33 years ago today the Tigers completed one of their best seasons in franchise history with an 8-4 Game 5 victory over San Diego to win their fourth (and most recent) World Series title. ALCS MVP Kirk Gibson opened the scoring with a first-inning two-run bomb off of Padres starter Mark Thurmond, but when he came to the plate in the bottom of the 8th, Detroit was holding onto a one-run lead with 3B Marty Castillo and 2B Lou Whitaker on third and second and one out.On this day in 1984: pic.twitter.com/vAIIedXQvD— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) October 14, 2017
Hall of Fame Padres manager Dick Williams visited his Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage on the mound to discuss walking Gibson with first base open and setting up an inning-ending double play. Ever the competitor, Gossage talked his skipper into going after Gibby, prompting a scene captured on video for posterity in which Hall of Fame Tigers manager Sparky Anderson noted to Gibson, "He don't wanna walk you! He don't wanna walk you!"
Gibson made him pay by absolutely tattooing a no-doubter to the right field upper deck, giving the Tigers a four-run cushion they wouldn't relinquish:1984 AL Cy Young and MVP Award-winner Willie Hernandez needed just four batters to get the final three outs, and ended things by getting Hall of Fame Padre Tony Gwynn to fly out to left. (By the way, I'm mentioning all these HOFers since none of the players on that Detroit team ever gained election.)
I was too young to enjoy the victory at the time but fortunately my family made sure I grew up remembering that '84 team.
So, flash forward to 2017. I made my biggest combined Sportlots purchase to-date, grabbing more than 1,000 cards, a few of which went out in trade packages, but most of which have remained with me. Everything is scanned but it'll take me a while to get each card cropped, labelled, and ready for posting. However, as I mentioned, Detroit's earlier tweet inspired me, so today marks the first day of the great Sportslotting of 2017, starring one Kirk Gibson:
This scan includes cards from 1982 (Drake's), '84 (Donruss and Fleer), '85 (Drake's again), and '86 (Fleer Limited Edition, Fleer Star Stickers, Leaf, Topps Glossy Send-Ins, and True Value). Definitely some interesting stuff with just a couple regular base cards.
This scan mostly closes the book on the store and retail issues (you might see more in a bit!) but my focus was on the second of my old-school Sportflics pickups. While the more modern versions were always going to look better, these hologram cards were super cool in the 80s.
1995 was pretty much the last year Kirk appeared on cardboard while he was playing as his career ended after that season; His only '96s are three Collector's Choice issues. Thankfully, '95 was a good year to be collecting the OF that reunited with his original team.
The next four stickers hail from Panini's 1989 sticker book, including a pair highlighting the Dodgers' World Series win. Three more Topps items then continue the 1989 run: Mini Leaders, Topps/O-Pee-Chee Sticker Backs, and Stickers.
Moving on to the bottom, items 1 and 3 are Panini stickers from 1990 and '95. I must not have been collecting the latter because they don't look familiar to me at all. In between those we have a tiny Topps Micro offering, something seen here fairly often when it comes to my PCs, and this one was made in 1992.
Closing out this post is a horizontally-oriented sticker that appropriately enough was made in 1984 by Topps. Gibby's is the half I care about, but he shares this dual-player offering with former Red Sox (and still brother of Trevor) Glenn Hoffmann.
That's an awesome 80 new cards and oddball issues added to my Gibson PC, which ends the day at 282, just a couple short of his career stolen base total, oddly enough.
I'm looking forward to showing y'all the rest of my huge Sportlots purchase soon, though I'll likely try to get a few other things posted first. I may not have them all done by the time we have a World Series champion, but while I'm working I'll be happily thinking about the from 33 years ago!