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Leo Durocher's 1951 Good Luck Charm

1951 was a truly magical year for the New York Giants. They started the year 2 and 12 and, on August 11, they trailed their arch rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers, by 13 games. Then, they won 37 of their remaining 45 games to tie the Dodgers and force a three game series to determine the National League pennant winner. It took Bobby Thomson's stunning "shot heard 'round the world" home run in the 9th inning of the final game to win it for the Giants, sending them to the World Series vs. the Yankees.

During the spring training preceding the 1951 baseball season, Leo Durocher, the colorful manager of the New York Giants, was approached by a woman who he didn't know who predicted that he was going to have the worst first half of a season that he would ever have. (The Giants DID, in fact, start the season 1-11!) She said that the Giants would hit rock bottom on Durocher's birthday, July 27. However, she told him, Durocher would then have the greatest second half of his managerial career.

Durocher mentioned this uncanny prediction as his birthday approached. Two of his friends bought him a good luck charm, hoping his luck would change after his birthday, as the woman had predicted. The charm consisted of a 14K gold baseball engraved on one side with the New York Giants' name and logo and "1951." On the other side, the piece was engraved with "Happy Birthday LEO, Gail and Corny." A gold chain connected the baseball charm and a good luck horseshoe.

Pictured is the good luck charm that Durocher carried with him during that magical summer of 1951.