MAY 2012 PREMIER INTERNET AUCTION

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/20/2012
"The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! They're going crazy! I don't believe it. I do not believe it." - Radio broadcaster Russ Hodges

During spring training, 1951, the conventional wisdom said that the Giants and the Dodgers would contend for the National League pennant. When the season started, it looked like the predictions were right. The defending champs Phillies played disappointingly mediocre ball, and the Dodgers won game after game. But the big surprise was the Giants. After winning their first game of the season, they plummeted into a shocking 11-game losing streak. By August 12, they were 13-1/2 games behind the Dodgers, a hopelessly large deficit, Or was it? The Giants' manager was fiery Leo Durocher, a master at driving his teams to exceed even their own expectations. Suddenly the Giants began to win, and win again, and win some more. They won an astounding 37 of their last 44 games - and, in fact, actually pulled ahead of the stunned Dodgers going into Brooklyn's last game of the season. Only a tense extra-inning win against the Phillies allowed the Dodgers to tie the Giants at the end, with identical 96-58 records. As if the season hadn't been strange and stressful enough, now the two teams would have to play a best-two-out-of-three series to determine who would face the New York Yankees in the World Series.

The Shot

After splitting the first two games, the Dodgers took a 4-1 lead going into the last of the ninth inning of the third and deciding game at the Polo Grounds. It seemed that the Giants' valiant effort to climb out of the hole created by their early season failures was destined to fall just a few runs short. But with two men on, Whitey Lockman doubled to drive in a run, bringing the score to 4-2 and putting runners on second and third. A glimmer of hope, and the stage was set for one of the most dramatic moments in baseball history. With Giants' slugger Bobby Thomson coming to the plate, Dodgers' manager Charlie Dressen went to the bullpen. His choice was Ralph Branca despite the fact that Branca had already lost to the Giants five times that season, and had just given up a home run to Thomson two games earlier. With the Giant fans roaring, Branca got one strike on Thomson. On his next pitch, he tried another fastball, and Thomson climbed all over it, hitting a wicked line drive that hurtled over the left field wall. Pandemonium ensued. Bobby Thomson had hit a three-run home run to give the Giants a 5-4 victory and the pennant. When Thomson's blast (forever after known as "The Shot Heard 'Round the World") cleared the fence, Hodges let his true feelings be known. "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!" he shouted to the four corners of the Earth. "They're going crazy! I don't believe it! I do not believe it."

The Cap

In the annals of baseball, few moments can be recalled that were more dramatic and polarizing than Thomson’s iconic game-winning home run off Branca to enable the Giants to edge the arch-rival Dodgers. Dubbed “The Shot Heard ‘Round The World,” Thomson’s feat resonates more than a half century later as one of the most memorable home runs in baseball history.

Perhaps no fan had a better view of that fabled clout than Bernard Davies, who occupied his regular field-level box seat at the Polo Grounds on Oct. 3, 1951. Immediately after Thomson’s pennant-clinching home run cleared the left-field wall, Davies jumped onto the field to join the throng of Giants players in the melee that greeted Thomson as he crossed home plate. Davies secured the cap right from Thomson’s head moments before he was lifted up on the shoulders of his teammates. Davies can be identified in both film footage and press photographs of the event.

Prior to consignment to this auction the cap has been a cherished heirloom within the Davies family, and has also been prominently showcased for more than 28 years (1984-2012) at The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. as a centerpiece to the museum’s “Shot Heard ‘Round The World” exhibit. The cap, easily the most significant piece of memorabilia from that iconic moment in private hands, remains in superb original condition and includes a comprehensive provenance package including documentation from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and a letter from the family of Bernard Davies.

Bidding
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $10,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $173,102
Number Bids: 17
Auction closed on Sunday, May 20, 2012.
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