The Dodgers are in the World Series for the first time since 1988, a World Series remembered for a limping Kirk Gibson’s pinch-hit home run against Oakland’s Dennis Eckersley in a walk-off 5-4 win in Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.
When the World Series returns to Dodger Stadium for Game 1 on Tuesday, the 104-win Dodgers, will play the 101-win Astros.
The series will match two triple-digit win teams for the first time since 1970, when the 108-win Orioles beat the Reds, who had 102 victories.
Here’s a primer for everything Dodgers going into the World Series:
* Since 1988, the Dodgers have had four ownership changes and a list of managers: Tommy Lasorda managed in 1988 and retired. After Lasorda, there were Bill Russell, Glenn Hoffman, Davey Johnson, Jim Tracy, Grady Little, Joe Torre, Don Mattingly and Dave Roberts.
* Gibson, who hit .185 in the 1988 postseason, was the NL MVP that season after hitting .290, and was the only Dodger with at least 20 home runs. Mike Marshall led the team with 82 RBIs and their best pitcher was Orel Hershiser, who won 23 games and pitched his record 59 consecutive scoreless innings that season.
* The 1988 Dodgers had one All-Star and their lineup included Steve Sax, Franklin Stubbs, John Shelby and Mike Scioscia, Danny Heep and Mickey Hatcher. ...The 2017 Dodgers had six All-Stars: Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, Alex Wood, Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager.
* Former catcher and current MASN analyst Rick Dempsey, the 1983 World Series MVP for the Orioles, played in 77 games for the 1988 Dodgers. Dempsey was in the trainer’s room one day when a group of players heard NBC’s Bob Costas say that Oakland was going up against possibly the weakest lineup in World Series history. “I heard a big growl,’’ Dempsey said to the Los Angeles Times back then. “I came out and said, ‘What happened?’ Someone said, ‘We will show them what weak is.’ ‘’ ... Dempsey was 1-for-5 with a double, a walk and an RBI in the World Series.
* The Dodgers’ journey to the World Series provides hope for the Nationals, who have four Division Series since moving to D.C. in 2005. Since their last World Series appearance, the Dodgers have been to the postseason 11 times without making the World Series. Winning this October’s pennant gave the Dodgers a 1-4 record in the National League Championship Series since 1988.
* The Dodgers had six players with at least 20 home runs: Bellinger hit 39, Yasiel Puig 28, Yasmani Grandal and Seager 22 each, and Justin Turner and Chris Taylor 21 each.
* Taylor, 27, a co-MVP with Turner in the NLCS, has gone from fringe minor league player to a key for a World Series team. He hit .240 with no home runs in three seasons in 233 at-bats for the Mariners, who traded him to the Dodgers in June 2016. Taylor hit .207 in 34 games for the Dodgers in 2016 and came to 2017 spring training with a revamped swing and finished the regular season at .288-21-72.
* Turner played for the Orioles in 2009 and 2010, and his most famous moment came in the final game of the 2009, pinch-hitting in the sixth inning for Melvin Mora at Camden Yards in Mora’s final game as an Oriole. Turner was booed as he walked to the plate, but Orioles manager Dave Trembley said that he was following directions Mora had given him before the game. Mora didn’t want to bat after the sixth inning. Turner hit a two-run single as the Orioles beat Toronto.
* Kershaw is a seven-time All-Star with three NL Cy Young Awards, but also the symbol of the Dodgers’ postseason failures of the past. Now, after winning the pennant clincher against the Cubs, Kershaw will pitch on regular rest in Game 1 Tuesday night - a big difference considering that in each of the last three Division Series for the Dodgers before this year, Kershaw pitched on three days’ rest. Kershaw missed five weeks of the regular season with an injury, but still led the NL in wins (18) and ERA (2.31). Kershaw was born in 1988, the last year the Dodgers were in the World Series.
* The Dodgers bullpen didn’t allow a run against the Cubs in the NLCS. Jansen is the closer, maybe the best in baseball. Brandon Morrow is a surprise as a setup man and starter Kenta Maeda’s move to the bullpen has been excellent.
* The Dodgers went 87-29 from May through August and in September, they had an 11-game losing streak that led to a 12-17 record during that month. They were 55 games over .500 with a 21-game lead on Aug. 25. They won the division by 11 games over the Diamondbacks.
* The Dodgers beat the Astros in a five-game playoff series during the strike-split 1981 season. The Astros won the first two games, but the Dodgers won the final three of the best-of-five series with Jerry Reuss the winning pitcher in Game 5. The Dodgers went on to the World Series and beat the Yankees for their first title since 1965, the year they beat Minnesota in seven games.