Torre, Scully recall Thomson's 'Shot' in '51

Torre, Scully recall Thomson's 'Shot' in '51

LOS ANGELES -- Joe Torre, a childhood Giants fan, and Vin Scully, a lifelong Dodgers broadcaster, were both close to the action on Oct. 3, 1951, when Bobby Thomson hit the home run known as the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" to propel the New York Giants past the Brooklyn Dodgers, into the World Series. Thomson, 86, passed away on Monday.

"I was sitting at home watching it on television, giving a play-by-play to my sister on the phone, she was at work," Torre said. "And I screamed when Bobby hit the home run. We got cut off, which was aggravating because she worked for the telephone company."

Living in Brooklyn, Torre looked out his window.

"Somebody had one of these old cars with the rumble seat, they had the whole thing soaped up with 'Champs' ... I got to know [Thomson] fairly well, he was at a lot of golf tournaments. Just one of the sweetest kind of men you could ever know."

Scully began broadcasting for the Dodgers the season before, but the way the scheduling worked out, he was off the air the day of the home run. So he watched the game from behind broadcasters Red Barber and Connie Desmond, hunched over in a tight, poorly shaped press box at the Polo Grounds.

Scully said he never was close to Thomson, seeing him last after Peter Magowan's group took over the San Francisco Giants in 1993. To maintain his integrity as a broadcaster, Scully made sure to never get close to players. There was one exception.

"And that was Ralph Branca, the pitcher [who gave up the home run]," Scully said. "And the one thing I would really stress, I mean Bobby was the hero, and it was very easy to be a hero. To me, the fella, and again, I'm coloring this perhaps out of friendship, but the fella who came out of that incident 10 feet tall was Ralph Branca."