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Larry Jansen; pitcher won famous game for N.Y. Giants

Larry Jansen (left), got a kiss from his manager, Leo Durocher, after Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ’Round the World’’ put the Giants in the World Series. Larry Jansen (left), got a kiss from his manager, Leo Durocher, after Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ’Round the World’’ put the Giants in the World Series. (Associated Press/File 1951
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Associated Press / October 16, 2009

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VERBOORT, Ore. - Larry Jansen, the winning pitcher for the New York Giants in the 1951 playoff game decided by Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World,’’ died Saturday at his home in Oregon. He was 89.

The cause was congestive heart failure and pneumonia, his daughter Darlene Greene said.

Mr. Jansen spent nine years in the major leagues, making his biggest mark with the Giants during their pennant-winning season. He won 23 games in 1951, including one of the biggest in team and baseball history. The opponent was the Brooklyn Dodgers.

“The Dodgers stood there at the edge of the dugout,’’ Mr. Jansen told Ray Robinson in “The Home Run Heard ’Round the World.’’ “They were yelling at me, ‘Jansen, you can go home now.’ But strange things can happen in this game. It was my duty just to keep pitching and hoping.’’

Mr. Jansen, in relief of Sal Maglie, struck out two batters in the top of the ninth before the Giants rallied with four runs in the bottom half of the inning - three on Thomson’s homer off Ralph Branca - to beat the Dodgers 5-4 in the third and deciding playoff game.

Mr. Jansen won 21 games as a rookie in 1947 and finished with a 122-89 career record and 3.58 ERA. He spent eight seasons with the Giants before pitching briefly for Cincinnati in 1956.

He allowed Mickey Mantle’s first World Series hit, a bunt single in Game 2 of the 1951 Series, and gave up a double to Joe DiMaggio in Game 6, the final at-bat of the Hall of Famer’s career. Mr. Jansen was the losing pitcher in Game 2 and Game 5 of that Series.

He spent 11 seasons as the pitching coach for the Giants and was also the pitching coach for the Chicago Cubs.

Material from The New York Times was used in this obituary.

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