Sports gamers remember the epic R.B.I. Baseball re-creation of the sixth game of the 1986 World Series. Someone's gotten around to re-enacting an even greater World Series moment from that decade: Kirk Gibson's home run to beat Oakland in 1988.


This is one of a few moments I saw live and can recite from memory, and YouTube user JosiePosieMosie, within the limitations of the game, gets it virtuoso. The video picks up with the beginning of the bottom of the ninth inning, with Vin Scully and Joe Garagiola handling the call on NBC. The re-enactment includes two outs, Mike Davis working a walk, and then Gibson's seven pitch at-bat. So it's not exactly action-packed by the time you get to the big moment, nearly 10 minutes in.

For those who aren't familiar with the setup, an injured Gibson had limped off the Dodgers' bench in Game One of that World Series to face Dennis Eckersley, a hall-of-famer reliever who, that year, inaugurated the role of the dominating three-out closer. Gibson went down two strikes, battled back, and Davis stole second on the 2-2 delivery to set up the fateful home run. Gibson had been told by advance scout Mel Didier that Eckersley always threw a backdoor slider in 3-2 counts against lefthanded hitters. Sure enough ...

"If you saw 'Sands of Iwo Jima,' 'Rio Hondo' or even 'Singing In the Rain,' you know what happened. When last seen the ball was headed to the moon," Jim Murray wrote the next day in the Los Angeles Times. "Fadeout. Up the music. Roll the credits. The guys in the white hats win again. The big bad rustlers from Oakland, the hit men, the seat-breakers, had to stand there helplessly while the good guys won again."

There are some nice touches, like a couple of replays with wipe-effects from the era. It's also amusing to see Gibson jiggling in the batter's box, "shaking" his numb leg at 8:18. The rosters and stats are fully accurate with one exception: Tim Belcher, though he doesn't appear, had been relieved in the third inning; Alejandro Pena was the Dodgers' pitcher of record in bottom of the ninth.


If these things can be modified, why then is this video game between California and Houston? The 10 teams of the "Tengen League" in the original R.B.I. Baseball did not include either Oakland or, surprisingly, Los Angeles. The uniform colors can be modified, apparently (although Oakland wore road grays in this game, not gold), but I guess the team abbreviations are not modifiable.

1988 Dodgers vs A's World Series (RBI Video Game) [Vin Scully Is My Homeboy]

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