Bob Gibson
Gibson in 1962
Pitcher
Born: (1935-11-09)November 9, 1935
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Died: October 2, 2020(2020-10-02) (aged 84)
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 15, 1959, for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
September 3, 1975, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
Win–loss record251–174
Earned run average2.91
Strikeouts3,117
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Baseball Hall of Fame
Induction1981
Vote84.0% (first ballot)

Robert Gibson (born Pack Robert Gibson; November 9, 1935 – October 2, 2020), nicknamed "Gibby" and "Hoot", was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1959 to 1975. Known for his fiercely competitive nature, Gibson tallied 251 wins, 3,117 strikeouts, and a 2.91 earned run average. A nine-time All-Star and two-time World Series Champion, he won two Cy Young Awards and the 1968 National League Most Valuable Player Award.[1]

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Gibson overcame childhood illness to excel in youth sports, particularly basketball and baseball. After briefly playing under contract to both the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team and the St. Louis Cardinals organization, Gibson decided to continue playing only baseball professionally. He became a full-time starting pitcher in July 1961 and earned his first All-Star appearance in 1962. Gibson won 2 of 3 games he pitched in the 1964 World Series, then won 20 games in a season for the first time in 1965. Gibson also pitched three complete game victories in the 1967 World Series.[2]

The pinnacle of Gibson's career was 1968, when he posted a 1.12 ERA for the season and then recorded 17 strikeouts in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series. Gibson threw a no-hitter in 1971 but began experiencing swelling in his knee in subsequent seasons. At the time of his retirement in 1975, Gibson ranked second only to Walter Johnson among major-league pitchers in career strikeouts.

He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981, his first year of eligibility, and the Cardinals retired his uniform number 45 in September 1975, the year he retired. Gibson was later selected for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999. He died of pancreatic cancer on October 2, 2020.[3]

Early life

Gibson was born in Omaha, Nebraska on November 9, 1935, the youngest of Victoria (née Brown) and Pack Gibson's seven children.[4] Gibson's father died of tuberculosis three months prior to Gibson's birth, and he was named Pack Robert Gibson in honor of his late father.[5] While he revered his father's legacy, Gibson disliked the name 'Pack' and later dropped it in favor of 'Robert'.[6]

Although afflicted by rickets and respiratory disease as a child, Gibson was active in sports, particularly baseball and basketball, in both informal and organized settings. Gibson's brother Josh, who was 15 years his senior, had a profound effect on his early life, serving as his mentor.[7] Gibson played on a number of youth basketball and baseball teams his brother coached, many of which were organized through the local YMCA.[8]

Gibson attended Omaha Technical High School, where he participated on the track, basketball, and baseball teams.[9] Health issues resurfaced for Gibson, though, and he needed a doctor's permission to compete in high school sports because of a heart murmur that occurred in tandem with a rapid growth spurt.[10] Gibson was named to the All-State basketball team during his senior year of high school by a newspaper in Lincoln, Nebraska, and soon after won a full athletic scholarship for basketball from Creighton University.[11] Indiana University had rejected him after stating their "Negro athlete quota" had already been filled.

While at Creighton, Gibson majored in sociology, and continued to experience success playing basketball. At the end of his junior basketball season, he averaged 22 points per game, and made third team Jesuit All-American.[12] As his graduation from Creighton approached, the spring of 1957 proved to be a busy time for Gibson. Aside from getting married, Gibson had garnered the interest of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team and the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.[13]

In 1957, Gibson received a US$3,000 (equivalent to about $31,260 in 2022) bonus to sign with the Cardinals. He delayed his start with the organization for a year, playing basketball with the Globetrotters. However, he gave up as a traveling member due to long travels and many double-headers.[14]

Baseball career

Gibson was assigned to the Cardinals' big league roster for the start of the 1959 season, making his Major League debut on April 15 against the Los Angeles Dodgers; he pitched two innings in relief, giving up two runs, including a home run to Jim Baxes, the very first batter he faced.[15] Reassigned to the Cardinals minor league affiliate the Omaha Cardinals soon after, Gibson returned to the Major Leagues on July 30 to make his first career start; he earned his first Major League win the same day, a shutout against the Cincinnati Reds.[16][17]

Gibson's experience in 1960 was similar, pitching nine innings for the Cardinals before shuffling between the Cardinals and their Rochester affiliate until mid-June.[18] After posting a 3–6 record with a 5.61 ERA, Gibson traveled to Venezuela to participate in winter baseball at the conclusion of the 1960 season.[19]

