With the sports world currently on hold due to concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, ESPN has taken to regularly airing classic games from multiple leagues in recent weeks.
The network rolled out a new series last month called “MLB Encore Tuesdays,” which highlights some of the greatest games in baseball history.
The installment continues this Tuesday at 5 p.m. PT, when ESPN will rebroadcast Game 1 of the 1988 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics.
The contest is responsible for one of the most legendary moments in Major League Baseball history, as an injured Kirk Gibson stepped up to the plate in the ninth inning and delivered a pinch-hit, walk-off, two-run home run off Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the Fall Classic.
Battling knee and hamstring injuries, Gibson was not in the starting lineup for Game 1 against an Oakland team that led the Majors with 104 wins and had just swept the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series.
Gibson was adamant on getting into the game, however, indicating to Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda that he was available to pinch-hit in the ninth.
Despite being in clear discomfort, Gibson put up a good fight against Eckersley, fouling off numerous pitches and working the count full. What aided him during the at-bat was a message he recalled from famed scout Mel Didier about Eckersley’s preference to throw a back door slider on a full count.
Gibson used that advice to his advantage and drilled Eckersley’s 3-2 pitch into the right field pavilion, sending Dodger Stadium into a frenzy. The Dodgers used the 5-4 victory to propel them to their sixth World Series championship in franchise history, defeating the Athletics in just five games.
Like ESPN, other channels such as MLB Network and SportsNet LA have been televising some of baseball’s most iconic games as the wait for the 2020 season carries on.
Earlier this month, SportsNet LA re-aired a plethora of Dodgers’ National League West clinching games, including Steve Finley’s walk-off grand slam against the San Francisco Giants in 2004.
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