It's official. The often-mustachioed interim manager will now be able to remove that pesky "interim" off of his title. He has his work cut out for him.
Official Press Release:
D-BACKS AGREE TO 2-YEAR CONTRACT WITH GIBSON AS MANAGER THROUGH 2012
Team Also Holds Club Option for 2013 with Former National League MVP & ALCS MVP
(PHOENIX) - The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today they have agreed to terms with Kirk Gibson on a two-year contract through the 2012 season with a team option for 2013 to become the sixth manager of the D-backs, according to D-backs' Executive Vice President & General Manager Kevin Towers.
Gibson compiled a 34-49 record after being named interim manager of the D-backs on July 1 to replace A.J. Hinch. He previously served as the D-backs' bench coach since the beginning of the 2007 season, with the team advancing to the National League Championship Series after posting a league-best 90-72 record in 2007. Gibson's 3½ seasons as bench coach were the longest time of service among all bench coaches in club history, just ahead of Carlos Tosca from 1998-2000.
"I am excited to have the opportunity to team up with Kirk Gibson," Towers said. "I feel Kirk and I share similar values and philosophies about what this organization needs to do to get back to its championship ways."
Prior to joining the D-backs, Gibson was a bench coach on Alan Trammell's coaching staff with the Detroit Tigers from 2003-05. He also was a color analyst on the Tigers' television broadcasts on FSN Detroit from 1998-2002.
Gibson played an integral role on two World Championship teams and batted .268 with 255 home runs, 870 RBI and 284 stolen bases during a distinguished 17-year playing career with the Tigers (1979-87, 1993-95), Los Angeles Dodgers (1988-90), Kansas City Royals (1991) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1992).
Gibson was drafted in the first round (12th overall) of the 1978 First-Year Player Draft by the Tigers and in the seventh round of the NFL draft by the St. Louis Cardinals after a stellar two-sport career at Michigan State University. He made his Major League debut in 1979 and went on to be the Tigers' regular right fielder from 1983-87, helping lead Detroit to a World Championship in 1984 and another division championship in 1987. Known for having a penchant to deliver in pressure situations, Gibson was named American League Championship Series MVP against the Kansas City Royals in 1984 and delivered a memorable homer off San Diego Padres' closer Goose Gossage in Game 5 of the 1984 World Series.
Gibson signed with the Dodgers as a free agent in 1988 and led the club that year to its fifth World Championship after being named National League MVP by batting .290 with 25 home runs, 76 RBI, 106 runs and 31 stolen bases. His pinch-hit, game-winning 2-run home run off the Oakland Athletics' Dennis Eckersley in Game 1 of the World Series set the tone for the Dodgers to win the series in 5 games. Gibson is still the only player in baseball history to win a league MVP title and never appear in an All-Star Game.