In a shocking announcement, Kirk Gibson revealed today that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Gibson had been brought on by Fox Sports Detroit to broadcast the Tigers, but he had been absent from the booth since April 6 while undergoing medical tests.
Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system that affects muscle movement and speech. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, and symptoms get worse as the disease lingers on. Muhammad Ali also suffers from Parkinson’s disease after being diagnosed in 1984.
Gibson released a statement through the network, saying:
I have faced many different obstacles in my life, and have always maintained a strong belief that no matter the circumstances, I could overcome those obstacles. While this diagnosis poses a new kind of challenge for me, I intend to stay true to my beliefs. With the support of my family and friends, I will meet this challenge with the same determination and unwavering intensity that I have displayed in all of my endeavors in life. I look forward to being back at the ballpark as soon as possible.
The 57-year-old was the former manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, going 353-375 in his four-year tenure. He is known for his World Series heroics, hitting a walk-off home run in game one of the 1988 World Series after hobbling off the bench as a pinch hitter. The Michigan native is a 17-year veteran, winning the NL MVP and Silver Slugger in 1988 with the Dodgers.
All of us here at Baseball Essential wish Kirk the best of luck in fighting this disease.