25 years ago tonight

Baseball fans are familiar with game 1 of the 1988 World Series …

… and particularly how it ends:

They may be less familiar with the backstory, as reported by the Los Angeles Times:

A quarter of a century later, the grown batboy holds up his arm as evidence.

“Just talking about it still gives me goose bumps,” Mitch Poole says.

The lost slugger runs his hands through his graying hair.

“Even now, it’s hard to believe I was really part of that,” Mike Davis says.

The old scout wraps a wrinkled finger around a World Series ring.

“Pardner, this is staying on me till the day I die,” Mel Didier says.

On Oct. 15, 1988, the Dodgers’ sore-legged Kirk Gibson limped to home plate in the ninth inning and hit a two-run, game-winning home run against a seemingly unhittable Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland Athletics in the first game of the World Series. The A’s never recovered, and the undermanned Dodgers eventually won a world championship. …

Now 25 years later, Gibson has a request. He sits on a bench in Arizona, where he is the manager of the Diamondbacks. His gravelly voice grows soft.

“My home run was created by the kind of people who make up the fabric of this game,” he says. “Everybody tells my story. Somebody needs to tell their stories.”

Read on.

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