Your Turn: Miracle Ball
“Your Turn” is a regular column on this website that gives our readers a chance to weigh in on books they have read, “Best of” lists, etc. Wayne Creighton is to thank for this article. Wayne is a former sports reporter who lives in Ontario. Many thanks Wayne!
Book Review: Miracle Ball: My Hunt for the Shot Heard ‘Round the World by Brian Biegel
Better known as the Shot Heard Round the World. Bobby Thomson’s home run in early October of 1951 gave the New York Giants a dramatic ninth inning playoff victory over the Brooklyn Dodgers and a berth in the World Series against the New York Yankees.
That much is well-known, but what happened to the baseball Thomson sent over the left field wall at the Polo Grounds?
The fans lucky enough to catch the balls Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire hit to gain their place in history made headlines, but 50 years earlier who had the ball from, arguably, the most dramatic home run in baseball history.
Therein lays the premise of Miracle Ball by author Brian Biegel.
However, the book is more than just the search for a baseball. It is tale of just how much baseball meant to Americans in 1951, particularly New Yorkers who had three teams to choose from. Biegel introduces the reader to several characters, including Bobby Thomson himself, along the way to a surprise ending. It is also a personal journey for the author and speaks to the strength of family.
For me, Miracle was one of those books you just couldn’t book down. I would try, but inevitably found myself returning to it a short time later to see where Biegel’s search would lead him next. Miracle hits a home run and is a book I would recommend, not only to baseball fans but anyone interested in the search for the truth.
Image to right is the famous picture of a despondent Ralph Branca, the losing pitcher.
Wayne’s Rating: Home Run
( Amazon: 4.15 / Goodreads 4.14 / B&N 4.00)
Read a Q&A with author Brian Biegel from ESPN.
Here is a great list from the New York Times about the game and its key players.
Below is an interview with author Biegel (audio is a little grainy)