Signs by Kirk Gibson; Branch Rickey inducted into the Hall of Fame

Signs by Kirk Gibson; Branch Rickey inducted into the Hall of Fame

On January 29, 1988, Kirk Gibson signed a three-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers just one week after being among seven players granted free agency by an arbitrator who ruled that team owners of MLB were colluding to reduce salaries.

The former Detroit Tigers outfielder was the only one of the seven players to go to a new team.
Gibson ended up becoming a key piece for the Dodgers that season.

He was named the National League Most Valuable Player and won the Silver Slugger Award hitting .290/.377/.483 with 25 home runs, 76 RBIs, 106 runs scored and 31 stolen bases.

Gibson also hit one of the the most memorable home runs in baseball history against the Oakland Athletics in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series despite being injured. The Dodgers, of course, won the championship.

Two years later, the league entered a closure as the tensions of owner collusion combined with the league agreeing to a new television broadcast deal with a 102% increase over the previous deal with no additional compensation for the players.

Gibson ended up spending three seasons with the Dodgers, hitting .264/.353/.433 with 56 doubles, 42 home runs and 142 RBIs in 310 games during that span.

Dodgers GM Branch Rickey inducted into Hall of Fame

Also on this day, but in 1967, former Dodgers president and general manager Branch Rickey was selected as the 105th member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame by a 12-man Veterans Committee led by l ‘former Commissioner Ford Frick.

Along with Rickey, former Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Lloyd Warner was also drafted. Under current rules, only two players retired for at least 20 years or more receive consideration in the annual veterans selection.

Rickey, who also worked for the St. Louis Cardinals, is known for having signed Jackie Robinson to begin integrating the Major Leagues in 1947 and for developing Minor League Baseball. farming system used by each team today.

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