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