, the third pitcher of the inning. His stint lasted one pitch.
Thomson crushed it over the left field fence for a walk-off grand slam. It wasn’t quite ‘The Giants win the Pennant’ but it’s good to know that Bobby Thomson is not a one-note walk-off wonder.