Did Dennis Eckersley Coin the Term “Walk Off” the Same Year He Gave Up Kirk Gibson’s Legendary Walk-Off Home Run in the World Series?
Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about baseball and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the baseball urban legends featured so far.
BASEBALL URBAN LEGEND: Dennis Eckersley coined the term “walk off” earlier in the same season that he gave up one of the most famous “walk off” home runs in baseball history.
Tonight, the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals will play Game 1 of the 2013 World Series. Twenty-five years ago, in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series between the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kirk Gibson won Game 1 of the World Series with one of the most famous “walk-off” home runs in Major League Baseball history…
It was October 15, 1988 (adding an extra round or two to the playoffs has pushed the World Series back a week nowadays) when Dodger Gibson (the 1988 National League MVP, who had been hobbled by leg injuries and would only be able to bat once during the entire series) hit a bottom of the ninth inning, two out, two strike, deficit-erasing (the Dodgers were down 4-3 to the Oakland Athletics) home run that won Game 1 of the World Series for the Dodgers, making it the first time that a player had won a World Series game with a home run hit while his team was trailing.
The home run is a “walk off” because the player hits it and everyone just “walks off” the field, as the game is over.
It is a great term.
And do you know who coined it?
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