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Download The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca, and the Shot Heard Round the World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca, and the Shot Heard Round the World Audiobook, by Joshua Prager Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.1 out of 54.1 out of 54.1 out of 54.1 out of 54.1 out of 5 4.10 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joshua Prager Narrator: Joshua Prager Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2006 ISBN: 9780743564311
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The Untold Story Behind The Shot Heard Round The World

The 1951 regular baseball season was as good as over. The Brooklyn Dodgers led the New York Giants by three runs with just three outs to go in their third and final playoff game. Not once in the 278 preceding playoff and World Series games had a team overcome a three-run deficit in the ninth inning. But New York rallied, and at 3:58 pm on October 3, 1951, Bobby Thomson hit a home run off Ralph Branca. The Giants won the pennant. The Echoing Green follows the reverberations of that one moment from the West Wing of the White House to the Sing Sing death house to the Polo Grounds clubhouse where, in Harlem, a home run forever turned hitter and pitcher to hero and goat.

It was also in that center-field block of concrete where, after a home run, one of the Giant's coaches tucked away a Wollensak telescope. The spyglass would remain undiscovered until 2001 when Joshua Prager laid bare on the front page of the Wall Street Journal a Giant secret: from July 20, 1951, through the very day of the legendary game, the orange and black stole the finger signals of opposing catchers. The Echoing Green places that revelation at the heart of a larger story, recreating in extravagant detail the 1951 pennant race and illuminating as never before the impact of both one moment and a long-guarded secret on the lives of Bobby Thomson and Ralph Branca.

A wonderfully evocative image of the great American pastime, The Echoing Green is baseball history, social history and biography -- an irresistible story from any angle. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A revelation and a page-turner, a group character study unequaled in baseball writing since Roger Kahn’s The Boys of Summer.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Captures the enduring impact of the memorable moments that mark our lives.” 

    Washington Post Book World

  • “The most comprehensive account ever written of the most famous play in sports history.” 

    Newsday  

  • “[Prager] paints a marvelous portrait of New York City baseball.” 

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Expose[s] multiple layers of fascinating backstory to the drama within a drama, and his psychobiographies of Thomson and especially Branca are unfailingly compelling.” 

    Booklist (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Luigib | 1/7/2014

    " Great baseball book. (not great for Giants fans) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 12/25/2013

    " Only fault is that it is a tad heavy on the minutiae. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrei Alupului | 12/18/2013

    " Unbelievably well researched and meticulous to the point that, through sheer overload of detail, Prager somehow manages to create a sense within you that you are actualy there, bearing witness to everything he's writing about. Beautiful, moving, great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alan | 12/13/2013

    " The untold story the worst day in my life- devastating! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff | 12/2/2013

    " Great book. Cheating has always been a part of the game. Disappointed it might have been a part of this moment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 11/26/2013

    " The level of detail is impressive. The book really immerses you in the era. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark Davis | 10/4/2013

    " Very good book with one rather large flaw - it's written in some kind of odd "Yoda speak." Hard to explain, but the sentences are written inside out. A great amount of detail, that borders on, but doesn't cross into, tedious. Worth a read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carl | 8/20/2013

    " this is surprising really good. reads like an old espionage novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul | 3/27/2013

    " If you love baseball and its rich history, you will enjoy this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Mizzoni | 10/3/2012

    " Very in depth analysis of the triumphant/tragic event and how the lives of the two men were changed. A real fun read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darin | 4/10/2012

    " Ralph Branca knows how to keep a secret. We could all learn from him. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Craig | 12/14/2011

    " A pretty captivating untold story behind one of the richest and well-known in baseball lore. The story-telling plodded on at times near the middle, but the reporting was thorough and balanced. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James Yasko | 10/19/2011

    " This was right in my wheelhouse - combining a social and cultural history of a specific time in American history, and of course, baseball. Best baseball book I've ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brandon | 9/17/2011

    " Quite possibly one of the best books I have ever read. It just so happens to be about baseball. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 8/17/2011

    " So unbelievably well-researched that it felt almost voyeuristic at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bruce A. | 7/22/2011

    " WEre the NY giants stealing signs from the Brooklyn Dodger's catcher when Bobby Thomson hit the shot heard round the world? Read it to find out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Luigib | 12/27/2010

    " Great baseball book. (not great for Giants fans) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark | 8/7/2010

    " Very good book with one rather large flaw - it's written in some kind of odd "Yoda speak." Hard to explain, but the sentences are written inside out. A great amount of detail, that borders on, but doesn't cross into, tedious. Worth a read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 3/12/2009

    " The level of detail is impressive. The book really immerses you in the era. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bruce | 2/2/2009

    " WEre the NY giants stealing signs from the Brooklyn Dodger's catcher when Bobby Thomson hit the shot heard round the world? Read it to find out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 10/16/2008

    " Very in depth analysis of the triumphant/tragic event and how the lives of the two men were changed. A real fun read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darin | 8/13/2008

    " Ralph Branca knows how to keep a secret. We could all learn from him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alan | 8/10/2008

    " The untold story the worst day in my life- devastating! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becky | 5/30/2008

    " Recount of the New York Giants 1951 season, culminating in one of the greatest moments in baseball history. Gives me chills! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrei | 4/15/2008

    " Unbelievably well researched and meticulous to the point that, through sheer overload of detail, Prager somehow manages to create a sense within you that you are actualy there, bearing witness to everything he's writing about. Beautiful, moving, great. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul | 4/9/2008

    " If you love baseball and its rich history, you will enjoy this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carl | 4/8/2008

    " this is surprising really good. reads like an old espionage novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 3/24/2008

    " So unbelievably well-researched that it felt almost voyeuristic at times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 2/10/2008

    " A great story about what is and what isn't within the spirit of the rules, of both life and baseball.

    One of the greatest quotes of all time about living with a lie.

    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brandon | 7/11/2007

    " Quite possibly one of the best books I have ever read. It just so happens to be about baseball. "

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About the Author

Joshua Prager is a senior special writer at the Wall Street Journal and was a 2011 Nieman fellow at Harvard. Prager often writes about historical secrets, such as confirming the New York Giants had stolen signs en route to the 1951 pennant; naming the only anonymous winner in the history of the Pulitzer Prizes, the Iranian photographer Jahangir Razmi; and revealing the suicides of the parents of Swedish humanitarian Raoul Wallenberg. He lives in New York City.