"Johnny Branca's kid brother," Fred told me. I knew who Johnny Branca was. A heck of a pitcher, but small, no taller than I was. "I think this boy's name is Ralph. Big as he is, if this kid ever gets his control, we'll be hearing about him."
We did. And the fact that Thomson's heroic home run—catastrophic home run, from where I sat—came off Ralph Branca compounded my despair. It brought that healed-over memory of my futility against Branca achingly alive.
It was one thing to lose to a pitcher who turned out to be Ralph Branca; it was quite another that it was Branca who let us Dodger fans down that day. What that home run really did, I guess, was add injury to insult.