Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca dies aged 90Nov 23, 2016 - 6:25 PM Former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca - a man best known for being on the wrong end of one of baseball's most famous moments - has died at the age of 90.
It was Branca who served up the pitch which New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson turned into 'the shot heard round the world' - a game-winning home run which settled a local rivalry and sent the Giants to the 1951 World Series.
With one swing of the bat in the bottom of the ninth inning, Thomson's shot turned a 4-2 Dodgers lead into a 5-4 Giants win.
Branca's death was announced on Wednesday by his son-in-law, Bobby Valentine.
"One of the greatest guys to ever throw a pitch or sing a song is (no) longer with us. Ralph Branca Passed this morning," Valentine wrote on Twitter.
"In his 91st year on Earth he left us with (the) same dignity and grace that defined his everyday on earth. He will be truly missed!!!"
Branca never allowed himself to be defined by what was a moment of failure, and struck up a lasting friendship with Thomson until the latter's death in 2010 - even after it was revealed the Giants had been stealing the Dodgers' signs on that day at the Polo Grounds.
Branca spent 12 years in the Major Leagues, pitching for Brooklyn from 1944 to 1953 before spells with the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees and a brief return to the Dodgers in 1956.
The three-time All-Star finished his career with an 88-68 record and a 3.79 ERA.
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