As heated pennant races go, few, if any, match the 1951 dual between the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers. Trailing by 12-1/2 games as late as August 14, the Giants closed the regular season on a 37-7 tear to force a deadlock and best-of-three playoff. This program was issued at the Polo Grounds for the dramatic finish of a three-game series punctuated by Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard 'Round the World.” The 20-page guide features unmarked scoring grids with pre-printed lineups and rosters that specifically date to that unforgettable series. The program presents beautifully. Cover is detached but present and, like the pages, is decidedly crisp. More on our website.
With scoring grids unmarked, the key element in dating this program to the October 2-3 playoff games at Polo Grounds is the appearance of Bill Sharman on the Dodgers roster. Yes, this is the same Boston Celtics legend and four-time NBA champion who went on to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Prior to his hoops career, however, Sharman toiled for the Dodgers’ Class AA Fort Worth Cats affiliate in 1951. He was summoned to the parent club in late September and earned a somewhat dubious distinction. In the Dodgers’ September 27 contest at Braves Field with the score tied, 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth, Boston’s Bob Addis was ruled safe at the plate on a controversial call by umpire Frank Dascoli. Brooklyn catcher Roy Campanella threw his mitt down in disbelief and was ejected. Immediately, everyone in the Dodgers dugout (including Sharman) began screaming and was ejected and forced to leave. Thus, Sharman became the only man in Major League history to be ejected from a game without ever appearing in one.
Incidentally, with Pee Wee Reese representing the tying run at third base with only one out in the top of the 9th, the Dodgers were forced to send Wayne Terwilliger (.227) to the plate in place of Campanella. Terwilliger grounded to third, failing to drive home Reese and the Braves held on. The Dodgers’ lead was cut to just 1/2-game that day and many blame Dascoli, who was said to showboat in key situations such as the one in which he ejected Campanella and the Dodgers bench.