Columbus, OH --- Ralph Branca, 90, 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 Nov. 23, 2016.
On Oct. 3, 1951, Mr. 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.
Mr. Branca was born Jan. 6, 1926, in Mount Vernon, N.Y. 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.
Mr. Branca was also a member of the USTA and was an owner of Standardbreds, most notably under the nom de course of Bramble Patch Farm.
World champion pacer Kassa Branca p,2,1:52.3 ($743,893), a son of No Nukes who was foaled in 1986, was named after Mr. Branca and co-owner Doug Kass. The pacer won the million dollar Woodrow Wilson in 1988 at the Meadowlands in a world record time of 1:52.3.
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