» June 18, 1944:
Cal McLish is knocked from the mound by a 5-run outburst by the Phillies in the first inning of a Philadelphia 6-2 victory over the Dodgers. The 18-year-old McLish is followed to the mound by Dodgers hurlers Ralph Branca, also 18, and Charlie Osgood, 17, in his only major league appearance.
» October 1, 1946: In the first ever National League playoff before 26,012 at Ebbets Field the Dodgers manage just three hits off Howie Pollet and lose 4–2. Joe Garagiola's three hits pace the Cardinals as they beat Ralph Branca.
» September 29, 1947:
Hitless the first 4 innings against Brooklyn's
Ralph Branca, the Yankees score 5 runs in the 5th
inning and win the World Series opener 5-3. A
record WS crowd of 73,365 at the Stadium pays $325,828.
» October 2, 1947:
The Dodgers squeak to a 9-8 win, jumping on
Bobo Newsom and Vic Raschi in the 2nd for 6 runs.
Yogi Berra becomes the first player to hit a
pinch HR in WS history, hitting one off Brooklyn's
Ralph Branca in the 7th inning.
» July 1, 1948: Brooklyn's Roy Campanella makes his debut, catching Ralph Branca. Campy doubles in his first at-bat, adds two singles, but the Giants win 6–4 over Ralph Branca.
» July 17, 1948:
The Dodgers down the Reds, 8–4 and 10–4 for their 12th win in 14 games. Ralph Branca wins the opener as Jackie Robinson clouts a 3-run homer in the 8th. Paul Minner wins his first ML game in the nitecap with six innings of relief. During an argument with Frank Dascoli, Reds catcher Dewey Williams grabs the ump. Willliams will be fined $100 and suspended for five games. However, with catcher Ray Mueller on the disabled list with a broken ankle, the Reds appeal the suspension, stating they have only one catcher, Ray Lamanno. Ford Frick, National League prexy, will rule that Williams will serve the suspension in the Reds clubhouse, while dressed in full uniform. If anything happens to Lamanno, Williams can substitute, and a game will added to the suspension.
» May 20, 1950: Three Dodger relief hurlers, Ralph Branca, Jack Banta, and Dan Bankhead, combine to pitch 9 2/3 innings of no-hit ball, as Brooklyn beats Pittsburgh 4–3 in 11 innings.
» June 14, 1950: No it wasn't football, as the Dodgers and Pirates game ends unfinished at curfew time with a score 19–14 in favor of Brooklyn. The game will resume August 1st. Bucs rookie Dale Coogan starts the scoring in the 1st with his first ML homer, a 3-run clout off Ralph Branca.
» June 28, 1951: Monty Irvin clubs two homers off Ralph Branca as the Giants edge the Dodgers, 5–4. The second homer, a three-run shot in the eighth, gives the win the reliever Sheldon Jones. The Dodgers now lead the Giants by five games.
» July 4, 1951: In a wild doubleheader featuring a double ejection of manager Charlie Dressen, the first-place Dodgers sweep the Giants, winning 6–5 in 11 innings, and 4–2. The Dodgers drive out Sal Maglie in the opener after the Giants built a lead on homers by Mueller and Mays. Brooklyn counters in the eighth with a pinch homer by Campanella, a homer by Reese, and a tying single from Hodges. Bobby Thomson's homer in the 11th puts the Giants ahead by one, but Preacher Roe wins it with a squeeze bunt. Ralph Branca wins the nitecap with homer help from Hodges and Snider. Dressen is tossed in the second inning of game two for protesting pitch calls; after he takes a seat behind the dugout umpire Robb tosses him a second time. The victories put Brooklyn six 1/2 games up.
» August 11, 1951:
The Dodgers take the 1st of two games against the Braves, winning 8–1 behind Ralph Branca. Brooklyn now leads the National League by 13 1/2 games with 49 games to play. The Braves take the nitecap, 8–4, behind Max Surkont and a home run by Sid Gordon. With Red Barber and Connie Desmond making the calls, the doubleheader is the first ML game to be telecast in color.
