Former Tigers Alan Trammell and Kirk Gibson were invited to the 1984 reunion at Comerica Park on June 30. Trammell accepted, while Gibson declined. (Robin Buckson / Detroit News)
Detroit — Nobody will say it, but the Tigers picked June 30 for their 1984 World Series reunion to accommodate two of the stars of that team.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have an off day that day, which would’ve allowed manager Kirk Gibson and bench coach Alan Trammell to attend the festivities at Comerica Park — as a pit stop on their way to a July 1 game against the Pirates in Pittsburgh.
But Gibson is sticking to his guns: He will not attend, a Diamondbacks spokesman told The News on Saturday afternoon.
Trammell will be there, the spokesman said.
Both men attended the 25th reunion in 2009, in large part because both men knew it might be one of the last times they’d get to see Sparky Anderson, who was in failing health. Their old manager died the next year.
Gibson’s absence June 30 is believed to be more about the struggles in Arizona, more than any lingering ill will toward Detroit brass. He's probably not exactly in the partying mood. His Diamondbacks are 32-45, 13 games back in the National League West, leading some to speculate his job could be in jeopardy. The team's new chief baseball officer, Tony La Russa, is said to be evaluating everything closely.
That said, it's no secret there’s been some bad blood between the Tigers and Gibson, who was on Trammell’s staff in Detroit for three years — and was not all that pleased how Trammell and the coaches were dumped following the 2005 season.
Gibson, 57, once was even thought to be a possible future Tigers manager, but he expressed zero interest in the opening when Jim Leyland retired this offseason, and Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski never had any plans to seek an interview with him.
Trammell, 56, in turn hasn’t appeared to hold a grudge following his firing by the Tigers after three years as manager.
Gibson won't be the only notable absence, by the way. Lance Parrish (Double-A Erie manager), Larry Herndon (Single-A Lakeland hitting coach), Jack Morris (Twins broadcaster) and Guillermo Hernandez all are expected to miss the celebration.
The likes of Lou Whitaker, Dan Petry, Dave Rozema, Dave Bergman and Darrell Evans are among the others expected to join Trammell in the on-field ceremony prior to the June 30 game against the Oakland A's.
Tickets still are available for the game. The first 20,000 fans through the gates will receive a 1984 Tigers World Series replica road jersey
Tune in to Detroit Sports 105.1 from noon-1 p.m. Saturday, June 28, for a special edition of “Hardcore Baseball,” as Tony Paul will host a tribute to the 1984 Tigers, featuring special guests and more.