Thirty years ago, Franklin Stubbs got to celebrate with his Dodgers teammates after one of the most memorable home runs in baseball history, Kirk Gibson’s famous home run off Dennis Eckersley to win game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
Stubbs says that wherever he’s at, people come up to him and tell him, “I remember where I was when he (Gibson) hit the home run.”
Stubbs started every game of that historic 1988 World Series victory for the Dodgers over the heavily favored Athletics.
“I’m glad I was there to witness it, and also be a part of it,” said Stubbs.
Thirty years later, Stubbs is back in California, as the new hitting coach for the Visalia Rawhide.
“I enjoy trying to pass my expertise on,” said Stubbs. “The knowledge that I’ve gained, not only from myself but from other people.”
Stubbs was a former first round draft pick of the Dodgers back in 1982. He played 10 years in the big leagues, with four different teams, finishing with 104 career home runs. And coaching was the natural next step.
“I’ve probably been coaching since I was about 10 year’s old,” said Stubbs. “Coaching guys on my team at that age.”
His first year with Visalia marks his 22nd year overall as a minor league coach. So considering his resume, when Stubbs talks, players listen.
“(The) guy played in the World Series, and played in the MLB for a long time,” said Rawhide third baseman Drew Ellis. “So any guy that has got that kind of tenure is definitely special to be around.”
And although Franklin’s current pupils weren’t even born yet when his Dodgers team had its run to remember, thanks to that remarkable team, and one remarkable home run, Stubbs will always have his own little place in baseball history.
“Can’t take it away, can’t take the year away,” said Stubbs. “I mean, ’88 was our year, so we have it and it will always be,” said Stubbs.