Mind Over Sports

LEGAL CHEATING: BOBBY THOMSON’S IMMORTAL 3-RUN BLAST.

Posted on: August 23, 2010

Now that Bobby Thomson has left this world, perhaps it’s time to discuss something that many of us were unaware of; that is, that his “shot heard round the world” in the autumn of 1951 was based on a system of sign-stealing through the use of a centerfield telescope, an idea devised by Giants’ manager Leo Durocher, who coined the phrase: “Nice guys finish last.” At the time, it was perfectly legal to do what Durocher did. Legal? Yes. Ethical? No. It’s spelled out in Joshua Prager’s book, “The Echoing Green.” In their amazing 1951 stretch run, the Giants made up a 13-game deficit to force the playoff with the Dodgers. And they did it by cheating. If that happened today, there’s no way Durocher would be in Baseball’s Hall of Fame. One has to wonder how many players in the past who are in the Hall of Fame were also cheating by using performance enhancing drugs.

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