Of Heumann Interest: Gibson on life, legacy and battle with disease

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 11:02 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Kirk Gibson grew up in Waterford, but Michigan State and East Lansing is where his star rose and every time he returns to East Lansing it conjures up old memories.

Gibson gained his early fame as a football player at Michigan State. An All-American wide receiver who is now in the college football hall of fame. His baseball career produced 2 iconic moments: The 1984 game 5 home run that clinched the world series for the Tigers and the 1988 game 1 home run that set the pace for the dodgers to win the world series.

So which one was bigger?

“Actually it’s not the home run. It’s actually the final out when we could say we were world champions, those are the moments that are most vivid to me because sparky always programmed us to believe ‘don’t celebrate until that last out,’” Gibson said. “You celebrate just a tad early and let your guard down and somebody takes advantage of it.”

Now age 64, Gibson has been slowed considerably by Parkinson’s disease. Yet he continues to fight back with the same ferocity with which he played the game.

Gibson said, “You have a choice to make: You can, I guess, complain about it and feel sorry for yourself, or you can move on and have every good day you can until you can’t. It starts in the mind, so if you control your mind then you’ve won the war.”

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to our News 10 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every morning.