Kirk Gibson was born on Tuesday, May 28, 1957, in Pontiac, Michigan. Gibson was 22 years old when he broke into the big leagues on September 8, 1979, with the Detroit Tigers. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Kirk Gibson baseball stats page.
"When he (Kirk Gibson) hit that ball (during 1988 World Series ), it was almost surreal. As devastating a blow as it was, I remember running off the field and saying, 'Man, that was unbelievable.' " - A's Shortstop Walt Weiss in The Sporting News 25 Greatest Moments (2001)
Kirk Gibson Autograph on a 1985 Donruss Diamond Kings (#1)
Kirk Gibson Pitching Stats
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Kirk Gibson Hitting Stats
Kirk Gibson Fielding Stats
Kirk Gibson Miscellaneous Stats
|Baserunning Statistics||Other Positions||Common Hitting Ratios||Common Pitching Ratios|
Kirk Gibson Miscellaneous Items of Interest
|Team [Click for Roster]||Uniform Numbers||Salary||All-Star||World Series|
|1979 Detroit Tigers||23||$21,000.00||-||-|
|1980 Detroit Tigers||23||$30,000.00||-||-|
|1981 Detroit Tigers||23||$32,500.00||-||-|
|1982 Detroit Tigers||23||$200,000.00||-||-|
|1983 Detroit Tigers||23||$220,000.00||-||-|
|1984 Detroit Tigers||23||$685,000.00||-||Stats|
|1985 Detroit Tigers||23||$685,000.00||-||-|
|1986 Detroit Tigers||23||$1,200,000.00||-||-|
|1987 Detroit Tigers||23||$1,335,000.00||-||-|
|1988 Los Angeles Dodgers||23||$1,833,333.00||-||Stats|
|1989 Los Angeles Dodgers||23||$1,333,333.00||-||-|
|1990 Los Angeles Dodgers||23||$1,333,334.00||-||-|
|1991 Kansas City Royals||30||$1,700,000.00||-||-|
|1992 Pittsburgh Pirates||25||$1,950,000.00||-||-|
|1993 Detroit Tigers||23||$1,100,000.00||-||-|
|1994 Detroit Tigers||23||$1,500,000.00||-||n/a|
|1995 Detroit Tigers||23||$1,300,000.00||-||-|
|Kirk Gibson Stats by Baseball Almanac|
Did you know that Kirk Gibson was an All-American flanker for the Michigan State University football team? The National Football League's St. Louis Cardinals drafted him in the seventh round of the 1979 draft after he set several Spartan football records including career touchdown catches (24), career receptions (112), and career yards (2,347).
Kirk Gibson was the National League
Most Valuable Player
in 1988, the first winning outfielder in franchise history for the Dodgers (from Brooklyn or Los Angeles), and the only former
to never appear in an
. He was actually picked to attend twice (1985 & 1988), but declined both invitations. To this day, he probably remains most famously known not for any of those items, but for his historic home run:
Kirk Gibson Home Run | Steiner Sports Filmstrip Litho
Kirk Gibson's 1988 World Series Home Run
Kirk Gibson's historic home run occurred in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series , on October 15, 1988 , at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Gibson, pinch hitting for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth inning, with injuries to both legs, hit a two-run walk-off home run off the Oakland Athletics' Dennis Eckersley that won Game 1
After winning the National League West division, the Dodgers were considered the underdogs throughout the 1988 postseason, first to the New York Mets in the NLCS, then to the A's in the World Series. Gibson, who was not expected to play due to injuries in both legs sustained during the NLCS, was surprisingly inserted as a pinch hitter with the Dodgers trailing 43 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Gibson's home run—his only plate appearance of the series—helped the Dodgers defeat the A's, 4 games to 1, securing their sixth World Series title.
Gibson injured both legs during the NLCS and was ill with a stomach virus, and therefore did not start Game 1 . Los Angeles took an early lead on a two-run home run by Mickey Hatcher in the first inning. The next inning, however, Jose Canseco hit a grand slam to give Oakland a two-run lead. Oakland's lead was cut to one run when Mike Scioscia hit an RBI single in the sixth inning that scored Mike Marshall .
