Our topic for this week comes from a quote in a book that both Marcia and Mike have recently read.Â The book is titled, ‘The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid‘, by Bill Bryson.Â On page 10 of the book, he wrote:
“The two teams split the first two games, so it came down to a third, deciding game.Â At last the Dodgers appeared to recover their invincibility, taking a comfortable 4 to 1 lead into the ninth inning and needing just three outs to win.Â But the Giants scored a late run and put two more runners aboard when Bobby Thomson stepped to the plate.Â What Thomson did that afternoon in the gathering dusk of autumn has many times been voted the greatest moment in baseball history.
“Dodger reliever Ralph Branca threw a pitch that made history yesterday,” one of those present wrote.Â “Unfortunately it made history for someone else.Â Bobby Thomson, the ‘Flying Scotsman’ swatted Branca’s second offering over the left field wall for a game-winning home run so momentous, so startling, that it was greeted with a moment’s stunned silence.
“Then, when the realization of the miracle came, the double-decked stands of the Polo Grounds rocked on their forty-year-old foundations.Â The Giants had won the pennant, completing one of the unlikeliest comebacks baseball has ever seen.”
The author of those words was my father – who was abruptly, unexpectedly, present for Thomson’s moment of magesty.Â Goodness knows how he had talked the notoriously frugal management of the Register into sending him the 1,132 miles from Des Moines to New York for the crucial deciding game – an act of rash expenditure radically out of keeping with decades of careful precedent – or how he had managed to secure credentials and a place in the press box at such a late hour.
But then he had to be there.Â It was part of his fate, too.Â I am not exactly suggesting that Bobby Thomson hit that home run because my father was there or implying that he wouldn’t have hit it if my father had not been there.Â All I am saying is that my father was there and Bobby Thomson was there and the home run was hit and these things could not have been otherwise.”
So, what then guides the dictates of our lives?Â Is it fate?Â Is it a Guiding Hand or some supernatural force?Â Or are our lives the summaries of our choices?Â For this week’s ‘He Says, She Says’ post we thought we’d take on “Destiny or Choice: A Matter of Beliefs?”
Follow these links to read what He Says/She Says: Marcia’s View / Mike’s View