RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond head baseball coach Tracy Woodson might be getting a little bit spoiled when it comes to watching one of his teams succeed at a high level. His Los Angeles Dodgers are in the World Series for the third time in the last four years.
Of course, LA has failed to take the final step in its previous two trips and is looking to finish the job against the Tampa Bay Rays. The last time the Dodgers won the Fall Classic, Woodson had a pretty good view.
The head Spider was a member of the 1988 Dodgers who defeated the Oakland Athletics in the series that year. Woodson tallied a hit and an RBI in eight at-bats during the postseason that year.
“It’s been a big part of my life in baseball,” Woodson said. “People recognize that part and I wasn’t a starter, I wasn’t an everyday player. I did contribute and I think everyone on that team contributed, which I think is a very special piece for everyone who was involved with that team.”
Woodson witnessed and took part in some memorable moments during that stretch in October of 1988. An infielder, he saw Orel Hershiser go to work as one of the best pitchers in the game, but the biggest bang of that World Series came off the bat of Kirk Gibson in Game 1, who entered as pinch-hitter in the bottom of the ninth inning, hobbled by hamstring and knee injuries. Gibson would hit a two-run walk-off home run to win the contest and propel LA to a series win over the heavily favored Athletics.
“The Gibson home run is by far the best,” noted Woodson. “I still say it’s probably the greatest moment in World Series history, even though it was game one. He didn’t bat again that whole series.”
Woodson spent three years with the Dodgers (1987-1989), before joining the Cardinals for the 1992 and 1993 seasons. He finished his big league career with a .247 batting average, five home runs and 50 RBI.
It’s been 32 years since LA has hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy, but the Spider head coach expects that to change soon and he doesn’t think his old squad will stop there.
“They’ve had teams that were much better than we were,” he said. “I think there’s a lot riding on their shoulders right now and I’m sure they just want to get that weight lifted off their shoulders and win one. You’ll probably see them win a couple after that.”
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