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 Kirk Gibson Management Career Tracker

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PostSubject: Kirk Gibson Management Career Tracker   Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:14 pm

Posted: Nov. 8, 2009
Kirk Gibson has the tools to be a manager
Spent six years as bench coach

BY JOHN LOWE
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

Kirk Gibson wants to be a major league manager.

"I love challenges," said Gibson, 52. "It seems like the ultimate challenge."

Gibson, bench coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks, has six years of major league coaching experience: his Tigers homecoming in 2003-05 under manager Alan Trammell and the past three seasons in Arizona under managers Bob Melvin and A.J. Hinch. He recently received a two-year contract to continue as Arizona bench coach.

In a telephone interview, Gibson said that in his six years as a coach, he has learned a lot he'd apply as a manager.

"I understand now how important relationships with the players are as a coach, and even more so as a manager," Gibson said. "I've always possessed good team qualities. I've always wanted to do well for the team.

"But if you don't have relationships, the players will tune you out. If you don't have relationships, it's hard to motivate.

"As a player I was very rough and very forceful, and I was probably that way when I started coaching. I didn't understand how the game had evolved and changed. It's important to understand that."

Not every player sees the game through the fiery prism Gibson does. Now Gibson realizes that.

Gibson had his first managerial interview a few weeks ago, with the Cleveland Indians. He didn't become a finalist; the job went to Manny Acta, the former Washington manager.

Gibson said he's not a candidate for Acta's former job in Washington, which is the one remaining managerial opening for next season. But managing jobs are due to come open in Atlanta (where Bobby Cox is entering his final season) and Toronto (where Cito Gaston is entering his final season).

The Dodgers' Joe Torre has said he doesn't plan to continue managing beyond next season. In the Dodgers' world, Gibson remains an icon for how he aggressively led them to their most recent championship in 1988.

Gibson decided within the past year he wanted to manage. That recent interview with Cleveland taught him how to better prepare for his managerial interview.

"It's like when I first faced Goose Gossage," Gibson said. "I thought, 'Bring it on.' The at-bat took about 25 seconds. He blew three by me. Maybe I was a little too overcharged."

Then, in October 1984, Gibson hit the homer off Gossage that clinched the World Series for the Tigers. Perhaps someday he'll knock a managerial interview out of the park, too.

Contact JOHN LOWE: 313-223-4053 or jlowe@freepress.com. Check out his Tigers blog at freep.com/section/blog18.
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PostSubject: Re: Kirk Gibson Management Career Tracker   Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:52 pm

Gibson, Dipoto move up in D-backs shakeup
Arizona dismisses manager Hinch, general manager Byrnes

By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com

07/02/10 1:00 AM ET

PHOENIX -- In a major shakeup, the D-backs on Thursday dismissed general manager Josh Byrnes and manager A.J. Hinch.

The moves come with the D-backs mired in last place in the National League West for the second straight season with a 31-48 record. Arizona named Jerry Dipoto interim general manager and Kirk Gibson interim manager for the remainder of the season.

"I appreciate the commitment and dedication that Josh and A.J. demonstrated during their tenures," managing general partner Ken Kendrick said. "Their dismissal is a significant decision, but one that we find necessary in order to achieve a direction of winning consistently on the field again. We have a number of talented players, but obviously see great room for improvement. We look forward to bringing permanence to these two baseball leadership roles."

Byrnes was named to his post in November 2006 after serving as assistant GM of the Red Sox, while Hinch took over for Bob Melvin on May 8, 2009, and compiled an 89-123 mark at the helm.

After finishing 76-86 in Byrnes' first season as GM in 2006, the D-backs jumped to 90 wins and reached the 2007 NL Championship Series, where they were swept by the Rockies. The following season, the D-backs started off 20-8, but wound up finishing with an 82-80 record, and Byrnes' relationship with Melvin soured.

Following a 12-17 start to the 2009 season, Byrnes dismissed Melvin and hired Hinch on May 8. The move immediately sparked controversy given the fact that Hinch, who was the team's farm director, had never managed or coached at any level.

It was thought at the time that Hinch's familiarity with the young players, most of whom had come up through the Minor League system, would be a big plus for him. Also, at the press conference to announce the hiring, Byrnes referred to Hinch's knowledge of "organizational advocacy" as something that helped trump his lack of experience.

"He's never done a double-switch before," Byrnes said at the time. "He knows what it looks like. He'll figure it out. He brings unique leadership and perspective to the job. We're not here to reinvent the wheel. But to change the nature of the job, a little bit? OK, we'll do that.

