Grand Cards: A Champion's Stache: #5 Kirk Gibson

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Champion's Stache: #5 Kirk Gibson

In light of my newfound commitment to the greater good that is the collective power of Michigan fans growing mustaches for the September 5th opening game, I thought it best to recall a time 25 years ago when Mustaches led our own Detroit Tigers to their last World Series Championship

I hear you. We should have ended this countdown with Chet Lemon because he was the man. Don't think that I didn't consider it. The thing is, there were still better mustaches on the team in '84. Hard to believe, I know.

Well, believe it.

Was Gibby perhaps the most beloved man in Detroit in the fall of '84? I think so. I've come to understand that Gibson participated in the 1988 playoffs as well--I think he hit a home run--but this is the essence of Kirk Gibson for me. Mind you, in that 1984 World Series, he hit .333 with 2 Home Runs, 7 RBI and 3 SB, following up his ALCS in which he batted .417 and won the ALCS MVP. I shouldn't even have to mention that both of those World Series home runs came in the deciding Game 5, including a three won shot off of none other than Goose Gossage to put the final nail in the coffin.

Of course, the famous story (from Baseball Reference): During his pivotal at-bat against Goose Gossage in Game 5, Kirk Gibson made a $10 bet (flashing ten fingers) with his manager Sparky Anderson that Gossage would pitch to him. Padres manager Dick Williams initially wanted Gossage, who had dominated Gibson in the past, to intentially walk Gibson. Gibson and Anderson successfully called the Padres' bluff as Gibson hit a game winning three run home run in what turned out to be the clincher.

That picture above doesn't do it for you? Here's his '84 Topps Card showing you that he and his mustache meant business.
1984 Topps #65 Kirk Gibson

Fortuitously, Thorzul just received a more Iconic Gibson card today (his most iconic, asks Thorzul)? I'll let you decide.

We are left with one bit of...unpleasantness to discuss. Kirk Gibson, in a former life, did a little bit of this and that. I have hoped to reduce the karmic implications of including him so high on this list by giving him mental demerits while I compiled the rankings. After all, this is a tribute to the fact that I and so many others are all growing mustaches to show our unity and support for the Michigan football team and to will them to victory this Saturday. As for Gibby, he will always be a Tiger to me.

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