Bob Gibson

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Pack Robert "Bob" Gibson (born November 9, 1935 in Omaha, Nebraska) was a right-handed baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1959 to 1975. His record-setting career led to his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.

Despite a childhood filled with health problems, including rickets, asthma, pneumonia, and a heart murmur, he was active in sports as a youth, particularly baseball and basketball. He won a basketball scholarship to Creighton University.

Template:MLB HoF In 1957, Gibson received a US$4,000.00 bonus to sign with the Cardinals. He delayed his start with the organization for a year, playing with the Harlem Globetrotters, earning the nickname "Bullet" Bob Gibson (his nickname in baseball was "Hoot", after Hoot Gibson, the cowboy and silent movie star). In 1958 he spent a year at the triple-A farm club in Omaha. He graduated to the major leagues in 1959 and had the first of nine 200-strikeout seasons in 1962.

In the eight seasons from 1963 to 1970, he won 156 games and lost 81. He won nine Gold Glove Awards, was awarded the World Series MVP Award in 1964 and 1967, and won Cy Young Awards in 1968 and 1970. His 1967 World Series was amazing. Gibson pitched three complete game victories(Games 1, 3, & 7), also hitting a vital home run in Game 7.

His ERA in 1968 was 1.12, which is a modern record. He threw 13 shutouts, and allowed only two earned runs in 92 straight innings of pitching. He also won the National League MVP. His season was so successful that it contributed to the lowering of the pitching mound by five inches for 1969. The change had only a slight effect on him; he went 20-13 that year, with a 2.18 ERA. Some say that his 13 shutout season may never be repeated by anyone again given the heavier emphasis on pitch counts and relief pitching today.

He was the second pitcher in MLB history (after Walter Johnson) to strike out over 3,000 batters.

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. Don't stare at 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 Gold Glove boxer.' I'm like, 'Damn, what about my 17-game hitting streak?' That was the night it ended." [1]


For a vivid depiction of the man and the times he pitched in, see David Halberstam's October 1964 (ISBN 0679433384; reprint ISBN 0449983676).

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