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Act IV - “STRETCH RUN” Standing at home plate October 3, 1951 at 3:59 PM trailing in the bottom of the ninth inning, the sizzling batter of the New York Giants, Bobby Thomson, faced Ralph Branca of the Brooklyn Dodgers. What happened at this bat was the most memorable event in United States sports history.

Jackie robinson and dodger manager, charlie dressen

Tune into this story about a baseball crazed family living in a New York bungalow when three major league baseball teams competed in New York City for supremacy. Live baseball day by day as the Giants came back in early August from 13 and a half games back to take the National League Pennant race into a final rubber game in a best of three series. Yes - this is the day the earth stood still, subways in NYC stopped, and transistor radios blurted sportscaster Ernie Harwell’s famous words throughout the United States. 1951 was a year amidst baseball’s romantic era - when the national past time had little sports competition. Enjoy heart warming 50s events, baseball history - including the Negro leagues, and learn how iron lungs battled a dreadful epidemic disease that affected every family - polio. Baseball back then held families and communities together as disease tried to rip them apart. Enjoy a bygone post WWII era where everyone was just glad to be alive and relished every moment out of life - trying to just move on from war time.. “ The Shot Heard Round the World “ is a classic family major league baseball loving story that captures a battled war veteran father and son’s true positive relationship through good and bad times. Enjoy the music as you read along in script format. Setting: INTERIOR. SINGLE PARENT FATHER WITH TWO CHILDREN IN SMALL HARLEM, NEW YORK BUNGALOW AUGUST 10, 1951 - NIGHTLY BASEBALL DISCUSSION

Gil hodges, Dodger first baseman

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SEPTEMBER 13, 1951


JAKE

OH MY GOLLY GEE. THE GIANTS LOST TODAY IN A SPLIT DOUBLE HEADER AT SPORTSMANS PARK AGAINST THE CARDINALS.

DAD

YES, THIS IS DEFINITELY A RARITY WITH ST. LOUIS PLAYING TWO DIFFERENT TEAMS ON THE SAME DAY. AND THE BUMS LEFT CROSLEY FIELD IN CINCY LAUGHING ALL THE WAY THINKING THERE REALLY IS NO PENNANT RACE.

JAKE

SAY DAD, THERE IS THIS LADY, MRS. WINCHELL WHO LOST HER HUSBAND IN KOREA AND SHE..........

DAD

SOME OF THE GIANTS PLAYERS FROM THE GAME

NO WAY JAKE. I’M NOT DATING YOUR TIMES ROUTE CUSTOMERS ANYWAY. NEVER ! I DON’T CARE IF SHE IS A WAR WIDOW !

JAKE

WELL, SHE ONLY SAID MOST MEN WERE CATCH AND RELEASE ANYWAY.

DAD

JAKE, JUST DROP THIS. I’M JUST NOT READY FOR A WOMAN IN MY LIFE. AGAIN, I CAN BARELY TAKE CARE OF MYSELF.

JAKE

ANY NEWS ABOUT KATIE GIRL YET ?

DAD

I SIGNED THE PAPERS AT BELLEVUE FOR EXPERIMENTAL HUMAN ANTISERUM TREATMENT SINCE THE ANIMAL STUFF DIDN’T WORK THAT WELL. AUNT MARTHA IS STAYING AT THE HOSPITAL ALSO IN QUARANTINE - AS SHE WAS HIGHLY EXPOSED AND MAY BE PART OF THE NEW VACCINE STUDY.

JAKE

YES, I’VE READ THAT SALK AND SABIN ARE BOTH WORKING ON VACCINES - WHICH MAY SAVE MILLIONS OF LIVES.

DAD

I SURE HOPE SO, AS THIS IS KILLING ME - HAVING MY DAUGHTER ON LIFE SUPPORT. IF WE COULD BE PART OF PREVENTING OTHER FOLKS FROM GETTING INFECTED WITH POLIO, I’D FEEL VERY GOOD.

Bobby Thomson, author of the Shot

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JAKE

WE NEED SOMEONE OR SOMETHING FROM THE BULLPEN FOR KATIE GIRL. BY THE WAY DAD, WHERE DID THE TERM BULLPEN COME FROM ?

DAD

clint Hartung, NY Giants pitcher

OH, IT RELATES BACK TO BULL DURHAM - A TOBACCO ROAD TEAM THAT CALLED THE WARM UP AREA THE BULLPEN. MANY BULLPENS ORIGINALLY WERE ACTUALLY IN THE OUTFIELD IN BOTH FAIR AND FOUL TERRITORY. IF YOU ASK NEW YORK GIANTS HISTORIANS, THEY WILL TELL YOU THE AREA NEAR RUCKER’S PARK FORMERLY HAD BULLS PASTURED - AND THAT’S WHY THE OUTFIELD AREA AT THE POLO GROUNDS IS CALLED THE BULLPEN.

JAKE

WOW ! I CAN JUST IMAGINE WILLIE MAYS RUNNING AND BACKHANDING A FLY BALL WITH PITCHERS AND CATCHERS IN HIS WAY. THEY COULDN’T POSSIBLY REACT AS QUICKLY AS HIM - COLLISION CITY.

DAD

OK, TIME FOR BED AND NIGHTLY ROSARY.

JAKE

HAIL MARY FULL OF GRACE..........

DAD

OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN.........

