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Bob Gibson

Bob Gibson

Position(s):
P
Nicknames:
Hoot, Gibby
Born:
November 9, 1935
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
6' 1"
Weight:
189 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-15-1959 with SLN
Allstar Selections:
1964 BR, 1964 WsMVP, 1965 GG, 1966 GG, 1967 GG, 1967 WsMVP, 1968 CY, 1968 GG, 1968 MVP, 1968 TSN, 1969 GG, 1970 CY, 1970 GG, 1970 TSN, 1971 GG, 1972 GG, 1973 GG
Hall of Fame:
1981

Hoot at work!

Unform Number

#58 (1959), #31 (1960), #45 (1961-1975)

Quotes From

"A great play is like watching a girl go by. The last one you saw is the prettiest."

Replaced By

John Denny, in 1975-1976, whom the Cards were grooming as their ace of the future.

Best Season: 1968

He went 22-9 and completed 28 of his 34 starts. He led the NL with 268 strikeouts and 13 shutouts. Five of his shutouts came consecutively, and at one point he pitched 47 1/3 straight scoreless innings. Amazingly, the right-hander allowed just 38 earned runs all season, in more than 300 innings. His ERA of 1.12 was the third best in league history. Opponents batted .184 and had just a .233 OBP. He lost nine games, but in three of those he allowed just a single run. He won both the Cy Young and the MVP award.

Factoid 1

On July 17, 1974, Bob Gibson fanned Cesar Geronimo for the 3000th K of his career

Factoid 2

After scoring 15 points for Creighton University against the Harlem Globetrotters in 1957, Bob Gibson was signed by the Globetrotters and played with the famous barnstorming basketball team for one season.

Transition

Signed as an amateur free agent by St. Louis Cardinals (1957).

Strengths

Competitiveness Don't mess with 'Hoot' Gibson was known for pitching inside to batters. Dusty Baker received the following advice from Hank Aaron about facing Gibson: "'Don't dig in against Bob Gibson, he'll knock you down. He'd knock down his own grandmother if she dared to challenge him. 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, don't run too fast. If you happen to want to celebrate, get in the tunnel first. And if he hits you, don't charge the mound, because he's a Golden Gloves.' I'm like, 'Damn, what about my 17-game hitting streak?' That was the night it ended." Dick Allen stated that, "Bob Gibson was so mean he would knock you down and then meet you at home plate to see if you wanted to make something of it." Gibson showed no mercy, even to players he liked. Gibson's closest friend on the Cardinals was first baseman Bill White (first baseman), who was later traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. The first time White batted against Gibson as a Phillie, Gibson hit him on the arm with a fastball (there were no hard feelings, and the friends had dinner together that night).


Gibson was 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 you can't hit it." Gibson maintained this image even into retirement.


In 1992, an Old-Timers' Day was played at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego as part of the All-Star Game festivities, and Reggie Jackson hit a home run off Gibson. When the Old-Timers' Day game was played in 1993, the 57-year-old Gibson threw the 47-year-old Jackson a brushback pitch. The pitch was not especially fast and did not hit Jackson, but the message was delivered, and Jackson did not get a hit.


Once, while providing commentary for a Cardinal baseball game on radio station KMOX, Gibson was queried by fellow announcer and former Cardinal, Mike Shannon, as to how Gibson might have faced home run king Babe Ruth. Shannon referred to Babe Ruth's Called Shot (an indication that Ruth would hit the ball into the bleachers), to which Gibson responded, "If a batter ever pointed to the bleachers in front of me, he'd have some sore ribs.".


Gibson casually disregards his reputation for intimidation, though, saying that he made no concerted effort to seem intimidating. He recently joked that the only reason he made faces while pitching was because he needed glasses and could not see the catcher's signals which is given credence since Cardinal's catchers went to tapping for signals instead of the more usual hand signs.

Weaknesses

Early in his career he was a little wild, but not for long.

Milestones

Honors His number 45 is retired by the St. Louis Cardinals, and in 1981, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. In 1999, he 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. He has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. A bronze statue of Gibson by Harry Weber is located in front of Busch Stadium, commemorating Gibson along with other St. Louis Cardinals greats. In 2004, he was named as the most intimidating pitcher of all time from the Fox Sports Net series The Sports List. The street on the north side of Rosenblatt Stadium, home of the College World Series in his hometown of Omaha, is named Bob Gibson Boulevard.

The 12 Black Aces

Through 2004, twelve African-American pitchers had won 20-games in the major leagues. Of course, black pitchers had won twenty many times in the negro leagues, but these dozen, who, under the direction of Mudcat Grant, called themselves the "12 Black Aces," are an exclusive club:
1. Don Newcombe
2. Sam Jones
3. Bob Gibson.
4. Mudcat Grant
5. Earl Wilson
6. Fergie Jenkins
7. Al Downing
8. Vida Blue
9. J.R. Richard
10. Mike Norris
11. Dwight Gooden
12. Dave Stewart

Hitter and Pitcher

In 1970, Gibson hit .303 with two homers and 19 RBI. He was used as a pinch-hitter five times, drawing two walks and laying down one sacrifice hit. He had at least one hit in 12 of his starts and at least on RBI in 13 of them.

World Series Aces

Pitchers who have hurled three complete game wins in one World Series:

Christy Mathewson, Giants (1905 vs. A's) 27 IP, 14 H, 18 K, 1 BB, 0.00 ERA
Babe Adams, Pirates (1909 vs. Tigers) 27 IP, 18 H, 11 K, 6 BB, 1.33 ERA
Stan Coveleski, Indians (1920 vs. Robins) 27 IP, 15 H, 8 K, 2 BB, 0.67 ERA
Lew Burdette, Braves (1957 vs. Braves) 27 IP, 21 H, 13 K, 4 BB, 0.67 ERA
Bob Gibson, Cardinals (1967 vs. Red Sox) 27 IP, 14 H, 26 K, 5 BB, 1.00 ERA
Mickey Lolich, Tigers (1968 vs. Cardinals) 27 IP, 20 H, 21 K, 6 BB, 1.67 ERA

 

 

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Tagged:
1964 World Series, 1967 World Series, 1968 World Series, 1981 Hall of Fame, All Star, Babe Ruth Award, Baseball History, Bob Gibson, Cy Young Award, Gold Glove, NL MVP 1968, St. Louis Cardinals

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