Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bob Gibson (#100)

Last week, I was surprised to realize that I hadn’t featured Willie McCovey on any of my blogs so far. This was corrected immediately with a post to the 1967 blog. Later, I took a mental cross-country trip (NYM-Phil-Pitt-ChiC-StL-Atl-Cinn-Hou-SF-LA) and a 2nd lap (Bos-NYY-Balt-Wash-Clev-Det-ChiW-Minn-KC/Oak-Cal) to see if I could think of any superstars that I missed on my blogs. 

This exercise netted Bob Gibson, Hank Aaron, Harmon Killebrew, and Johnny Bench, and some lesser stars like Jim Hunter, Tony Oliva, Phil Niekro, Billy Williams, Norm Cash, Willie Horton, Boog Powell, Bill Mazeroski, and Willie Stargell. So, I’ve got my work cut out for me over the next few weeks… 

First up is Bob Gibson, the lead dog during 1968’s “The Year of the Pitcher”. Gibby followed up a 3-complete-game (and a 1.00 ERA) 1967 World Series performance with a 1968 season where he led the NL with 13 shutouts, 268 K's, and a 1.12 ERA. (That’s ONE point ONE TWO!)

He also compiled a 22-9 record, and won both the Cy Young and MVP awards. Gibson pitched another 3 complete games in the World Series, but unlike the previous season, he was 2-1 in those games. Bob's post-season ERA was a miniscule 1.67. Oh… he also set a record by striking out 17 Tigers in game #1.

Gibson was signed by the Cardinals in 1957, and made his major-league debut in April 1959, although he spent a good deal of time in the minors during both 1959 and 1960. He also played basketball for the Harlem Globetrotters during these early years.

Bob made the majors to stay in 1961, and spent his entire career (1959-75) with the Cardinals. He had double-digit wins every season from 1961 to 1974, and won 20 or more games in ’65, ’66, ’68, ’69, and ’70 (missing 2 months with a broken leg in 1967). His 23 wins led the NL in 1970.

Hoot’s “ace of staff” days were from 1963 to 1972, although Curt Simmons managed to keep up with him in ’63 and ’64. Besides his World Series performances in ’67 and ’68, Bob also won 2 of his 3 starts in the 1964 Series against the Yankees.

Gibson ended his career with a down year in 1975, when he was 3-10 in only 109 innings.

He was a 1st-ballot Hall of Famer in 1981.

After his playing career, Bob was the pitching coach for the Mets and the Braves in the early 1980s, while former teammate Joe Torre managed those teams.

This is my original card from 1968, and is well-scuffed from all the "playing time" it got. This is the last of the 1968 "hero cards" that I listed in the first such post

1 comment:

Douglas said...

Gibson was also a very good hitter for a pitcher. I won a radio call in contest with him as the answer. It's not that I knew the answer but they gave so many clues and said you could the internet.