Neyer: Bobby Thomson’s big hit was just a part of Leo Durocher’s big year

From SABR member Rob Neyer at The National Pastime Museum on May 26, 2017:

The New York Giants’ 1951 season might be the most famous season any team has ever had. Their season includes probably the most famous comeback and probably the most famous home run. And their season got famous all over again a half-century later (more on that in a moment).

Of course, Manager Leo Durocher was right in the middle of everything.

Considering that the Giants’ pennant came down to the last pitch in their 157th regular-season game—including those three famous playoff games with the Dodgers—we could obviously attribute the Giants’ first-place finish to just about anything Durocher did that season.

First, there was Willie Mays. In May, with Mays batting .477 (!) for the Giants’ Minneapolis farm club, the Giants finally summoned him to the Majors. Well, I say “finally”; Mays was barely 20. He went straight into the lineup and went 0 for 12 in his first three games.

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Originally published: May 26, 2017. Last Updated: May 26, 2017.