I have just learned that former MLB player and manager Kirk Gibson has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
Gibson, 57, had recently been hired to do color commentary for the Detroit Tigers’ TV broadcasts. From 2010 to 2014, Gibson was the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks leading them to a NL West title in 2011. However, Gibson would be dismissed in the final week of the 2014 season after finishing worst record in the NL.
Gibby, of course, is best remembered for his days with the Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning World Series with these teams in 1984 and 1988, respectively. He took “Goose” Gossage deep in the deciding game of the ’84 Fall Classic against the San Diego Padres and four years later hit a walk off home run off another Hall of Fame closer Dennis Eckersley in his only plate appearance in the ’88 Series. Gibson would also be named NL MVP in 1988.
In 17 seasons with the Tigers, Dodgers as well as with the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates, Gibson hit .268 with 255 home runs, drove in 870 runs and stole 284 bases. Amazingly, Gibson was never named to either an AL or NL All-Star Team.
Gibson’s home run against Eck is legendary because both of his legs were injured and he could barely move. His home run broke the spirit of the Oakland A’s and gave the Dodgers their last World Series title.
Watch Vin Scully’s account of the entire at bat between Gibson & Eck. I saw it when it happened. To quote the late Jack Buck, “I don’t believe what I just saw.”
If there’s anyone who can knock Parkinson’s out of the park, it is Kirk Gibson.
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