East Lansing – Detroit Tigers legend Kirk Gibson, who also starred in football at Michigan State University, will address the undergraduate commencement at his alma mater May 5.
Gibson, 59, who was a two-time All-American with the Spartans, will receive an honorary doctorate of humanities.
He showed a flair for the dramatic during his baseball career, hitting a three-run home run in Game 5 of the 1984 World Series off Goose Gossage that sealed the Tigers’ win over the San Diego Padres.
Four years later, Gibson did it again, blasting a pinch-hit home run off Oakland A’s reliever Dennis Eckersley that gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a 5-4 win in Game 1, sparking them to an upset World Series win over the heavily favored A’s. It was the only plate appearance in the series for the injured Gibson.
Since his playing career ended, Gibson has been a coach and manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks and a broadcaster for Fox Sports Detroit.
Gibson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2015 and created the Kirk Gibson Foundation to raise awareness and search for new treatments for the disease.
Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, will speak at MSU’s advanced degree ceremony and be awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities.
Convocation will be at 1 p.m. and the advanced degree ceremony will be at 3:30 p.m. in the the Jack Breslin Student Events Center.
During the ceremonies, Susan Avery, an atmospheric physicist, will receive an honorary doctorate of science and Joon-shik Shin, chair and founder of the Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine, will be given an honorary doctorate of science.
At the advanced degree ceremony, Dermot Desmond, chair of International Investment and Underwriting in Dublin, Ireland, will receive an honorary doctorate of humanities.