JAKE

I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY...........

DAD

GLORY BE TO THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT.......

JAKE

DELIVER US FROM THE FIRES OF HELL, AND HAVE PITY ON THE SOULS IN PURGATORY.............

DAD

HAIL HOLY QUEEN, MOTHER OF MERCY, OUR LIFE, OUR SWEETNESS AND OUR HOPE........ The polo grounds in the 50’s

NIGHT DAD. GOOD-NIGHT. 6 OUT.

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JAKE DAD


SEPTEMBER 14, 1951 JAKE

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE TRANSISTOR RADIO. THAT IS JUST WHAT I WANTED FOR MY BIRTHDAY. THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES DAD. I CAN SNEAK ONTO THE GIANTS GAMES WHILE ON MY AFTERNOON ROUTE AND LISTEN TO HARWELL OR HODGES - IN FACT I CAN LISTEN TO THE BUMS’ VIN SCULLY OR RED BARBER.

DAD

YES, I RECEIVED STRONG VIBES THAT A PENNANT CHASE RADIO IS WHAT YOU WANTED AND NEED. NOW YOU’RE JUST LIKE A HIGH END YANKEE FAN - WITH THE ABILITY TO LISTEN TO THE GAMES CONSTANTLY. IN FACT YOU CAN TUNE INTO THE MICK - WHOM THE PAPERS NOW SAY WILL BREAK MANY RECORDS AS A ROOKIE IN CENTER FOR THE BRONX BOMBERS. HITS BOTH WAYS, AND VERY VERY LONG.

A game underway in the polo grounds

JAKE

I DON’T CARE ABOUT THE YANKS UNTIL THE SERIES. I’M ONLY CONCERNED NOW THAT THE GIANTS ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME. IT’S SEPTEMBER 14TH DAD - BUT I’M CONFIDENT LIKE YOU NOW. I’LL PRAY FOR THE GIANTS WITH MY KATIE GIRL PRAYERS. ANY NEWS ?

DAD

YES, SHE OPENED HER EYES TODAY, AND THEY PLACED A FEEDING TUBE INTO HER STOMACH - AS HER NUTRITION IS VERY POOR.

JAKE

YES, I KNOW. IT’S AN NG OR NASOGASTRIC TUBE. IMAGINE A TUBE FROM YOUR NOSE TO YOUR STOMACH WITH YUMMY ICE CREAM COMING DOWN THE CHUTE !

DAD

WELL KATIE GIRL MAY GET FEEDINGS IN A VEIN IF THIS DOESN’T WORK TO RESTORE HER NUTRITION.

JAKE

DID YOU KNOW THAT SOME POLIO VICTIMS HAVE VERY LITTLE IMPAIRMENT AFTER RECOVERY. SHE COULD BE NORMAL !

DAD

the polo grounds as it was in 1904

LET’S HOPE SO. I THINK IT COULD BE DICEY DOWN THE STRETCH RUN AS THE BUMS AGAIN WON TODAY WITH PAFCO GETTING HIS 24TH FOUR BAGGER.

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JAKE

YES, I HAD THE GAME ON THE RADIO - AND BROOKLYN’S RELIEVER KING GOT WARNED AGAIN ABOUT HIS QUICK PITCH - WITH THE UMP RULING ONE A NO PITCH.

DAD

WELL KING IS RIGHT - YOU DON’T NEED A WIND UP PER MAJOR LEAGUE RULES -AND IF THE BATTER IS IN THE BOX WELL IT’S OK TO PITCH.

JAKE

BUT CLYDE KING DOESN’T WAIT FOR THE BATTER TO EVEN GET HIS STANCE. CLYDE JUST THROWS - AND EVERYONE IS OFF BALANCE. IT’S AS CLOSE TO CHEATING AS YOU CAN GET - AND MAY AFFECT THE PENNANT RACE DOWN THE STRETCH.

DAD

IT WAS NICE TO SEE LOUIS KLEPPEL, THE KING OF POLO GROUNDS FANS, AT THE GAME IN CHICAGO WHERE THE CUBS WON 7 - 2. THOMSON HAD ANOTHER GREAT PLAY AT THIRD. THANK GOD LEO PUT MAYS IN CENTER AND BOBBIE AT THIRD - WHICH ALLOWED HIM TO PLAY WITH A CHIP ON HIS SHOULDER AND HAVE A PERSISTENT HOT BAT DOWN THE STRETCH.

JAKE

AND LEO DUROCHER DIDN’T COACH HIS USUAL THIRD BASE EITHER. IT’S MY TIME FOR BED. THANKS FOR THE EXTRA GLASS OF MILK TODAY. I KNOW IT’S NOT IN THE BUDGET.

DAD

GOOD NIGHT. STILL ONLY 6 OUT !

SEPTEMBER 15, 1951 ET CUM SPIRITU TUO..... KYRIE ELEISON....... DEO GRATIAS........... HABEMUS AD DOMINUM....

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JAKE JAKE JAKE JAKE


DIGNUM ET JUSTUM....... GLORIA TIBI DOMINI.....

JAKE JAKE JAKE

GOT TO MOVE FATHER AS MASS AND YOUR HOMILY WAS GREAT BUT REALLY LONG; AND I’LL GET CRUCIFIED BY THE CORPUS CHRISTI NUNS IF I’M LATE FOR SCHOOL. FATHER, YOU ASKED WHOM DID I PRAY FOR BESIDES KATIE GIRL ?

