Not often does my love of The Office and the Detroit Tigers cross paths for the one of the most ambitious crossovers of all-time, but here we are.
The Tigers have named Detroit-legend Kirk Gibson to a new position of special assistant to the general manager. Not to be confused with assistant general manager. So I imagine Kirk Gibson will be on-call providing Tigers’ GM Al Avila with coffees, hot dogs and massages at his beck-and-call.
Well, not exactly. It’s a consultancy role title that also belongs to the most elite Tiger greats: Alan Trammel, Al Kaline, Willie Horton and Jim Leyland.
When you type “Kirk Gibson homerun” in the Google search-bar, the first thing that pops up is his famous one-legged homerun as a member of the LA Dodgers where the best baseball announcer of all-time, Vin Scully, screamed “I DON’T BELIEVE WHAT I JUST SAW!”
That homer might be more famous for Vin Scully’s call than the actual homerun and that was no doubt an incredible moment. But it was only Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
Tigers’ fans know Kirk Gibson as a different man. The one who hit a homerun in the bottom of the 8th inning in Game 5 of the 1984 World Series to clinch the last championship the Tigers claim.
Last season Gibson was an announcer for the Tigers and Fox Sports Detroit and was widely regarded as the most boring, monotone announcer Detroit has ever had.
He’s much better off behind closed doors as a whisperer and consultant in the ear of Avila. After retirement in 1995, Gibson was a bench coach for the Tigers as Trammel managed the group to the worst record in modern MLB history in 2003 at 43-119. He was hired by the Arizona Diamondbacks as manager in 2010 and won the NL Manager of the Year award in 2011 before stepping down in 2014.
Gibson is a native of Waterford, MI and was a two-sport athlete at Michigan State and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2017.