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Ralph Brancas baseball life will always be defined by one pitch. Black Friday Falcons Jerseys .Branca, who gave up a home run to the Giants Bobby Thomson, the Shot Heard Round the World that cost the Brooklyn Dodgers the 1951 National League pennant, has died at the age of 90.?His son-in-law, former major league manager Bobby Valentine, said that Branca died Wednesday at a nursing home in Rye, New York. No cause of death was given. Valentine announced Brancas death on Twitter.Thomsons home run on Oct. 3, 1951, one of the most famous in baseball history, completed the Miracle of Coogans Bluff, the Giants climb from a 12?-game deficit in the NL.Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement that said in part, Ralph was a true gentleman who earned universal respect in the game he loved and served so well. Ralphs participation in the Shot Heard Round the World was eclipsed by the grace and sportsmanship he demonstrated following one of the games signature moments.He is better remembered for his dedication to the members of the baseball community. He was an inspiration to so many of us.Branca was born in 1926, the 15th of 17 children, and was raised in Mount Vernon, New York, just north of New York City. He arrived in the major leagues as an 18-year-old in 1944.On April 15, 1947, Branca was standing next to Jackie Robinson during pregame ceremonies as Robinson prepared to break baseballs color barrier. Mindful of the death threats that had been made against Robinson, Brancas brother John worried that he could have been collateral damage in any attempt on Robinsons life.What if the guys a lousy shot, John Branca asked.Then I wouldve died a hero, Ralph answered.Branca went on to have his best season in 1947, posting a 21-12 record with a 2.67 ERA. He became the second-youngest pitcher to win 20 games and earned the first of his three consecutive All-Star Game selections.Branca to me was a hero. I admired him so much, Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda said in a statement released by the Dodgers. Ralph and I became very close, my family and his family. I always enjoyed being around him. He was a tough one in every way and I really admired him.Branca pitched in the major leagues for 12 seasons, posting an 88-58 record, but hes best remembered for the home run he gave up to Thomson.The Dodgers held a 4-2 lead in the third game of a three-game playoff against the Giants when Branca came on in relief of Don Newcombe with one out and two men on. Thomson hit Brancas second pitch down the left field line for the game-winning home run.Later Branca recalled sitting with a priest and family friend, asking why this had happened to him.Because, he was told, youre strong enough to bear it.Branca and Thomson, wedded in baseball lore, later forged a friendship that carried through appearances and card shows. Thomson died in 2010 at the age of 86.I was closer to Ralph than to any other Dodger. We traveled around the world and became very good friends, Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully said in the Dodgers statement. He carried the cross of the Thomson home run with dignity and grace. I was grateful for his friendship and I grieve at his death. He was a great man.When he retired, Branca became a financial executive, selling insurance policies. He appeared as a contestant on the game show Concentration in 1963, winning 17 consecutive times. And he became a driving force behind the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) that helps former ballplayers who fall on hard times.Branca and his wife, Ann, had two daughters, Patricia and Mary. Valentine married Mary Branca in 1977. Cheap Falcons Jerseys . The judges scored it 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 for Jones (19-1). It was the champions closest call. Despite the loss, it was a remarkable show by the confident Swedish challenger, who had the best of the early rounds and then hung on in the fourth and fifth. Cyber Monday Falcons Jerseys . Goals from Jerome Boateng, Franck Ribery and Thomas Mueller extended Bayerns unbeaten run to a record 37 matches. "This record is incredible," Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said. http://www.cheapfalconsjerseys.net/ . -- Hunter Smith scored the winner with just 12 seconds remaining in the third period as the Oshawa Generals edged the host Sarnia Sting 5-4 on Friday in Ontario Hockey League action. The third College Football Playoff rankings had barely been released before Bill Hancock, the CFPs executive director, reiterated that the system is working.We are confident, Hancock said Sunday, that four is the right number.But eight is so much more fun! And it seems that the majority of fans want the playoff to expand! And every playoff in every major American sport has eventually grown bigger!I dont anticipate any discussion about expansion, Hancock said.Hancock is a prince of a guy, but when it comes to college footballs postseason, hes the smiling sheriff of the fun police. Just because the sports decision-makers arent interested in exploring an eight-team playoff doesnt mean we cant drum up one.Why eight teams? Many believe eight is the sweet spot for the college football playoff: more national representation but not too much, and only one more round of competition.What would an eight-team playoff look like this season? The exercise is part reality and part subjectivity.To acknowledge the selection committee members, we will use their top four: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Washington.Now, the fun part: We pick the next four!They are: No. 5 Penn State, No. 6 Michigan, No. 7 USC and No. 8 Oklahoma. Despite a 39-point loss at Michigan Stadium, Penn State is ahead of the Wolverines because of its overall profile (wins over Ohio State, Wisconsin, Temple and Iowa) and conference championship. USC didnt win its conference or division but has two better wins -- Washington and Colorado -- than anything on Oklahomas résumé. Plus, outside of Alabama, USC is the team no one wants to play.The first four out: Wisconsin, Florida State, Colorado and Western Michigan.Heres how a hypothetical eight-team playoff would look this year.No. 1 Alabama (13-0) vs. No. 8 Oklahoma (10-2) The Sooners want to show theyre not the same team that started 1-2, and coach Bob Stoops always craves chances to take down the SECs best. The game features the nations most dominant defense against a surging Oklahoma offense featuring quarterback Baker Mayfield, running backs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon, and transcendent wide receiver Dede Westbrook. It would take a lot for Oklahoma to win, but the Sooners have the type of offense -- coorddinated by Lincoln Riley -- that tends to give Alabama trouble. Falcons Jerseys Online. Crimson Tide wide receivers Calvin Ridley and ArDarius Stewart would look to attack a vulnerable OU secondary.No. 2 Clemson (12-1) vs. No. 7 USC (9-3) Who wouldnt want to see this matchup? It has it all: game-changing quarterbacks in Clemsons Deshaun Watson and USCs Sam Darnold, NFL-ready wide receivers in Clemsons Mike Williams and USCs JuJu Smith-Schuster, solid running back play, and elite cornerbacks in USCs?Adoree Jackson?and Clemsons Cordrea Tankersley. If you like speed and highlights, this game will not disappoint. Clemson has been on the big stage much more often than USC in recent years, but the Trojans showed at Washington that they are coming back strong.No. 3 Ohio State (11-1) vs. No. 6 Michigan (10-2) Yes, we get to see The Game again. It wont be quite the same at a neutral site (unless the hypothetical playoff begins on campus, which isnt a bad thing at all), but these teams are so evenly matched that drama is inevitable. Michigan had the right blueprint to beat Ohio State the first time around. If quarterback Wilton Speight?could take better care of the football against an opportunistic Buckeyes defense, the Wolverines likely would advance. Ohio State would once again lean on Malik Hooker, Marshon Lattimore,?Raekwon McMillan?and the defense, as well as veteran signal-caller J.T. Barrett, to beat its archrival for the second time and advance to the semifinals.No. 4 Washington (12-1) vs. No. 5 Penn State (11-2) We debated these two through the night and into Sunday, but in an eight-team playoff, the Huskies and Nittany Lions settle it on the field. Underrated quarterbacks Jake Browning (Washington) and Trace McSorley (Penn State) lead big-play offenses with excellent running backs -- Washingtons Myles Gaskin and Lavon Coleman, and Penn States Saquon Barkley -- and perimeter threats in John Ross III?and DaeSean Hamilton. Washington has the more decorated defense, highlighted by Budda Baker and Sidney Jones in the secondary, but Penn States defense gave Ohio State fits and steadily improved as the season went along. 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