October 19, 2010 |
The chipped, scratched, tar-streaked piece of old wood is a thing of beauty. I actually felt a chill Tuesday when I picked up the black Worth Tennessee Thumper that Kirk Gibson used to drive a ball into the most memorable moment in Los Angeles Dodgers history. It was the first time in 22 years I have seen the bat that a gimpy Gibson used to hit a two-run homer against the Oakland Athletics' Dennis Eckersley in the bottom of the ninth to win the 1988 World Series opener. It is probably also the last time I will see it. In an act as odd and unexpected as the famous swing itself, Gibson is auctioning the bat, jersey and helmet from a play that was once voted the top sports moment in our city's history.
December 18, 2009 |
You may think there are too many television talk shows. It's not even fun to mock ABC's "The View" anymore. ESPN's "Around the Horn" might as well be over the moon. It just feels over. But wait. There's more. On Sunday night at 7 p.m., the HLN network (which until recently was CNN Headline News) will premiere a one-hour show called "With All Due Respect." The panel? Charles Barkley, Dennis Eckersley and Kyle Petty with host Robin Meade. Basketball star, baseball star, auto racing star.
July 26, 2004 |
Dennis Eckersley can still come up with the save in a tough spot. Flanked by 50 Hall of Famers, cheered by hundreds of fans, and staring out at his parents, Eckersley repeatedly fought back tears on Sunday and managed to complete his induction speech into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The cocky right-hander with the mustache and shaggy hair was humbled as never before. "It was brutal. I've never been through something like this.
July 25, 2004 |
Dennis Eckersley and Paul Molitor excelled in the clutch, so they should be used to it by now. Then again, induction speeches at the Baseball Hall of Fame are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. "I'm getting a little bit more anxious," said Molitor, contemplating today's ceremony. "There's a lot of things to handle." Eckersley, a studio analyst on cable TV for Boston Red Sox home games, said he was "uptight" about his induction.
July 24, 2004 |
Seldom is a man so celebrated for his success so remembered for his failure. The televised image of Dennis Eckersley inevitably precedes the image of Kirk Gibson, jerking his elbow backward, limping around the bases and reveling in one of baseball's most glorious home runs.
December 11, 1998 |
After pitching in the most games in major league history--1,071--Dennis Eckersley said Thursday he had thrown his final fastball. His 24 seasons in the majors were really two careers: 13 years as a starter and then, after a battle with alcohol, a move to the bullpen for 11 years as one of the most dominating relievers the game has ever seen. "It's hard to walk away," he said, fighting back tears. "It's been a major part of my life since I was 8 years old."