In his first season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kirk Gibson was named the NL MVP and he helped lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to an NL West title for the first time in three years.
The Dodgers won 94 games in 1988 and needed seven games to upset the heavily favored New York Mets in the NLCS. Gibson hit just .154 in the NLCS as the Dodgers heavily relied on Orel Hershiser to pitch them into the World Series.
However, before the Dodgers reached the Fall Classic, Gibson was injured in Game 5 of the NLCS but managed to play through the pain. That wasn’t to be the case when Game 1 of the World Series rolled around on Oct. 15 and the outfielder was ruled out due to his injury.
The Dodgers went into the ninth inning trailing by two runs and facing Oakland Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley, who led the Majors that season with 45 saves and finished second in AL Cy Young Voting.
Eckersley struck out Mike Scioscia to open the inning, then walked pinch-hitter Mike Davis. While that was unfolding on the field, Gibson later revealed he was inspired by Vin Scully saying the he wasn’t in the dugout, which inspired the outfielder to put his uniform on.
After some convincing of manager Tommy Lasorda, Gibson limped out of the dugout and into the batter’s box for a duel with Eckersley. Gibson battled to get to a full count before launching arguably the most historic home run in Dodgers’ history, complete with Scully’s legendary call: