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Kirk Gibson 1988 World Series Home Run

Updated: Dec 19, 2021

Kirk Gibson's 1988 World Series home run was a baseball play that occurred in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, on October 15, 1988, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Gibson was initially held out of Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup with injuries to both legs, but after being called upon to pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs, he hit a two-run, walk-off home run against Oakland Athletics pitcher Dennis Eckersley. The home run won the game for the Dodgers by a score of 5–4.

After winning the National League (NL) West division, the Dodgers were considered the underdogs throughout the 1988 postseason, first to the New York Mets in the NL Championship Series, then to the Athletics in the World Series. Gibson, who was not expected to play due to injuries in both legs sustained during the NLCS, was surprisingly inserted as a pinch hitter with the Dodgers trailing 4–3 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and the tying run at first base. Gibson's home run—his only plate appearance of the series—helped the Dodgers defeat the Athletics, four games to one, securing their sixth World Series title. Here is the famous call in real time by Hall of Fame announcer Vin Sculley:

Bob Costas interviews Kirk Gibson after the historic walk off home run:

Ace reliever, Dennis Eckersley, who was ultimately inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame, looks back:

The play has since become legendary in the baseball world, and is regarded as one of the greatest home runs of all time. It was voted the "greatest moment in L.A. sports history" in a 1995 poll. Many of the images associated with the home run, particularly Gibson pumping his fist while circling the bases, are often shown in classic highlight reels, usually accompanied by play-by-play from broadcasters Vin Scully or Jack Buck. To this day, the whereabouts of the home run ball is unknown. Though not related to his World Series home run, Gibson would be named the 1988 NL Most Valuable Player.

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