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The Shot Heard 'Round the World Robert Sheridan bobsheridan This is a StatNisland story:

Yesterday the San Francisco Giants (I know, that still sounds awful) inaugurated their new ballpark located in downtown SF, right next to the Bay, with a night game against the Milwaukee Braves.

The address of the ballpark is 24 Willie Mays Place.

There's a great new statue of Willie, about 9 tons worth, at the end of a batting swing, watching one go out of the park. The sculptor decided not to sculpt a statue of Willie looking over his shoulder catching the Vic Wertz home run Willie stole in center field, Polo Grounds.

Seated next to Peter Magowan, the owner, or head of the syndicate that owns the Giants (he paid for the bronze statue) was Bobby Thomson. I can reliably report he didn't wear a halo. I looked for it.

Bobby Thomson hit the most famous home run in a world of home runs. He hit it in 1951. I can't give you all the details. I can say I ran home from PS 29 that day to catch the final inning of the game against the hated Dodgers on the Transvision 12 inch TV my dad, Leo, built from a kit and stuck into a wall, so you looked at a wall to watch TV. The knobs stuck thru the paper printed knotty pine sheetrock obtained from U.S. Gypsum, at the Kill Van Kull dump. Cool, for '51.

Any rate, I'm a Giants fan. The kid upstairs roots for the Dodgers. We're mortal friends. Bobby Thomson (his mother worked in a bank on StatNisland, he went to Curtis H.S.; his coach was Coach O'Brien, of Curtis H.S.) hit his famous home run and I ran out into the streets shouting. So did some other people. Writers who write about that home run always mention that people ran out into the street. They didn't do that for any other home run that they, or I, can think of.

So there was Bobby Thomson, in San Francisco, watching the first game in the new stadium. Willie Mays played his first year in the majors in 1951, with Bobby. Bobby said it was an honor to have played with Willie. Willie threw out the first pitch, to his godson, Barry Bonds, whose father, Bobby, was another superplayer.

Continuity reigned.

They brought in the StatNislander to connect with Willie, to connect with today.

I told you, we may be Dandelions, but we provide color to an otherwise boring fine lawn.


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