Eckersley’s career path keeps 1988 in perspective
In arguably one of the most memorable moments in baseball history, the Oakland A’s closer and future Hall of Famer surrendered a dramatic two-out, two-run home run to a hobbled Kirk Gibson of the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 1 of the World Series. Los Angeles would go on to win not only the game, 5-4, but also the Fall Classic in five games.
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From 1988 to 1992, he led Oakland to four AL West titles, saved 220 games, struck out 378 and walked only 38. In 1992, he became only the second relief pitcher to win both the AL MVP and Cy Young Award in the same year.
A Red Sox broadcaster with NESN since 2003, Eckersley enjoyed the fans’ return in 2021.
“After all that’s happened, it’s full blast right now, so it’s nice to be where we are,” Eckersley said.
Bill Francis is the senior research and writing specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum