'There's a long drive!'

Bobby Thomson's "shot heard 'round the world" -- the 9th-inning, come-from-behind three-run blast that gave the 1951 New York Giants an improbable National League pennant against their hated crosstown rival Brooklyn Dodgers -- happened eight years before I was born. But I've watched the iconic Russ Hodges play-by-play call so many times, and seen so many interviews with Thomson and ill-fated hurler Ralph Branca, that I feel as if I were there in person. Even though it's hardly a surprise, the news that Thompson died today at age 86 is a palpable loss, a severed link to baseball's glorious past. May Thomson rest in peace, and may "The Giants win the pennant!" of the NL West in his honor, as long as it doesn't mess with the Phillies 2010 chances.