The 2018 season figures to be filled with plenty of festivities for the Los Angeles Dodgers, as it will mark the 30-year anniversary of their 1988 World Series championship team.
One of the most memorable moments from that season was Kirk Gibson’s stunning pinch-hit, walk-off home run in Game 1 of the World Series against Oakland Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley — a shot that permanently etched the 1988 National League MVP’s name in Dodgers franchise history.
Over the weekend, Gibson reunited with former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley and returned to his old Spring Training facility in Vero Beach, Fla. — Historic Dodgertown. His visit was in connection with the team coming up on three decades removed from their special year, via the release from the complex’s website:
“I have been thinking a lot lately about 1988, being the 30th anniversary of our World Championship,” said Gibson. “Because I was in Florida, I took the invitation of Peter O’Malley to stop by and relive being part of the organization’s great accomplishments that year. I was really overwhelmed with the positive atmosphere this special place brings to me.”
For six decades, beginning in 1948, the Dodgers claimed Historic Dodgertown as its Spring Training home. Though the club would eventually relocate from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958, it would remain on the East Coast for Spring Training purposes through the 2008 season.
The Dodgers departed Vero Beach and moved to Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz. When pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in less than a month, the club will begin its 10th season at Camelback Ranch.
The Dodgers host the White Sox on Friday, Feb. 23, in their 2018 Cactus League opener. Los Angeles is due to play 17 of 30 Cactus League games at Camelback Ranch, including 15 as the designated home team.