Editor's note: Twice a week during this sports hiatus, we'll answer questions that Bay Area sports fans long have debated in "Ever Wonder?" This installment: What’s the story behind the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” radio call?
It was a game-winning home run that the world got to hear … and see. But it was so much more than that.
The decisive winner-take-all game between the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers on October 3, 1951, was the first game ever televised nationally and would be seen by millions across the U.S.
The game-winner was by New York Giants’ Bobby Thomson, who sent a pitch from Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca over the fence to win the National League pennant.
The play became synonymous with Giants broadcaster Russ Hodges' famous call, "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!." The home run itself was known as "The Shot 'Heard Round the World."
But this, of course, was back before the DVR and recording days where once a game was done, it was done.
But fan Lawrence Goldberg had to go to work that day, so he asked his mother to record the radio call during the last half of the final inning on a tape recorder. She obliged and caught Hodges' famous radio call on her recording device.
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The Hodges' call would ultimately turn into Christmas gifts that Hodges himself would send out.
When Hodges would later tell the tale of the iconic call, he made sure to tell those asking that Goldberg was a big Dodgers fan and the main reason for recording that inning was to make sure there was evidence of the team’s demise.
It turns out, however, Goldberg had been a lifelong Giants fan. Nevertheless, history was born.
You can learn more about the call in the video atop this post.
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