DETROIT -- Kirk Gibson's involvement with the Tigers will branch out from the broadcast booth this season and spread onto the field and into the meeting rooms. The former All-Star outfielder and National League Most Valuable Player Award winner is joining Detroit's front office as a special assistant, the team
DETROIT -- Kirk Gibson's involvement with the Tigers will branch out from the broadcast booth this season and spread onto the field and into the meeting rooms. The former All-Star outfielder and National League Most Valuable Player Award winner is joining Detroit's front office as a special assistant, the team announced Monday.
The appointment gives Gibson a role assisting in on-field duties with the big league club and in the Minors, along with involvement in all personnel meetings. He'll also travel throughout the Tigers' farm system and participate in community relations while continuing his role as an analyst for Fox Sports Detroit, splitting game duties with Hall of Famer and former teammate Jack Morris.
Gibson had already taken on an active role with the club since returning to Fox Sports Detroit as an analyst in 2015. He was a guest instructor at Spring Training under former manager Brad Ausmus in '16, assisting in baserunning drills and fundamentals. Gibson also visited the Tigers' Double-A Erie affiliate this past summer while his son Cam was an outfielder there. Monday's move puts a formal title and definition on his duties.
Gibson joins a star-studded list of Tigers special assistants, including Hall of Famers Al Kaline and Alan Trammell, hometown hero Willie Horton and former Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
"Gibby fits into that group as well as anyone," general manager Al Avila said in a statement. "He comes in with an already established presence in our clubhouse as a broadcaster, and we're looking forward to having him around more during Spring Training in Lakeland, [Fla.] while he'll be working with Major and Minor League players across our organization."
Gibson not only brings a sense of Tigers history to the role -- having been a World Series hero in 1984 and a star on the Tigers' teams for much of the decade -- but brings managerial and coaching experience as well. He won the NL Manager of the Year Award in 2011 as part of his five-year managerial tenure with the D-backs. Gibson's coaching career began in Detroit as bench coach under then-manager Alan Trammell from 2003-05.
Gibson was already scheduled to be around the Tigers in Spring Training as part of his broadcasting duties; he'll be working alongside play-by-play man Matt Shepard for Fox Sports Detroit's Grapefruit League telecasts on March 14, 17 and 18.
"I'm thrilled for this opportunity to work with Al and the baseball operations department, who are building a solid foundation for the future success of this franchise," Gibson said in a statement. "Spring Training is right around the corner, and I'm really looking forward to be back in Lakeland working with everyone to bring a World Series championship back to the city of Detroit. I remember watching the '68 team as a sixth-grader, participating in the '84 world championship and I'm excited for the opportunity to contribute to the next championship team."
Gibson's community work includes the Kirk Gibson Foundation, which currently promotes cooperation, collaboration and teamwork in finding a cure for Parkinson's disease. Gibson's busy schedule is a testament to his resilient nature since his diagnosis with Parkinson's in 2015.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.