Saturday, October 15, 2016

1988 in baseball

today in 1988, in game one of the world series, Kirk Gibson makes his only plate appearance of the series - and makes it count. at the start of this series he had a bad left hamstring and a swollen right knee. he was dressed for the game, but not introduced. Mickey Hatcher gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead with a two run homer in the first inning. Jose Canseco hit a grand slam in the second inning to give Oakland a 4-2 lead. the Dodgers got one in the 6th inning on three straight base hits - the third by Mike Scioscia scoring Mike Marshall. in the meantime Gibson was taking practice swings using a hitting tee near the Dodgers clubhouse. then comes the bottom of the ninth - the Dodgers last chance. Dennis Eckersley came in to close the game out. he got Scioscia to pop up and Jeff Hamilton to strike out. pinch hitter Mike Davis walked. in fact catcher Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda sent Dave Anderson on deck. A's catcher Ron Hassey had gotten Eckersley's attention and pointed towards Anderson. Eckersley then pitched around Davis to walk him thinking Anderson would be an easy out. Davis had been known to hit for power. Lasorda then sends Gibson up to the plate instead of Anderson. Gibson fell behind to no balls and two strikes. he then receives two outside pitches to even the count at two and two. the fifth pitch was a weak dribbler that rolled foul. the sixth pitch was ball three. on that pitch, Mike Davis stole second. after that Gibson called time and stepped out of the batter's box. Dodgers scout Mel Didier's scouting report on Dennis Eckersley was that Eckersley often threw a backdoor slider to lefthanded batters (which Gibson was) on a three balls and two strikes count) when Gibson stepped out of the box, he could, in his mind, hear Didier's voice reminding him of that pitch. sure enough, Gibson got the pitch and used his entire upper body strength to drive the ball over the right field wall for the game winning home run. Dodgers win game one 5-4 and eventually won the series in five games, riding that momentum. he limped around the bases, even doing a couple of fist pumps. and in another lasting image, as the ball was heading for the seats, someone was in their vehicle and you could see the rear lights light up as the driver was stopping as the ball was landing in the seats. and that was that.

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