Dodgers’ Playoff Moment: Kirk Gibson’s Game-Winning Home Run In 1988
It’s been 25 years since the Dodgers have won a World Series and it’s been 25 years to the day that the most famous home run in Dodger Stadium history was hit.
The 94-win Dodgers took on the 104-win Oakland Athletics in the 1988 World Series. The series began at Dodger Stadium with the Dodgers sending out rookie Tim Belcher against A’s ace Dave Stewart.
The game started out shaky as both pitchers gave up runs in the early innings. By the sixth inning, it was 4-3 in favor of the A’s with Stewart having settled down.
The game stayed that way until the bottom of the ninth inning as the Athletics sent out their closer Dennis Eckersley to finish the game.
Eckersley retired the first two batters easily before walking pinch-hitter Mike Davis.
This prompted Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda to send out hobbled slugger Kirk Gibson, who was sitting due to injuries in both his legs suffered in the NLCS.
Gibson went down 0-2 before working the count and getting it full as Davis stole second after there were two strikes.
With a full count and everyone watching, Gibson got a 3-2 slider from Eckersley and deposited it into the right field pavilion sending Dodger Stadium into a frenzy. He rounded the bases slowly and pumped his arms in triumph.
The Dodgers won the game 5-4 and would go on to win the series 4-1 while Gibson didn’t have another at-bat the rest of the series.
Here’s the video of Gibson hitting the most famous home run in Dodger history 25 years ago today:
Never mentioned in the synopsis of the game was the grand slam homerun hit by Jose Conseco that accounted for all of the A’s four runs… Nor was Mickey Hatcher’s 2-run homer which temporarily put the Dodgers in the lead. Conseco’s homer was the hardest ball I’ve ever seen hit in my lifetime as a baseball fan… it was a line drive that bounced off the top of the centerfield TV camera…. Gibby’s homer erased everything else that happened in that game, but I was there and I feel totally privileged to have eye witnessed the event with my cousin from behind the foul pole in left field.