MSRP: $69.98
RUNNING TIME: 1070 Minutes

  • 1988 World Series Trophy and MVP Award Presentations
  • 1988 Ring
  • Inside the Moments: Gibson’s Home Run
  • Orel Hershiser: The
    Scoreless Streak
  • Locker Room Interviews Following the Gibson Home Run
  • Award Ceremonies: Kirk Gibson 1988 NL MVP, Orel Hershiser 1988 NL Cy
  • Rare Interviews: Tommy Lasorda, Kirk Gibson, Dennis Eckersley,
    Tony LaRussa, Sparky Anderson
  • Special Game Footage: Hershiser’s 20th
    Win, Orel Breaks the MLB Scoreless Innings Record, Dodgers Clinch NL
    West, Dodgers Big 2nd Inning of NLCS Game 2, Jack Buck’s Historic Call
    of Gibson’s World Series HR, Last Out of the 1988 World Series

The Pitch

Their words, not mine:

The last month of the 1988 Major League Baseball season was dominated
by Orel Hershiser’s record-setting scoreless-innings streak. But while
Hershiser closed the season with 59 consecutive scoreless innings, the
Los Angeles Dodgers entered the postseason as distinct underdogs. First
they needed to overcome the mighty New York Mets: the winners of 100
games featured deep pitching, balanced power, and a battle-tested
roster. Then awaiting in the Fall Classic would be the powerful Oakland
Athletics. Led by the Bash Brothers, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire,
this stacked squad won 104 games and then swept the Boston Red Sox in
the American League Championship Series.

As the seven games in
this remarkable DVD collection prove, that s why they play the games.
The Dodgers had the ever-optimistic motivation of manager Tommy
Lasorda. The Dodgers had the ferocity and bulldog determination of
Hershiser. The Dodgers had the singular cast of players who far
exceeded the sum of the parts and became an unstoppable team. The
Dodgers had the 1988 National League MVP, the inspirational
lion-hearted leadership of Kirk Gibson, who with one dramatic swing
crushed the spirit of the Athletics and carved out a special place in
the World Series pantheon.

The Humans

Coaches: Tony “Captain Hook” LaRussa. Tommy “Hated by Irwin M. Fletcher” Lasorda.

Players: Orel “Bulldog My Ass” Hershiser. Steve “Don’t Kick Me in the” Sax. Jose “Tattletale” Canseco. Mark “No Comment” McGwire. Kirk “Bill Mosely-Alike” Gibson. John “Karen Caye is My” Tudor. Walt “The Rat” Weiss. Jesse “Older than Misquamicus” Orosco. Mike “Always Looking Ready to Cry” Scioscia. Dave “I can afford to fix the gap but I won’t” Henderson. Carney “The Bearded Lady” Lansford. Eric “My Rookie Card is this Valuable” Plunk. Billy “Size DOES Matter” Hatcher. Glenn “Bearded as Fuck-All” Hubbard. Dennis “Cocaine” Eckersley. Tim “Excuse Me In Advance” Belcher.

Defeated Mets Players: Dwight “I Piss on the Hall of Fame” Gooden. Lenny “Needles” Dykstra. Darryl “How Am I Still Alive?” Strawberry. Lee “Always Fired” Mazzili. Tim “The Nose” Teufel. Wally “Piazza is a” Backman. Keith “Graybeard” Hernandez. Gary “The Man From Planes” Carter.

Sad that we wasn’t allowed a live birth.

The Nutshell

The old adage about good pitching beating good hitting is proven for the 11,049th time.

The Lowdown

Heavily favored, the Oakland Athletics and their Bash Brothers (Canseco/McGwire, duh) looked to steamroll over the Los Angeles Dodgers and their measly offense in the Fall Classic after running roughshod through their division and the playoffs. The Dodgers didn’t rank highly in any offensive category, kept afloat mostly by Orel Hershiser’s 59-inning scoreless streak as well as a pitching staff filled with era’s under 3.00. One of the glorious things about sports, baseball in particular, is how expectations and presumptions often get shattered in the blink of an eye.

Next pitch? Goodbye!

The Athletics also had a pitching staff to be reckoned with, leading the American League in ERA, Wins, and Saves. With recently converted closer Dennis Eckersley on the back end and a rotation featuring Bob Welch and Dave Stewart, the guys in the silly white shoes really should have destroyed the Dodgers. The biggest power threat on Tommy Lasorda’s team was the creaky kneed semi-slugger Kirk Gibson, whose 25 HR’s led the team. But, he was injured and possibly was a non-factor due to his injury.

You may have heard about his 9th inning at bat in game one…

Probably don’t have to tell us that.

That’s the thing; this series is nowhere near as exciting as the highlights would leave to you to believe. The overplayed Kirk Gibson fist-pumping episode gets used in nearly every highlight reel and it though it makes sense, it’s game one. Just like Bill Buckner’s error gets way too much play in how it affected the 1986 World Series, it’s a big play in a very long series where no one, two, or five plays is going to dictate the tide. It’s a very dramatic moment filled to the brim with the kind of stuff sports writers get all sentimental about, but at the end of the day it’s just one little moment in the first game of the series.

More telling to me is the fact that Orel Hershiser (whom I cannot stand, by the way) pitched a three-hit complete game in the second game and also went 3-3 at the plate with an RBI. That is more overpowering and dramatic to me than a shattered mustachioed gentleman hobbling around the bases, but I’m a stat hound. The fact Orel finished the series off with a 4-hit, 2 run complete game only reinforces the fact that 1988 was most definitely his year.

Steroid Side Effect: The Ability to Bash Someone into Jacob’s Ladder.

Other than Mark McGwire’s 9th inning bomb to win game three, there’s very little in Oakland’s side of the ledger to really make this that memorable of a series. Some of the games are close ones, but the series only went five games and known more for a few key moments than anything else.

It’s entertaining enough but this set exists more for the Kirk Gibson moment and the fact that the Dodgers are a major brand more than the fact that this series is one of the better ones in recent memory.

It’s still good baseball, and fun to watch it again, as the last time I saw it I was a punk-ass 16 year old. It’s just not a classic series like you might think.

Funny, doesn’t look like a scarlet letter.

The Package

is always the case with A&E’s amazing baseball boxed sets, this
features the terrific and statistic laden sleeves with the box scores
and a very attractive bonus disc of smaller moments.

I also love the fact that each of these sets feature at least one of
the games from the championship series to showcase the clinching games
that got the eventual World Series champion to the big dance.

One thing to be warned of: This thing reeks of the 80’s, for what that’s worth to ya.

A young Fox Mulder enjoys going to the game as much as the next guy.

7.6 out of 10