Remembering the 1988 Dodgers: A fan’s take

Dodger roots go deep. My dad watched them as the Brooklyn Dodgers. My mom took a 1963 road trip from Albuquerque to Dodger Stadium to see Don Drysdale lose to the Big Red Machine.

My roots spring up as I watched the Albuquerque Dukes and idolized Pedro Guerrero and Mike Scioscia. In fact, Scioscia hit a foul ball off my sister's leg circa 1980.

The roots became a crossroads in 1988 as several key players connect my past and present.

Vin Scully

With his golden voice and eloquent portrayal of baseball action intertwined with baseball lore, Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully made one of the most dramatic calls in baseball history, "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened." Now, I hear him on XM Satellite radio. When I hear his voice, I am a kid again at the ballpark for the first time.

Tommy Lasorda

Besides being both a Dodger player and manager who said, "To My Grandparents, Thank you for making me a Dodger Fan. Cut me and I'll bleed Dodger blue." Losorda's best move of the series was pinch-hitting Kirk Gibson. Also, Lasorda was a staple on "The Baseball Bunch" as the baseball wizard. Many baseball practices were made easier for me due to the Wizard. Later, Lasorda made All-Star immortality as he coached third and ducked out of the way of a broken bat from Vladimir Guerrero(notes). Lasorda still has showmanship.

Mike Scioscia

Mike had a solid year behind the plate with at fielding average of .991. He batted .257 and had 35 RBIs. Today, Scioscia manages the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim since 2000. He won the 2002 World Series and been to the playoffs six of 11 years. A solid career from the player who hit a ball of my sister's leg.

Orel Hershiser

Hershiser was 23-8 in 1988, and started his 59-inning scoreless streak that ran into the 1989 season. Hershiser won his last six starts, won two games in the World Series, and won the 1988 NL Cy Young Award. Today, I enjoy hearing Hershiser call games on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.

Kirk Gibson

With 25 home runs, 76 RBIs, and a .290 batting average, Gibson won the 1988 NL MVP award. However, 1988 was his claim to fame in his only at-bat in the series. With one on in the bottom of the ninth, Gibson hit a walk-off home run off Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley to win the game 5-4. Jack Buck called it, "This is gonna be a home run! Unbelievable!" Today, Gibson manages the Arizona Diamondbacks with the same fire and desire he had as a player, especially on April 12, 2011, when Gibson was ejected for the first time in his managerial career from home plate umpire Bob Davidson. Gibson and Davidson's heated conversation ignited the Diamondbacks to a 13-8 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Baseball is a sport of traditions both on and off the field. It's amazing how an 8-year-old boy can watch a group of players learn the game in AAA, and see them manage teams 30 years later.

I was born in Albuquerque, NM, and grew up watching the Albuquerque Dukes, the AAA team for Dodgers.

More Yahoo! Sports from Phillip Jackson:

Diamondbacks' road woes continue: A fan's reaction

Diamondbacks enjoying late-game success: A fan's take

Drew: Quiet and Dependable

Sources:

1988 Dodgers on Baseball Reference

Kirk Gibson 1988 World Series Home Run Call Montage

D-backs slug their way past Cardinals

Remember the Baseball Bunch

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Updated Thursday, May 12, 2011