Monday, October 3, 2016

Quote of the Day (Red Smith, on Bobby Thomson’s ‘Shot Heard Round the World’)

“Now it is done. Now the story ends. And there is no way to tell it. The art of fiction is dead. Reality has strangled invention. Only the utterly impossible, the inexpressibly fantastic, can ever be plausible again.”— Red Smith, "Miracle of Coogan's Bluff," New York Herald Tribune, Oct. 4, 1951

Giant announcer Russ Hodges’ breathless announcement—“The Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant!”—might be what most people recall about Bobby Thomson’s walk-off homerun that defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in the rivals’ best-of-three playoff series 65 years ago today. But to my way of thinking, Smith’s column captured the “inexpressibly fantastic” nature of the moment better, all the way down to the image of the dejected reliever who threw the fatal pitch: “Ralph Branca turned and started for the clubhouse. The number on his uniform looked huge. Thirteen.”

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