21 July 2015

i was there when the impossible happened and i've got the photos to prove it

not that i need an excuse to post a fantastic card like this 1995 upper deck sp championship series kirk gibson die-cut classic performances card
but i thought that i would expand on something i've mentioned a time or two before.  mainly, that i was at game 1 of the 1988 world series with my dad.  i came across some of our photos from that game recently, and scanned a few.  let's relive the excitement, shall we?

we were sitting in the right field pavilion, and were in line for dodger dogs during the team introductions.  debbie gibson sang the national anthem.  when we got to our seats, the good year blimp was flying above the top of the park.

bottom of the first inning
that's mickey hatcher about to round second after hitting a home run to put the dodgers up 2-0.  hatcher was starting in left field in place of the aforementioned gibson, who had two bad legs following the nlcs against the mets.
the second photo there shows hatcher nearly catching up to steve sax as he nears third base.  when sax turned around after touching home plate, he was visibly surprised to see hatcher right behind him.

top of the second inning
tim belcher loaded the bases, partly by walking dave stewart (that's stew at second base), but he got dave henderson (at the plate in the photo above) to strike out for the second out, but that brought up jose canseco.
canseco took the first pitch in the photo above, but sent the second pitch on a line over the center field wall.  one of the hardest hit balls i have ever seen in person.  here's a photo of canseco rounding the bases
after what turned out to be his only hit in the series.  and here's a photo of him out in right field afterwards
i believe this is when the 'steroids' chants began that night.  did he flex for us? i think he did, but don't recall for sure.

bottom of the third innng
mickey hatcher came up again, and i thought his home run so improbable, that i took a picture of the diamondvision scoreboard.  hatcher drew a walk, but mike marshall lined out to third to end the inning.

bottom of the fifth inning:
here franklin stubbs (as the tying run) grounds out sharply to mark mcgwire at first base with tracy woodson on second base to end the inning.

bottom of the sixth inning:
with one out, following mike marshall and john shelby singles, mike scioscia is at the plate
and he singled to left to drive in marshall, making the score 4-3, which is how it stayed going into the final inning.

bottom of the ninth inning:
dennis eckersley is on the mound pitching to mike davis with two outs in that photo. davis draws a walk to extend the inning…

…and look who's coming up!
that's gibson, of course, making his way to the batter's box.  everybody in the stadium was up, and most were hoping for a home run, i am sure.

the next two pictures are from the first pitch eckersley threw - my dad's photo is better
than mine
must be the cameras.  the pitch resulted in a foul ball to the left side.  many hopes for a home run were dashed after that swing, i would guess.

here's the 0-2 pitch to gibson
i think this was also the pitch after which a's catcher ron hassey threw back to first to try to pick davis off.  i remember thinking that it would have been a terrible way for the game to end.

after that pitch, both my dad and i stopped shooting and watched instead. we are glad that we did.  i took this next photo after watching gibson's hit land in the pavilion to our left.  we have eck walking off the mound with steve sax holding his head in disbelief.
here's where we all were losing our minds.  the pavilion was rocking and i was full of adrenaline and joy, so this picture didn't come out at all
that's gibson, though, approaching second base.  i remember seeing the fist pumps.  it was awesome.

after that, i focused on home plate, which is too bad because i missed gibson rounding third.  this photo shows mickey hatcher and orel hershiser up the line to greet him
as does this one
but now gibby is somewhere in the mass of dodger humanity at home plate.
this series of photos is really not much to look at - it's just the celebration at home plate blurrily taking place, but i like it more for the slow progression of a's left fielder stan javier making his way off the field.  he's there at second base in the above photo
now he's almost half way to first base
and now he's just about out of the frame.
about the only person i can make out in all of this is tracy woodson, as he was wearing the blue pullover.  you can tell by the poor quality of these photographs that i am very happy to have so many cards in my collection that capture gibson's home run, including the one up top.  that's partially why there are two such cards in my header, which reminds me to remind you to get your entries in for my contest - only a few days left.

i know a guy who has only attended one baseball game in his lifetime, and it was game 7 of the 1991 world series.  he says that he's never felt the need to go to another after seeing that game in person.  game 1 of the 1988 world series was not the first game i had been to, obviously, but i kind of know what he means.  it is a hard act to follow, but that's the beauty of the game - anything can happen on any given night - and that's why i keep going back.


BobWalkthePlank said...

Great post! You got just about the greatest experience you could get at a baseball game.

Adam Kaningher said...

Wow! That's something special. How does it feel every time the highlight reel comes up?

night owl said...

Interesting stuff. I kind of like the blurry photo of the celebration.

Best game I probably went to was at Fenway Park. Cal Ripken hit a HR in the 10th to win it in August. Not exactly the same.

ernest said...

Just Awesome! Thanks for sharing. And I agree with Night Owl, I like the blurry ones too.

Roberto Baly said...

This is great! Wow.

Brian said...

I imagine that is a place and time Dodger fans would cite one of the first places they'd visit if they had a time machine. Very Cool. The Twins have lost the two playoff games I attended, but they were still among the most exciting games I've ever been to.

Tony L. said...

I was lucky enough to see the Brewers win Game 3 of the ALCS and Game 5 of the World Series in the eventual loss to the Cardinals and Satan's Messengers, who at the time were mere mortals who hadn't won anything in 14 years or something similar.

Any World Series game that you can attend in which you win is a good one, but man, this one is one of the best you could ask for.

Johnnys Trading Spot said...

Awesome experience. I have yet to make it to a playoff or WS game, although my brother seems to like to rub that in my face.

Fuji said...

Very cool piece of your personal timeline. Unfortunately... this memory ranks up there with Russell Wilson's interception as one of the most painful sports memories in my lifetime.