Bobby Thomson hit the most famous home run in Giants’ history. It’s probably the most famous home run in baseball history, as well, although if I had a vote for greatest homer ever, I’d give the nod to Mazeroski in 1960.
Giants fans still get choked up listening to Russ Hodges’ famous call. But it’s a bittersweet feeling. Since the team moved to San Francisco in 1958, they have fulfilled Hodges’ rabid chant by winning the pennant only three times (it’s hard to know what a pennant is, anymore, but I’ll treat it as winning the league). That’s three World Series in 52 years and counting: 1962, 1989, and 2002. And I’m sure I don’t have to remind the asshole fans in Los Angeles and Oakland that the Giants did not win the Series in any of those years.
I’ve watched my local teams have great, championship seasons. The Warriors won the NBA title in the mid-70s … hell, I have a tiny memory of when Cal won the NCAA. The 49ers, of course, were one of the dominant NFL teams of the 80s and early-90s. Even the marginalized San Jose Earthquakes won two MLS titles before they were moved to Houston.
I’d trade every single one of the above for just one Giants World Series triumph.
So yes, I get emotional when I think of Bobby Thomson. Yes, Russ Hodges brings a lump to my throat. And, even when I don’t care who wins or what sport I am watching, when I watch a team win a championship, and I see the fans join the players in celebration, I am moved. I think, one day that will be me.
That day never comes. Which is why, in the end, Bobby Thomson’s home run just makes me feel bitter. Because I know one day I will join Bobby Thomson in Giants Heaven. And we can talk about how our team never won it all. Because even an historic figure like Bobby Thomson shares this with SF Giants fans: his team never won a World Series.