Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

I absolutely love this verse because it gives anyone needing motivation the ability to move on if they truly believe. In 1988, the Los Angeles Dodgers squared off against the Oakland Athletics in the World Series. The year prior Kirby Puckett hit his iconic walk off home run to lead the Minnesota Twins to victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. In the American League Championship Series, the Twins defeated the Detroit Tigers, who featured impending free agent Kirk Gibson. As the story goes Gibson would leave Detroit and head to warmer climates and sign with the Dodgers. During the regular season Gibson was on a terror hitting .290 hits, 25 home runs with 76 RBI’s leading his Dodgers to a Division Championship. Gibson would go on to win the NL MVP, but he was not alone, the Dodgers were a stacked team featuring Mike Marshall, John Shelby, Mike Scioscia, Steve Sax, Orel Hershiser, and Fernando Valenzuela. The Dodgers would win 94 games that season. Orel Hershiser would have a 59 scoreless inning streak on his way to winning the Cy Young Award. However, as great as these accomplishments would be these are not the things people remember about the 88′ Dodgers and Kirk Gibson.

As strong as a line-up the Dodgers had they entered the playoffs as underdogs. Their big free agent signing was injured. Both his legs were wounded. Gibson injured both legs during the NLCS, and would not start Game 1. In the early going the Dodgers would take the lead only to see it slip away following a Jose Canseco grand slam. The Dodgers would draw closer cutting the Oakland lead to one. Gibson remained in the clubhouse watching the game.

For the majority of the game, it was believed Gibson would be unavailable to players. In fact, legendary broadcaster, then dug out commentator Vin Scully is working for NBC during the World Series, mentioned Gibson was no where to be found. Upon hearing this Gibson would inform his manager Tommy Lasorda he was available to pinch hit. Gibson still injured began to take batting practice and the one run lead held into the 9th. Hall of Fame closer Dennis Eckersley came in to slam the door shut. Eckersley coming off a 45 save season seem like he would get the win for Dave Stewart. Eckersley would make easy work of the first two Dodgers hitters. Mike Davis comes to the plate, but Lasorda hid his cards and sent Dave Anderson to the on-deck circle to continue to conceal the availability of Gibson. Eckersley pitched around Mike Davis, assuming Anderson would come to the plate. Anderson would be pulled back and Kirk Gibson would come to the plate with his two injured legs.

Gibson likely would only make to to first base if he were to put the ball in play. He was not able to let anything out. Gibson had his power and his wits. The count went full and Gibson instinctively believed Eckersley would throw his backdoor slider, and he did. Gibson hit the pitch to the right and out of the park. It was far from a home run as Gibson walked around the bases and pumped his fist as his teammates stormed the field. The Dodgers won the game, 5–4. Gibson did not have another plate appearance in the World Series. However, his impact was nonetheless the catalyst which sparked the Dodgers to win.

Gibson never for a moment thought he couldn’t hit in that game and made himself available hitting one of the most iconic home runs in baseball history. Even when the reports are saying we are out God can get us through it. We may be down and hurt, but God can get us through it. He can get us through the pain, loss, doubt, and more. God can get us through all. We need to walk each day believing this, we need to know God will get us through.

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