Although I was born the summer of the 1951 New York Giants’ famous run to capture the National League pennant; the only games played on the actual day I came into this world, Monday August 6, were both in the American League. The New York Yankees beat the Washington Senators 4 – 0 and the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 10 – 1.On August 6th, the Giants were in second place (59 – 47), trailing the Brooklyn Dodgers by nine and a half games. The Dodgers were the “Boys of Summer” team led by Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, and Duke Snider. The Giants had a 20 year old rookie in center field named Willie Mays, former Negro League star Monte Irvin in left field, and were managed by fiery Leo Durocher.
Two days after I was born, the Giants lost a doubleheader to the Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. They lost again the following day to the Dodgers and then dropped the opener of their weekend series against the Phillies in Philadelphia. On August 12th, the Giants had fallen 13 games behind the first place Dodgers.However, the Giants won 37 out of the next 44 games; which included a 16 game winning streak from August 12 to August 27. Meanwhile, the Dodgers were only 22 – 20 after August 12 and the Giants were tied for first place with them by the end of the season; both teams were 96 – 58.
A best two out of three playoff was held to determine who would go against the New York Yankees in the 1951 World Series. After the teams split the first two games, the Giants won Game 3 on October 3rd by what was called, “the shot heard around the world”. Trailing 4 -2 at the Polo Grounds in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Giants’ Bobby Thomson hit a three run home run off the Dodgers’ Ralph Branca to win the National League pennant. I was not quite 2 months old at that time and so was not aware of Thomson’s game winning blast. However, long time Dodger fans painfully still remember it today.That summer was also the rookie season for the Yankees’ Mickey Mantle and the last one for Yankee great Joe DiMaggio. Willie Mays was the third former Negro League player named National League Rookie of the Year and Roy Campanella was the second former Negro League player named National League Most Valuable Player. It was a good baseball season for those born that year, which will be turning 62 this year.
What happened during the baseball season the year you were born?