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Birth:
Lowell NC 1
Death:
17 Mar 2009 2
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Full Name:
Carroll Walter Lockman 1
Also known as:
Whitey Lockman 1
Full Name:
Carroll W Lockman 2
Birth:
Lowell NC 1
Male 1
Birth:
25 Jul 1926 2
Death:
17 Mar 2009 2
Residence:
Last Residence: Scottsdale, AZ 2
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Card Issued: Unknown Code (PE) 2

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Whitey Lockman Dies at 82; Set Up Epic Homer

  Whitey Lockman, the New York Giants outfielder-first baseman who set the stage for Bobby Thomson’s pennant-winning home run against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951 and who played in two World Series at the Polo Grounds, died Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 82.

Enlarge This Image Carl T. Gosset Jr./The New York Times

Whitey Lockman, on left, in 1951.

His death was confirmed by Gary Hughes, a Chicago Cubs executive, according to Yahoo Sports, which said the cause was pulmonary illness. Lockman was a former Cubs manager and a longtime member of their organization. The San Francisco Giants and the Cubs observed a moment of silence for Lockman before their exhibition game in Mesa, Ariz., on Wednesday.

Lockman spent more than half a century in baseball, as a player for 15 seasons in the major leagues and as a manager, coach, front-office executive and scout. But he was probably best remembered for his role in the events of a single day: Oct. 3, 1951.

The Giants trailed the first-place Dodgers by 13 ½ games in mid-August that year but came back to forge a tie for first place in the National League. In the finale of a three-game playoff, the Giants trailed the Dodgers, 4-1, going into the last of the ninth inning at the Polo Grounds.

Alvin Dark singled off Don Newcombe, the Dodgers’ starting pitcher, and Don Mueller singled Dark to third. Monte Irvin fouled out, bringing Lockman to the plate.

A left-handed batter, Lockman was a line-drive hitter, an excellent bunter and a speedy base runner. But he was not envisioning a single when he fouled the first pitch from the hard-throwing Newcombe back to the screen.

“My one thought when I came up to bat in the ninth was to go all out for a homer, although I wasn’t that much of a homer hitter, especially against Newcombe,” Lockman told Ray Robinson in “The Home Run Heard ’Round the World” (1991).

Lockman connected on Newcombe’s second pitch, high and outside.

“My instinct and muscle control took over,” Lockman remembered. “I knew it was impossible to pull it for a homer, so I sliced it to left.”

The ball landed just inside the foul line, and by the time left fielder Andy Pafko chased it down, Lockman had a double, Mueller was on third base, severely injuring his ankle as he arrived there, and Dark had scored to make it 4-2.

Ralph Branca relieved Newcombe, then Thomson came to the plate. His home run over the left-field wall gave the Giants a 5-4 pennant victory in perhaps the most dramatic moment in baseball history.

Carroll Walter Lockman, a native of Lowell, N.C., made his major league debut with the Giants in 1945. He became a regular three years later and was an All-Star in 1952. He was with the Giants when they lost to the Yankees in the 1951 World Series and swept the Cleveland Indians in the 1954 Series.

In 1958, Lockman was with the Giants when they played in their new San Francisco home. He also played for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Baltimore Orioles and the Cincinnati Reds. He had a career batting average of .279. He managed the Cubs from 1972 to 1974, succeeding his former Giants manager, Leo Durocher.

Information about his survivors was not immediately available.

For all the thrill of Thomson’s epic homer, Lockman remembered a down note. He injured his shoulder and neck in helping frenzied teammates lift Thomson over their heads.

“It sure screwed me up for the World Series,” he told Thomas Kiernan in “The Miracle at Coogan’s Bluff” (1975). “I could hardly throw or swing a bat in the whole Series.”

Whitey Lockman dies at 82; ballplayer helped set stage for 'Shot Heard Round the World'

VARIED CAREER: Whitey Lockman's hit in the 1951 National League playoff game was followed by the Giants' Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard Round the World." Lockman, shown in 1957, later was a coach, manager and executive. (Associated Press)

By Claire Noland

March 20, 2009

 

 

Whitey Lockman, whose key hit for the New York Giants in the decisive 1951 National League playoff game against the Brooklyn Dodgers set the stage for teammate Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard Round the World," has died. He was 82.

Lockman, of Scottsdale, Ariz., died Tuesday at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, his daughter Linda McCorkle said. He had pulmonary fibrosis and pneumonia.

After a 15-year playing career, Lockman managed the Chicago Cubs for parts of three seasons in the early 1970s.

He then spent more than 25 years as a front-office executive and scout for the Cubs,Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins.

Carroll Walter Lockman was born July 25, 1926, in Lowell, N.C., and was signed as a free agent by the Giants in 1943. Two years later he made his major league debut with the team as an outfielder, hitting a home run in his first at-bat. By the 1951 season he was starting at first base for the Giants.

In the third game of a playoff series against the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds on Oct. 3, 1951, Lockman came to bat in the bottom of the ninth facing starting pitcher Don Newcombe and hit a one-out, run-scoring double that cut the Dodgers' lead to 4-2.

Dodgers Manager Charlie Dressen brought in reliever Ralph Branca, who gave up a three-run home run to the next batter, Thomson, which unleashed Giants broadcaster Russ Hodges' famous call, "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"

The next season Lockman played all 154 games for the Giants and made the All-Star team.

In all he played 13 seasons with the Giants in New York and San Francisco and had stints with the St. Louis CardinalsBaltimore Orioles and Cincinnati Reds. A right-hander who batted left-handed, he ended his playing career in 1960 with a .279 average, 114 home runs and 563 runs batted in.

A coach with the Giants and Cubs, Lockman worked in the Cubs' front office until 1972, when he became the team's manager.

He replaced Leo Durocher, who had been his manager with the Giants in 1951. Lockman lasted until the middle of the '74 season before returning to the front office with a 157-162 record.

In 2001, after the Wall Street Journal reported that some members of the 1951 Giants had engaged in an elaborate sign-stealing scheme against the Dodgers, Lockman denied being involved.

Lockman served in the Army during World War II.

He was married for 50 years to the former Shirley Conner, who died in 2001.

In addition to McCorkle, he is survived by daughters Cheryl Lockman, Kay Neal and Nancy Lockman and son Robert. Another son, David, died in 2004. Lockman is also survived by his second wife, Linda Lockman; a stepdaughter; three grandchildren; a brother; and a sister.

Services will be private. His family suggests donations to the American Lung Assn.

 

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