The Echoing Green
The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the Shot Heard Round the World
By Joshua Prager
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375713071, 544pp.)
Publication Date: March 11, 2008
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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At 3:58 p.m. on October 3, 1951, Bobby Thomson hit a home run off Ralph Branca. The ball sailed over the left field wall and into history. The Giants won the pennant. That moment—the Shot Heard Round the World—reverberated from the West Wing of the White House to the Sing Sing death house to the Polo Grounds clubhouse, where hitter and pitcher forever turned into hero and goat. It was also in that centerfield block of concrete that, after the home run, a Giant coach tucked away a Wollensak telescope. The Echoing Green places that revelation at the heart of a larger story, re-creating in extravagant detail and illuminating as never before the impact of both a moment and a long-guarded secret on the lives of Bobby Thomson and Ralph Branca.
Joshua Prager lives in New York City. He studied music theory at Columbia College and is currently a senior special writer at The Wall Street Journal. He has three times been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing.
“A revelation and a page turner, a group character study unequaled in baseball writing since Roger Kahn’s Boys of Summer.”—The New York Times Book Review“Thrilling. . . . captures the enduring impact of the memorable moments that mark our lives.” —The Washington Post Book World“The most comprehensive account ever written of the most famous play in sports history.” —Newsday “This wonderful book is an absolute treasure. A master storyteller, Prager captures the reader from beginning to end.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin“A delightful book . . . You don’t have to believe that the Giants stole the game to enjoy The Echoing Green. You don’t even have to like baseball. That moment defined a generation.” —The New York Times“Compelling and thoughtful, the book meditates on the meaning of that home run in the legacies changed forever by a single crack of the bat.” —The Miami Herald“A seat along the first base line. . . . Prager, like a good hurler with a command of many pitches, delivers nuance even when you're expecting a fastball.” —The Plain Dealer“Prager turns his remarkable powers of investigation on the men involved in the scheme. The result is an absorbing critique of the competitive ethic that too often rules not only America's playing fields but its boardrooms as well.” —Sports Illustrated“The depth of Prager's research staggers the mind. . . . A must-have for baseball mavens.” —The Buffalo News“You will not find a better-reported book on any subject than The Echoing Green.” —New York Post