"They might not feel A.J.'s experience yet, but they're going to feel his advocacy."

The move was not received well by some in the D-backs clubhouse, and the team limped to a 58-75 finish.

There were high hopes for the D-backs this spring following an offseason in which Byrnes added relievers Bobby Howry and Aaron Heilman along with second baseman Kelly Johnson and first baseman Adam LaRoche. In addition, Hinch had spent the offseason developing a better rapport with the players.

"There is zero room in this clubhouse, in this spring for the negativity and pessimism that existed before," Hinch said on the day of the club's first full-squad workout. "And any of that stuff that happened last summer doesn't affect how our performance is going to be moving forward. It really is about where we're headed, where we're going, what we're going to do to prepare ourselves for a successful season."

Success, though, was not forthcoming.

After playing nearly .500 baseball for much of April, the D-backs went 0-6 on a homestand in early May and later in the month had an 0-9 road trip and a 10-game losing streak overall.

That prompted the team's ownership to undertake an evaluation of the organization.

"We're to the point where this team hasn't won," team president and CEO Derrick Hall said in early June. "They collectively don't win. There's something that's missing and it's our responsibility now to assess the entire organization, to identify the problems and correct those problems as quickly as we can. From top to bottom, we're going to uncover every rock."

That process apparently led to Thursday's moves.

"These decisions come as a first and major step in our thorough evaluation of our team," Hall said in a statement announcing the moves. "We have all been disappointed in the results over the last few years, and we have come to the conclusion that a change in the leadership of our baseball operations staff is necessary at this time. This franchise has enjoyed tremendous success over the years and we want to get back to our winning ways. The loyal staff of this organization, as well as all of our fans, hopes for and deserves better results on the field."

Byrnes was in the third year of an eight-year extension he signed in the spring of 2008, while Hinch has two years left, following this season, on his contract.

FOXSports.com reported that the D-backs are on the hook to the pair for more than $7 million.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Kirk Gibson Management Career Tracker   Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:57 pm

Webb: Gibson will do a great job
D-backs players feel change is for the better

By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com

07/02/10 2:31 AM ET

PHOENIX -- Respect in the clubhouse will not be an issue for the interim manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Given his long and storied playing career as well as his work on the coaching staff the last few years, Kirk Gibson's transition in replacing A.J. Hinch, who was dismissed Thursday along with GM Josh Byrnes, should be a smooth one.

"I think he's going to do a great job," pitcher Brandon Webb said. "I think it's a great opportunity for him. It's going to be a good change. Hopefully this sparks us."

Most players had not been informed of the move, but as word began to spread Thursday night, few expressed surprise.

"I think it was something we felt was coming," catcher Chris Snyder said. "It was definitely time for a change."

Said Webb, "I think we all kind of saw it coming, but we just didn't know when it was going to happen. Maybe we even thought it would happen before now. I think it was time for a change with the way we've been playing for so long."

Hinch was 89-123 since taking over for Bob Melvin on May 8, 2009. The hiring was controversial at the time because of Hinch's lack of managing or coaching experience at any level as well as the fact that he was coming from the front office.

The team limped to a 58-75 finish under Hinch last season and got off to a poor start this year.

"After everything went down last year and the way we continued to lose, it kind of snowballed," Snyder said. "Then it went on this year and it became obvious that it was time for a change. The atmosphere was not good. Between the lines we played hard, but there was something missing."

Though Gibson has never managed, his hard-nosed reputation as a player, two World Series rings and 1987 Naional League Most Valuable Player Award along with his experience coaching make up for that in player's minds.

"I think we all respect Gibby," Webb said. "It's not like we didn't respect A.J. it's just that he came in in a different circumstance. He was coming from the front office, never managing and being so young and we had so much respect for [Melvin] that it was hard."

Whether the change in managers affects the results on the field remains to be seen.

"I'm not going to tell you the change will cause us to go out and win 10 straight," Snyder said. "But I think you're going to see much more enjoyment from the players in between the lines, in the dugout and in the clubhouse. There is an unbelievable amount of talent here."

That talent, though, didn't perform to expectations, particularly in the bullpen.

"This year has been a struggle for me," said Chad Qualls, who lost his role as closer due to those struggles. "A.J. stuck with me for a long time. I feel like if I had pitched like I was capable of certainly we would be better than we are. I've thought about that a lot."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Kirk Gibson Management Career Tracker   Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:12 am

Gibson brings passion, energy to D-backs

By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com

07/02/10 9:50 PM ET

PHOENIX -- The lasting image of Kirk Gibson as a player is his half-trot, half-limp around the bases after hitting that famous gimp-off, two-run, pinch-hit homer for the Dodgers to defeat the A's in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.

