I posted this in the GD thread, but it got lost rather quickly. I'd have posted it in the "Brawl" thread, but thought there was good discussion in tere and didn't want to change the direction. here goes...
"Call me defensive over my screen-namesake, but those of you who so flippantly dismiss what Gibson did for the 88 Dodgers are speaking either purely from a position of frustration or ignorance from a lack of exposure.
He did more than hit a magical homerun in game 1 of the world series, he is the very reason we were in the WS in the first place. You can dislike the guy all you want, but make no mistake, he ignited the fires that made people like Fernando care enough to pin him against a locker.
What you try to spin as some Terrell Owens-like distraction was just the opposite. Gibson came to a team that had all the talent in the world, but lacked the will to give it all they had. They were dismissive of loses and did nothing but play pranks and goof off while the team underperformed in the first two months of baseball. It was a post-loss outburst from Gibby that got some to hate him, but all to follow him.
He was brought in as a free agent because management saw that he was a winner and a leader in spite of occasionally rubbing teammates the wrong way. He instills the same fire in his team to this day and, regardless of my feelings toward their organization as a whole, every roster he's had has played their ***** off for him.
His teammates may not have liked him personally, but they played their ***** off for him too. Orel, Tommy, Sciocia, Mickey, they have nothing but good things to say about Gibby. Hell, Steve Sax and Alan Tramell are on his coaching staff.
As for turning his back on the organization, it holds no bearing on his opinion of the fans. An old acquaintance of mine met Gibby and David Wells chillin in a bar down here in San Diego. The guy snapped a pic with them, ha a beer and talked to Gibby for a while about the 88 Dodgers; how he was HIS hero too.
Piazza turned his back on the organization, but most don't blame him. If Jackie Robinson had decided to play for the Giants after we traded him, would we hate him too?
Now, I'm not comparing Gibson to Piazza or Robinson on a statistical basis, but this game is played for the ultimate goal of winning a championship; in his 1 full season as a Dodger Gibson put the team on his back and did just that. If you think he had no bearing on the WS outside of that homer, I'd suggest going back to review the mugging he took from his teammates when he got back to home plate.
Regardless of wht you feel about him now these statements are true. Gibson the ballplayer was hard-nosed. Gibson the team leader was enigmatic. In 1988, Kirk Gibson helped us win a WS; the only one I've seen from the Dodgers in my lifetime.
For that last point primarily, Gibson will always be my hero."