Lovely obit today for Bobby Thomson who hit "The shot heard 'round the world." I think the announcer, Russ Hodges, added immensely to the impact of the moment. I started crying watching the video clip and the whole run-up to the game, the rivalry, the last chance-ness of it doesn't mean anything to me. What do you think? Especially you non-baseball people, what does this clip do to you?
But what I love about the obit is the life Thomson lived after that moment. He played a couple more seasons, was traded to Milwaukee, broke his ankle, retired from baseball. Then
After leaving baseball, Thomson, a quiet, modest man, became a sales executive with the Westvaco paper-products company, now part of MeadWestvaco. “I wanted to get a responsible job, stay home more with my wife and daughter and live a normal life,” he said.
And yet you always have that moment. Is that enough, I wonder. Just one fleeting moment. And the rest of it "normal" with your wife and daughter. It seems so grounded to me.
The obit ends talking about Thomson's relationship with the pitcher who lost the game for the Dodgers, Ralph Branca.
Over the years, Thomson appeared with Branca at old-timers’ games, baseball dinners and autograph shows. They donated much of the money they made to charity and forged a certain closeness.
At one joint appearance on the 40th anniversary of his dramatic home run, Thomson remarked that “Ralph didn’t run away and hide.”
Branca responded, “I lost a game, but I made a friend.”
Sounds like they both had their priorities right to me. Lovely, lovely.