JAKE

THE GIANTS AND MY DAD - SO THE GIANTS CATCH BROOKLYN PUTTING MY DAD IN EUPHORIA SO HE’LL CATCH A WAR WIDOW - WHICH IS WHAT HE NEEDS. OFF TO SCHOOL FATHER.

Alvin Dark, NY giants

DAD

WELL SISTER, YOU’VE QUOTED MY SON’S SIMON-BINET INTELLIGENCE QUOTIENT - OR IQ.... AND I KNOW HE IS SMART, BUT I DIDN’T REALIZE HE WAS THAT INTELLIGENT. I DIDN’T COME TO THE PARENT - TEACHER CONFERENCE OVER THE PHONE EXPECTING ANYTHING LIKE THIS. YOU MEAN HE’S IN THE TOP .01 % OF THE KIDS IN THE US FOR HIS AGE IN ALL ACADEMIC DISCIPLINES ? ISN’T THERE A MISTAKE - OR IS HE LUCKY ON TESTS ?

DAD

OK, I’LL ACCEPT THIS AND TREAT HIM ACCORDINGLY .... AND YOU WILL I GUESS CHALLENGE HIM. I KNOW THIS ISN’T BASEBALL SCHOOL, BUT QUIZZING HIM ON BASEBALL REALLY GETS HIS MIND GOING.

DAD

OH, YOU DO LOVE GIANTS BASEBALL AND HOPE THEY CATCH BROOKLYN. BOY WOULDN’T THAT BE GREAT. IT WOULD TURN THIS BOROUGH UP SIDE DOWN. GOT TO COOK AS MY BOY WILL BE HOME FROM HIS AFTERNOON TIMES ROUTE SOON. THANKS FOR THE PARENT - TEACHER CONFERENCE TODAY, SISTER. AND THANKS FOR THE FREE COUNSELING - BUT I’M JUST NOT READY YET FOR WOMEN IN MY LIFE - OR WHAT JAKE CALLS WAR WIDOWS. GOODBYE.

JAKE

HEY DAD, HOW DID THE PT CONFERENCE GO. AM I HANGING IN THERE ?

First pitch of fateful 3rd playoff game

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DAD

YOU’RE DOING GREAT. WE DID IT OVER THE PHONE BECAUSE OF THE POLIO EPIDEMIC - WITHOUT THE ROTHBERG’S LISTENING. ALL IS WELL AND YOU’RE ON YOUR WAY TO PLAYOFF GIANTS TICKETS.

JAKE

approx location where willie mays made “the Catch”

THIS ISN’T A PAVLOVIAN RAT REWARD SYSTEM DAD. AND I’VE BEEN THREATENED WITH TICKETS IN THE PAST. IF WE CAN’T AFFORD BASEBALL TICKETS, I’M OK WITH THIS. I THINK I’M OLD ENOUGH NOW TO SIT ON EDGECOMBE’S BLUFF AND WATCH THE GAMES FROM RIGHT FIELD FOR FREE - ESPECIALLY WITH MY NEW TRANSISTOR. THE POLO GROUNDS DOESN’T MIND. HORACE STONEHAM, THE GIANTS OWNER, WILL ALWAYS HAVE FOOD ON HIS TABLE.

DAD

OK, BUT NO GETTING INTO TROUBLE... AND HOME RIGHT AFTER THE GAME. REMEMBER HOMEWORK AND FINISH YOUR TIMES ROUTE FIRST BEFORE GOING TO COOGAN’S BLUFF ! PROMISE.

JAKE

I PROMISE. YOU MEAN DAD I CAN SIT UP ON COOGAN’S BLUFF AND WATCH THE GAMES ?

DAD

YES - IF EVERYTHING IS DONE INCLUDING HOMEWORK AND YOUR PAPER ROUTE. WHAT A DAY IN BASEBALL. ANYWAY, FORD FRICK, NATIONAL LEAGUE PRESIDENT, RULED THAT WESTRUM IS OUT FOR 3 DAYS.

JAKE

REALLY DAD, WHAT DID HE ACTUALLY DO ? RUSS HODGES SAID HE BARELY TOUCHED THE UMPIRE. GIVE US A BREAK !

DAD

WELL SOME OF THE OTHER GUYS CAN NOW STEP UP. HECK WE WON 5 - 2 OVER THE CUBS TODAY, AND BROOKLYN LOST TO THE BUCS FROM PITTSBURGH 11 - 4.

JAKE

plaque unveiled noting location of home plate in the polo grounds after studium was razed.

THANKS FOR EXTRA MASHED POTATOES DAD. THEY WERE REAL FLUFFY. NIGHT.

DAD

5 OUT AND CLIMBING AGAIN. GOOD NIGHT !

SEPTEMBER 16, 1951 8


JAKE

HEY DAD. I JUST HEARD ONE OF THE OLDER NUNS TALKING ABOUT JOHN MCGRAW, MEL OTT, CHRISTY MATHEWSON, AND JIMMY FOX TODAY - GREAT OLD GIANTS SOON TO BE HONORED AT COOGAN’S BLUFF. PRETTY NEAT.

DAD

WELL THE NUNS INSTRUCTED US TODAY TO TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED IN SCHOOL EACH DAY - SO YOU MAY BEGIN.

