FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2017
Happy Birthday, Kirk Gibson!
Historic Dodgertown celebrates today, May 28, the birthday of #KirkGibson!
The Dodgers’ Spring Training schedule was barely underway when on March 3, 1988, Gibson refused to play in an exhibition game at Dodgertown. Team pranksters had lined his Dodger cap with black shoe polish, but it was no joke to Gibson. He expressed his frustration to his teammates and let them know in no uncertain terms, he was here to play ball and help the Dodgers win. One Dodger said, “We learned you don’t mess around with Kirk Gibson, or else.”
Through Gibson’s example, the 1988 Dodgers played an exciting style of hustle, bravado, pitching, and defense on their way to the 1988 National League Western Division Championship. Facing the Mets in the 1988 National League Championship Series, who had defeated the Dodgers in 10 of 11 games, the opposition were heavy favorites. With the Dodgers down 2-1 in Game 4 of the 1988 NLCS, it was Gibson’s 12th inning home run in Shea Stadium after midnight that won the game to even the series. The next afternoon on the same day in Game 5, Gibson hit a three-run home run that proved to be the decider in a 7-4 win for a 3-2 series lead and the Dodgers eventually won in seven games.
On October 15, 1988, the first game of the 1988 World Series, an injured Gibson was kept out of the lineup because of soreness in his left leg and right leg. Summoning the strength to take limited batting practice, he informed Dodger Manager #TommyLasorda he could give him one swing. And so it was that Kirk Gibson hit a two-run home run off the Oakland A’s with two outs in the ninth inning on a 3-2 count to give the Dodgers a 5-4 win and the Dodgers won the 1988 World Series in five games. In 1995, the Gibson home run was voted by more than 5,000 media and sports professionals as the “Greatest Moment in Los Angeles Sports History.
About Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida
“A Florida Heritage Landmark”
World-famous Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida is a multi-sport, 80-acre complex on Florida’s Treasure Coast managed by former Dodger owner Peter O’Malley in a partnership since 2012. O’Malley, whose family developed and expanded the site formerly known as “Dodgertown” for nearly 50 years, partnered with his sister Terry O’Malley Seidler and former Dodger star pitchers Chan Ho Park and Hideo Nomo.
On November 10, 2014, Historic Dodgertown was named a Florida Heritage Landmark for its unique historic significance extending beyond baseball, as the first completely integrated Spring Training site in the South. The “Baseball and Dodgertown” historical marker is located at the entrance to the conference center.
The home of Dodger Spring Trainings from 1948-2008, it was the starting place for six World Championships and 14 N.L. Pennant-winning teams. Numerous Baseball Hall of Fame players trained on these hallowed grounds, as well as 20 visits from professional teams in Asia.
The all-inclusive facility, owned by Indian River County, gives teams of all ages the unique opportunity to train, play, dine and stay together in on-site villas. Participants utilize one of 10 ½ playing fields (seven are Musco-lighted for night games), including a new cloverleaf of youth baseball/softball fields with concessions area and new multi-purpose field (110 by 130 yards) for football, soccer and lacrosse.
Other amenities include clubhouses, two full-sized weight rooms, dining room, Stadium Club lounge and a competition-size swimming pool. The home of 6,500-seat Holman Stadium, Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida provides an all-encompassing experience for guests and is the ideal setting to build a championship team. It’s the perfect location for tournaments, camps, schools, business conferences and seminars.
Continuing its tradition since 1983, the Los Angeles Dodgers Adult Baseball Camp returned to Historic Dodgertown in November, 2014. Visit historicdodgertown.com for more information.
Ruth Ruiz, Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida, (772) 257-8532