2016 Speaker: Kirk Gibson

Kirk Gibson is a former professional baseball player and manager.  As a player, Gibson was an outfielder who batted and threw left-handed. He spent most of his career with the Detroit Tigers but also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Royals, and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Gibson played as the regular right fielder for the Detroit Tigers from 1983 to 1987. He helped the Tigers win the 1984 World Series. He became a free agent after the 1985 season, but re-signed with the Tigers and in 1987 helped them to win the American League East by one game over the Blue Jays in an enthralling divisional race.  Detroit lost the 1987 American League Championship Series to the eventual World Champion Twins.

While with the Dodgers, Gibson was named the National League MVP in 1988. That same season, Gibson hit a walk-off home run off of Dennis Eckersley in Game one of the 1988 World Series. He was named to the All-Star team twice, in 1985 and 1988, but declined the invitation both times. He announced his retirement from baseball in August 1995.

Following his retirement as a player, he spent five seasons as a television analyst in Detroit, then became a coach for the Tigers in 2003. He became the Diamondbacks' bench coach in 2007, and was promoted to interim manager in 2010 following the midseason dismissal of A. J. Hinch. On October 4, 2010, the Diamondbacks removed the "interim" label, naming Gibson their manager for the 2011 season.  Gibson left the role of manager in September of 2014.

A decade after Kirk Gibson last coached with Detroit, and two years after he managed the D-backs, the former Tigers great will be heading to Florida this season for spring training as a guest baserunning instructor.

The West Michigan Sports Commission’s Annual Luncheon is sponsored this year through the generous support of Meijer, Steelcase Inc., Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge, DP Fox and Swift Printing & Communications, this year’s speaker is underwritten by the Secchia Family.  The event serves as a fundraiser as well as a progress report to the community and stakeholders on the success of the organization in promoting and hosting youth and amateur sporting events in the region for economic enhancement, healthy living and creating a vibrant community through sport. 

Date: Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Location: JW Marriott International Ballroom

Time: 12pm-1:30pm

Ticket Prices:
Table of 8: $650
Individual seat: $90

Contact Natalie Rose for tickets:
616-608-1836
NRose@westmisports.com