Cardinals manager Solly Hemus shuffled Gibson between the bullpen and the starting pitching rotation for the first half of the 1961 season.[20] Years later, Gibson indicated that Hemus's racial prejudice played a major role in his misuse of Gibson, as well as of teammate Curt Flood, both of whom were told by Hemus that they would not make it as major leaguers and should try something else. Hemus was replaced as Cardinals manager in July 1961 by Johnny Keane, who had been Gibson's manager on the Omaha minor league affiliate several years prior.[21] Keane and Gibson shared a positive professional relationship, and Keane immediately moved Gibson into the starting pitching rotation full-time. Gibson proceeded to compile an 11–6 record the remainder of the year, and posted a 3.24 ERA for the full season.[2]

Off the field, Gibson, along with teammates Bill White and Curt Flood, started a movement to make all players live in the same clubhouse and hotel rooms. Their campaign led the St. Louis Cardinals to become the first sports team to end segregation, three years before President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.[22]

1962–1967

"Don't dig in against Bob Gibson. He'll knock you down. He'd knock down his own grandmother.

Don't stare at him, don't smile at him, don't talk to him. He doesn't like it.

If you happen to hit a home run, don't run too slow and don't run too fast. If you want to celebrate get in the tunnel first.

And if he hits you, don't charge the mound because he's a Golden Gloves boxer."

Henry Aaron's advice to Dusty Baker on facing Bob Gibson.[23]

In late May of the 1962 season Gibson pitched 22+23 consecutive scoreless innings on his way to being named an All-Star for the first time.[24] He was named to both All-Star Games that year, pitching two innings in the second.[a] Despite suffering a fractured ankle late in the season, Gibson still finished 1962 with his first 200-strikeout season.[2][26]

The rehabilitation of Gibson's ankle was a slow process, and by May 19 of the 1963 season he had recorded only one win.[27] Gibson then turned to rely on his slider and two different fastball pitches to reel off six straight wins prior to late July.[28] Gibson and all other National League pitchers benefited from a rule change that expanded the strike zone above the belt buckle.[29] Adding to his pitching performances was Gibson's offensive production, with his 20 RBIs outmatching the combined RBI output of entire pitching staffs on other National League teams.[30] Even with Gibson's 18 wins and the extra motivation of teammate Stan Musial's impending retirement, the Cardinals finished six games out of first place.[31]

Building on their late-season pennant run in 1963, the 1964 Cardinals developed a strong camaraderie that was noted for being free of the racial tension that predominated in the United States at that time.[32][33] Part of this atmosphere stemmed from the integration of the team's spring training hotel in 1960, and Gibson and teammate Bill White worked to confront and stop use of racial slurs within the team.[34] On August 23, the Cardinals were 11 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies and remained six-and-a-half games behind on September 21. The combination of a nine-game Cardinals winning streak and a ten-game Phillies losing streak then brought the season down to the final game. The Cardinals faced the New York Mets, and Gibson entered the game as a relief pitcher in the fifth inning. Aware that the Phillies were ahead of the Cincinnati Reds 4–0 at the time he entered the game, Gibson proceeded to pitch four innings of two-hit relief, while his teammates scored 11 runs of support to earn the victory.[35]

They next faced the New York Yankees in the 1964 World Series. Gibson was matched against Yankees starting pitcher Mel Stottlemyre for three of the Series' seven games, with Gibson losing Game 2, then winning Game 5.[36] In Game 7, Gibson, who only had 2 days rest, pitched into the ninth inning, where he allowed home runs to Phil Linz and Clete Boyer, making the score 7–5 Cardinals. With Ray Sadecki and Barney Schultz warming up in the Cardinal bullpen, Gibson retired Bobby Richardson for the final out, giving the Cardinals their first World Championship since 1946.[37] Along with his two victories, Gibson set a new World Series record by striking out 31 batters.[38]

Gibson made the All-Star team again in the 1965 season, and when the Cardinals were well out of the pennant race by August, attention turned to Gibson to see if he could win 20 games for the first time.[39] Gibson was still looking for win number 20 on the last day of the season, a game where new Cardinals manager Red Schoendienst rested many of the regular players. Gibson still prevailed against the Houston Astros by a score of 5–2.[40]

The 1966 season marked the opening of Busch Memorial Stadium for the Cardinals and Gibson was selected to play in the All-Star Game in front of the hometown crowd, though he did not as he was hurt at the time.[41]

