33¢ The “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”
Celebrate the Century – 1950s
Issue Date: May 26, 1999
City: Springfield, MA
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed, engraved
With several weeks left in the 1951 baseball season, there seemed to be little mystery about who would compete in the World Series. In the American League, the New York Yankees led the standings by five games and were well on their way to a third pennant in as many years. In the National League, the Brooklyn Dodgers held a 131/2 game lead and were a shoe-in for the Series. But then the New York Giants went on to win 39 of their last 47 games, tying the Dodgers to force a three-game play-off.
After splitting the first two games of the play-off series, the Dodgers led game three by a score of 4-2 with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. With players on second and third, and rookie sensation Willie Mays on deck, the Dodgers elected to pitch to the heavy-hitting Bobby Thomson. That decision would prove costly. On the second pitch, Thomson lined the game-winning home run over left field, pictured on the front of this cover.
This home run, called the “shot heard ‘round the world,” propelled the New York Giants to victory and into the World Series. However, the team lost the Series to the powerhouse New York Yankees. Bobby Thomson’s heroic home run was not overshadowed by the World Series loss, though. That hit is still remembered as one of baseball’s greatest moments.