Ask any knowledgeable baseball fan about a Bobby Thomson home run off of Ralph Branca that provided the margin of victory in October, 1951. They will immediately cite, of course, the “Shot Heard ‘round the World.” Would you believe there were two “Shots Heard ‘round the World?”
Issued at Ebbets Field on October 1, 1951 to one of 30,707 spectators, this “Grand Stand” ticket stub hails from a postseason battle, to be sure. But it hardly brought the excitement and adrenalin common to October play. More likely, an impending sense of doom filled Flatbush that day, as the Dodgers had squandered a comfortable lead and were forced into a three-game playoff with their cross-borough rival Giants. The numbers tell the story: Brooklyn finished on a 6-7 skid while the Giants went 12-1 over that same stretch to close the regular season. At Ebbets Field for the opener of a best-of-three series, Dodgers pitcher Branca was staked to a 1-0 advantage until Thomson delivered a two-run blow in the fourth inning to give the Giants the lead for keeps. What occurred in the Thomson Branca “re-match” two days later is, of course, well documented. But few recall that Thomson had felled Branca and the Dodgers in the opener. The ticket has printed seating/event details and the facsimile signature of Dodgers president Walter O’Malley. The ticket is affected by a small crease and has vintage penciled notations of the reverse.
Some have asked about how we "know" that this ticket is from that game. We were given this information by the consignor, who is a "ticket expert". We also spoke to a few other "ticket guys" who told us that they also believe it is the ticket, however, no one can be sure. The story is that the Dodgers told their ticket holders to use one of the extra tickets in the back of their season ticket booklet, because they didn't want to print a whole new ticket for the one game playoff. We were told that some said "SET B" and others said "SET 4". The problem is that PSA won't encapsulate the ticket as the Game 1 because there is no formal date on it. The font of the ticket, the manufacturer of the ticket, the verbiage on the ticket and the price of the ticket are all consistent with the 1951 season tickets.