The Cardinals built a 3+12-game lead prior to the 1967 season All-Star break, and Gibson pitched the seventh and eighth innings of the 1967 All-Star game. Gibson then faced the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 15, when Roberto Clemente hit a line drive off Gibson's right leg.[42] Unaware his leg had been fractured, Gibson faced three more batters before his right fibula bone snapped above the ankle.[43] After Gibson returned on September 7, the Cardinals secured the National League pennant on September 18, 10+12 games ahead of the San Francisco Giants.[44][45]

In the 1967 World Series against the Boston Red Sox, Gibson allowed only three earned runs and 14 hits over three complete-game victories in Games 1, 4 (five-hit shutout), and 7, the latter two marks tying Christy Mathewson's 1905 World Series record. Just as he had in 1964, Gibson pitched a complete-game victory in Game 7, against Cy Young winner Jim Lonborg, who pitched a one-hitter in Game 2. Gibson also contributed offensively in Game 7 by hitting a home run that made the game 3–0.[46][47] Unlike his last win as World Series MVP, he finally got the men's suit endorsement that eluded him in 1964. He also gained endorsement and sponsorship for his asthma medication, namely Primateme mist inhaler and tablets.[48]

1968: Year of the Pitcher

The 1968 season became known as "The Year of the Pitcher", and Gibson was at the forefront of pitching dominance. His earned run average was 1.12, a live-ball era record, as well as the major league record in 300 or more innings pitched. It was the lowest major league ERA since Dutch Leonard's 0.96 mark 54 years earlier.[49] Gibson threw 13 shutouts, three fewer than fellow Nebraskan Grover Alexander's 1916 major league record of 16.[50] He won all 12 starts in June and July, pitching a complete game every time, (eight of which were shutouts), and allowed only six earned runs in 108 innings pitched (a 0.50 ERA). Gibson pitched 47 consecutive scoreless innings during this stretch, at the time the third-longest scoreless streak in major league history. He also struck out 91 batters, and he won two consecutive NL Player of the Month awards.[51] Gibson finished the season with 28 complete games out of 34 games started. Of the games he didn't complete, he was pinch-hit for, meaning Gibson was not removed from the mound for another pitcher for the entire season.[2]

Gibson won the National League MVP Award. Not until Clayton Kershaw in 2014 would another National League pitcher do so. With Denny McLain winning the American League's Most Valuable Player award, 1968 remains, to date, the only year both MVP Awards went to pitchers, with McLain compiling a 31–6 record for the Detroit Tigers.[52] For the 1968 season, opposing batters only had a batting average of .184, an on-base percentage of .233, and a slugging percentage of .236. Gibson lost nine games against 22 wins, despite his record-setting low 1.12 ERA as the anemic batting throughout baseball included his own team. The 1968 Cardinals had one .300 hitter, while the team-leading home run and RBI totals were just 16 and 79, respectively. Gibson lost two 1–0 games, one of which against San Francisco Giants pitcher Gaylord Perry's no-hitter on September 17. The Giants' run in that game came on a first-inning home run by light-hitting Ron Hunt - the second of two he would hit the entire season and one of only 11 that Gibson allowed in 304+23 innings.[53] The year also was notable for Don Drysdale pitching a record six consecutive shutouts and 58+23 consecutive scoreless innings.[54]

In Game 1 of the 1968 World Series, Gibson struck out 17 Detroit Tigers to set a World Series record for strikeouts in one game, which still stands today (breaking Sandy Koufax's record of 15 in Game 1 of the 1963 World Series).[49][55] He also joined Ed Walsh as the only pitchers to strike out at least one batter in each inning of a World Series game, Walsh having done so in Game Three of the 1906 World Series. After allowing a leadoff single to Mickey Stanley in the ninth inning, Gibson finished the game by striking out Tiger sluggers Al Kaline, Norm Cash, and Willie Horton in succession.[56]

Gibson next pitched in Game 4 of the 1968 World Series, defeating the Tigers' ace pitcher Denny McLain 10–1.[57] The teams continued to battle each other, setting the stage for another winner-take-all Game 7 in St. Louis on October 10, 1968.[58] In this game Gibson was matched against Tigers pitcher Mickey Lolich and the two proceeded to hold their opponents scoreless for the first six innings. In the top of the seventh, Gibson retired the first two batters before allowing two consecutive singles.[59] Detroit batter Jim Northrup then hit a two-run triple over the head of center fielder Curt Flood, leading to Detroit's Series win.[60]

