Gibson HR and bat historic in nature

I just found the program from that world series. I'm gonna get it scanned and post it.

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Early Sunday morning, the bat Kirk Gibson used to hit his famous walk-off home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series sold for $575,912.40 in an auction that raised money for the Kirk Gibson Foundation. Gibson's bat, helmet and jersey combined to bring in more than $1 million.

A little more than a month ago, Gibson was featured in a series that ran on SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight, "I Hit A Walk-Off Home Run," spotlighting the most famous walk-off home runs in postseason history.

Walk-Off Hits

Dodgers Postseason History

Year Hit
Mark Loretta 2008 NLDS 1B
Kirk Gibson 1988 WS HR
Bill Russell 1978 NLCS 1B
Jackie Robinson 1956 WS 1B
Cookie Lavagetto 1947 WS 2B

Here's what Gibson had to say about his prized, or not-so-prized bat during his interview:

"You can see the whole at-bat right there on the bat. The red ink from the foul balls, the cleat marks in the head of the bat, from me hitting my cleats in between pitches the tar that was all over it, It was a Worth WC157.

You get 12 bats in an order and what you do is you go through and you weigh them all, and then you pick them up and you kind of can feel which ones feel balanced and which ones don’t feel balanced.

That bat right there was a reject bat. I used to use a 33-34-35 inch bat, and that bat was a 31-31 1/2 inch bat and I never felt comfortable with it, so I just kind of stocked it in the back room.

But, at the end of the year, I started to get really tired and then when I got hurt, I started going to look for all my light bats because I really didn’t have my legs under me and that one’s got an ‘x’ on the end for x-out, no-good bat. It turned out to be a pretty good bat, didn’t it?"

Most familiar with the home run may know that this was the one from which the term "walk-off" was coined (Dennis Eckersley used the term when speaking afterwards), but here are a few things you may not know about that magic moment.

Man for the moment –- Gibson hit four come-from-behind walk-off home runs in the regular season, one shy of the major league record, shared by Babe Ruth, Frank Robinson, and Fred McGriff.

How rare it was –- At the time, Gibson was the second player in postseason history to get a walk-off hit with his team trailing and down to its last out. The other was Cookie Lavagetto, whose two-run walk-off double not only gave the 1947 Dodgers a win over the Yankees, but it broke up a no-hitter by Bill Bevens. Three players have had this sort of walk-off hit since –- Francisco Cabrera, Ivan Rodriguez, and Jimmy Rollins.

He stands alone –- The Dodgers have won 48 postseason games in their home ballpark, but have only won on a walk-off home run once. They have four other postseason walk-off hits.

Pinch him – To that point in his career, Gibson had 57 pinch-hit at-bats. He had 12 hits, a .211 batting average, and no home runs. He’d finish his career with three pinch-hit home runs, but wouldn’t hit any until 1994.

Eckersley knew what to do next time -- Gibson’s next meaningful at-bat against Eckersley didn’t come until Opening Day 1993 when Gibson came up with runners on second and third with two outs in the eighth inning. With a one-run lead, Eckersley took no chances and issued an intentional walk. He struck out Rob Deer to end the inning and the Athletics went on to win the game.

ESPN Stats Blog by Mark Simon November 14, 2010 6:51 AM

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