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Ralph Branca (1926 - 2016)

Getty / Kidwiler Collection

Ralph Branca (1926 - 2016)

Ralph Branca, the beloved three-time All-Star pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers who gave up a home run known as the Shot Heard 'Round the World, died Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, according to multiple news sources, including The Associated Press. He was 90.

News of Branca's death also spread on social media. Bobby Valentine, the former manager of the New York Mets, who is married to Branca's daughter Mary, said Branca, "one of the greatest guys to ever throw a pitch or sing a song, is (no) longer with us," Valentine wrote in a Twitter message. "Ralph Branca Passed this morning."


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On Oct. 3, 1951, Branca gave up a three-run homer by outfielder Bobby Thomson as the New York Giants beat the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds in the ninth inning of a playoff game in the National League. The Shot Heard 'Round the World lifted the New York Giants right into the World Series.

Branca was born Jan. 6, 1926, in Mount Vernon, New York. He played 12 seasons in the MLB, from 1944 through the 1956 season. The right-handed starting pitcher threw for three teams: the Dodgers from 1944 to 1953 and then again in 1956, the Detroit Tigers from 1953 to 1954, and the New York Yankees in 1954.

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