Gibson, who could barely walk on the night of Oct. 15, 1988, because of knee and hamstring injuries, can still be seen pumping his fist after taking Dennis Eckersley into the right-field pavilion at Dodger Stadium in one of Major League Baseball's most cherished and replayed moments.

As the new manager of the D-backs, Gibson hopes some of that passion and enthusiasm rubs off on his players, who were 31-48 under A.J. Hinch -- who was dismissed on Thursday -- but have 83 games to rebound.

"Maybe I shouldn't say this: We have a lot of good ballplayers, but we aren't winning ballgames," said Gibson on Friday during the media conference that marked his transition from Arizona bench coach to manager. "I'd rather have a lot of bad ballplayers and win ballgames."

Whether Gibson outlasts the "interim manager" title and is brought back for 2011 will obviously depend on the team's performance.

"We think Kirk is the logical choice right now," D-backs president Derrick Hall said. "He obviously has the playing resume, the experience of being a coach for many years. He has the respect of the team, the respect of the industry. [This] is an opportunity for him to prove himself. He would then have a chance to be the manager permanently, but it is just that, it's interim ... and there will be a process."

The seed of one of Gibson's greatest moments in his 17-year playing career wasn't planted in 1988, he said, and how he motivated the Dodgers that season opens a window to how he intends to manage. It all began during the previous Spring Training after he'd left the Tigers to sign a three-year, $3.5 million free-agent contract with the Dodgers.

By then Gibson was already a World Series champion, having led the 1984 Tigers of Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Lance Parrish, Jack Morris and manager Sparky Anderson to a five-game victory over the Padres. In that one, Gibson's three-run homer at Tiger Stadium off Goose Gossage in the eighth inning of Game 5 put an end to the series.

Gibson was a very serious player when he joined the Dodgers, describing himself and his attitude on Friday as a significant part of the male anatomy. And he didn't take to the jovial atmosphere he encountered at Dodgertown under manager Tommy Lasorda.

"When I played for Sparky during Spring Training, it was all business," Gibson said. "It was no-nonsense, do it right. Well, with the Dodgers we had a meeting every morning and it was a big comedy store. I was very intense. I guess they were trying to have fun, but I wasn't very comfortable with that."

Gibson recalled clowns popping out of trunks and a lot of laughs when third baseman Pedro Guerrero tossed a ball into right field during fielding practice. He expected the players to settle down for their first Spring Training game -- against a Japanese All-Star team.

"Little did they know, but the game to me was like the seventh game of the World Series," he said. "I was the first one on the field and worked a good lather up."

When Gibson took off his cap to wipe his brow, he found eye black spread all over his arm. One of his teammates had playfully rubbed the substance on the inside of his cap. With that, Gibson snapped and ran back to the clubhouse. On the way, he trotted past Lasorda and told him that if the culprit didn't talk to him within five minutes, he was leaving. When no one showed up, Gibson held to his word: He showered and left for the day, even though his name was in the lineup.

"Everybody in the stands was laughing, all my teammates were laughing, it was the final straw for me," he said.


When Gibson met with Lasorda the next day to discuss the matter, the manager wanted to cover up the incident, but Gibson would have no part of it. Plus, he said, he wanted to have a little talk with his teammates.

"When you have the clown pop out of the trunk, I'm the clown today," Gibson told Lasorda.

Gibson told his teammates that all the craziness wasn't conducive to playing winning baseball.

"I told them, 'I'm the best teammate you'll ever have, you just don't realize it yet. But I will be.' From that point on, we went out there and got after it. We were world champions, and nobody picked us to do so."

In the end, Jesse Orosco, who won the World Series with the 1988 Dodgers and, before that, the '86 Mets, admitted that he'd pulled the practical joke.

"You know it was a pitcher," Gibson said. "It had to be."

The story illustrates Gibson's tenacity as a player and begs the question whether he intends to be that kind of manager. As a bench coach under Trammell in Detroit and Melvin and Hinch in Arizona, Gibson has been more like one of the guys.

"I think he'll be his own man," Hinch said on Friday during a conference call. "I think he'll be Kirk Gibson. He's got a lot of passion and a lot of energy. He's going to ask a lot of his players."

