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The Shot Heard 'Round the World Robert Sheridan bobsheridan bobsheridan@earthlink.net That's good, Neal. I hadda look twice at that Dusty Baker reference too. He's the current manager of the Giants, and a good one. I couldn't remember Rhodes, but now I remember him cleaning house that post-season.

Lemme tellya about something in today's book review section of the paper. The book is called "Past Time - Baseball as History," by Jules Tygiel. It's about how baseball became so popular in America.

According to the reviewer, David Davis, Tygiel writes,

"[Babe] Ruth emerged as a national figure simultaneously with the new technologies and media forms transforming American communications."

That must refer to radio and newsreels in the 'Twenties.

"Tygiel takes another familiar topic - Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World," recognized as the most famous home run in baseball history - and reanalyzes its cultural importance. Thomson's hit, argues Tygiel, was much more than just a Pennant-winning blast that propelled the New York Giants into the 1951 World Series. It was 'the first nationally televised sports highlight,' and one that reflected "the centrality of New York in both the baseball and the American universe at mid-century."

"By the end of the 1950s, New York City's position had changed. In 1958, Giants owner Horace [Boooo!] Stoneham moved the team to San Francisco, ostensibly to take advantage of the burgeoning West Coast market. But this action, as well as the Brooklyn [another Booo!] Dodgers' move to Los Angeles, wasn't taken in a vacuum."

"These transfers," writes Tygiel, "reflected the broader changes affecting the nation as the country's economic and population base shifted from the Northeast and the Midwest into the South, Southwest, and Far West."

I don't think that detracts from Thomson's huge homer.

-rs

PS: Always wondered why I came out here. :)




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