Unbeknownst to the fans and the media at the time, Gibson was watching the game on television while undergoing physical therapy in the Dodgers' clubhouse. At some point during the game, television cameras scanned the Dodgers dugout and commentator Vin Scully, working for NBC for the 1988 postseason, observed that Gibson was nowhere to be found. This spurred Gibson to tell Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda that he was available to pinch hit. Gibson immediately returned to the batting cage in the clubhouse to take practice swings.
With a one-run lead, Oakland closer Dennis Eckersley , who led the American League with forty-five saves during the regular season, was brought in to close out the game and seal the win for starter Dave Stewart . Eckersley quickly got Scioscia to pop out to shortstop and struck out Jeff Hamilton . Left-handed pinch hitter Mike Davis followed; if he got on base the next batter due was the pitcher's spot, which would certainly be filled with a pinch hitter. Not wanting the A's to realize that Gibson was available, Lasorda sent Dave Anderson to the on-deck circle during Davis ' plate appearance. A's catcher Ron Hassey got Eckersley's attention and pointed at Anderson on-deck. Eckersley , who had seen Davis hit for power in the American League, decided he would rather pitch around Davis , assuming perhaps that the right-handed hitting Anderson would prove to be the easier out. Instead of risking making a mistake that Davis could hit for a game-tying home run, Eckersley pitched carefully and did in fact walk him.
Instead of sending Anderson to the plate, Lasorda inserted Gibson as his pinch hitter. Gibson hobbled up to the plate with Scully commenting, "Look who's coming up!" Gibson quickly got behind in the count, 02, but received two outside pitches from Eckersley and fouled off a pitch to work to a 22 count. On the sixth pitch of the at bat a ball Davis stole second. Lasorda later recounted it was pre-planned that if the count got to two strikes on Gibson, they would have Davis steal second, figuring that A's manager Tony La Russa wouldn't elect to intentionally walk Gibson if there were already two strikes against him. Once Davis was at second, Lasorda was just hoping Gibson could muscle a pitch to the outfield for a game-tying single.
Gibson would later recount that prior to the Series, Dodger scout Mel Didier had provided a report on Eckersley which claimed that with a 32 count against a left-handed hitter, one could be absolutely certain that Eckersley would throw a backdoor slider. Gibson said that when the count reached 32, he stepped out of the batter's box and, in his mind, could hear Didier's voice, with its distinctive Southern drawl, reiterating that same piece of advice. With that thought in mind, Gibson stepped back into the batter's box; and thus when Eckersley did in fact throw a backdoor slider, it was exactly the pitch Gibson was expecting.
With an awkward, almost casual swing, Gibson used pure upper-body strength to hit the pitch over the right-field fence. He hobbled around the bases and pumped his fist as his jubilant teammates stormed the field. The Dodgers won the game, 54.
Gibson would not have another plate appearance in the World Series. The Dodgers went on to defeat the A's in the World Series, 41.
The play has since become legendary in the baseball world, and is regarded as one of the greatest home runs of all time. It was voted the "greatest moment in L.A. sports history" in a 1995 poll. Many of the images associated with the home run, particularly Gibson pumping his fist while circling the bases, are often shown in classic highlight reels, usually accompanied by Vin Scully or Jack Buck's call. Though not related to his World Series home run, Gibson would be named the 1988 National League MVP .
Kirk Gibson's Pinch Hit Home Run | 1988 World Series (Game 1) | MLB Advanced Media, L.P.
Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson - who encouraged Gibson to come play for him in Detroit - said, "His personality, his drive, his dedication are unsurpassed. He knew how to make things happen. Gibby gets the highest rating as a player from me." That drive stayed with Gibson when he left the field, ran a successful investment firm, became a coach in Detroit (2003-2005), a coach in Arizona (2007-2010), then the sixth manager in Arizona Diamondbacks history (and their second to win a Manager of the Year Award ).