"Whether it comes from the players, whether it comes from the front office or the coaching staff, somebody has to step up," right fielder Justin Upton said. "Gibby has been here for a while, and we're hoping he has the drive to turn this thing around. But that's going to take the players to get behind him and turn it up."

But like Hinch, Gibson is taking the job with no managerial experience at any level.

"Any manager who has ever done it before knows it's totally different when you're the man in charge," said Trammell, now the bench coach with the Cubs under Lou Piniella. "That being said, I don't know anybody I've been around, played with, coached with, who has more energy or the intensity level that he brings, which I think is good. I do believe he's prepared now. He's coached long enough."

It may be only a coincidence, but neither the Tigers nor Dodgers have won the World Series since the Gibson days. Whether he can bring the D-backs back to respectability is another open question.

"Some people may say it's just [the nature of] the animal," he said. "I used to strike out a lot. I used to be a pull hitter. But I changed. So my mentality is that you can change, that you can make adjustments if you choose to.

"And furthermore, we're at least going to try and change. We're not going to do the same thing that hasn't been successful. That in the least is what will try to accomplish."

Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Kirk Gibson Management Career Tracker   Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:18 am

Players intimate Gibson has drive to succeed
Members of Arizona's core acknowledge motivation to win

By Andrew Pentis / MLB.com

07/02/10 9:48 PM ET

PHOENIX -- Multiple D-backs players sensibly employed the word drive inside the Chase Field clubhouse on an anything-but-fleeting Friday afternoon.

For if Arizona (31-48) is a slow-moving locomotive, it has installed a new if not permanent driver (Kirk Gibson) because the club's motivation to win under its old one (A.J. Hinch) was being questioned.

A few hours after team president and CEO Derrick Hall said that "the players would be the first to tell you that they have under-performed," they were. But members of the club's core also intimated that Gibson could be the right skipper to show them the in-game gas pedal.

"On and off," said center fielder Chris Young of his teammates' will thus far in 2010. "There have been times during the season that we've had that drive. And there have been times in the season when we haven't. Winning ball clubs have that drive, have that aggressiveness, have that win-by-any-means at all times, everyday, day in and day out. I'm pretty sure Gibby is going to talk about that and try to get us into that mentality every game."

"Gibby is going to be [about] playing the game the right way," right fielder Justin Upton added. "He played hard every single night, ran balls out, grinding every at-bat. And he's going to be hard on us. When you have a laid-back environment where guys are content losing, I think sometimes that extra person on top of you helps you get to where you need to be mentally, and that drives you. Gibby has that fire; he doesn't like losing. He's going to push in the right direction."

Which isn't to say a competitive team does one man (let alone one who doesn't hit, throw or catch) make.

"It's on the players," said Upton, who already at age 22 has had three big league managers, "but sometimes the right decision has to be made; the right leadership has to be here. Whether it comes from the players, whether it comes from the front office or the coaching staff, somebody has to step up. Gibby has been here for a while, and we're hoping he has the drive to turn this thing around, and that's going to take the players to get behind him and turn it up.

"I know, from personal situations, that I don't like coming here and getting beat every night. Hopefully, these guys in here don't want to do that either. With a little bit of change we can turn some things around."

Upton, a player who more than saw eye-to-eye with Hinch during the latter's brief tenure, pointed out that his outgoing manager arrived in the middle of a muddled 2009 season and replaced a manager, Bob Melvin, believed to be beloved by his players.

"He kind of got thrown in the fire; he stood up to it. But he just couldn't turn it around," Upton said. "He'd never done it -- and that's not a knock against A.J., but they threw him into the situation where the team wasn't playing well, guys weren't responding to another manager."

Upton, a cornerstone of the 25-man roster even though he's had his own struggles this season, said he believes Gibson's promotion occurs just when his message of intensity will be heard. The hope, of course, is that Upton isn't the only one listening.

"I really like his mentality," said starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, who added that he often soaked up some wisdom from Gibson on the bench during games between his starts. "It's more old school. The way he played would describe how he might coach. I'm curious to see how it works out."

While news of the shakeup had been rumored, it's eventuality still came as a shock to some in the clubhouse. Take right-handed reliever Esmerling Vasquez, who was at a friend's house Thursday night when family phoned him with the news.

"They said, 'They fired your manager, go see it on the news.' I said, 'What?' I feel bad for [Hinch]," Vasquez said. "But Gibson is a good person, a good guy. I feel happy for him."

