Friday, November 03, 2006
Bobby Thompson Born
For a sake of contrast with past entries, this isn't the Bobby Thomson of "The Giants Win the Pennant! The Giants Win the Pennant!" fame, but that is how you spell his name, with the "p." Of course, this Bobby Thompson hasn't had his name misspelled very much, because he wasn't at the Major League level very much. All said, Bobby Thompson played in just sixty-four games for the Rangers in 1978, getting just one hundred and thirty-six plate appearances, and batted just .225/.284/.350.
Never let it be said, however, that he and the other Bobby Thomson had nothing in common. On June 18th, 1978 the Rangers entered the bottom of the ninth tied with the Blue Jays at two. Bobby Bonds doubled with one out and after a pair of intentional walks and a ground-out, Thompson came up with a chance to win the game. And win it he did, lining a single that scored Bonds and gave the Rangers a 3-2 victory.
Of course, giving a team one of its eighty-seven wins with a single in June isn't quite on the same level of drama as giving a team the pennant with a home run in October. But then, Bobby Thompson wasn't the player Bobby Thomson was; perhaps it is only fitting that his walk-off moment isn't the moment Bobby Thomson's was.