"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Before there was Bill Buckner there was Ralph Branca. The Dodger pitcher, above right, gave up the pennant-winning home run to the Giants' Bobby Thomson in 1951 in what is still remembered as the most dramatic moment in baseball history.
Except that wasn't all there was to it. It turns out the Giants had been cheating: they had someone stationed in the far reaches of the ballpark with a telescope and a buzzer who was relaying the catcher's signs. Giant batters were tipped off to what pitches were coming. Had it been known at the time it would have been a scandal.
Through the grapevine, Branca later learned about the Giants' sign-stealing. But he kept it to himself. For a half-century, he bore the stigma of being the goat's goat – and said nothing.
The Wall Street Journal's Joshua Prager has written a book, The Echoing Green, on the untold story behind the Shot Heard 'Round the World and the secret carried by Branca and Thomson. The website is magnificent.