"You've heard the speculation for a couple of weeks now, but it never really settles in until it happens," said third baseman Mark Reynolds. "I heard last night and was surprised and shocked. You just have to roll with the punches and keep playing."

Andrew Pentis is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Kirk Gibson Management Career Tracker   Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:49 pm

D-backs sticking with Gibson on two-year pact
Dipoto takes scouting/development role; coaching staff shaken up
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com | 10/04/10 2:54 PM ET

PHOENIX -- The D-backs have signed manager Kirk Gibson to a two-year contract with a club option for 2013, and will announce the deal at a 3 p.m. MST news conference on Monday.

Gibson served as interim manager after A.J. Hinch was dismissed on July 1 and compiled a 34-49 record while receiving praise from the organization for changing the culture inside the clubhouse.

At the time of his promotion, Gibson was in his fourth season as the team's bench coach after serving in the same capacity for the Tigers from 2003-05.

The D-backs also shook up their coaching staff Monday, reassigning or dismissing all but first-base coach Matt Williams and bullpen coach Glenn Sherlock.

Bench coach Bo Porter and hitting coach Jack Howell were dismissed, while pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. and third-base coach Joel Youngblood were offered other positions in the organization.

The club also will announce that Jerry Dipoto has accepted a position as senior vice president of scouting and player development. Dipoto served as interim GM after the dismissal of Josh Byrnes on July 1 and was a finalist for the position, which went to former Padres GM Kevin Towers last month.

Williams, who played for the D-backs from 1998-2003, just completed his first season as the first-base coach. Previously he had worked for the organization as a Spring Training instructor. He also has a small ownership stake in the franchise.

Williams has been credited with helping third baseman Mark Reynolds cut down his league-leading error total from 2008 and infielders like shortstop Stephen Drew have praised him for his work with them.

Sherlock has been with the D-backs since their inception. He served as the organization's catching coordinator from 1996-1997 when the franchise only had Minor League teams. Following the 1997 Expansion Draft, Sherlock joined the team's Major League staff as a bullpen/catching coach.

Aside from one-year stints as bench coach and first-base coach, Sherlock has remained in the bullpen coach's role, working under Buck Showalter, Bob Brenly, Al Pedrique, Bob Melvin, A.J. Hinch and Gibson.

Porter joined the coaching staff prior to 2010 after being the third-base coach for the Marlins. Porter served as Hinch's third-base coach, but moved to bench coach when Hinch was dismissed on July 1. He interviewed for the Marlins' managerial opening in June and is expected to be a candidate for several managing jobs this fall.

Stottlemyre and Howell were promoted to their positions on May 8, 2009, when Hinch was hired to replace Melvin.

Stottlemyre had been the organization's Minor League pitching coordinator from 2007 until the time of his promotion.

Howell had worked for nine seasons in the organization and was the team's Minor League field coordinator before being promoted last year.

Youngblood was named the team's third-base coach in July after Gibson was named interim manager. He previously served as the organization's outfield/baserunning coordinator.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Kirk Gibson Management Career Tracker   Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:17 pm

Last Updated: October 18. 2010 6:07PM
Kirk Gibson to sell items from memorable 1988 World Series
Eric Lacy / The Detroit News

Items owned by Kirk Gibson from one of the most memorable moments in World Series history will soon go on sale.

Starting next week, Gibson's bat, uniform, and batting helmet from Game 1 of the 1988 World Series will be put up for auction through the California-based company SCP Auctions.

Gibson, playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, hit the winning home run off Oakland reliever Dennis Eckersley in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, propelling the Dodgers to the title.

A public relations firm confirmed to The Detroit News on Monday the items are for sale via an Internet auction that will take place Oct. 27 to Nov. 13.

Gibson, the former Tigers player and coach, currently is the Arizona Diamondbacks' manager.

Other items from Gibson will be sold, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Kirk Gibson Foundation to support Michigan State athletics, Clarkston High School and Waterford Kettering High School.

Gibson's parents were educators at those schools.

For more information, go to www.scpauctions.com.


From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20101018/SPORTS0104/10180390/1129/sports0104/Kirk-Gibson-to-sell-items-from-memorable-1988-World-Series#ixzz12wp8ZizC


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PostSubject: Re: Kirk Gibson Management Career Tracker   Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:25 pm

Last Updated: October 20. 2010 11:22AM
Kirk Gibson 'at peace' parting with treasures
Tony Paul / The Detroit News

Kirk Gibson has the memories.

So you can have the memorabilia.

