Clayton: RIP Ralph Branca, 90, beloved Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher

From Andy Clayton at the New York Daily News on November 23, 2016:

Ralph Branca, who gave up one of the most famous home runs in baseball history, died Wednesday morning. The Mount Vernon product was 90.

Ex-Mets manager Bobby Valentine, who is married to Branca’s daughter Mary, shared the news on Twitter.

“One of the greatest guys to ever throw a pitch or sing a song is (no) longer with us,” Valentine tweeted. “Ralph Branca Passed this morning.

“In his 91st year on Earth he left us with the same dignity and grace that defined his everyday on earth. He will be truly missed!!!”

Branca died at a nursing home in Rye, New York.

On October 3, 1951, Branca gave up Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World,” a 3-run, 9th-inning homer as the Giants rallied to beat Branca’s Dodgers 5-4 at the Polo Grounds in a National League playoff game. Thomson’s heroics in the deciding Game 3 put the Giants into the World Series.

Thomson’s line drive homer into the lower deck inspired radio play-by-play man Russ Hodges’ legendary “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” call.

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Originally published: November 23, 2016. Last Updated: November 23, 2016.