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Former MLB Pitcher, Mount Vernon Native Ralph Branca, Dies

Ralph Branca in 2004.
Ralph Branca in 2004. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Ralph Branca sings "God Bless America" at Stamford America Little League Video Credit: The Daily Voice

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- Ralph Branca, a native of Mount Vernon and the pitcher who served up Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World" Home Run, died on Wednesday morning, according to multiple reports. Branca was 90.

The death was announced by Branca's son-in-law and former New York Mets Manager, Bobby Valentine of Stamford, Conn. Valentine stated that Branca died in his Rye home, but did not give a cause of death, ESPN reported.

Branca began his baseball career in 1944 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He won 88 games over his career against 68 losses. He was a three-time all-star who spent most of his career pitching with the Dodgers, but also had short stints with the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees.

Branca's career, however, will be best remembered for his relief appearance on Oct. 3, 1951 against the New York Giants.

In baseball's first-ever nationally televised game, Thomson hit a line drive, three-run home run in the ninth inning to secure the National League pennant for the Giants.

The play, accompanied by Russ Hodges call: "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"has become part of baseball lore.

Branca and Thomson became friends, often appearing at card shows and signings together, ESPN said.

Click here to read the ESPN article .

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