The popular former Tigers legend announced Tuesday plans to auction off several prized possessions from his memorable 1988 season with the Dodgers — including, most notably, the pine tar-laced bat with which he hit one of the most famous home runs in history.

And, no, he doesn't anticipate having any regrets.

"No, I don't. I mean, the moment and everything, all that, it's still there," Gibson told reporters on a conference call. "The accomplishment by the organization, the city, the team, I'll never forget that.

"I'm really at peace with what I'm doing with it."

Starting Oct. 27, up for sale will be the bat which made a hero out of a limping Gibson and a goat out of Dennis Eckersley in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 1 of the World Series; the helmet he wore rounding the bases, still coated with pine tar; the white jersey he wore (and hasn't washed since!); as well as his World Series trophy and regular-season MVP plaque.

Proceeds from the MVP plaque and World Series trophy will benefit his foundation, which supports the athletic department at Michigan State, his alma mater, as well as scholarships at Clarkston and Waterford Kettering high schools, in honor of his mother and late father, who both were teachers.

"My goal is when I pass on, to have that foundation kicking," Gibson said. "I'm trying to grow it to a substantial level so hopefully I can give a full scholarship a year to both of those schools."

When asked Tuesday why proceeds from the bat, which figures to generate, by far, the most cash, weren't going toward the foundation, Gibson said, simply: "I have other things to do."

He got testy when asked if he has specific financial needs, calling it an "inappropriate question." He then said, "No, I don't."

Rather, Gibson, 53, who recently signed a two-year contract to manage the Diamondbacks, said, "I've never considered myself a collector," and labels the sale as housecleaning, of sorts.

Only the trophy and plaque have been displayed much; the others have been stored in a warehouse or, in the bat's case, a safe.


"The bat, I have actually kind of developed a phobia about keeping it," he said, "worried about protecting it, about it burning up in a fire."

So, instead, that bat — which the Hall of Fame, years back, requested, to no avail — will burn up someone's bank account. And while there's no telling just how much it will go for, SCP, the California auction house handling his lot, has a darn good track record. It once got $1.265 million for the bat Babe Ruth used to hit his first home run at Yankee Stadium.

And, frankly, few fans remember that like they remember Gibson's magical swing 22 years ago.

"There's only one of those," Doug Haase, manager of Detroit Athletic Co., a sports memorabilia shop on Michigan Avenue, said of Gibson's historic bat. "I'm sure there's somebody on the West Coast that will need to have that for their collection."

The only artifact more sought-after from that Oct. 15, 1988, game is the baseball, which Gibson doesn't own. He's never seen it, and nobody knows where it is.

"A lady sent me a picture of her leg. It hit her in the inner thigh, kind of high on her skirt, so to say," he said. "She was all black and blue. But I've never, ever seen the ball."

A few moments later, unprompted, Gibson said, "Wish I had that ball."

Gibson, once the auction ends Nov. 13, still will own plenty of memorabilia from his 17-year playing career, including a whole lot with Tigers ties — meaning everything associated with the clinching Game 5 of the 1984 World Series when he hit two home runs, including a memorable one off Goose Gossage that sent Detroit into a frenzy.

He has no plans to sell his Tigers collection yet, though he wouldn't say why.

"This is kind of a first step. We'll see how this goes," said Gibson, who was drafted by, and played 12 seasons for, the Tigers. "I just have my reasons. We'll leave it at that."

But this much is clear: The sale of prized possessions, plus his new busy life in Arizona, doesn't mean Gibson is abandoning his home state.

"We'll always keep a place in Michigan. It's home," he said. "It's still home."


Become a fan of Covering the Bases on Facebook.

tpaul@detnews.com


From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20101020/SPORTS0104/10200372/1129/sports0104/Kirk-Gibson--at-peace--parting-with-treasures#ixzz12wpsppzf


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PostSubject: Re: Kirk Gibson Management Career Tracker   Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:29 pm

Gibson holding onto Tigers stuff for now
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on October 19, 2010 at 6:51 PM

Kirk Gibson cited a combination of estate planning and scholarship fundraising as he discussed his move to put up some of his items from the 1988 World Series for auction online, including his bat, helmet and uniform from his memorable Game 1 home run. For now, though, he's holding onto the artifacts he has from his Tigers days, including the 1984 World Series.

"Not right now," Gibson said on a conference call. "This is kind of a first step. We'll see how this goes. I've retained all my Tiger stuff right now. I just have my reasons. We'll just leave it at that."

