Former Giants star Don Mueller dies

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. -- Don Mueller, a two-time All-Star whose hit helped set up Bobby Thomson's famed home run that won the 1951 NL pennant playoff, has died. He was 84.

The funeral home handling the arrangements said Friday that Mueller died Wednesday in suburban St. Louis.

Mueller was a career .296 hitter in 10 years with the New York Giants and two seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The outfielder led the majors with 212 hits in 1954.

In the deciding Game 3 of the playoffs against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951, Mueller had a single in the bottom of the ninth inning with the Giants trailing 4-1. Whitey Lockman later hit an RBI double and Mueller ripped up his ankle sliding into third base.

After Mueller was carried off the field, Thomson hit his three-run homer known as "The Shot Heard 'Round the World."

Mueller's ability to hit the ball through holes in the infield earned him the nickname "Mandrake the Magician" from the popular comic strip of the day. Mueller's father, Walter, played for Pittsburgh.