(right hand with baseball in hand, signed)Ralph Theodore Joseph Branca (born January 6, 1926 in Mount Vernon, New York) is a former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. From 1944 through 1956, Branca played for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1944–53, 1956), Detroit Tigers (1953–54), and New York Yankees (1954). He batted and threw right-handed.
Branca was known as a very good starter during his years in Brooklyn. Branca debuted on June 12, 1944 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and put up a 3.04 ERA in 109.2 innings pitched in 1945, his rookie year. A three-time All-Star, he won 80 games for the Dodgers with a career-high 21 wins in 1947. He is perhaps best remembered for one infamous relief appearance in a 1951 playoff game against the crosstown rival New York Giants. Branca entered the game in the ninth inning and surrendered a walk-off home run known as "The Shot Heard 'Round the World" to Bobby Thomson, giving the Giants the National League pennant.