A member of the last Detroit Tigers team to win a World Series and team broadcaster will speak in Grand Rapids next week.
Former Tigers outfielder and Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson will be the keynote speaker at Spectrum Health’s Team Up to Beat Parkinson’s Disease on May 23 at DeVos Performance Hall.
Gibson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s three years ago and will talk about his battles with the disease and the daily challenges it presents him.
Gibson is under the care of Spectrum Health neurologist Dr. Ashok Sriram.
“Spectrum Health has taken the lead in providing me with an opportunity to share my story and shine some light on Parkinson’s disease,” Gibson said. “Their top-notch physicians are giving me the care and information needed to tackle this disease. My hope is that increased awareness will lead to early detection, additional research and ultimately, a cure.”
If you go
The free event begins at 4 p.m. with community partner booths and light refreshments in the lobby of DeVos Performance Hall, followed by Gibson’s presentation and a panel of Spectrum neurologists who will discuss the facts of treating Parkinson’s and insights gleaned from their years of treating the disease.
The event is free, but registration is required, as seating is limited. Those interested in attending can register here.
A member of the Tigers from 1979 to 1987, Gibson was an integral member of the 1984 World Series championship squad. He won a second World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988, where a hobbled Gibson mashed a deciding two-run home run in Game 1, his lone plate appearance of the series.
Following his playing career, Gibson went on to coach with several MLB teams, before accepting a role as the manager of the Diamondbacks in 2010. He remained manager of the Diamondbacks for four years, winning National League Manager of the Year in 2011.
Gibson also starred as a two-sport athlete at Michigan State University, where he was an All-American wide receiver for the Spartans. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame earlier this year.