Those items presumably will stay in the Michigan warehouse where he has piled up so many items he has collected over the years. He bought that storage space back in 1978 and collected a slew of items, not just from baseball, but just in life.


"Pretty soon I had a warehouse full of everything -- cars, boats, memorabilia, things I saved," Gibson said. "I never considered myself a collector. Got to the point where I needed to start going through it. I went through all of my memorabilia as part of that. I had all this stuff."

Pretty soon, the stuff piled up, even though Gibson himself says he's never considered himself a collector. He worried about what to do with that stuff down the road, what would happen to it in a fire or something. But just as important, he also worried about a legacy, of carrying on the commitment to education his parents established as high school educators.

This auction allows him to do that. Proceeds will go towards his foundation, which has in turn donated money towards a scholarship fund at Michigan State as well as at Clarkston and Waterford Kettering High Schools, where his parents worked.

"These are things that, I don't want to say I don't value them, but I just thought I'd donate them to my foundation," Gibson said. "I just thought it would be better for me, before I go, before my mom goes, I want to make sure they understand my commitment to giving back. So I put those into my foundation."


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PostSubject: Re: Kirk Gibson Management Career Tracker   Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:30 pm

Last Updated: June 18. 2011 11:42PM
Jerry Green
Manager Kirk Gibson coming home -- and packing memories

Detroit— This was just a bull session between two gruff characters, seated in a screened-in porch on the city's east side, on a gray winter's afternoon. Hot-stove baseball stuff, a December passion. Some 33 years ago.

"I went down to the ballpark today," the host told the visitor, "to sign my contract. The field was covered with snow. I walked up to home plate and stood like I was at bat. The bottom of the ninth.

"I swung and imagined myself hitting a home run.

"That's my time — batting in the bottom of the ninth. And hitting a home run. And winning the game."

His eyes turned to flaming coal.

This was just a young ballplayer, spilling out his imagination, a far-fetched fantasy, to a sports journalist who retains his favorite memories as precious souvenirs.

Far-fetched fantasy, my whatever!

Kirk Gibson delivered on his fantasy. He delivered in the World Series for the Tigers and then the Dodgers. He delivered twice once in a Friday night doubleheader in Tiger Stadium, then went winging back to Grosse Pointe with Dave Rozema, the two yelling out in traffic along Jefferson Avenue.

Souvenirs of all of us, for Major League Baseball itself.

And now Kirk Gibson is delivering again.

He is delivering as a major league manager. He is running the Arizona Diamondbacks in a pennant race. He is boss of a ballclub thriving in the National League's West Division, wrestling in competition with the San Francisco Giants.

The rookie manager, Gibson, vs. the craggy, veteran manager, Bruce Bochy. Bochy just happened to manage the Giants to the championship in the World Series last season.

Now this should serve as my personal confession.

I thought Gibson was too intense as a competitor to excel as a manager. His expectations of himself were so high; his achievements were so dramatic and so extemporaneous that I figured he could never accept anything inferior from lesser mortal athletes.

Likewise, I thought a combatant such as Gibson could never quite accept human misjudgments from umpires, imperfect beings with beliefs that they seldom err.

And then I never thought Gibson could accept a major league manager's responsibility to play sweet with the media even when his temper was terrible. After all, he was intolerant when he was a player of most ink-stained wretches — except for a select few — and TV characters.

Still delivering

It was just a year or so ago when the Diamondbacks visited Detroit floundering on the field — and in the clubhouse. This was a ballclub in obvious disarray, smothered by dissension. Shortly after the series in Detroit, the Diamondbacks fired A.J. Hinch as their manager.

Gibson was appointed manager with that tag that reeks of insecurity — interim.

Interim translates in baseballese as a manager clearly on trial. It means that he was the nearest guy available. A stop-gap hire. And dithering ownership expects the interim guy to be overmatched.

But then Kirk Gibson is a classic competitor. He also is one of the sensibly intelligent sports people with whom I've indulged in bull sessions over the past 55 years of slinging the bull.

Given his shot, Gibson handled the Diamondbacks skillfully enough to have the interim label stripped away.

Now his team is a factor in a pennant race.

And next weekend, Gibson comes home.

Home to where he was an All-America football player at Michigan State. Home to where he played super-charged baseball for Sparky Anderson's finer teams of the 1980s. Home to where he delivered with two home runs in the gloaming in October 1984, the day the Tigers beat the Padres to clinch a world championship.

His time!

Home, which he left when he entered exile to sign with the Dodgers after the Tigers pretty much forced him into free agency in 1988. Goodbye, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

His time again! The historic World Series homer in L.A., and the National League's most valuable player award.

