“Rode Bases on a Cloud,” Thomson Says

Bobby Thomson New York Giants October 3, 1951

Bobby Thomson
New York Giants
October 3, 1951


United Press, October 4, 1951

“Rode Bases on a Cloud,” Thomson Says

By Bobby Thomson (As Told to the United Press)

(Bobby Thomson’s ninth-inning homer with two on gave the Giants a 5-4 victory over Brooklyn yesterday and the National League pennant along with it in one of the most storied finishes of all time. In the following dispatch, Thomson tells how he did it.)

New York, Oct. 4 (UP) – I didn’t run around the bases – I rode around ’em on a cloud.

“I still don’t know what time it is or where I am. Frankly, I don’t care.

Going around those bases in the ninth inning, I just couldn’t believe what was happening to me. I felt as if I was actually living one of those middle-of-the-night dreams.  You know, everything was hazy.

I heard yells … I saw paper flying … I saw people jumping in the air, but through it all, I just kept riding high on that cloud.

Ralph Branca Brooklyn Dodgers October 3, 1951

Ralph Branca
Brooklyn Dodgers
October 3, 1951

The pitch I hit off Ralph Branca for that home run was a high, inside pitch. I mean it was real high – high and bad, almost up to my head – but it’s the best pitch I ever hit in my life, the best, by far.

After I swung, I knew I hit it real well, but I wasn’t at all sure it was gone. It seemed to me it was sinking as it neared the stands, but how could I be sure? I just kept riding until I came to the end of the line.

Everything seemed to come out all right yesterday, even though I was looking for a place to hide after I overran first base and got caught in the second inning. That was just a bad mistake on my part and I’m glad I did something to help the fans forget that bit of bad base-running.

While I’m about it, I’d like to point out that this ball club never gave up. … But even after Brooklyn got three runs in the eighth, we all felt we would still win.

But I don’t want to write in too serious a vein now. I feel too light and happy for that.

I feel so swell, as a matter of fact, that I love everybody – even Charlie Dressen.

What a feeling!”

~ Bobby Thomson, United Press, As Printed in the East Liverpool (Ontario) Review, October 4, 1951, Page 18.

And on the same newspaper page as the Thomson account, Monte Irvin of the New York Giants gave us this great quote, only moments after the Thomson Shot Heard ‘Round the World rang out for the first time to the hearts and minds of the entire baseball planet:

“I’m numb! – Tell me, what happened?” ~ Monte Irvin, Polo Grounds, around 4:00 PM, October 3, 1951.


 eagle-0range Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas



4 Responses to ““Rode Bases on a Cloud,” Thomson Says”

  1. Tom Hunter Says:

    “Now it is done. Now the story ends. And there is no way to tell it. The art of fiction is dead. Reality has strangled invention. Only the utterly impossible, the inexpressibly fantastic, can ever be plausible again.” -Red Smith on “Miracle of Coogan’s Bluff,” about Bobby Thomson’s Shot Heard Round the World.

  2. stanfromtacoma Says:

    Thanks for the quote Tom. Red Smith and Roger Angell are in my opinion the two best baseball writers.

    • Tom Hunter Says:

      Stan, my favorite story is about the time at a media gathering that Howard Cosell blurted out, “Red Smith! How many great sportscasters do you think there are today?”

      To which Red Smith replied, “One fewer than you think, Howard.”

      • stanfromtacoma Says:

        Tom, a generous selection of Red’s baseball writings have been collected in a book entitled straightforwardly enough, Red Smith on Baseball. There’s a blurb on the back cover from Tom Seaver that is great: “A rookie on the Reds, a few years ago, asked me who that little old man was— and I said, “that little old man is Red Smith, but don’t let his age and size fool you. He’s got Nolan Ryan’s fastball and Sandy Koufax’s curve. And in his league he’s the best there is.”

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