Kirk Gibson makes a Hall of Fame, but it wasn’t for baseball – CBSSports.com
Early January is the time of the year when we discuss the Baseball Hall of Fame, but we’re here with some different Hall of Fame news on this fine Monday. Kirk Gibson — one of the best players to never be an All-Star — was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
The class that includes 10 players and three coaches is headlined by Peyton Manning, Marshall Faulk, Matt Leinart and Steve Spurrier, but Gibson was a well-decorated wide receiver for Michigan State from 1975 through 1978 and joins the class.
Here’s a quick excerpt from Gibson’s Hall of Fame bio on footballmatters.org:
Still owning the Michigan State record with 21.0 yards per catch average, Gibson finished his career as the university’s record-holder for career receptions (112), touchdown receptions (24) and receiving yards (2,347), with the latter two still ranking in the top five. A First Team All-American as a senior in 1978, Gibson helped the Spartans to a No. 12 national ranking that season and was named the Outstanding Offensive End by the New York Downtown Athletic Club. He hauled in 42 receptions for a team-high 806 yards that year, then No. 1 on the school’s seasonal list, and he paced all Big Ten players in receptions (31) and receiving yards (613) in league outings. A three time all-conference selection, he earned first team honors after guiding Michigan State to a share of the Big Ten title in 1978. After leading the Spartans in receiving his final three years, Gibson played in the Hula Bowl and the Senior Bowl. He received the 1976 MSU Outstanding Underclassman Award and the 1978 MSU President’s Award during his career, and he is a member of the Michigan State Centennial Super Squad.
Gibson would obviously end up choosing baseball, as he was drafted in the first round (12th overall) in 1978 by the Tigers. He’d debut in the bigs for 12 games in 1979 and was receiving MVP votes by 1981. He would win the NL MVP with the Dodgers in 1988 and then win the World Series that same season, thanks in part to one of baseball’s most famous home runs:
That season marked Gibby’s second World Series title, as he also won with the 1984 Tigers.
In his 17-year career, Gibson hit .268/.352/.463 (123 OPS+) with 260 doubles, 255 homers and 284 steals. He also managed the Diamondbacks for parts of five seasons, winning the NL West and NL Manager of the Year in 2011.
And he’s also a Hall of Fame college football player. Quite a sports resume for Mr. Gibson.