The overall pitching statistics in MLB's 1968 season, led by Gibson and McLain's record-setting performances, are often cited as one of the reasons for Major League Baseball's decision to alter pitching-related rules. Sometimes known as the "Gibson rules", MLB lowered the pitcher's mound in 1969 from 15 inches (380 mm) to 10 inches (250 mm) and reduced the height of the strike zone from the batter's armpits to the jersey letters.[61]

1969–1975

Aside from the rule changes set to take effect in 1969, cultural and monetary influences increasingly began impacting baseball, as evidenced by nine players from the Cardinals' 1968 roster who had not reported by the first week of spring training due to the status of their contracts.[62] On February 4, 1969, Gibson appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and said the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) had suggested players consider striking before the upcoming season began.[63] However, Gibson himself had no immediate contract worries, as the $125,000 salary Gibson requested for 1969 was agreed to by team owner Gussie Busch and the Cardinals, setting a new franchise record for the highest single-season salary.[64]

Despite the significant rule changes, Gibson's status as one of the league's best pitchers was not immediately affected. In 1969, he went 20–13 with a 2.18 ERA, 4 shutouts, and 28 complete games.[2] On May 12, 1969, Gibson struck out three batters on nine pitches in the seventh inning of a 6–2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.[65] Gibson became the ninth National League pitcher and the 15th pitcher in Major League history to throw an immaculate inning. After pitching into the tenth inning of the July 4 game against the Cubs, Gibson was removed from a game without finishing an inning for the first time in more than 60 consecutive starts, a streak spanning two years.[66] Gibson set another mark, on August 16, when he became the third pitcher in Major League history to reach the 200-strikeout plateau in seven different seasons.[2]

Gibson experienced an up-and-down 1970 season, marked at the low point by a July slump where he resorted to experimenting with a knuckleball for the first time in his career.[67] Just as quickly, Gibson returned to form, starting a streak of seven wins on July 28, and pitching all 14 innings of a 5–4 win against the San Diego Padres on August 12. He would go on to win his fourth and final NL Player of the Month award for August (6–0, 2.31 ERA, 55 SO).[68] Gibson won 23 games in 1970, and was once again named the NL Cy Young Award winner.[2]

Gibson achieved two highlights in August 1971. On the 4th, he defeated the Giants 7–2 at Busch Memorial Stadium for his 200th career victory. Ten days later, he no-hit the eventual World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates 11–0 at Three Rivers Stadium.[69] Along the way, he registered 10 strikeouts, three to Willie Stargell, including the game's final out. Gibson also drove in three runs, one on a fifth-inning sacrifice fly and two on an eighth-inning single, to help his own cause. The no-hitter was the first in Pittsburgh since Nick Maddox at Exposition Park in 1907; none had been pitched in the 62-year history of Three Rivers Stadium's predecessor, Forbes Field.[70]

He was the second pitcher in Major League Baseball history, after Walter Johnson, to strike out more than 3,000 batters and the first to do so in the National League. He accomplished this at home at Busch Stadium on July 17, 1974; the victim was César Gerónimo of the Cincinnati Reds.[49] Gibson began the 1972 season by going 0–5 but broke Jesse Haines's club record for victories on June 21 and finished the year with 19 wins.[71]

During the summer of 1974, Gibson felt hopeful he could put together a winning streak, but he continually encountered swelling in his knee.[72] In January 1975, Gibson announced he would retire at the end of the 1975 season, admittedly using baseball to help cope with his recent divorce from his former wife, Charline.[73] During the 1975 season, he went 3–10 with a 5.04 earned run average.[2]

Career Overall

From 1963 to 1970, Gibson posted a win–loss record of 156–81, for a .658 winning percentage. He won nine Gold Glove Awards, was awarded the World Series MVP Award in 1964 and 1967, and won the National League Cy Young Award in 1968 and 1970.[74][75] His 1.12 earned run average and 13 shutouts in 1968 are both records in the live-ball era.[76][77]

In his career, Gibson had a win-loss record of 251-174 with an ERA of 2.91. He pitched 56 shutouts and 255 complete games, striking out 3,117 batters in 3,884+13 innings pitched. As a hitter, he had a lifetime batting average of .206 with 24 home runs and 144 runs batted in. Gibson was sometimes used by the Cardinals as a pinch-hitter, and in 1970 he hit .303 for the season in 109 at-bats, which was over 100 points higher than teammate Dal Maxvill.[2]

Career statistics

Category W L ERA GS CG SHO SV IP HR BB SO HBP WHIP FIP ERA+
Total 251 174 2.91 482 255 56 6 3,884.1 257 1,336 3,117 102 1.188 2.89 127

Pitching style and reputation

"Bob Gibson pitches as though he's double parked."

