Saturday • July 20
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Brooklyn's Ralph Branca
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This week, we welcome former Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca. When Jackie Robinson broke baseballís color line in 1947, Branca took the bold move of standing alongside Robinson during pregame ceremonies at Ebbets Field. Their relationship is featured in the new movie 42. Also on the program is Jamie Barwick, rookie tight end for the Chicago Bliss of the Legends Football League.
Episode Segments:
 
Sports and Torts: Jamie Barwick of the Chicago Bliss

Jamie is a rookie tight end for the Chicago Bliss of the Legends Football League (previously known as the Lingerie Football League). She talks about the teamís season opener April 19 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates against the Los Angeles Temptation.
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Sports and Torts: Ralph Branca

Branca probably is best (or worst, if youíre a Dodgers fan) remembered for allowing the game-winning home run to Bobby Thomson in a one-game playoff that put the New York Giants in the 1951 World Series. (He later found out Thompson knew which pitch was coming) Four years earlier ó on April 15, 1947 ó Robinson broke baseballís color line. Branca took what was then regarded as the bold move of standing alongside Robinson during pregame ceremonies at Ebbets Field. And Branca talks about that and more during his more than 40-minute interview that was conducted when he was in Chicago recently for the Chicago Sun-Times Sports Collectibles Convention.
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Links to Related Websites:
The Chicago Bliss

The Bliss have grown to be one of the most popular teams in the Legends Football League by continually having a strong team and with the support of the greatest fans in the world!!! Learn more about the team, and buy tickets for upcoming games at their official website


Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Ralph Branca
Ralph Branca was born on Wednesday, January 6, 1926, in Mount Vernon, New York. Ralph received an academic scholarship to New York University, Ralph was the starting center for The N.Y.U.Violets Basketball, winning The Metropolitan College Championship in 1943 and the starting pitcher on The N.Y.U. Baseball team. The N.Y.U. Violets had twelve players make it into The Major Leagues. 1943 Branch Rickey, Jr. The President and General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Invited Ralph Branca and his brother John to tryout with The Brooklyn Dodgers, Ralph had a medical deferment, John was drafted into The Army Air Core along with four other brothers. Ralph was 18 years old when he signed his professional contract on D-Day June 6, 1944 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he made his Major League Debut on June 12, 1944. In 1947, Ralph won 21 games and lost 12 with an ERA of 2.67 with The Brooklyn Dodgers. Branca appeared in three All-Star games, 1947, 1948 & 1949 and was the starting pitcher in the 1947 All-Star Game at the age of 21. Ralph made two post-Season Appearances in the 1947 and 1949 World Series. Ralph was nominated as MVP in 1947 & 1948. Ralph won 88 games and lost 68, with a career ERA is 3.79 in 1484.0 innings pitched. He played Professional Baseball for 12 seasons from 1944 to 1956. Ralph Branca is perhaps best remembered for one infamous pitch, in a playoff game against the cross-town rival New York Giants. Branca entered the game in the ninth inning and surrendered a Walk-off home run known as "The Shot heard 'Round the World". Hit by New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca at the Polo Grounds to win the National League pennant at 3:58 p.m. on October 3, 1951. As a result of the "shot", The Giants won the game 5-4, defeating the Dodgers in their pennant playoff series, two games to one. This is the most famous episodes in the history of sports. Thomsons' homer, and the Giants' victory after overcoming a 13 and a half game lead in the standings by the Dodgers in the weeks preceding the playoff, this is sometimes known as the Miracle of Coogan's Bluff, however surrounded by scandal.

Ralph's Website