Photo by George Napolitano/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) — Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca, whose baseball career will forever be defined by one fateful pitch, died in Rye, New York on Wednesday. Branca was 90 years old.
In 1951, Branca surrendered a game-winning home run to New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thompson that gave the National League Pennant to the Giants. Known as the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World,” the home run capped a miraculous climb from more than 12 games back in the standings to win the pennant.
Branca won 76 games in his first seven seasons, including three All-Star Game appearances.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred released a statement on Branca’s death calling him “a true gentleman who earned universal respect in the game he loved and served so well. Ralph’s participation in the ‘Shot Heard ‘Round the World’ was eclipsed by the grace and sportsmanship he demonstrated following one of the game’s signature moments.”
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