A few more words about Bobby Thompson
Today’s a bit of a heart-warming day to be a baseball fan. Considering that the Miracle at Coogan’s Bluff occurred nearly 60 years ago, and that the Polo Grounds has been a housing development for the past 45 years, it is gratifying to see the outpouring of Internet affection for Bobby Thompson and his dramatics from October 1951.
The New York Times obituary contains a typically solid overview of Thomson’s life both pre- and post-baseball, although they give short shrift to his post-1951 accomplishments, calling them (perhaps wrongly) an “anticlimax”.
Let’s bear in mind that, all together, Thomson had a pretty solid career, the parameters of which deserve some remembering.
- Thomson had 264 career home runs, which is just a shade below the career 275 amassed by Roger Maris;
- Thomson played for the Milwaukee Braves, where a spring-training injury helped open the door to a starting outfield job for a young man named Henry Aaron;
- In his final season, 1960, Thomson was teammates with Ted Williams (and Pumpsie Green) on the Boston Red Sox;
- Thomson’s final career home runcame off a very young Mudcat Grant;
- Regrettably, the Flying Scot and the Splendid Splinter never homered in the same game.
A nice piece on Big League Stew, the Yahoo! Sports blog, recalls the lighter side of the post-home run relationship between Thomson and Ralph Branca.
The two men became forever entwined, as this baseball shows:
But don’t forget that there was more to Bobby Thomson than just the one home run.