x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Kindhearted Gibson keeping his history alive

The manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks was prickly at times as a player. But time has mellowed him and now he is using his history as a means of helping others.

Kirk Gibson hit one of the most famous home runs in baseball history. Out of the Los Angeles Dodgers starting line-up with a knee injury, Gibson limped to the plate and hit a game-winning homer off Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland A's in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.

The Dodgers were given little chance against the A's, but Gibson's blast paved the way for a huge upset.

Now, he is again putting the bat he used to hit that home run to good use. He is to auction the bat, his uniform and his MVP trophy to help the athletic programme at his alma mater, Michigan State, and to fund scholarships at high schools in Michigan.

Gibson, now the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, was prickly at times as a player. But time has mellowed him, and now he is using his history as a means of helping others.

That is refreshing for a player. Too many in Gibson's generation are motivated by individual glory and riches. Some have sold off memorabilia to collectors to add to the mountain of money made during their playing career.

By auctioning off his keepsakes, Gibson keeps the memory of the moment alive while the profits go to benefit young athletes.

The bat, Gibson noted, is well preserved and the spot where bat met ball, 22 years ago, is still evident.

By letting go of his own history, Gibson is making a bigger mark, one that could be as long lasting as the one his bat made one October night in Dodger Stadium.