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Dodgers, Gibson to raise funds for Parkinson's disease

MLB.com @kengurnick

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers will mark the 30th anniversary of the 1988 World Series championship Opening Week by partnering with World Series hero Kirk Gibson in the fight against Parkinson's disease.

The 60-year-old Gibson, diagnosed with the illness in 2015, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium on March 29, highlighting an Opening Week fundraiser for the Kirk Gibson Foundation, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and the Dodgers.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Dodgers will mark the 30th anniversary of the 1988 World Series championship Opening Week by partnering with World Series hero Kirk Gibson in the fight against Parkinson's disease.

The 60-year-old Gibson, diagnosed with the illness in 2015, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium on March 29, highlighting an Opening Week fundraiser for the Kirk Gibson Foundation, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and the Dodgers.

Gibson's foundation raises money and awareness for the disease. Proceeds from the Opening Day 50-50 raffle and silent auction will go to the Gibson Foundation, and the Dodgers Foundation will auction off 88 limited-edition Gibson-autographed bobbleheads and game-worn jerseys from the March 30 game against the Giants, when Gibson bobbleheads will be given to the first 40,000 ticketed fans in attendance.

"I'd like to thank the Dodger organization, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and Dodger fans for their support of the Kirk Gibson Foundation and Parkinson's disease research. We're going to be able to help a lot of people through the money raised during Opening Week," said Gibson. "I'm honored to help kick off the Dodgers' 60th anniversary celebration, and am looking forward to re-living many magical moments at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day and on my bobblehead night."

Opening Day presented by Bank of America is sold out, but limited tickets are still available through the purchase of mini plans at Dodgers.com/miniplans. Single-game tickets are still available for Friday's game at Dodgers.com/promotions, which will also feature Friday Night Fireworks presented by Denny's, as well as the rest of the Dodgers' season-opening series vs. San Francisco. Single-game game tickets, mini-plans, group tickets and suites are all available now at Dodgers.com/tickets.

Liberatore returns
He holds the Dodgers' franchise record for most consecutive scoreless appearances (28) and he's not Kenley Jansen.

He's Adam Liberatore, perhaps a forgotten man to many, but he's healthy again and ready to battle for a bullpen job after two seasons of elbow drama: clean-up surgery in 2016 and tendinitis in '17.

"It's good to be back," said Liberatore, who was limited to only four games with the Dodgers last year, mostly because of elbow tendinitis. "By the end of August, I threw some rehab games and was progressing good, but they decided it was best for me to rest and use the long break to get ready for this year. Just needed the time, and now I feel good."

On the Dodgers' depth chart for lefty relievers, offseason acquisition Scott Alexander and Trade Deadline acquisition Tony Cingrani come to camp ahead of Liberatore.

Video: Roberts says Liberatore is ready to pitch at camp

"I don't know that I feel forgotten about at all," Liberatore said. "The way sports are, you have to produce, and to produce you have to play. I was light on that last year. When you don't pitch all year, you aren't thought of as 'the guy.' I feel like I've been pretty good when I've pitched. My focus is being healthy and on the field. When I am, I'm pretty good, and I think odds are they'll want me."

Liberatore said he comes to camp with no physical restrictions after a normal offseason of conditioning. He threw his first bullpen session on Thursday.

"I've never made a team out of Spring Training," Liberatore said, "but I've made an impact."

In two-plus Dodgers seasons, Liberatore has a 3.69 ERA and a .225 opposing batting average in 101 games.

Future big leaguer
Here's the scouting report on a promising 15-month-old pitcher by the name of Charley Kershaw, filed by his father, Clayton:

"He's definitely right-handed and he's firing stuff all over the place. He's got an arm. It's fun to watch."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers