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Fan favorite Gibson rejoins Tigers booth

Two-time World Series champ calls full game following Parkinson's diagnosis

DETROIT -- On Thursday morning, before the Tigers' series-closing 8-4 loss to the Pirates, Kirk Gibson had a friendly disagreement with Brad Ausmus during the manager's media availability.

"He's got tremendous power," Ausmus said of right fielder J.D. Martinez. "Kirk Gibson power."

To which the legendary Tigers outfielder laughed and rebutted, explaining he didn't have nearly that much strength to the opposite field as a player.

It was an unremarkable interaction, save for the people involved. On Wednesday and Thursday, Gibson joined FOX Sports Detroit's television broadcasts, making his first on-air appearances since he announced on April 28 he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Gibson was in the booth for three innings on Wednesday night, when play-by-play announcer Mario Impemba revealed Gibson would be "back in the broadcast rotation" with the network. Gibson worked the entirety of Thursday's game.

FSD announced in February that it had hired Gibson to platoon with Rod Allen as the analyst during telecasts, but the two-time World Series champion hadn't been in the booth since the Tigers' Opening Day broadcast.

"I have faced many different obstacles in my life and have always maintained a strong belief that no matter the circumstances, I could overcome those obstacles," Gibson said in a statement earlier this season revealing his diagnosis.

In the statement, Gibson vowed to face Parkinson's with "unwavering intensity" and promised to return to Comerica Park "as soon as possible."

And he did just two months later, making Ausmus chuckle with memories of the old Tiger Stadium on Thursday morning, then offering his wisdom and insight to baseball fans across the country who tuned in that afternoon.

Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ByAZuniga.
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