"There's a long drive...it's gonna be...I believe...the Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!...I don't believe it!...The Giants win the pennant!"
When Thomson finally realized that the ball was gone, he started hyperventilating and uttering peculiar huffing sounds. After he crossed first base, he began dancing "a sort of bunny hop, definitely not my usual home-run trot," he says. Durocher made a grab for him as he passed third, but Thomson held out a hand to ward him off. The frantic manager did step on the back of Thomson's shoe, ripping it, before falling to the turf in Stanley's arms. Thomson took one final joyous leap onto home plate and into the arms of his teammates. Mays was one of the last to reach him. He was so stunned by the sudden change in his team's fortunes that he wasn't even sure the game was over.
Robinson, ever watchful, stayed at his position until he was certain Thomson had touched every base. Then he retreated with the rest of his teammates to the clubhouse in deepest, darkest centerfield. "I was conscious of being a part of history," says Erskine, "so I watched when all the guys came in. Jackie just slammed his glove hard into his locker. Hodges set his gently on the shelf, the way he always did. Dressen tore off his uniform shirt so violently that the buttons flew around the room. And then Ralph came in and sat on the steps leading to the training room, the big number 13 shining on his back. Finally, his head dropped to his chest and his arms fell forward between his knees. There was bedlam next door, but our place was like a tomb."
In the stands, an inconsolable Terry O'Malley wept. "Why is that girl crying?" Winchell asked Bavasi. "Because," replied Bavasi patiently, "she's the owner's daughter."
There were tears in the Giants' clubhouse too, Rigney recalls. "I saw [coach] Herman Franks sitting there with a paper cup full of Scotch in his hands, and he was crying like a baby. 'Why're you crying, Herman?' I asked him. 'Damned if I know,' he said. Then Jim McCulley of the Daily News came over to me and said, 'Now, how in hell do you write this story? You guys were pronounced dead 10 times last month alone. And tomorrow you're going to the World Series.' I'll tell you one thing that game did for a lot of us. It taught us never to say no. Six managers came off that Giants team [Rigney, Dark, Stanky, Westrum, Lockman and Franks], and we all learned that lesson. Hey, you're down 4-1 in the ninth, and Newcombe is pitching for the other guys, and you still win. That game convinced me that it was all worthwhile. I think it showed all of us why we got into the game in the first place."
In time, four Dodgers—Reese, Snider, Roe and Robinson—came into the Giants' clubhouse. "I just want you to know that we didn't lose the pennant," Robinson told the new champs. "You guys won it." This was the same Robinson who had sadistically pounded on the Giants' clubhouse door only a few weeks before. "Coming in there after losing that game showed the class of the man," says Rigney.
On his way home Thomson stopped at the Staten Island fire-house where his brother, Jim, was working. "Bob, do you realize what you did today?" Jim said.
"I guess, Jim, the good Lord must have had something to do with it."
"No, no, I don't mean that," said Jim. "What I mean is that something like this may never happen again."
Feeney, rushing to the Giants' main office at 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue, was startled to see a city gone wild. "People were all over the place, climbing poles, shouting and singing. I thought to myself, This sort of thing just doesn't happen in New York. Other places maybe, but not here."