Vin Scully.[78]

Gibson was a quick worker on the mound with an explosive delivery, falling towards first base each time he released the ball. He relied on pinpoint control and had a vicious slider and both a two-seam fastball and a four-seam fastball, released with a low, three-quarter arm angle.[79]

He was a fierce competitor who was known to throw brushback pitches to establish dominance over the strike-zone and intimidate the batter, similar to his contemporary and fellow Hall of Famer Don Drysdale.[80] However, he rarely hit batters deliberately; compared to Drysdale, who hit 154 batters in his career, Gibson hit only 102 despite facing more batters.[2] Additionally, Drysdale led the league in hit batsmen five times, while Gibson never did; only once did he finish in the top three.[81]

Despite this, Gibson gained a reputation for being "intimidating." One famous story involves him and Pete LaCock of the Chicago Cubs to whom he gave up a Grand Slam in the final game of his career.[82] Years later, Gibson faced LaCock in an old-timer's game, and he allegedly beaned him in retaliation and shouted out, "I've been waiting years to do that!"[23]

However, Gibson disregarded his reputation for intimidation and pushed back on such stories about him from his contemporaries, saying that he made no concerted effort to be intimidating. He once joked that the only reason he glared while pitching was because of his poor eyesight and inability to see the catcher's signals clearly as he did not wear glasses while pitching.[23]

He was known to avoid fraternizing with opposing players. At the 1965 All-Star Game, Milwaukee Braves catcher Joe Torre caught Gibson in the 9th inning; afterwards, when he complimented Gibson's pitching, the latter ignored him and merely got dressed and left.[83] He could also be surly and brusque even with his teammates. When his catcher Tim McCarver went to the mound for a conference, Gibson brushed him off, saying "The only thing you know about pitching is that it's hard to hit."[84]

Post-playing career

Before Gibson returned to his home in Omaha at the end of the 1975 season, Cardinals general manager Bing Devine offered him an undefined job that was contingent on approval from higher-ranking club officials.[85] Unsure of his future career path, Gibson declined and used the motor home the Cardinals had given him as a retirement gift to travel across the western United States during the 1975 offseason. Returning to Omaha, Gibson continued to serve on the board of a local bank, was at one point the principal investor in radio station KOWH, and started "Gibson's Spirits and Sustenance" restaurant, sometimes working twelve-hour days as owner/operator.[86]

Gibson returned to baseball in 1981 after accepting a coaching job with Joe Torre, who was then manager of the New York Mets. Torre termed Gibson's position "attitude coach", the first such title in Major League history.[87] After Torre and his coaching staff were let go at the end of the 1981 season, Torre moved on to manage the Atlanta Braves in 1982, hiring Gibson as a pitching coach.[88] The Braves proceeded to challenge for the National League pennant for the first time since 1969, ultimately losing to the Cardinals in the 1982 National League Championship Series.[89] Gibson remained with Torre on the Braves' coaching staff until the end of the 1984 season.[90]

Gibson then took to hosting a pre- and postgame show for Cardinals baseball games on radio station KMOX from 1985 until 1989.[91] Gibson also served as color commentator for baseball games on ESPN in 1990 but declined an option to continue the position over concerns he would have to spend too much time away from his family.[92] In 1995, Gibson again served as pitching coach on a Torre-led staff, this time returning to the Cardinals.

He co-wrote two autobiographies; the first was published in 1968, written with the help of sportswriter Phil Pepe, entitled From Ghetto to Glory: The Story of Bob Gibson; the second was published in 1994, written with the help of writer Lonnie Wheeler, entitled Stranger to the Game: The Autobiography of Bob Gibson.[93]

In 2009, with the help of Wheeler, he and fellow Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson wrote a book entitled Sixty Feet, Six Inches: A Hall of Fame Pitcher & a Hall of Fame Hitter Talk About How the Game Is Played.[94] Gibson's final book, also with Wheeler, was entitled Pitch by Pitch: My View of One Unforgettable Game; it was published in 2015 and described Game 1 of the 1968 World Series from his point of view.[95]

Honors

Bob Gibson's number 45 was retired by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1975.