» August 15, 1951: Giants P Jim Hearn defeats the Dodgers 3–1 as Willie Mays makes a miraculous play in the 8th. With the score 1–1 and Billy Cox on 3rd, Mays makes a running catch of a Carl Furillo drive in deep right CF and whirls counterclockwise to throw out the astonished Cox at home. Wes Westrum's 2-run homer off Ralph Branca in the 8th provides the two-run margin. Hearn allows just six hits, all singles, as the Giants move to 10 1/2 behind Brooklyn.
» August 19, 1951:
In Boston, the Braves score five in the 6th and roll over the Dodgers, 13–4. Warren Spahn picks up his 15th win and his 21st complete game. A 2nd-inning homer by Willard Marshall, off Ralph Branca, starts the scoring.
» August 24, 1951:
At Ebbets Field, the Dodgers Ralph Branca outduels Cubs pitcher Paul Minner to win 1–0. Branca strikes out 10 Cubs, walks none, and gives up three hits.
» August 27, 1951:
"The two fine Italian arms of Branca and Furillo had a no-hitter running for eight innings" writes columnist Dick Young; in the 3rd inning Ralph Branca's no-hitter seems broken by a one-hop shot to RF by pitcher Mel Queen, but Carl Furillo guns him out at first. Branca, pitching on two days rest, finally gives up two Pirate hits in the 9th before winning, 5–0. In the nitecap the Pirates jump on Erv Palica for three runs in the first inning and hold on for a 5–3 win behind Bill Werle and Vern Law. Clyde McCullough is the "Big Un" with a two-run double and a two-run homer. The Pirates continue to be the only team with a season edge on the Dodgers.
» September 1, 1951: OF Don Mueller hits three home runs in an 8–1 Giants' win over the Dodgers. His first homer comes against Ralph Branca, coming off two consecutive shutouts, and Mueller hits his 3rd home run, a two-run shot off Phil Haugstad. Sal Maglie is the winner, giving up seven singles and hits Robinson on the wrist in the 3rd to force home the only Dodger run. Whitey Lockman gets plunked twice for New York. Al Dark and Eddie Stanky combine in the 5th on a triple play off a liner by Reese. The Dodgers' lead over the Giants is now down to six games.
» September 5, 1951:
Ralph Branca, despite twinges in his arm, pitches the Dodgers to a 5–2 win over the Phillies. Gil Hodges drives home four runs on a grand slam off Ken Johnson. It is Gil's 37th homer of year, setting a new Dodger record.
» September 9, 1951: Sal Maglie wins his 20th game to give the Giants a 2–1 win over the Dodgers' Ralph Branca. Monte Irvin's two-run homer in the 4th gives New York all its scoring, The Dodgers score in the 8th on a double by Snider and a triple by Jackie Robinson. But 3B Bobby Thomson snags a ground, tags Robby, and throws to first for a DP. The Dodgers still lead the Giants by five 1/2 games.
» September 18, 1951: In St. Louis, the Cardinals cuff Ralph Branca for a 7–1 win over the Dodgers. It is Brooklyn's 4th loss in seven road games. Adding insult to injury, Stan Musial and Slaughter pull off a double steal with Stan scoring.
» October 1, 1951: In the National League's first best-of-three play-off since 1946, Ralph Branca of the Dodgers loses to Jim Hearn and the Giants 3–1. Branca serves up home runs to Bobby Thomson and Monte Irvin. It is the first game ever to be broadcast live coast-to-coast. With both the Dodgers and Giants tied 96–58 at the end of regulation, Brooklyn wins the coin toss and elects to play the first game of the playoffs at home. The next two games will be played at the Polo Grounds.
» October 3, 1951: The Giants' Bobby Thomson hits the most famous home run in history, off Ralph Branca. His "shot heard round the world" with two runners on and trailing 4–2 in the bottom of the 9th defeats Brooklyn 5–4 and sends the jubilant Giants into the World Series. For Branca, it is his 6th loss of the season against the Giants, who have now hit 11 home runs off him this year. Whitey Lockman sets up Thomson's blast by hitting a double off Don Newcombe with Al Dark on 3B and Don Mueller on 1B. Mueller breaks his ankle sliding into 3B and is carried off the field.