Kirk Gibson, 1988 Donruss Diamond Kings
Rhetorical question: What makes a Diamond King?
Here are some rhetorical answers: Being able to sit still long enough to be drawn, playing baseball, lightening bolts—a lot of people don’t know this, but Zeus has the final say on all Diamond Kings—being a gritty leader with a humongous figurative heart, being generally awesome, and of course, a healthy hatred of pranks.
When he collided with an opposing catcher at home plate during a meaningless early March exhibition game against a nearby college team, ending the young catcher’s career, his Dodgers teammates were like, “Whoa. Dude doesn’t have an off switch.” That seems like an adequate follow-up sentence re: competitiveness. Let’s see if I am in the ballpark.
When someone filled his cap with shaving cream, Gibson was furious with his new teammates and immediately questioned their desire to win a division title.
This seems like a great way to acclimate oneself to a new team. I don’t really see how this exemplifies being competitive, although it’s possible I’ve misunderstood that word my entire life.
Kirk Gibson: Puts on baseball cap, head feels smooshy, shaving cream drips down face. What the—WHO DID THIS??!!
Rest of Dodgers: Giggling.
Alfredo Griffin: Boom, roasted.
Gibson: I’LL ROAST YOUR FACE, GRIFFIN! NICE THREE HOME RUNS LAST YEAR. Takes some shaving cream from hat and smears in on Griffin’s face, knocking him over. NOW WHO DID THIS?!
Rest of Dodgers: Silent, scared.
Gibson: THIS ISN’T HIGH SCHOOL AND I’M NOT MR. DILLWEED. YOU WON 73 GAMES LAST YEAR AND LED THE LEAGUE IN BEING STUPID MO FOS. YOU THINK YOU’RE GONNA WIN A DIVISION TITLE BY PUTTING WHIPPED CREAM IN PEOPLE’S HATS? GET A CLUE!
Jesse Orosco: It’s shaving cream.
Gibson: NEVER HEARD OF IT. I SHAVE WITH A RUSTY BLADE AND RECYCLED WATER. IN THE OFFSEASON! FROM MARCH THROUGH OCTOBER I ONLY FOCUS ON ONE THING: WINNING DIVISION TITLES AND BEING AWESOME. MAKE THAT TWO THINGS! HOW ARE THE SHAVING CREAM HIJINKS WORKING OUT FOR YOU PRINCESSES?
Mike Scioscia: Dude, it’s just a prank. Take a chill pill. It’s meant to bring the team closer together, if anything.
Gibson: OH, LET’S BRING THE TEAM TOGETHER AT GIBBY’S EXPENSE! I DON’T THINK THE DODGERS ARE PAYING ME QUADRUPLE ALL YOUR SALARIES TO COME HERE AND GET CREAMED!
Rest of Dodgers: Giggling.
Gibson: SHUT IT! Impersonating the rest of team in little girl’s voice. OH, I CAN ONLY BOND WITH OTHERS THROUGH A MUTUAL LOVE OF CHILDISH PRANKS … HERE’S A PRANK FOR YOU … Punches hole in Scioscia’s locker. HOW ABOUT WE BOND BY WINNING THE DIVISION, A-HOLES?
Gibson, who was declared a free agent by an arbitrator in the offseason, developed not only into the spiritual leader of the Dodgers but the offensive leader and NL MVP favorite of many.
By spiritual did they mean “emotional?” I feel like those are two different things. Also, Gibson was the NL MVP favorite of, mostly, the people who vote for the NL MVP, because he won the NL MVP. I just wanted to clarify that.