Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Gibson, Kirk

Kirk Gibson, was born in Pontiac, Michigan on May 28, 1957. While attending Michigan State University, Gibson was an All-American for both the football and baseball teams, setting school records in both sports. Gibson was drafted by St. Louis in the NFL draft, but chose instead to focus on baseball, signing with the Detroit Tigers.

He hit his first home run in Baltimore on September 25, 1979, the first of many which would define his career. In 1984, Gibson helped lead the Detroit Tigers to the World Series. In the final game, Game 5, he hit two home runs that effectively delivered the championship to the Tigers. That year, he was also named “Tiger of the Year.”

In 1988, Gibson joined the Los Angeles Dodgers. Once again, Gibson excelled, winning the National League’s Most Valuable Player award that year. But he is most remembered for his dramatic home run in Game 1 of the World Series. Playing against the Oakland Athletics in front of a raucous Dodger Stadium crowd, Gibson was called upon to win the game for the Dodgers – and he delivered. In one of the most famous moments in World Series history, Gibson stepped to the plate with two out in the bottom of the ninth. The Dodgers trailed 4-3 and a runner was on first base. After working the count to 3-2, Gibson smacked a home run over the right field fence, winning the game for the Dodgers, who went on to win the World Series.

After stints with Kansas City and Pittsburgh, Gibson returned to the Tigers, playing from 1993 – 1995.
After his playing career ended, Gibson worked as a television analyst. By the start of the 21st century, though, he had found his way back to the ballpark as a coach. He joined the Detroit Tigers as a bench coach in 1993. Currently, he works as a bench coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks.



Cover of 1984 Tigers' Yearbook featuring Kirk Gibson

Kirk Gibson on the cover of the 1982 Tigers' Yearbook

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