PHOENIX -- It must have been the bat. Considering the condition Kirk Gibson was in, what else could it have been?
Gibson was hobbling because of knee and hamstring injuries when he came to the plate in the ninth inning of Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. The Dodgers trailed, 4-3, with a runner on second and two outs. After falling behind in the count, 0-2, Gibson worked it full before hitting a walk-off home run into the right-field bleachers. The fist pump he gave as he rounded the bases is one of baseball's most iconic images, and now, the bat he used to hit that home run will be up for sale.
Now the manager of the D-backs, Gibson is also selling his World Series trophy and MVP award along with other memorabilia at auction.
Some proceeds from the sale will go to the Kirk Gibson Foundation to support Michigan State athletics and to help fund partial scholarships at the two Michigan high schools where his parents taught.
Gibson said Tuesday he never considered himself a collector exactly, but found that he had "a warehouse that was just full of everything -- cars, boats, memorabilia, things I've saved."
Part of the collection for sale is the uniform Gibson wore when he hit the famed homer off A's closer Dennis Eckersley. It's never been washed. Why? "That's just the way it is," Gibson said.
Gibson called the appearance of the bat "unbelievable."
"If you look at the handle on the end of that bat, there's an 'x' because it was a reject. I really only got it because it was so light. I was hurt, so I started to get that ready," he said. "The cleat marks at the head of the bat where I hit my shoes, there's indentations at the beginning of the bat. At the end of the bat, it was so deep, there's really deep indentations, the red ink from the foul balls I hit is on it. You can actually see the spot where I made contact with the ball. It's preserved very well."
No one has ever found the ball Gibson hit.
The items will be sold by Internet auction Oct. 27-Nov. 13 by SCP Auctions, the company that sold the bat Babe Ruth used to hit his first home run at Yankee Stadium for $1.265 million and the contract of the sale of Ruth from the Boston Red Sox to the Yankees for $996,000.
Gibson isn't putting any items from his days with the Detroit Tigers up for sale.
"I have my reasons," Gibson said. "We'll just leave it at that."
Gibson said he wasn't putting the items up for auction because he had a particular need for money.
Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.