D-backs tab Gibson as bench coach

D-backs tab Gibson as bench coach

PHOENIX -- As expected, the D-backs signed former big leaguer Kirk Gibson to a two-year contract on Friday to be the team's bench coach.

"He brings a lot to the table," manager Bob Melvin said. "He has a lot of fire, and you'll always know where Gibby stands. I think he's really going to be good with all the young players we have."

Gibson, who played for the Tigers and Dodgers during a distinguished 17-year career, replaces Jay Bell, who elected not to return this year in order to spend more time with his family. Bell will remain as an advisor to Melvin.

The 49-year-old Gibson was part of World Series-winning teams with the Tigers and Dodgers and was named National League Most Valuable Player in 1988. In that '88 World Series, he hit one of the most remembered home runs in baseball history when he limped off the bench to hit a pinch-hit, game-winning blast off A's closer Dennis Eckersley in the ninth inning of Game 1.

Known for his fiery demeanor and all-out playing style, Gibson served as bench coach for Detroit in 2003-05 as part of Alan Trammell's staff.

Melvin, who came up in the Tigers system just after Gibson and Trammell, has long known Gibson.

"He's a guy I've have always been considering for a spot," Melvin said. "I think he's a good fit."

The move solidifies the Arizona coaching staff with first-base coach Lee Tinsley, bullpen coach Glenn Sherlock and pitching coach Bryan Price returning to the roles they held last year. Kevin Seitzer was recently named hitting coach, while Triple-A manager Chip Hale will replace Carlos Tosca as the club's third-base coach.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.