Perhaps because the New York Giants were the ball club of Manhattan's bookish Upper West Side, Bobby Thomson and the Shot Heard 'Round the World have each assumed a place in the intellectual canon. A chronological sampling:
ON THE ROAD (1957)
Ya can't Beat this: Jack Kerouac's alter ego, Sal Paradise, keeps track of three games at once. "We'll switch to Giants-Boston . . . so we quickly find out what happened to Bob Thomson when we left him thirty seconds ago with a man on third. Yes!"
OUT OF MY LEAGUE (1961)
George Plimpton's charming account (done on assignment from SI) of pitching in an exhibition to a lineup of major league All-Stars is punctuated by this author's note of being at school in Cambridge, England, and hearing Giants announcer Russ Hodges call the Shot: "I gave a terrible cry, threw a deck of cards to the winds and lurched around the room, nearly weeping, shouting, 'Bobby done it, he done it!' "
THE GODFATHER (1972)
When Sonny (James Caan) pulls up to the toll booth on the causeway, the attendant is listening to Hodges's play-by-play. Next ensue the shots heard 'round the film world. Only problem: The movie is set in the late '40s, and the game was in '51. An infamia!
In the episode "A War for All Seasons," Major Winchester and Corporal Klinger bet a bundle on the sure-thing Bums. Serves you right, Winchester, you . . . Bostonian!
THE SIMPSONS (1990)