Best Sports Motivator (2013)

Kirk Gibson, Arizona Diamondbacks

You wouldn't want to piss him off. He could take your hide off with his sandpaper face. His stare could bore a hole in the barrel of slugger Paul Goldschmidt's giant bat. Smiles are hard-won from this guy. So are compliments. He never runs with the bulls; they run from him. No, that's the Most Interesting Man in the World ("Stay thirsty, my friends"). Kirk Gibson may not be the most interesting man on the planet, but he's definitely the most interesting member of the Diamondbacks organization. In addition to being a baseball legend who limped around the bases after homering for the Los Angeles Dodgers — in one of the most unforgettable moments in sports history — Gibson's becoming one of baseball's elite managers. He's taken a scrappy bunch of also-ran veterans (Paul Goldschmidt, Patrick Corbin, and Aaron Hill notably excepted) and fielded a club that battled for first place in the West all season. How does he do it? By commanding respect and demanding that millionaire players put out on the diamond. He's a quiet, intense motivator, and that's what it takes to go to the World Series. He's been there. And won. Twice. If anybody can return to D-backs to the Series (which they won in 2001), it's Gibby.


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