Gibson's jersey number 45 was retired by the St. Louis Cardinals on September 1, 1975.[96] In 1981, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame.[97]

In 1999, he was ranked number 31 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.[98][99]

In 1976, sportswriter Harry Stein published an article called the "All-Time All-Star Argument Starter" in Esquire magazine, consisting of five ethnic baseball teams; Gibson was the right-handed pitcher on Stein's Black team, alongside Satchel Paige.[100]

He has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.[101] A bronze statue of Gibson by Harry Weber is located in front of Busch Stadium, commemorating Gibson along with other St. Louis Cardinals greats.[102] Another statue of Gibson was unveiled outside of Werner Park in Gibson's home city, Omaha, Nebraska, in 2013.[103] The street on the north side of Rosenblatt Stadium, former home of the College World Series in his hometown of Omaha, is named Bob Gibson Boulevard.

In January 2014, the Cardinals announced Gibson as amongst 22 former players and personnel who made up the inaugural class of St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum.[104] At the time of his death, Gibson still led the Cardinals franchise's pitching records in wins (251), games started (482), complete games (255), shutouts (56), innings pitched (3,884+13) and strikeouts (3,117) along with a 2.91 ERA.[105]

Personal life

Gibson was married twice and was the father of three children. With his first wife, Charline (née Johnson), he had a son named Ray[b] and a daughter named Annette.[108] With his second wife, Wendy (née Nelson), he had a son named Christopher.[109]

Amongst Gibson's interests was playing guitar. In 1968, he performed on The Ed Sullivan Show along with his 1968 World Series opponent Denny McLain, an accomplished organist.[110][111]

During his career and in retirement, he continued to live in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Gibson hosted an annual golf tournament in Omaha for 12 years, called the 'Bob Gibson All-Star Classic', raising millions of dollars for local and national charities.[112] He sat on the Board of Directors of the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.), an organization that provides aid to retired, financially struggling former ballplayers.[113]

Off-the-field persona

Despite his intentionally intimidating presence on the mound, Gibson was known off-the-diamond for his quick wit and friendly manner. Teammate Craig Anderson called him a "great guy (who was) a lot of fun ... Gibson became a different person when he crossed the foul lines."[114] For a laugh, Gibson and teammate-turned-radio announcer Bob Uecker intentionally ruined a Cardinals team photo by holding hands in the front row, unbeknownst to the photographer.[115] After his playing days, during a press conference he quipped "No that's dumb" to a room of laughs when asked by a reporter if he ever considered pitching both halves of a doubleheader.[116]

Illness and death

In July 2019, Gibson's longtime agent Dick Zitzmann announced that Gibson had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer several weeks earlier and was due to begin chemotherapy.[117] He died on October 2, 2020, at age 84, under hospice care after fighting pancreatic cancer for more than a year.[118]

See also

Notes and references

Notes

  1. ^ Major League Baseball held two All-Star Games for the years from 1959 to 1962.[25]
  2. ^ Ray was born Renee Gibson; he was assigned female at birth and came out as a trans man in his fifties.[106][107]

