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This day in sports history: Bobby Thomson’s ‘shot heard ‘round the world,’ Tom Brady surpasses Drew Brees

Tom Brady retired from the NFL earlier this year after 23 seasons in the league. In that length of time, the future Hall of Fame quarterback reached and set many milestones, and on Oct. 3, 2021, he surpassed Drew Brees to become the NFL’s all-time leader in career passing yards.

It was Brady’s first time back at Gillette Stadium since he left New England to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He entered the game needing less than 70 yards to top Brees’ all-time record of 80,358. 

And then in the first quarter, Brady did just that. 


He connected with wide receiver Mike Evans on a 28-yard pass and with it, he became the new record holder. 

“There are some people who have kind of preceded it by name. Drew Brees, who I look up to, is a hell of a guy, great player,” Brady said after the game, via ESPN. “Peyton Manning — one of my all-time favorites — Brett Favre, Dan Marino, but obviously, my teammates who caught all these passes over the years mean an awful lot to me.”

Brady retired in February and still holds the record with 89,214 yards. The next closest active player on that list is Aaron Rodgers at No. 9 with 59,055 yards. 


Fans carry Bobby Thomson on shoulders

There are few moments in baseball history as iconic as Bobby Thomson’s 1951 playoff home run that helped lift the New York Giants over the Brooklyn Dodgers to win the National League pennant. 

The Giants trailed the Dodgers by 13 games heading into the final leg of the regular season when they quickly and unexpectedly turned things around, winning 39 of their final 47 games, according to Simultaneously, the Dodgers had remained relatively stagnant, and the two teams finished the regular season tied in the standings. 

The Giants would win the first of the three-game series and the Dodgers would answer back with a 10-0 blowout in the next. 

Then on Oct. 3, 1951, with the Giants trailing 4-2, Thomson stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth and hit a three-run homer. 

The “shot heard ‘round the world” sent the Giants on to the World Series, which they would lose to the New York Yankees.


Jerry West in action

On Oct. 3, 1974, the Los Angeles Lakers said farewell to one of the organization’s best shooters when Jerry West announced that he was retiring from the NBA after 14 seasons. 

West, who was just 36 at the time, made the decision following the 1973-74 season, in which he was limited to just 31 games due to a lingering injury. 

“The major reason for my retirement is because I have set high standards for myself that I’m not willing to compromise,” West said during a press conference, according to a 1974 report from The New York Times. 

“I have seen other players play longer than I thought they should have. I did not want to do that.”

Over his Hall of Fame career, West was a 14-time All-Star and a 10-time All-NBA First Team guard who won the NBA championship with the Lakers in 1972. He would go on to continue that success briefly as a coach and later as an executive until 2000. 


Gordie Howe poses for a picture

Gordie Howe made his NHL debut with the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 16, 1946. Almost 51 years to the date, he played in a professional hockey game, making him the only pro hockey player to ever play in six decades. 

Howe, who was 69 at the time, took to the ice on Oct. 3, 1997, and skated a 46-second shift in a game as a member of the International Hockey League’s Detroit Vipers. 

He had last played in a professional hockey game in the ’80s.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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