DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Kirk Gibson, 57, famed for his career and his wild-haired streak across the bases in the 1984 World Series — is battling Parkinson’s disease.
FOX Sports Detroit, where Gibson now works as a color commentator, broke the news and folks on Twitter quickly reacted.READ MORE: Ford, DTE Energy Announce Plan To Increase Solar Power In Michigan
An outfielder who was a fan favorite and an integral part of the “Bless you Boys” team that won the World Series, Gibson is a lefty.
It’s unknown how far the disease has progressed.
Gibson spent most of his career with the Detroit Tigers before moving on to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Royals, and Pittsburgh Pirates.
With the Dodgers, Gibson was named the National League MVP in 1988. He announced his retirement from baseball in August 1995.
He later served as bench coach for the Tigers in 2003 and then as coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks, which fired him last fall.READ MORE: Petition Calls On Automakers To Cease Business With Suppliers That Use Hexavalent Chromium
“Kirk has done an admirable job under difficult circumstances,” chief baseball officer Tony La Russa said in a statement at the time. “We feel like it is time for a fresh start.”
Most recently, Gibson has been absent from the broadcast booth since Opening Day 2015.
“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,” Gibson said in a press release.” 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.”
FOX Sports Detroit added that it will “welcome Kirk back as his treatment permits, and we look forward to his return.”
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement, according to the Mayo Clinic. It develops gradually, starting generally with a tremor and ending up causing stiffness, slowing of movement, and word slurring.MORE NEWS: CBS Mornings' Gayle King Visits Detroit, Motown Museum
There is no cure, but the disease and its symptoms can be treated with medication.