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Dennis Eckersley Wears A's Jersey, Throws First Pitch To Kirk Gibson

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- Dennis Eckersley is nothing if not a good sport.

The Baseball Hall of Famer partook in the pregame festivities prior to Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday night in Los Angeles. He wasn't there to represent the Red Sox, for whom he played eight years and for whom he still serves as a broadcaster. And he wasn't there to represent the Dodgers, for whom he never played.

Nope, Eckersley was there to celebrate one of the greatest moments in Dodgers history and one of the greatest moments in baseball history, period. And it was a moment that just so happened to be the low-point of his own career.

That moment, of course, was the walk-off home run hit by the hobbled Kirk Gibson in the bottom of the ninth to end Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.

Thirty years later, Eckersley returned to the scene of the crime to partake in a first pitch ceremony, throwing out the first pitch to Gibson himself.

Dennis Eckersley, Kirk Gibson
Dennis Eckersley, Kirk Gibson(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Dennis Eckersley
Dennis Eckersley throws the ceremonial first pitch to Kirk Gibson prior to Game 4 of the 2018 World Series. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

It wasn't your typical first pitch ceremony, though, because Gibson brought a bat:

Dennis Eckersley, Kirk Gibson
Dennis Eckersley, Kirk Gibson (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Here's the famous moment, in case you haven't seen it in a week or two:

WS1988 Gm1: Scully's call of Gibson memorable at-bat by MLB on YouTube

Gibson and Eckersley, coincidentally, were together a night before, watching Game 3 of the World Series. That game ended with a Max Muncy walkoff home run in the 18th inning -- the first Dodgers postseason walkoff home run since Gibson's.

Eckersley didn't really stand to gain anything from participating in the Game 4 ceremony, but it's been a moment he's never shied away from when discussing his Hall of Fame career.

"I truly feel honored -- and that sounds crazy -- to be a part of all this," Eckersley said in 2016. "I really do. Me and Kirk have gotten to know each other much more over the years. I've always had this respect for Kirk, the kind of player that he was. And for something like that to happen to me, in that moment in baseball, was incredible. What a moment. It really was. I can step away from that and appreciate it, because I love the game."

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