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Our Blog: 1951 NL Pennant Race

1951 NL Pennant Race. October 3rd. Giants win the pennant on Bobby Thomson's dramatic 3 run HR in the 9th inning.

Posted by Ken Revis at 7:24 AM on October 3, 2011

This is part of a series on the 1951 Dodger/Giant Pennant Race.


The 1951 National League pennant race was perhaps the most famous one of all, and culminated with the Shot Heard 'Round the World, the Bobby Thomson home run that wins the pennant for the New York Giants. We are posting a daily blog, exactly one year to the day, on what is now the 60th anniversary of each game.

Wednesday, October 3rd:

The Dodgers won the 2nd game of the 3 game playoff yesterday. The series is now tied at 1 game apiece. They will meet today to decide the NL pennant. The updated standings, before play, are below:

Team W L W-L% GB
Giants 97 59 .622 --
Dodgers 97 59 .622 --


Giants 5, Dodgers 4.
This is considered by most to be the most dramatic game in the history of baseball. It's the game where Bobby Thomson electrifies 34,320 fans at the Polo Grounds by hitting a pennant winning walk-off home run. Sal Maglie (23-6) is on the mound for the Giants and Don Newcombe (20-9) for the Dodgers. The game is tied 1 to 1 after 7 innings, with both starters still in the game. The Dodgers score 3 runs in the top of the 8th inning. They do it on 4 singles, an intentional walk, and a wild pitch. The Giants' season appears over as they come up to bat in the last of the 9th inning. Al Dark singles to start the inning off. Don Mueller also singles, moving Dark to 3rd. After Monte Irvin pops out in foul territory, Whitey Lockman doubles, scoring Dark and moving Mueller to 3rd. Mueller is hurt sliding into 3rd and Clint Hartung pinch runs for him. As Thomson comes up to the plate, the Dodgers bring in Ralph Branca to relieve Newcombe. On an 0 and 1 count, Thomson hits a line drive home run to left field to win the game. The Giants win the pennant. Larry Jansen, who came on in the 9th to relieve Maglie, gets the win. He ends the season with a 23 and 11 record. Branca gets the loss, moving his record to 13 and 12. Maglie gives up 4 runs on 8 hits in his 8 innings worked. Jansen pitches a perfect 9th. Newcombe is charged with 4 runs on 7 hits in his 8 1/3 innings. Branca officially gives up 1 run on 1 hit. Thomson, whose home run is his 32nd of the year, has 3 hits in the game, including his 27th double. Lockman's double is also his 27th of the year. Irvin has a double of his own, his 19th. The Dodgers have no extra base hits. Both teams have 8 hits and no errors. The Giants leave 3 on base, and the Dodgers 7. See Game


Go back to 1st day of blog

Categories: 1951 NL Pennant Race
Teams: Dodgers, Giants
Players: Ralph Branca, Al Dark, Clint Hartung, Monte Irvin, Larry Jansen, Whitey Lockman, Sal Maglie, Don Mueller, Don Newcombe, Bobby Thomson
Games: NY1195110030

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