What if Gibson had been unable to hit?
Updated: October 24, 2008, 8:57 PM ETBy Mark Simon | ESPN.com
GAME 1, 1988 WORLD SERIES
What really happened: NL MVP Kirk Gibson, hobbling around with two leg injuries, hit a pinch-hit, two-run, walk-off home run against Dennis Eckersley with two outs in the ninth inning, giving the Dodgers a stunning win. The Dodgers would shock the heavily favored Athletics in five games to win the World Series. But what if Gibson decided, upon leaving the dugout, that he was unable to hit? The Dodgers would have won anyway. Because Rick Dempsey says so. The Dodgers had two other options left on the bench that night: backup catcher Dempsey and utility infielder Dave Anderson. The former had a home run rate similar to Gibson's. The latter was the man standing in the on-deck circle, whom Gibson replaced. "Any situation with me hitting a homer to win the game, that would've been 'the impossible,'" said a laughing Anderson, recently hired as the Rangers' third-base coach, referencing a famous line from Vin Scully. Likewise, Dempsey, now an Orioles broadcaster, couldn't say he'd have homered in that situation. He too figured on a game-tying hit, and that someone else would have gotten the game winner.
Will Hart/Getty ImagesKirk Gibson's walk-off homer off Dennis Eckersley came on his only at-bat of the series.
Your TurnIf Gibson had been unable to hit, how would things have turned out differently? Share your alternative ending.
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