Today in Postseason History: Kirk Gibson hits one of the most clutch homers in World Series history
Though his Dodgers were hosting Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, NL MVP Kirk Gibson wasn't in the dugout that evening because he was tending to knee and hamstring injuries that prevented him from being in the starting lineup.
At one point during the broadcast, Vin Scully, announced that Gibson would be unavailable to pinch-hit because of those injuries. Gibson was watching the broadcast and heard Scully's remark, and immediately began icing his legs so as to numb them long enough to step in the box for a late-inning at-bat to prove Scully wrong.
With Mike Davis on first base and two out in the bottom of the ninth -- and the Dodgers trailing, 4-3 -- manager Tommy Lasorda sent Gibby up to pinch-hit against Athletics closer (and eventual 1992 AL MVP and Hall of Famer) Dennis Eckersley. The ensuing at-bat was one of those epic, full-count battles that saw Gibson fouling off pitches and grimacing in pain. At one point, ahead of a 3-2 pitch, he stepped out to compose himself and remember the scouting report on Eck, and decided to look for a backdoor slider. WHACK!
Gibson lifted the ball into the right-field seats for the first come-from-behind home run in the final inning in World Series history. It was Gibson's only at-bat in the series, which the Dodgers went on to win in five games. The iconic footage of Gibson hobbling around the bases, pumping his arms in celebration has been emblazoned on minds of Dodgers fans and baseball enthusiasts ever since.
Former Dodgers Orel Hershiser and Steve Sax remembered the moment on the anniversary: