May 22, 2010

Bobby Thomson and Herman Franks

I've always loved Bobby Thomson's 1952 Topps card. There is just something about it that makes me think of the cover of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

It is as if Bobby is the lone super hero and can single-handedly change the course of human events. Which is why I nearly lost my shit when I found this Bobby Thomson certified auto of a re-print of his 1952 card at an obscenely low price. This might have become my favorite autographed card that I own...I don't know for sure though...that would take some sorting and opening of boxes.

2001 Team Topps Legends #313 Bobby Thomson Autograph

Randomly, I had recently been digging through some of my vintage cards and I picked this card of Giants manager Herman Franks to highlight:

1965 Topps #32 Herman Franks


And it's great blue/green back:


I had no idea that apparently Franks may have been just as involved in The Shot Heard 'Round The World as Bobby was. Here's the rundown from Wikipedia:

In February 2001, Joshua Harris Prager of the Wall Street Journal reported that the Giants had positioned coach Herman Franks with a telescope in the Giants' clubhouse during the latter half of the season, including the game itself, and had stolen the pitching signs of the Dodger catcher, Rube Walker, subbing for the injured Roy Campanella in the playoff game[7]. Prager concluded that the spy had signalled pitches to the Giants' batters, including Thomson, thus enabling Thomson to know in advance what pitch Branca was going to throw him. According to Prager's research, Franks was hidden in Giant manager Leo Durocher's office, which was positioned in the Polo Grounds center field and offered a line-of-sight view of the catcher. A buzzer system was installed so that Franks could signal a player in the Giants' bullpen, located on the field of play in deep left field. The player would then signal the batter as to what pitch was coming.

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