JAKE

I DON’T MIND. I’LL GIVE YOU A CAPSULE SUMMARY OF MY WEEKLY READER. OH FIRST I MUST SAY THAT MCGRAW OF THE GIANTS IS SECOND IN MANAGERIAL WINS BEHIND CONNIE MACK - AND WAS THE VERY FIRST TO UTILIZE BASE COACHES AT FIRST AND THIRD, AND THEY CALLED HIM LITTLE NAPOLEON WHO BATTED .334 LIFETIME. PRETTY NEAT.

dedication stone noting stairway to polo grounds

DAD

JAKE, THE WEEKLY READER - REMEMBER.

JAKE

OK, WELL I THINK I GOT MY IDEA OF A SEMESTER PROJECT WITH MCCARTHYISM AND ANTI - COMMUNISM. IN FACT ETHEL AND JULIUS ROSENBURG WERE RECENTLY CONVICTED OF TREASON AND SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR COMMUNISTIC SPYING. AND A YOUNG REPORTER, PAUL HARVEY, WAS RECENTLY CAUGHT FOR SPYING. GO ON.

DAD JAKE

COCKROFT ACTUALLY SPLIT THE ATOM FIRST, AND WAS AWARDED THE NOBEL PRIZE IN SCIENCE THIS YEAR. AND THE SAN FRANCISCO TREATY - SIGNIFYING AN END TO WORLD WAR II WAS SIGNED THIS WEEK BY 44 COUNTRIES. KEEP GOING.

DAD JAKE

SHOWBOAT WAS THE FIRST INTEGRATED MUSICAL, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS WITH GERSHWIN FROM HARLEM, ALONG WITH GENE KELLEY AND VINCENT MINNELLI, IS A SURE BET FOR MULTIPLE ACADEMY AWARDS. BUT OTHER GREAT 1951 MUSICALS INCLUDE A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE WITH VIVIAN LEIGH; AND HUMPHREY BOGART IN AFRICAN QUEEN.

stairway as it appears today

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DAD

THE NUNS WANT THEIR STUDENTS PUSHED.

JAKE

RANDOLPH HEARST - AN AMERICAN KING OF NEWSPAPERS DIED THIS YEAR. LORD AND TAYLOR WOMEN’S COATS ARE IN FOR WOMEN, AND TONI DOLLS ARE IN FOR YOUNG GIRLS - BOTH AT MACYS AND EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE. ANYTHING ELSE ?

DAD JAKE

CHICKEN POT PIES, PILLSBURY CAKE, AND TUPPERWARE ARE ALSO NEW TO THE KITCHEN. TIME FOR BASEBALL TALK. Roy campAnella, dodger catcher

DAD

CLEM LABINE - THE ULTIMATE BUM - GOT THE WIN TODAY FOR BROOKLYN. MR. QUIET, GIL HODGES, HIT # 38 ROUND TRIPPER, AND THE DODGERS ARE RESTING SOME STARTERS. THE GIANTS WON 2 AGAINST THE BUCS - GAINING A HALF GAME DESPITE KINER’S 40TH HOMER. AND THE SIZZLING BAT OF THOMSON CONTINUES WITH HIS 29TH YARD SHOT OF THE YEAR.

JAKE

NOT MUCH TIME FOR THE GIANTS DAD. AND I WANT TO SEE MY SISTER NO MATTER WHAT. CAN YOU MAKE THAT HAPPEN ? THE GIANTS WILL MAKE A FINAL PUSH AS KATIE GIRL GETS BETTER. I’M FEELING POSITIVE.

DAD

YES YOU CAN SEE HER WHEN SHE RECOVERS - SHE’S STILL ON THE IRON LUNG GETTING INTRAVENOUS AND NASOGASTRIC NUTRITION, EXPERIMENTAL HUMAN ANTISERUM NOW, DAILY PHYSICAL THERAPY, SEDATIVES SO SHE CAN STAY ON THE IRON LUNG, AND MAYBE A TRACHEOSTOMY - A SPECIAL WINDPIPE TUBE IF SHE NEEDS LONG TERM RESPIRATORY SUPPORT.

JAKE

DO YOU THINK OUR PRAYERS WILL BE ANSWERED DAD ?

DAD

polo grounds home plate location plaque as it appears today

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WELL JAKE, JESUS ANSWERS PRAYERS IN WAYS WE MANY TIMES DON’T UNDERSTAND.

JAKE

YOU MEAN SHE COULD DIE AND THAT WOULD BE AN ANSWER ?


DAD

YES, AND WE WOULD HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT.

JAKE

I’M GOING TO BED. I HATE HEARING THIS STUFF. NIGHT.

DAD

I’M BEING AS NICE AS I CAN ABOUT THIS. I HAVEN’T SLEPT SINCE SHE BECAME ILL. GOD, PLEASE SAVE KATIE GIRL. GOOD NIGHT.

SEPTEMBER 17, 1951 JAKE

HEY DAD, WHAT’ WRONG ? YOU DON’T LOOK SO GOOD.

sal maglie, giants pitcher

DAD

I’M SO DEPRESSED AND JUST WORN OUT. I COULD GO DOWN TO THE APOLLO THEATER OR COTTON CLUB - LIKE SOME OF OUR NEIGHBORS.

