With parts of my family in town for the last 6 weeks, I’ve been neglecting my blog posting duties. I’ll be back to Canada and foreign service topics this week, but I wanted to note the passing of Bobby Thompson, the legendary member of the New York (baseball) Giants. Thompson will be forever linked to the greatest comeback in sports history.
In August 1951, the Brooklyn Dodgers held a seemingly insurmountable 13-1/2 game lead over the second-place cross-town rival Giants. The Dodgers mailed it in down the stretch winning 26 and losing 22 over the last 48 games. The Giants did what they had to do. They closed stronger than any team. Ever. Starting with 16 wins in a row, the Giants won 37 of their last 44 games, including the last seven in a row to force a best of three playoff with the Dodgers.
Willie Mays and the Giants prevailed 3-1 in game 1. Jackie Robinson and the Dodgers rebounded 10-0 in game 2. Despite the miraculous comeback, the Giants once again faced elimination as the Dodgers looked to close out a 4-1 victory in the bottom of the 9th in the decisive game 3. The Giants pushed across one run, making it 4-2. After a couple of base hits, Thompson came to the plate with one out. Legendary Giants broadcaster Russ Hodges describes the last confrontation:
I’ve heard Hodges’ call more times than I can count and it still gives me a chill. We’ll miss you, Bobby.