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Ralph Branca, who allowed ‘Shot Heard ‘Round The World’ HR, passes away

Former Brooklyn Dodgers’ pitcher Ralph Branca, who surrendered one of the most substantial home runs in baseball history, passed away this morning.

Ralph Branca, the man who allowed the “Shot Heard ‘Round The World” home run, died this morning at age 90. The former Brooklyn Dodger played a large role in one of the most significant moments in MLB history.

On October 3, 1951, he surrendered a three-run, game-winning home run to Bobby Thomson, a shot which propelled the Giants into the World Series.

Former Mets’ manager Bobby Valentine, who is married to Branca’s daughter, broke the saddening news on Twitter.

Branca burst upon the major league scene in 1944 at age 18, and proceeded to spend the first 11 years of his playing career with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

In his career with Brooklyn, the right-hander went 80-58 with a 3.70 ERA over 283 appearances (166 starts), registering 64 complete games as well. The native New Yorker and NYU alumnus made three all-star teams.

Branca was on the 1947 Dodgers club that welcomed Jackie Robinson to the bigs, effectively breaking the MLB color barrier. He was reportedly one of Robinson’s biggest supporters.

After moving on from Brooklyn, Branca spent 1953 and 1954 with the Tigers and Yankees, before coming back to the Dodgers to finish his career.

His impact went beyond the baseball diamond.