References

  1. ^ "Bob Gibson (SABR BioProject)". Society for American Baseball Research.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Bob Gibson Career Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com.
  3. ^ Kurkjian, Tim (October 3, 2020). "In his day, St. Louis Cardinals great Bob Gibson was feared like no other pitcher". ESPN.
  4. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 11, 14.
  5. ^ "Bob Gibson (SABR BioProject)". Society for American Baseball Research. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, on November 9, 1935, Pack Robert Gibson was the youngest of seven children. He was named after his father, who died shortly before Bob's birth.
  6. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, p. 11.
  7. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 12–15.
  8. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 15–19.
  9. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 20–23.
  10. ^ "Illness Plagued Gibson as Child". The New York Times. October 16, 1964.
  11. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 23, 32.
  12. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 36–37.
  13. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 40–43.
  14. ^ Perry, Dayn (August 5, 2013). "Just because: Bob Gibson, basketball star". CBS Sports.
  15. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals vs Los Angeles Dodgers Box Score: April 15, 1959". Baseball-Reference.com.
  16. ^ Russo, Neal (July 31, 1959). "Cards' Gibson, in First Big League Start, Shuts out Reds". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  17. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals vs Cincinnati Reds Box Score: July 30, 1959". Baseball-Reference.com.
  18. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, p. 62.
  19. ^ "Bob Gibson stats". Liga Venezolana de Béisbol Profesional.
  20. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 64–65.
  21. ^ "Book Excerpt: Bob Gibson's Experience with Racial Injustice in the 1960's". Sports Illustrated. October 4, 2020.
  22. ^ Sands, Ethan (June 17, 2022). "'After Jackie' tells story of players who pushed for progress after Robinson". MLB.com.
  23. ^ a b c Posnanski, Joe (June 10, 2010). "Is That All I Did?". MLBlogs Network.
  24. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 70–72.
  25. ^ Sandomir, Richard (July 15, 2008). "When Midsummer Had Two Classics". The New York Times.
  26. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 72–73.
  27. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, p. 74.
  28. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, p. 75.
  29. ^ Halberstam, p. 119.
  30. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, p. 78.
  31. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 79–80.
  32. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 82–83.
  33. ^ Halberstam, pp. 113–115.
  34. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 58–59.
  35. ^ King, Norm. "October 4, 1964: Cards finally get best of Mets to clinch NL pennant". Society for American Baseball Research (SABR Games Project).
  36. ^ Halberstam, pp. 322–347.
  37. ^ Halberstam, pp. 349–350.
  38. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, p. 102.
  39. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 115–116.
  40. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, p. 116.
  41. ^ Hummel, Rick (July 12, 2019). "July 12, 1966: Brand-new Busch Stadium becomes a torture chamber in 103-degree heat at All-Star Game". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  42. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, p. 135.
  43. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, p. 136.
  44. ^ "1967 National League Team Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com.
  45. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, p. 139.
  46. ^ Schoor, pp. 298–299.
  47. ^ Stout, Glenn. "When Defeat is not a Loss: The 1967 World Series". Society for American Baseball Research.
  48. ^ Ladson, Bill (October 5, 2020). "Lessons learned from encounter with Gibson". MLB.com.
  49. ^ a b c "Gibson, Bob". National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
  50. ^ "1968 National League Pitching Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com.
  51. ^ "Major League Baseball Players of the Month". Baseball-Reference.com.
  52. ^ "MLB Most Valuable Player MVP Award Winners". Baseball-Reference.com.
  53. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals vs San Francisco Giants Box Score: September 17, 1968". Baseball-Reference.com.
  54. ^ Tourangeau, Dixie. "Chronicling Gibby's Glory: Bob Gibson's amazing 1968". Society for American Baseball Research.
  55. ^ "All-time and Single-Season World Series Pitching Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com.
  56. ^ "1968 World Series Game 1, Tigers at Cardinals, October 2". Baseball-Reference.com.
  57. ^ Feldmann, p. 2.
  58. ^ Feldmann, p. 1.
  59. ^ Schoor, p. 303.
  60. ^ Feldmann, pp. 1–3.
  61. ^ "Gibson Left His Mark: A Lower Mound". The New York Times. September 18, 2008.
  62. ^ Feldmann, p. 11.
  63. ^ Feldmann, p. 10.
  64. ^ Feldmann, pp. 12,14.
  65. ^ "Los Angeles Dodgers vs St. Louis Cardinals Box Score: May 12, 1969". Baseball-Reference.com.
  66. ^ Feldmann, p. 31.
  67. ^ Feldmann, p. 80.
  68. ^ Feldmann, p. 81.
  69. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals vs Pittsburgh Pirates Box Score: August 14, 1971". Baseball-Reference.com.
  70. ^ Smith, Curt. "Forbes Field". Society for American Baseball Research. No one threw a no-hitter in Forbes' 4,728-game history.
  71. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 235–237.
  72. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, p. 244.
  73. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, p. 245.
  74. ^ "MLB Postseason Willie Mays World Series MVP Awards". Baseball-Reference.com.
  75. ^ "MLB Cy Young Award Winners". Baseball-Reference.com.
  76. ^ "Yearly League Leaders & Records for Shutouts". Baseball-Reference.com.