JAKE

OK, I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND DAD. YOU CAN REST - THE COOGAN’S BLUFF BOYS ARE OFF TODAY.

DAD

AND THE CUBS JUST BEAT THE BUMS 5 -2 WITH ERV PALICA JOINING THE NAVY.

JAKE

CAMPY GOT BEANED IN THE HEAD PER ONE OF MY TIMES CUSTOMERS; AND THERE WERE BIG HITS IN THE GAME BY MISKIS, SAUER, AND PAFCO. AND THANKS FOR THE NEW BAGGY SWEATER DAD. IT’LL GO GOOD WITH MY LEE DENIM JEANS.

DAD

WELL I WANT MY SON TO HAVE THE IN LOOK - OR BE VERY VERY PREPPIE.

JAKE

YOU’RE OK DAD. KIND OF COOL.

DAD

WELL I JUST NEED TO SNAP OUT OF THIS. THE VA SAID I NEED TO DO NORMAL STUFF, BECOME MORE PRODUCTIVE, NOT CONCENTRATE ON THE PAST. I DON’T KNOW. MY MIND KEEPS GOING BACK TO IWO AND WILLIE - AND THEN I CAN’T WORK. AND NOW WITH KATIE GIRL SO SICK..........

scene at home plate following walk off home run by thomson

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JAKE

AGAIN I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND DAD. LOSING MOM, YOUR BEST FRIEND, MAYBE KATIE GIRL - YOU’VE HAD IT. AND WE CANNOT EVEN SEE KATIE GIRL. I’M LOSING IT TOO - BUT WE BOTH MUST BE STRONG !

DAD

WELL, ALL THIS STUFF HAS REALLY TESTED MY FAITH.

JAKE

MY FAITH HAS BECOME STRONGER. IN FACT, MY WHOLE NEWSPAPER ROUTE AND CLASSMATES ARE PRAYING FOR OUR FAMILY. NOW I KNOW WHY YOU WANTED TO MOVE BACK TO HARLEM. NO BETTER PLACE.

DAD

WELL I’M BEGINNING TO THINK OF PUTTING A DOWN PAYMENT ON A NEW STUDEBAKER.

JAKE

YES. THAT’S A COOL CAR DAD. YOU ARE OPENING UP. I LIKE THIS. TIME FOR BED. NIGHT.

DAD

GOOD NIGHT JAKE. 4 OUT. WE’RE RIGHT THERE.

SEPTEMBER 18, 1951 JAKE

THOUGH RALPH BRANCA IS A GREAT POWER PITCHER, HE LOST TO ST. LOUIS TODAY 7 -1. THE PAPERS ARE ALL OVER BROOKLYN - HAVE THEM NEEDING OXYGEN, BRINGING IN THE RED CROSS, SUICIDE PILLS, BRIDGE JUMPING SPOTS. THIS IS GREAT IF YOU’RE A GIANTS FAN.

DAD

YES, WE HAVE BROOKLYN RUNNING SCARED AFTER A BIT OF A COMPLACENT TEAM MOOD. AND OUR NEW YORK GIANTS BEAT CINCY 6 -5. AND CAMPANELLA IS OUT INDEFINITELY.

JAKE

Example of an iron lung

YES, THE BUMS ARE PRETTY BEAT UP, BUT STILL HAVE THE ADVANTAGE.

DAD

KATIE GIRL WILL PROVIDE THE GIANTS AND MY OWN INSPIRATION. I WANT KATIE GIRL TO GET OFF THAT IRON LUNG AND BREATHE FOR HERSELF.

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JAKE

WELL DAD, I’VE BEEN DOWN TO THE CITY LIBRARY AND DID A REPORT ON POLIO. AND THE RESPONSE TO THE IRON LUNG IS VARIABLE. MEDICINE IS DEVELOPING NEW MECHANICAL VENTILATORS, BUT IT WILL BE SOME TIME. WE’RE FORTUNATE WE HAVE THESE DEVICES NOW FOR KATIE GIRL - AS PREVIOUSLY EVERYONE DIED UNTIL THE IRON LUNG.

DAD

I GUESS YOU’RE RIGHT. HECK, WHAT DOES AN ATTORNEY KNOW ABOUT POLIO. FOR THAT MATTER - WHAT DO THE DOCTORS REALLY KNOW ?

JAKE

THEY KNOW A LOT MORE THAN PRIOR TO THE RECENT NEW YORK EPIDEMIC. MANY SCHOOLS HAVE CLOSED. THE LIBRARY SAYS IT’S BAD DAD.

don mueller baseball card, NY giants

DAD

AND IT PROBABLY WON’T GET BETTER UNTIL THE NEW VACCINES ARE OUT. HECK, THE MONKEY OR HUMAN ANTISERUM DOESN’T SEEM TO PROVIDE KATIE GIRL ANY PROGRESS. BUT DR. EDNEY SAYS HANG IN THERE. HE IS OPTIMISTIC AND A SUPERB INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST PHYSICIAN ACCORDING TO THE NURSES WHO ARE CALLING.

JAKE

WELL I’M OFF TO BED. NIGHT. DO YOU HAVE AN EXTRA NICKEL FOR A COKE TOMORROW DAD ?

