Friday, February 15, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1988 Topps #605 Kirk Gibson

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, February 15, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1988 Topps #605.
  • Player Name, position, team: Kirk Gibson, outfielder, Detroit Tigers.
  • Major League Debut: September 8, 1979.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1987 stats (Tigers): 128 G, 487 AB, 95 R, 135 H, 25 2B, 3 3B, 24 HR, 79 RBI, 26 SB, .489 SLG, 71 BB, 117 SO, .277 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Tigers #1st, June 1978. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 17. This is his eighth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Kirk was a key factor in Evansville's capture of the 1979 American Association Title. In the Playoffs he had .429 Batting Average with 4 Doubles in 6 Games.".
  • Commentary: When it comes to Kirk Gibson, I just have one question: HOW IN THE HECK DID THIS GUY NEVER BECOME AN ALL-STAR??! (Upon further review, it turns out that he was named to two All-Star teams in 1985 and 1988, but declined the invitation to participate both times.) After nine seasons and 893 games with his hometown Detroit Tigers (he was born in Pontiac, MI, and played for the Michigan State Spartans), in which he hit for a .276 average with 150 home runs, 499 rbi's, 166 stolen bases, and an OPS of .836, Gibson took his talents to the bright lights of Hollywood, signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers on January 28, 1988. It was in his first season in LA that he had his greatest season ever. In 150 games, the man hit for a career high .290, slammed 28 home runs, drove in 76 runs batted in, stole 31 bases, and had an OPS of .860. He was named the NL MVP that year and also earned his only Silver Slugger Award. But it is not these numbers that make Gibson a fan favorite and endeared in the hearts of Dodgers fans everywhere. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, all I have to do is quote the great Jack Buck (which you'll see in a couple of minutes). Gibson played all seven game in the NLCS against a tough Mets team, but could only muster 4 hits in 30 plate appearances. Two of those hits, though were home runs. But the long series took a toll on his both his legs, and along with a stomach virus, it was doubtful that Gibson would be able to play at all. But (cliché time), in a scene that could have only been written in Hollywood, with the Dodgers down 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth in Game 1 of the World Series, facing the Athletics' dominant closer, Dennis Eckersley, and a man on first base, manager Tommy Lasorda inserted Gibson to pinch hit in the pitcher's spot. Gibson managed to work the count full, and on the 7th pitch in the at bat, (cue Mr. Buck). "Gibson...swings and a fly ball to deep right field. This is gonna be a home run! UNBELIEVABLE! A home run for Gibson! And the Dodgers have won the game, five to four; I don't believe what I just saw! I don't BELIEVE what I just saw!" The dramatic home run shifted the momentum over from the powerful A's lineup and the Dodgers would win the World Series in 5 games.  Injuries limited his playing time the following two seasons in LA. He signed with the Royals in time for the 1991 season, where he played more than 100 games for the first time since that magical 1988 season. He was traded to the Pirates in 1992, but after 16 games, he was released by the team. After taking the rest of the year off to heal, he re-signed with the Tigers on February 10, 1993, and finished his major league career with Detroit. Post playing career, he became an analyst for Fox Sports Detroit for four seasons before being named the bench coach of the team by manager (and Tigers legend) Alan Trammell. After two seasons as the team's bench and hitting coach, he joined the Arizona Diamondbacks as their bench coach. In 2010, he was promoted to interim manager, then named the permanent manager after the season ended. In 2011, Gibson led the DBacks to their first NL West title since 2007 and was named the NL Manager of the Year. He finally did get to participate in All-Star activities when the ASG was hosted by his Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 38.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2009 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH37. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

1 comment:

P-town Tom said...

Sometimes when I see the card that is randomly posted it takes for a ride in the "way back in time machine".

I swore I smelled some brittle stale gum as soon as I saw the Gibson.