The 25 Gutsiest Performances in Sports History

9. Kirk Gibson's Walk-Off World Series Home Run

Date: 10/15/1988
Game: Game 1 World Series, A's @ Dodgers
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Gibson, who had won the NL MVP award before the World Series, wasn't expected to play. He had injured both legs and suffered through a stomach virus during the NLCS. Yet it was Gibson who stepped to the plate with the Dodgers down by one run in the bottom of the 9th inning.

The batter before Gibson, Mike Davis, was walked by A's right-handed closer Dennis Eckersley, who was afraid of Davis' lefty power threat. Right-handed Mike Anderson, who had been standing in the Dodgers' on-deck circle, was thought to be an easier out. But instead of sending Anderson to the plate, Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda chose to pinch-hit Anderson for Gibson's lefty stroke, surprising Eckersley.

Gibson would work Eckersley into a 3-2 count. Thanks to advanced scouting reports on Eckersley, Gibson was expecting a backdoor slider on the next pitch, a pitch that he took over the right-field fence for a walk-off Dodgers win. Gibson, barely able to walk, hobbled around the bases and emphatically pumped his fist, capping off the victory. Gibson wouldn't appear again in the World Series, but the Dodgers still went on to win their first title in seven years.

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