DAD

I WAS JUST GOING TO ASK YOU FOR AN EXTRA 3 CENTS SO I COULD MAIL AN EXTRA LETTER TOMORROW. I’LL GO TO THE BANK EARLY TOMORROW. KEEP PRAYING. GOOD NIGHT. 3 OUT.

SEPTEMBER 19, 1951 JAKE

IT WAS PREACHER ROE NIGHT AT SPORTSMANS PARK, AND THE BUMS CAME THROUGH BEATING THE CARDS.

DAD

YES, THE ARKANSAS CORNSTALK IS A GREAT PITCHER. HE DESERVES THIS HONOR - ALONG WITH THE FLOWERS, CAR, AND HIS MOM’S SMILE.

“The shot heard ‘round the world”

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JAKE

BUT DAD I READ IN THE TIMES HOW THE BUMS ARE CELEBRATING EVERYTHING INCLUDING RALPH’S UPCOMING MARRIAGE TO ANNE MULVEY - HER DADDY OWNS 1/4 OF THE DODGER STOCK.

DAD

WELL I WANT BROOKLYN TO JUST KEEP CELEBRATING AS THE COOGAN’S BLUFF BOYS CREEP UP AND CATCH THE BROOKLYN BUMS.

JAKE

I SURE HOPE YOU’RE RIGHT. DR. EDNEY CALLED AND SAID KATIE GIRL IS BEGINNING TO RESPOND.

DAD

Andy pafko, Brooklyn Dodgers

YES, THAT IS VERY GOOD NEWS. BUT I WANT HER PROGRESS TO CONTINUE.

JAKE

UNDERSTAND DAD, THE POLIO VIRUS IS A VERY VICIOUS VIRUS - SPARING NO ORGAN SYSTEM - BUT MAINLY AFFECTS THE NERVES BEYOND THE SPINAL CORD AND BRAIN -PERIPHERAL NERVES TO THE ARMS, LEGS, AND FACE.

DAD

BUT DR. EDNEY HAS HAD MANY PEOPLE RECOVER AND GET OFF THE IRON LUNG.

JAKE

IF KATIE GIRL CAN SURVIVE THE STORM, SHE’LL PROBABLY BE OK. IT’S USUALLY OTHER THINGS THAT KILL VICTIMS OF POLIO - LIKE PNEUMONIA, INFECTIONS, BLOOD CLOTS, HEART ATTACKS CALLED MYOCARDIAL INFARCTIONS - ALL BAD STUFF PER MY READING.

DAD

BUT NO ONE FIGHTS LIKE MY KATIE GIRL. I FLAT OUT KNOW THIS.

JAKE

GIANTS OFF TODAY. GOING TO BED. GREAT ROAST. NIGHT.

DAD

GOOD NIGHT. 3 AND A HALF OUT. Ralph Branca, Losing pitcher in game

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SEPTEMBER 20, 1951


JAKE

DAD, THE BROOKLYN MAGIC # IS 5.

DAD

OK, HERE YOU GO AGAIN WITH THAT HOCUS POCUS MEANINGLESS TERM - MAGIC #.

JAKE

WELL IT IS TRUE DAD, ANY COMBINATION OF GIANTS LOSSES AND BUM WINS TO = 5 IS A BROOKLYN PENNANT.

DAD

WON’T HAPPEN. JUST WON’T. I JUST REALLY FEEL WE ARE A BETTER TEAM. IT’S A LONG SEASON - AND IT’S NOT DONE BY FAR. SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN - JUST LIKE SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN WITH KATIE GIRL. I FEEL FORCES WITHIN MYSELF THAT ARE CAUSING ME TO FEEL THIS WAY.

JAKE

YOU’VE REALLY LOST ME DAD. THIS IS SUPERNATURAL STUFF - STUFF THE NUNS AT CORPUS TALK ABOUT CONSIDERABLY - UNEXPLAINABLE PHENOMENA. I’LL GO ALONG WITH IT. I DON’T CARE. I JUST WANT MY SISTER BACK. I’VE BEEN READING A TON ON POLIO - THE WORLD WIDE EPIDEMIC - AND HAVE BEEN SENDING DR. EDNEY UPDATES THROUGH THE LIBRARY RESEARCH. HE ACTUALLY WRITES BACK.

DAD

HAS HE DISCOVERED THROUGH YOU ANYTHING HE DIDN’T ALREADY KNOW ?

JAKE

YES, LIKE THE EXTREME VIRULENCE OF POLIO DEPENDING ON SEASON.

DAD

VIRULENCE ? WHAT IS THAT ? WHERE ARE YOU GETTING THESE BIG MEDICAL TERMS ?

JAKE

HARLEM PUBLIC LIBRARY - WHICH HAS A CONNECTION TO EINSTEIN AND CORNELL MEDICAL SCHOOLS, AND BELLEVUE HOSPITAL. THEY ARE ALL SHARING INFORMATION. IN FACT THE LIBRARIANS IN UPPER MANHATTAN FEEL IT IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE WE ARE ALL CONNECTED WITH A DEVICE CALLED A COMPUTER. AND VIRULENCE IS NOTHING MORE THAN HOW FEROCIOUS A VIRUS IS - HOW AGGRESSIVE IT ATTACKS NERVE CELLS - WHICH AFFECTS THE WHOLE BODY.