Then twice more back home. To end his career as a player with the Tigers. And later to start his career as a coach, under Alan Trammell, hired as Detroit manager with the goodwill mission to placate the raving masses.

Home to Gibson and for sure baseball home to Trammell.

Oh, the irony

And now again, home, back to Comerica as visitors — Gibson the manager now and Trammell the bench coach. Roles reversed.

Home, from where they were essentially kicked out of town by the Tigers front office after they did the job they were hired to do. And that job was to rekindle interest in baseball after the franchise had become moribund. Two players, along with Lance Parrish, from Sparky's Tigers, who won the '84 pennant, playoffs and World Series with absolute dominance.

Trammell never uttered a peep in complaint after he was fired — the scapegoat for managing a team grievously lacking in talent. That was in character.

But Gibson was Gibson. He was angry and felt he and Tram had been mistreated by his hometown team — again. Also in character.

Gibson and Trammell back — on the weekend when the Tigers are retiring Sparky's No. 11, seven months after his death.

Again Gibson, the rookie manager, this weekend goes up against a craggy, veteran manager in Jim Leyland — Trammell's successor here in Detroit.

The irony is compelling.

We have the ingredients for high Gibsonian drama. There is the revenge element; the returning champions who wore the Olde English D with such elegance, champions with such style; plus two clubs involved in battles for first place in divisions in two leagues.

Leyland is part of baseball's renaissance in Detroit, with one pennant five years ago. Gibson is part of baseball's renaissance in Arizona.

On Sparky's weekend, the return of two of his more formidable warriors from 1984 should produce captivating baseball theater.

Just one bit of caution: The 2011 Tigers, to belabor one of Sparky's favorite words, ain't quite the match for his '84 Tigers.

Jerry Green is a retired Detroit News sportswriter. Read his web-exclusive column Sundays at detnews.com.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110618/OPINION03/106180397/Manager-Kirk-Gibson-coming-home----and-packing-memories#ixzz1PleXqPMw


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PostSubject: Re: Kirk Gibson Management Career Tracker   Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:17 am

Leyland's influence on Gibson palpable
As first pro manager, Leyland helped shape memorable career
By Jason Beck and Chris Vannini / MLB.com | 06/25/11 8:00 PM ET

DETROIT -- Before Sparky Anderson taught Kirk Gibson how to be a Major League player and a professional, Gibson's first manager in pro ball was Jim Leyland.

Anderson had the most influence on Gibson, he has said, but Leyland had the earliest. Gibson, now the D-backs' manager has never forgotten that.

And when Gibson walked to home plate Friday night to exchange lineup cards, he made sure Leyland knew.

"When I shook his hand at home plate," Gibson said after Friday's 7-6 victory over the Tigers, "I said it was an honor to compete against him tonight and said, 'I love you, man.' I appreciate what he did for me when I was a little snot-nosed kid coming out of Michigan State."

Gibson told the story to reporters last weekend. It began with a flight to Florida after he signed with the Tigers, and then-Lakeland manager Leyland met him at the airport.

"He picked me up and he buried me," Gibson said. "He said basically that it was great that I was an All-American and everything, but it didn't mean anything to him. ... He said I would be out at 8 a.m. every morning for workouts with him personally, and that I would work out with the team from 2:30 to 3. And they weren't easy workouts."

Leyland downplayed the conversation.

"It was just like, 'Look, you're playing baseball, and you have to concentrate on baseball.' But there was a whole different story to that," Leyland said. "I knew Gibby was going back to play his senior year, so I wanted to make sure [he knew], 'Listen, you're in baseball now. It's not going to be easy for you, maybe not as easy as football. You're going to find out what this is all about. From day one, you have to start to try to make adjustments.'

"Gibby was great about it. Gibby was crude -- I don't mean crude personally, but crude as a player. He had big-time power, kind of a rough swing to start with. He never did really develop a great, great swing, but he was just so strong and so fast and such a competitor."

Leyland also downplayed his impact on Gibson, but he sounded genuinely touched by the compliment.

"My mom could've managed Kirk Gibson. He was going to get to the big leagues," Leyland said. "I worked awful hard with him, but he worked harder than I did. It was an honor for me to work with him. That's what you're supposed to do. But I like to think I worked with all the kids.

"I'm certainly not taking any credit. You just hope that somewhere along the line you did something or said something that may have been a little bit of help to him. I hope so."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Chris Vannini is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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