Former National League MVP Kirk Gibson, the hero of the Dodgers' Game 1 victory in the 1988 World Series, has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, the Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday.
Gibson released a statement regarding his diagnosis:
"I have faced many different obstacles in my life, and have always maintained a strong belief that no matter the circumstances, I could overcome those obstacles," Gibson said. "While this diagnosis poses a new kind of challenge for me, I intend to stay true to my beliefs. With the support of my family and friends, I will meet this challenge with the same determination and unwavering intensity that I have displayed in all of my endeavors in life. I look forward to being back at the ballpark as soon as possible."
Gibson, who has been working as a color commentator for Detroit Tigers broadcasts on Fox Sports Detroit, has not been in the booth since opening day for the Tigers.
Parkinson's disease is a degenerative nervous system disorder that primarily affects bodily movement.
Gibson, 57, played 17 years in the major leagues, making his debut with Detroit in 1979. He played with the Dodgers from 1988 to 1990. His most memorable moment came during the 1988 World Series, when he hit a pinch-hit, winning home run with two outs in the ninth inning against the Oakland Athletics despite playing with two injured legs.
He played a vital role in the Tigers' 1984 World Series win, capturing the American League Championship Series MVP honor along the way. He also was the 1988 National League MVP.
Gibson retired as a member of the Tigers in 1995. He finished with a .268 career batting average and 255 home runs.