I can’t even say the words ‘Kirk Gibson’ without feeling a little happy. Now, the man responsible for one of the greatest moments in baseball history will be front and center on one of the greatest days of the year. The Dodgers announced that Gibson will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day, March 29th. The following day will be Kirk Gibson bobble-head day.
Any mention of Gibson of course brings about one fateful moment in time. It’s been 30 years since the Dodgers have won the World Series. If you were alive and were lucky enough to take in this moment, do you remember where you were? The world around us has changed a lot since 1988; even Dodger Stadium has stark differences from then and now. But no matter how long time marches on, any Dodger or baseball fan can stop for a few minutes and appreciate this. Let’s go with the long, full version of when magic came to life in Hollywood on a baseball diamond.
October 15th, 1988: World Series Game One
And look who’s comin’ up!. That gets me every time.
Many great pieces have been written about this moment over the course of time. This one over at SB Nation always stood out to me.
If you did the right thing and watched the gritty Gibson battle Dennis Eckersley like he was battling a lion for the first six minutes and change, I want you to notice something. Check out the 6:45 mark in the video, peeking through the Chavez Ravine roof. You will see some poor guy who realized what he’s just missed. He slams on his brakes, and the red brake-lights illuminate as pandemonium ensues.
It’s great to see Gibson being involved with the Dodgers again after managing in Arizona from 2010 to 2014. The Dodgers have also announced that they will be partnering with Gibson to raise funds for Parkinson’s Disease research. Gibson, 60, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2015.
I have read so much about the tenacity and competitiveness of Gibson through the years. If the Dodgers told him to grab a bat late in the game in the present day, I could still see him turning on a few fastballs. Against all odds.
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