On Wednesday morning, the baseball community woke up to the terrible news that Dodgers legend Ralph Branca had passed away. In 11 years with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branca posted a 3.70 ERA, accumulated 80 wins, and struck out 757 batters.
Though his legendary status comes from his talent, he is just as well-known for giving up the “Shot Heard ‘Round The World” to Bobby Thomson: a walk-off home run that made the Giants the 1951 pennant champions.
Here is how baseball reacted to the news:
One of the greatest guys to ever throw a pitch or sing a song is longer with us. Ralph Branca Passed this morning.
— Bobby Valentine (@BobbyValentine) November 23, 2016
Ralph Branca is remembered for giving up Bobby Thomson's HR, but he should be remembered as one of the few that welcomed Jackie Robinson pic.twitter.com/C36QWRTm87
— Dan Hirsch (@DanHirsch) November 23, 2016
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) November 23, 2016
Ralph Branca: smart, engaging, dignified, talented, a true sportsman. was last surviving member of Jackie's 1947 dodgers
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 23, 2016
Aw, Ralph Branca RIP. The grace with which he wore being on the wrong end of The Shot Heard 'Round the World was exemplary
— Jay Jaffe (@jay_jaffe) November 23, 2016
So sad to hear of Ralph Branca's passing. What a great pitcher, great singer, great husband and father and always a joy to be around.
— David Waldstein (@DavidWaldstein) November 23, 2016
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) November 23, 2016
Rest in peace, Ralph Branca. You will be deeply missed.