ST. LOUIS -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson will be forever linked to Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams.
Williams, who took three different teams to the World Series, died on Thursday at his home in Las Vegas at the age of 82.
Williams was the Padres manager during the 1984 World Series against the Tigers, when Gibson was Detroit's starting right fielder.
In the deciding Game 6, Gibson strolled to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning with two men on base and the Tigers leading, 5-4. Gibson had homered earlier in the game and Williams visited the mound to chat with reliever Goose Gossage. Williams wanted to intentionally walk Gibson, but Gossage talked the manager into letting him pitch to Gibson. The decision backfired, though, and Gibson launched a three-run home run that clinched the series for Detroit.
"Maybe that should be a lesson to me as a manager," Gibson said on Thursday.
Gibson has fond memories of the 1984 World Series and had nothing but high praise for Williams prior to Thursday's game against the Cardinals.
"He was certainly a quality individual for the game of baseball," Gibson said. "He's given a lot to the game."
Johnson out of lineup vs. Cards, but not hurt
ST. LOUIS -- D-backs second baseman Kelly Johnson was held out of the starting lineup on Thursday, but manager Kirk Gibson said the move had nothing to do with the foul ball that Johnson took off his right thigh on Wednesday in Milwaukee.
"It hurt but he's fine," Gibson said on Thursday. "He shooed the trainer away, so it couldn't have been too bad, which I enjoyed."
While Johnson didn't move quite as well after getting struck with the ball, Gibson said the second baseman was available to come off the bench for Thursday's series opener at Busch Stadium.
"He's played nine days in a row, Ryan Roberts has had a couple days off, he's just the odd guy out tonight," Gibson said.
Roberts replaced Johnson both at second base and in the leadoff spot in the batting order. Roberts is hitting .250 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs in 76 games entering Thursday's matchup with the Cardinals. It was Roberts' 13th start at second base in 2011.
Johnson has started 75 games at second base for Arizona this season and is hitting .217 with 15 homers and 37 RBIs.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.