One of the greatest guys to ever throw a pitch or sing a song is longer with us. Ralph Branca Passed this morning.
— Bobby Valentine (@BobbyValentine) November 23, 2016
ESPN writes: “Branca was born in 1926, the 15th of 17 children, and was raised in Mount Vernon, New York, just north of New York City. He arrived in the major leagues as an 18-year-old in 1944…
Branca pitched in the major leagues for 12 seasons, posting an 88-58 record, but he’s best remembered for the home run he gave up to Thomson.
The Dodgers held a 4-2 lead in the third game of a three-game playoff against the Giants when Branca came on in relief of Don Newcombe with one out and two men on. Thomson hit Branca’s second pitch down the left field line for the game-winning home run.
Later Branca recalled sitting with a priest and family friend, asking why this had happened to him. ‘Because,’ he was told, ‘you’re strong enough to bear it.’
Branca and Thomson, wedded in baseball lore, later forged a friendship that carried through appearances and card shows.”
Branca… dead at the age of 90.
Loved my many… and played his heart out.