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.
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.
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.”
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.
WORLD SERIES, GAME 1 AT DODGER STADIUM
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).
(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).