A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 18, 2010
“Shot heard ‘round the world”

The “shot heard ‘round the world” was how Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) described the first shots of the American revolution at Concord, Massachusetts. Emerson’s hymn was sung at the completion of the Concord monument on April 19, 1836.

Baseball’s “shot heard ‘round the world” was New York Giant Bobby Thomson’s ninth inning three-run home run at the Polo Grounds on October 3, 1951, lifting the Giants to a 5-4 victory of the Brooklyn Dodgers to win the National League pennant and move on to the World Series. The New York (NY) Daily News of October 4th called it “The Shot Heard ‘Round the Baseball World.” Another newspaper on October 6th called it “the shot heard ‘round the world.”

The term “shot heard ‘round the baseball world” had been used at least once before, in 1924.


Wikipedia: Shot heard ‘round the world
The “Shot heard ‘round the world” is a phrase that has come to represent several historical incidents. The line is originally from the opening stanza of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Concord Hymn” (1837), and referred to the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. Later, in Europe and the Commonwealth of Nations, the phrase became synonymous with the shot that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand and plunged Europe into World War I. Since then, the phrase has also been used to allude to the importance of single actions in sporting and other cultural and social events.

Wikipedia: Shot Heard ‘Round the World (baseball)
In baseball, the “Shot Heard ‘round the World” is the term given to the game-ending home run hit by New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca at the Polo Grounds to win the National League pennant at 3:58 p.m. EST on October 3, 1951. As a result of the “shot” (baseball slang for “home run” or any hard-hit ball), the Giants won the game 5–4, defeating the Dodgers in their pennant playoff series, two games to one. It is one of the most famous moments in Major League Baseball history.

The phrase shot heard ‘round the world is from the poem Concord Hymn (1837) by Ralph Waldo Emerson, originally used to refer to the first clash of the American Revolutionary War and since used to apply to other dramatic moments, military and otherwise. The main reason for the usage of the phrase for Thomson’s home run was due to the high number of U.S. servicemen around the world, such as those fighting in the Korean War, listening to the game on Armed Forces radio.

Thomson’s homer, and the Giants’ victory after overcoming a double-digit lead in the standings by the Dodgers in the weeks preceding the playoff, are also sometimes known as the Miracle of Coogan’s Bluff.
(...)
‘Round the World
The main reason for the terminology of being a shot heard around the World was due to the high number of U.S. servicemen who listened to the game on Armed Forces radio.

Afterward
Afterward, sportswriter Red Smith penned the following recap:

“Now it is done. Now the story ends. And there is no way to tell it. The art of fiction is dead. Reality has strangled invention. Only the utterly impossible, the inexpressibly fantastic, can ever be plausible again.”

The official attendance of the third game was 34,320, a shockingly low number considering the importance of the game, the location of the opposing team (just a 45-minute subway ride from the Polo Grounds), and the bitter rivalry between the two teams. However, most historians agree this figure represents only the number tickets sold before the game, and does not account for the New Yorkers and Brooklynites who had left work early and gone to the Polo Grounds. Careful study of photographs and film of the event show that the 56,000-seat stadium was nearly full, and McLendon’s live broadcast features him commenting more than once that the Polo Grounds was packed.

An article recapping the game in the New York Daily News on October 4 was accompanied by the headline, “The Shot Heard ‘Round the Baseball World”. The phrase quickly spread to other media, and soon became a widely-recognized slogan for Thomson’s homer.

The Giants faced the New York Yankees in the 1951 World Series, but their miracle season would end on a down note, losing the Series in six games.

Wikipedia: Bobby Thomson
Robert Brown Thomson (October 25, 1923 – August 16, 2010), nicknamed “The Staten Island Scot”, was a Scottish American Major League Baseball outfielder and right-handed batter who played for the New York Giants (1946–53, 1957), Milwaukee Braves (1954–57), Chicago Cubs (1958–59), Boston Red Sox (1960) and Baltimore Orioles (1960).
(...)
The “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”
Thomson became a celebrity for hitting a game-winning home run in a playoff game, off of Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca, to win the 1951 National League pennant. The home run (nicknamed the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World") is perhaps the most famous in baseball history.

Google Books
Poems
By Ralph Waldo Emerson
Boston, MA: J. Munroe & Co.
1847
Pg. 250:
HYMN:
SUNG AT THE COMPLETION OF THE CONCORD MONUMENT,
April 19, 1836.
BY the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

Google Books
The Cambridge book of poetry and song
Edited by Charlotte Fiske Bates
New York, NY: T.Y. Crowell & Co.
1882
Pg. 215 (Emerson):
CONCORD FIGHT
BY the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

14 June 1924, Seattle (WA) Daily Press, “Friday The Thirteenth Date Of Baseball’s Battle of Detroit” by the Associated Press, pg. 7, col. 2:
Bob Meusel, Yankee outfielder, fired the shot heard ‘round the baseball world upon Pitcher Cole after the Tiger hurler hit him with a pitched ball in the ninth inning, when New York was leading, 10 to 6.

Google News Archive
6 October 1951, Pittsburgh (PA) Press, “Sports Week in Review” by Roy McHugh, pg. 7, col. 1:
At the end of eight and a half innings in the third and deciding playoff game, Brooklyn had a 4-1 lead. But the Giants unbelievably won, and by this time everyone knows how—on Bobby Thomson’s three-run homer, the shot heard round the world.

New York (NY) Daily News
A Giant of baseball: RIP Bobby Thomson, Shot Heard ‘Round the World slugger
Editorials
Wednesday, August 18th 2010, 4:00 AM
(...)
An outfielder for the New York Giants, he came to the plate in the team’s home field of the Polo Grounds, Oct. 3, 1951, bottom of the ninth in the game that would decide whether the Giants, of upper Manhattan, or the Dodgers, of Brooklyn, won the National League pennant.

On the mound for the Dodgers was, of course, Ralph Branca. And there the ball went, off Bobby Thomson’s bat and over the left field wall, as announcer Russ Hodges brought ecstasy and desolation with the call, “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!”

Robert Brown Thomson, then and forever, in life and now death at 86, the man who hit the Shot Heard ‘Round the World, and immortal for having done so.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • (0) Comments • Wednesday, August 18, 2010 • Permalink