15


DAD

YES, THEY WERE ACTUALLY USING SOME LARGE CRUDE COMPUTERS IN THE MILITARY AT THE END OF THE WAR CALCULATING OUR TROOP AND ENEMY STRENGTHS. AND THE CENSUS BUREAU JUST BEGAN USING COMPUTERS.

JAKE

HECK DAD, I FEEL THERE IS A CURE FOR KATIE GIRL OUT THERE THAT SOMEONE HAS ACTUALLY DISCOVERED AND WE JUST DON’T KNOW ABOUT IT. IT HASN’T BEEN COMMUNICATED. ANYWAY DR, EDNEY FEELS I’M A BORN RESEARCHER AND TELLS ME HE APPRECIATES THE WORK. HE’S ACTUALLY READING MY LETTERS. BUT IT MAY GET MORE EXPENSIVE AS THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT STAMPS BEING 4 CENTS SOON.

DAD

HECK THE AVERAGE PRICE OF A HOUSE IS $16,000, GAS IS UP TO 20 CENTS A GALLON, MILK IS 92 CENTS A GALLON, AND BREAD IS UNBELIEVABLY 16 CENTS A LOAF. WE ARE ONLY MAKING $3500/YEAR -WHAT THE AVERAGE AMERICAN IS MAKING. IT’S TOUGH TO MAKE A GO OF IT.

JAKE

AND WE HAVE NO MONEY NOW BECAUSE OF NO HEALTH INSURANCE.

DAD

CORRECT, BUT WE’RE MOVING ON. WE ARE GETTING A HOUSE, A CAR, BETTER JOB, AND........

JAKE

MY SISTER BACK AND A NEW MOM.

DAD

DEFINITELY THE FIRST........AND WE’LL SEE ABOUT THE SECOND.

JAKE

DAD, THE NUNS AT CORPUS THINK YOU GETTING MARRIED AGAIN WOULD BE GOOD.

DAD

THEY DO, DO THEY ? HOW DO THEY KNOW ? THEY’VE NEVER MARRIED !

JAKE

OUR NUNS AT CORPUS CHRISTI IN HARLEM KNOW EVERYTHING. AND THEY ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT OUR PARISH.

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DAD

ENOUGH. WEREN’T YOU TO MAKE SUPPER ONE OF THESE NIGHTS ?

JAKE

YES, BUT I THINK WE’LL TALK BASEBALL LIKE WE ALWAYS DO TONIGHT. OK ?

DAD

OK, DID YOU NOTICE THE BUMS WON BY A ROBINSON SNARE OF A SCHOENDIST LINE DRIVE TO TRIP UP ST. LOUIS 4 - 3, AND THE GIANTS LOST AT CINCY 3 -1.

JAKE

AND THE TIMES SAYS LEO IS SICK. THE LIP IS DOWN, BUT NOT OUT. I CAN SEE THERE IS NO QUIT IN HIM. AND IF THE COOGAN’S BLUFF BOYS PULL THIS OUT, IT WILL BE SURELY DUROCHER’S LEADERSHIP WHICH WAS SUPERB.

DAD

Destruction of the polo grounds

WELL SAID. NOT MUCH MORE TO SAY - EXCEPTING SOME OF THESE GAMES ARE GOING LATE AND MAY BE CONSIDERED NIGHT GAMES.

JAKE

WELL EVEN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL DOESN’T GET CREDIT FOR THE NIGHT PROFESSIONAL GAME ? WHO DOES ?

DAD JAKE

NEGRO BASEBALL LEAGUE BACK IN THE 30S STARTED EVENING BASEBALL WITH LIGHTS. I’VE BEEN READING AT THE LIBRARY SO I CAN TOTALLY STUMP MY DAD - EVEN OCCASIONALLY ON BASEBALL.

DAD

TIME FOR BED. SANDWICHES BY JAKE TOMORROW - AND NOT PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY. GOOD-NIGHT.

JAKE

NIGHT. BACK TO 4 AND A HALF OUT. I WON’T BRING UP THE MAGIC # AGAIN, AND WILL JUST KEEP PRAYING FOR THE GIANTS AS I DO FOR KATIE GIRL.

SEPTEMBER 21, 1951

First pitch, Game 3

17


MUCH BETTER TODAY.

DAD JAKE

WHY IS THAT ? YOU HAVEN’T HAD MY SANDWICHES YET !

DAD

WELL EVEN THOUGH CLEM LABINE IS A SUPERB PERSON AND PITCHER, HE JUST LOST TO ROBIN ROBERTS OF THE PHILS.

JAKE

AND THE BUMS ARE PRETTY BEAT UP WITH CAMPY AND OTHERS INJURED. WE HAVE A CHANCE WITH GOOD PLAY AND PRAYERS. IN FACT FATHER IS PRAYING FOR THE GIANTS. Jackie robinson and dodger manager, charlie dressen

DAD

AND ALL 13 NEW YORK DAILYS ARE SAYING THE BUMS HAVE IT SEWED UP AND THE GIANTS SHOULD JUST LAY DOWN AND DIE. NICE COMEBACK GIANTS, BUT TOO LITTLE TOO LATE...AND TOO BAD....WELL, WE’LL SEE. YOU’VE GOT TO PLAY THE ENTIRE SEASON.

JAKE

SORRY DAD. I REALLY WANT A GIANTS AND KATIE GIRL MIRACLE LIKE YOU. I REALLY DO !

