The Backdoor Slider

Twenty-Five years ago today (10/15/88), one of the greatest moments in World Series history occurred. That’s when in the  town where movies stars roam, and the “Silver Screen” brings the impossible to life, a hobbled veteran ballplayer played the role of David in “David and Goliath” on baseballs’  biggest stage.

Gibson - Game 1

Gibson – Game 1

Kirk Gibson came off the bench, inched his way to the plate, and took A’s ace reliever Dennis Eckersley  “yard,” winning game 1 of the 1988 World Series with his two- run homerun.

Eckersley's back door slider 1988

Eckersley’s back door slider 1988

Before Gibson’s heroics he fouled off four pitches, and worked the count full. Gibson called time as Eckersley was going into the stretch, stepped out of the box, and thought about what Mel Didier, the Dodgers’ scout, said to the team the day before… “you’re going to see a 3-2 backdoor slider if you see Eckersley in a big situation.”

Report on Ekersley

Didier’s Report on Eckersley

That’s exactly what Eckersley threw, Gibson used all arms and wrists, and won the game with one big swing, it would be his only at-bat of the 1988 Fall Classic, as the Dodgers won the Series 4 games to 1.




Date: Saturday, Oct. 15, 1988

Final score: Dodgers 5, Oakland 4

Starting pitchers: Tim Belcher vs. Dave Stewart

WP: Alejandro Pena (1-0)

LP: Dennis Eckersley (0-1)

HRs: Oakland’s Jose Canseco (1), Dodgers’ Mickey Hatcher (1), Dodgers’ Kirk Gibson (1).

Attendance: 55,983

(Gibson’s HR in game 1 of the 1988 World Series was 4 years and one day from his last World Series HR (10/14/84) Game 5 of the Tigers vs Padres 1984 which came in the eighth inning and last at bat of that World Series).

Game 5 1984 Gibson HR 8th inning

Game 5 1984 Gibson HR 8th inning

2 thoughts on “The Backdoor Slider

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