NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – Ralph Branca, the pitcher who gave up the ‘Shot Heard Round the World’ to the late Bobby Thomson, joined Kim Jones & Sid Rosenberg to reminisce about his old friend.
“I was sorry to see him go,” Branca said to Kim & Sid. “He was a fine man, a humble man, a proud man… and he was terrific.”
Thomson always insisted he did not know what pitch was coming when he connected. Branca was never quite so sure.
“Whether he had it or not, I don’t know. But I will always say he had the sign,” Branca said about the historic home run, “It was his moment of glory, and he wanted to live without any taint on it.”
For years, Thomson and Branca appeared together at functions of all kinds, a modern-day Abbott & Costello act, their retelling of the moment filled with fine-tuned comic touches and playful jabs. Often, Branca would prompt Thomson to claim more of the credit.
Only one thing was missing from their act: the home run ball itself. The prize remains an elusive souvenir, with several people claiming to have it but no one able to prove.
Thomson moved south about five years ago to be closer to one of his daughters. Branca said he hadn’t seen him for a couple of years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report