Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca has just given up a devastating three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth, the “shot heard ’round the world “, to New York Giants Bobby Thompson at the Polo Grounds in Harlem, upper Manhattan, which won the pennant for the Giants, 5-4 , seventy years ago on October 3rd , 1951.
The clubhouses at the Polo Grounds were out in the far, far reaches of a cavernous Center Field.
The picture shows the scene: the Giants are celebrating; Bobby Thompson, mobbed by Giants, stepping on Home Plate. Journalists and photographers run onto the field. Ralph Branca stands alone, head down, as he begins his long, painful walk to the clubhouse. The Giants fans in the field seats have their eyes on him and his now stunning ignominy.
But ….. there is Jackie Robinson, the first Black man to play in the Major League, by himself, his hands on his hips, standing soldierly near second base, not running away to the clubhouse, away from Branca, but making sure Thompson touched every base and Home Plate. It’s only Robinson and Branca. The two of them.