Los Angeles — The 1988 World Series started off with a bang as Kirk Gibson's pinch home run in the ninth inning lifted Los Angeles to a 5-4 victory over Oakland in one of the most dramatic opening games ever played. Mickey Hatcher's two-run first-inning homer gave the Dodgers an early lead, but major league home run king Jos'e Canseco retaliated with a grand slam in the second to put the A's on top, and they clung to a 4-3 margin entering the ninth.
Oakland appeared in control as ace reliever Dennis Eckersley set down the first two batters on a pop-up and a strikeout. But a walk to pinch-hitter Mike Davis set the stage for Gibson.
The veteran outfielder, who had won two playoff games against the New York Mets with clutch homers, came to the plate limping noticeably with the leg injury that had kept him out of the lineup. He worked the count to 3-and-2, fouled off a couple of pitches, and then, with his team just one strike away from losing, smashed a towering game-winning shot into the right field stands.