THE HOME RUN HEARD 'ROUND THE WORLD by Ray Robinson

THE HOME RUN HEARD 'ROUND THE WORLD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

That noisy home run, for those not up on baseball lore, was smacked by Bobby Thomson in the ninth inning of the last game of the 1951 play-off for the National League Pennant, giving the underdog New York Giants an upset win against the heavily favored Brooklyn Dodgers. New York Giants? Brooklyn Dodgers? Yes, we are back in baseball's Golden Age, and much of the pleasure here is nostalgic. Robinson, a veteran sportswriter (Iron Horse, p. 863), makes no bones about this, opening with a chapter on 1951 trivia: "South Pacific was in its second year on Broadway. . . Rexall Drugs laughed along with Amos 'n' Andy in its ads. . ." After this unnecessary stage-setting, we get straightforward baseball history. A good third of the book outlines the key players: for the Giants, outfielder Thomson, scrappy second-baseman Eddy Stanky, loudmouthed manager Leo Duroucher; for the Dodgers, a Hall-of-Fame grouping of Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, and Pee Wee Reese, plus gentle giant Gil Hodges and Thomson's eventual patsy, pitcher Ralph Branca. Introductions over, Robinson settles down to recounting a great pennant race, which included the mid-May debut of a rookie by the name of Willy Mays, a Dodger collapse, a Giant surge, and that nail-biting three-game play-off with its spectacular conclusion. A great topic, good research (Robinson interviewed as many of the participants as possible, although Branca refused to talk), and adequate delivery--all add up to a pleasant but unexceptional read.

Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 1990
ISBN: 06-016477-8
Publisher: HarperCollins
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