On This Date In D-Backs History: Kirk Gibson’s Dramatic Home Run

By Matthew Hochberg

Now the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Kirk Gibson was once a player for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He hit a walk-off home run in the 1988 World Series. Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Ironically, many years before coming the skipper of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Kirk Gibson played for the rival Los Angeles Dodgers. Tuesday, October 15, marks the twenty-five year anniversary of Gibson’s thrilling two-run pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs in Game One of the 1988 World Series. The homer gave the Dodgers a 5-4 victory.

Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully described it as,

"“In the year of the improbable, the impossible has happened.”"

Gibson, who was named the 1988 National League MVP was not expected to play that evening. He received two cortisone shots earlier in the day, one for his hamstring and one for his ankle. He began the game in the trainer’s room, watching it on television. Yet, just a couple of hours later, Gibson suited up and was heading into the batter’s box.

"“Here he comes, hobbling, using the bat as a cane,” Scully says, “and the crowd is roaring.”"

The rest of the story, as they say, is history.

The Dodgers won the series 4-1, giving them their sixth World Series title in franchise history.

That plate appearance was Gibson’s only at-bat in the ’88 World Series, but likely the most well-known as well. He retired following the 1995 season and finished with a career .268 average, 255 home runs. He is a two-time World Series champion.