DAD

THERE WON’T BE A BASEBALL MIRACLE. THE BASEBALL SEASON IS SO VERY LONG; AND AGAIN IT’S NOT OVER. THE GIANTS ARE FLAT OUT THE BETTER TEAM. BROOKLYN HAS TO PLAY THE BRAVES IN BOSTON YET. AND THEY ARE VERY TOUGH AT HOME - IN FACT THEY WILL PLAY THESE GAMES AS IF THEY ARE PLAYOFFS - NOT RESTING STARTERS GOING ALL OUT. BOSTON HAS TOLD THE COMMISSIONER THEY ARE NOT QUITTING EVEN THOUGH SPAHN AND THE BRAVES ARE ELIMINATED. THE BRAVES HATE BROOKLYN EVEN MORE THAN THE GIANTS. AND WE WILL HAVE A MIRACLE WITH OUR KATIE GIRL - THE MOST AMAZING RECOVERY EVER AT BELLEVUE. WE ARE ALL TO CHERISH LIFE’S EVERY SECOND WHEN THIS HAPPENS.

JAKE

Gil hodges, Dodger first baseman

18

WELL I’D SAY THIS IS AS CLOSE TO A MIRACLE AS YOU CAN GET IF LEO’S BOYS EVEN GET A TIE. I LIKE HOW THE PLAYOFF IS SET UP - WITH THE FIRST GAME AT EBBETS FIELD AND THE LAST TWO AT COOGAN’S BLUFF. OK MAYBE NOT A MIRACLE FOR THE GIANTS THEN, BUT I STILL FEEL WITH ALL THE PRAYERS, MEDICAL ATTENTION, AND THE FACT THAT KATIE GIRL IS FIGHTING THROUGH ALL OF THIS


- WELL THAT IN ITSELF IS A MIRACLE ACCORDING TO MY TIMES CUSTOMERS.

DAD

YES, IF WE WON THE FIRST GAME, WE’D BE IN GREAT SHAPE AT THE POLO GROUNDS IN HARLEM FOR THE LAST TWO. AND YOUR TIMES CUSTOMERS ARE THE VERY BEST SAYING ALL THIS ABOUT OUR KATIE GIRL. NO BETTER PLACE TO LIVE THAN NEAR COOGAN’S BLUFF - RIGHT HERE IN HARLEM.

JAKE

TICKETS IF WE GET TO A PLAYOFF OR BETTER ?

DAD

YOU BET. I’LL SCALP IF THERE AREN’T TICKETS.

SOME OF THE GIANTS PLAYERS FROM THE GAME

JAKE

OR WORSE YET, WE COULD STILL WATCH THE GAMES FROM THE BLUFF.

DAD

OH, I DON’T THINK HORACE WOULD LIKE THE LOST REVENUE OF A PLAYOFF GAME.

JAKE

ANY RECENT NEWS ABOUT KATIE GIRL ?

DAD

WELL AUNT MARTHA CAME BACK WITH A NOT SO GOOD REPORT. STILL THE IRON LUNG, NUTRITION IS BORDERLINE, SOME BED SORES, AND KATIE GIRL IS DEPRESSED.

JAKE

IF WE COULD ONLY SEE HER.

DAD

I KNOW, BUT THE FOLKS AT BELLEVUE HAVE BEEN VERY GOOD ABOUT CALLING.

JAKE

I’VE SENT DR. EDNEY ALL THE NEW RESEARCH REGARDING IMMUNE STIMULANTS.

DAD

IMMUNE STIMULANTS ! WHAT’S THAT ? JAKE ISOLATED BIOCHEMICAL NATURAL COMPOUNDS THE BODY MAKES TO FIGHT INFECTION AND VIRUSES - INCLUDING T AND B WHITE BLOOD CELLS, OTHER FACTORS SUCH AS INTERFERON - WHICH BOOSTS THE BODY’S ENERGY TO

Bobby Thomson, author of the Shot

19


CREATE CONDITIONS TO GOBBLE UP AND DISARM THE POLIO VIRUS.

DAD

SO DR. EDNEY IS THINKING ABOUT TRANSFUSING KATIE GIRL WITH THIS NEW STUFF ?

JAKE

YES, AND YOU’LL PROBABLY GET TO SIGN THE PAPERS TODAY OR TOMORROW.

DAD

WELL HER SITUATION IS GRIM, AND I’LL DO ANYTHING TO ASSIST HER IN RETURN TO HEALTH. clint Hartung, NY Giants pitcher

JAKE

DAD, DR. EDNEY WOULDN’T DO ANYTHING THAT HE THOUGHT WAS TOO HIGH A RISK, BUT SHE IS DYING PERIOD - SO KATIE GIRL WOULD WANT US TO PULL OUT ALL THE STOPS.

DAD

I’M CERTAIN IT’S HUMAN BLOOD COMPATIBLE LIKE THE MONKEY ANTISERUM.

JAKE

AND IT IS TIME FOR BED. NIGHT.

DAD

GOOD NIGHT. 4 OUT AND I’M DOUBLING UP ON THE ROSARIES FOR KATIE GIRL.

END – ACT Iv – SHOT HEARD ‘ROUND THE WORLD

The polo grounds in the 50’s

20


Shot - Act IV  

The story of Bobby Thomson's epic home run to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in the NL pennant race and advance to the World Series in 1951.

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