  77. ^ Keri, Jonah (February 7, 2008). "Forty years later, Gibson's 1.12 ERA remains magic number". ESPN.
  78. ^ "Bob Gibson Quotes". Baseball Almanac.
  79. ^ "Bob Gibson (SABR BioProject)". Society for American Baseball Research. Gibson worked quickly, relying on pinpoint control of a vicious slider and two different fastballs for his success.
  80. ^ "Bob Gibson (SABR BioProject)". Society for American Baseball Research. Any batter who got too comfortable in the batter's box, any hitter determined to reach across the plate to drive an outside pitch, could count on getting shaved by an inside pitch. If the batter's body happened to get in the way of the ball, if he had to go down on his backside to avoid getting hit, so be it. Gibson made no apologies.
  81. ^ "Don Drysdale Career Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com.
  82. ^ "Chicago Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals Box Score: September 3, 1975". Baseball-Reference.com.
  83. ^ "Bob Gibson (SABR BioProject)". Society for American Baseball Research. He would not fraternize with opposing players, even when he played with them in All-Star Games. Joe Torre told a tale of catching Gibson in the 1965 All-Star Game. After the game, as they were showering, Torre complimented Gibson on his performance. Gibson didn't say a word. He showered, got dressed, and left.
  84. ^ Schwartz, Larry. "Gibson was mound intimidator". ESPN.
  85. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 249–250.
  86. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 257–259.
  87. ^ Britton, Tim (October 16, 2020). "Remembering the year Bob Gibson was the Mets' 'attitude coach'". The Athletic.
  88. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 263–264.
  89. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 264–267.
  90. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 268–269.
  91. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 271–272.
  92. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, p. 272.
  93. ^ "Bob Gibson (SABR BioProject)". Society for American Baseball Research. His first autobiography, From Ghetto to Glory, written with assistance from Phil Pepe, was published between the 1967 and 1968 seasons... his autobiography, Stranger to the Game, was published in 1994...
  94. ^ Gibson, Bob; Jackson, Reggie; Wheeler, Lonnie (2009). Sixty Feet, Six Inches: A Hall of Fame Pitcher and a Hall of Fame Hitter Talk about How the Game Is Played. Knopf, Inc.
  95. ^ Gibson, Bob; Wheeler, Lonnie (2015). Pitch by Pitch: My View of One Unforgettable Game. Flatiron Books.
  96. ^ "Cardinals Retired Numbers". MLB.com.
  97. ^ Muder, Craig. "Hall call puts exclaimation point on Gibson's career". National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
  98. ^ "The Sporting News Selects Baseball's 100 Greatest Players". The Sporting News. April 26, 1999. Archived from the original on April 16, 2005.
  99. ^ "The All-Century Team". MLB.com. Archived from the original on January 19, 2010. Retrieved February 15, 2007.
  100. ^ Stein, Harry. "All-Time All-Star Argument Starter". Esquire.
  101. ^ "Bob Gibson". St. Louis Walk of Fame.
  102. ^ "Statue will honor Gibson's sports contributions". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. February 23, 1998.
  103. ^ White, Rob (April 11, 2013). "Bob Gibson statue unveiled at Werber Park". Omaha World-Herald.
  104. ^ "2014 St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Induction". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. January 18, 2014.
  105. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals – All-Time Leaders". MLB.com.
  106. ^ Schhultz, Ken (March 16, 2022). "Ray Gibson opens up about coming out as the transgender son of a Baseball Hall of Famer". Outsports.com.
  107. ^ Bahrampour, Tara (May 25, 2023). "In middle age, they realized they were trans: 'A lightbulb went off'". The Washington Post.
  108. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, pp. 48, 55.
  109. ^ Gibson and Wheeler, p. 258.
  110. ^ "Gibby, McLain to Appear After Series". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. October 9, 1968. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  111. ^ Rushin, Steve (July 19, 1993). "The Season of High Heat". Sports Illustrated.
  112. ^ "MLBPAA announces Bob Gibson as Lifetime Achievement Award honoree". MLB.com.
  113. ^ "Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.)". MLB.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2021. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  114. ^ Caroulis, Jon (October 24, 2022). "THE INCREDIBLE MR. GIBSON". Ball Nine. Retrieved January 26, 2024.
  115. ^ The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. "Bob Uecker Tonight Show - 1971". YouTube. NBC. Retrieved January 26, 2024.
  116. ^ Bois, Jon. "The Bob Emergency: a study of athletes named Bob, Part I". YouTube. Secret Base. Retrieved January 26, 2024. ((cite web)): Text "Chart Party" ignored (help)
  117. ^ Hummel, Rick (July 19, 2019). "Cards' Hall of Famer Gibson being treated for pancreatic cancer". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  118. ^ Hummel, Rick. "Cardinals Hall of Famer Bob Gibson dies at 84 after bout with cancer". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Book sources

Further reading

Articles

Books

Awards and achievements Preceded byErnie BroglioCurt Simmons St. Louis Cardinals Opening Day Starting pitcher 19651967–1975 Succeeded byCurt SimmonsLynn McGlothen Preceded byRick Wise No-hitter pitcher August 14, 1971 Succeeded byBurt Hooton Preceded byFrank RobinsonDon DrysdaleBill Singer Major League Baseball Player of the Month September 1964June & July 1968August 1970 Succeeded byJoe TorrePete RoseWillie Stargell Sporting positions Preceded byCloyd Boyer Atlanta Braves pitching coach 1982–1984 Succeeded byLeo Mazzone Preceded byJoe Coleman St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach 1995 Succeeded byDave Duncan