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Page last updated at 20:02 GMT, Tuesday, 17 August 2010 21:02 UK

Baseball legend Bobby Thomson dies aged 86

Bobby Thomson hits his famous home run in 1951
Thomson's home run went down in baseball history

New York Giants legend Bobby Thomson has died at the age of 86.

He hit one of the most celebrated home runs in baseball history, dubbed "the shot heard 'round the world", in 1951.

The Giants trailed their arch rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers, for much of the season, before winning 37 of their last 44 regular season games to draw level.

That led them to a three-game play-off series for the National League pennant - and Thomson's walk-off three-run homer helped them win the decider 5-4.

"The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!" screamed announcer Russ Hodges, in a recording that became as well known as the home run itself, as the ball sailed over the left-field fence at Polo Grounds.


It gained its famous moniker because of the number of United States servicemen around the globe - including those fighting in the Korean War - who were listening.

However, the Giants' winning streak did not last as they were beaten 4-2 by their other city rivals, the New York Yankees, in the World Series.

Born in Glasgow in 1923, outfielder Thomson hit 264 home runs in his 15-year Major League career, which was spent mainly with the Giants before spells with the Milwaukee Braves, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles.

A three-time All-Star, he became forever associated with that magic moment in 1951 - even after the Giants and Dodgers moved to San Francisco and Los Angeles respectively in 1958.

Having been in failing health for several years, he died at his home in Savannah, Georgia, on Monday evening.

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