Monday, February 2, 2009
#10T Kirk Gibson
Lots going on in the photo here. First, it's always nice to see a photo taken at Wrigley. Second, there's nearly a complete batboy in the background. Third, I believe that's Mike Marshall, with his bat in a very unfortunate position.
Gibson is one of 4 guys to hit 20 to 29 HR every year from 1984 to 1988. More on this below.
Gibson's career and legacy are very interesting to discuss. In his healthy years, he was a very good player, although never truly great. I think he's the only guy ever to win an MVP award without any All-Star game appearances in his career. He never hit 30 HR or drove in 100 runs. He never batted .300 in a full season. Injuries totally robbed him of lots of games.
And yet, Gibson is one of the greatest heroes in baseball history. He was a key member of the 1984 champion Tigers and hit one of the 2 or 3 most memorable home runs in baseball history in 1988.
I wonder what Gibson would choose, if given the choice: the actual career he had (great post-season moments and all) or an injury-free career that might have put him in the HOF. I assume he'd choose to stick with what he had, because all things considered, it was pretty damn good.