Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Brush with Bobby Thompson

Even the most casual sports fan has heard of Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard Round the World" in 1951 to win the National League pennant for the Giants over the Dodgers. I will ignore the New York-centric idea that so much more has been made of that home run than Bill Mazaroski's World Series homer to beat the Yankees in 1960, probably the greatest moment in the history of sports as, not only was it a homer that won game seven of the series, but THE YANKEES LOST!! (I guess I didn't really ignore it, did I. Pisses me off!)

Bobby Thomson died yesterday, which seems like good reason to tell my sort-of brush with the man who provided this great sports memory. I have played golf in a foursome with Bobby Thomson's old golf clubs.

Huh? Well, when I was in grad school in Michigan, a friend of mine there, Chuck Mitchell, was married to Bobby Thomson's lovely daughter, whose name escapes me. And Bobby had given Chuck his old golf clubs. And Chuck and I played golf together a few times. I am horrible at keeping in touch with people, and thus have no idea where Chuck and wife are today.

I wish I could report there was something magical about Bobby Thomson's old golf clubs, that merely by touching them I was able to shoot holes-in-one. But, they were just old golf clubs. Which makes this a pretty lame story, I guess.


Budd Bailey said...

My sister was born on October 3, 1951, a big day in the life of Bobby Thomson. I once interviewed Thomson, and told him how excited my father was when Thomson hit his homer. Thomson said Dave Winfield told him he was born on that day as well.

Paul Argay said...

OK, I have had enough of Bill Mazeroski and that damn homer, Enough!

I had no idea you knew Chuck Mitchell. Chuck worked at P&G (in Cincinnati) as I did. He and I were on the same modified fast pitch softball team (Orange Crush - which achieved some fame in two National softball tournaments).

His father-in-law, Bobby Thompson) was in Cincinnati to be honored for his historic homer at the All Star game (played in Cinci that year). He attended our game and we all got to chat with him for awhile after the game.

He was a very nice man, very humble (he couldn't believe he was being honored for "being lucky enough" to hit that home run). I will tell you that our team played a great game that night, knowing that Bobby Thompson was in the bleachers watching us!

If you connect with Chuck, tell him Paul Argay says hi! I'll send you a famous picture of our softball team separately.