Thursday, March 29, 2007

Pump Your Arm Like You Just Don't Care

(cited by Dethroner) Double Viking's Manliest Moments in Sports has a local personal favorite.

On the eve of Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Kirk Gibson could barely move. His knee was so badly injured that he didn't show up to the game for introductions. But in the ninth inning, with the Dodgers trailing 4-3 and two outs, Gibson came up to the plate to pinch hit with a man on first. As he stood in the on deck circle, he almost fell down while taking his practice swings. Dennis Eckersley...was on the hill for Oakland.

Gibson ran the count to 3-2, and then turned on the seventh pitch of the at-bat to hit a ball into the right field bleachers. Gibson hobbled around the base path and then stomped on home plate to win the game for the Dodgers 5-4.

Here's how TIME Magazine described the moment in 2003.

It's a wondrous moment that shines high above an otherwise unremarkable World Series won by a relatively unremarkable team....[I]t was the game's best reliever, Oakland's Dennis Eckersley, protecting a one-run lead with a runner on against the Dodgers' ailing MVP, Kirk Gibson, who volunteered to pinch-hit despite a ravaged knee that was supposed to keep him out of the Series. Gibson looked anything like the NL's best player as he worked the count to 3-2, before serving an Eckersley slider into the right-field seats. Bedlam. To this day, no one has summed up the event quite like radio announcer Jack Buck, who said, "I don't believe what I just saw!" It was Gibson's only at-bat in the Series.


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