Bobby Thomson hit 264 home runs over a fifteen year career. The one he launched off Ralph Branca on October 3, 1951 might be the most famous in Major League Baseball history and sparked one of the more recognizable calls by an announcer the sport has ever heard.
The shot to left field sent the New York Giants to the World Series, capping an improbable late season run to catch the Brooklyn Dodgers, who at one point held a 13.5 game lead over New York in the standings. Among those on hand to witness the historic moment was Bernard Davies, who ended up with Thomson’s hat in his possession.
Immediately after Thomson’s pennant-clinching home run cleared the left-field wall, Davies jumped onto the field to join the throng of Giants players in the melee that greeted Thomson as he crossed home plate. Davies secured the cap right from Thomson’s head moments before he was lifted up on the shoulders of his teammates. Davies can be identified in both film footage and press photographs of the event.
The cap, which has spent time in both the Baseball Hall of Fame and Davies’ family was auctioned through SCP Auctions with the bidding ending earlier today. Sixteen bids were made. The winning amount was $173,102.
The cap, easily the most significant piece of memorabilia from that iconic moment in private hands, remains in superb original condition and includes a comprehensive provenance package including documentation from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and a letter from the family of Bernard Davies.
Also ending today was the auction for a game-worn Babe Ruth jersey. The price tag on it was $4,415,658.