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Bob Gibson (1935–2020), Hall of Fame Cardinals pitcher

by Legacy Staff

Bob Gibson was a flame throwing Hall of Fame starting pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals for 17 seasons. Gibson had more than 3,000 strikeouts, 3,117 in total, becoming only the second player in baseball history to do so at the time. He won 251 games with a career 2.91 ERA. He won two World Series with the Cardinals and was the NL MVP in 1968.

Incredible pitching stuff

Gibson was known for his high velocity fastball and wipeout breaking pitches. He was notorious for throwing his intimidating fastball up-and-in to batters. He was a fearsome presence on the mound and cultivated a reputation as a ferocious competitor. His dominance during the 1960s contributed to Major League Baseball rule changes that lowered the height of the pitching mound and reduced the height of the strike zone in an effort to generate more offense.

1968: A Year for the Ages

Gibson’s career peaked in the 1968 season. He had an incredible 1.12 ERA and capped it off with one of the greatest performances in World Series play. In Game 1, Gibson threw a complete game shutout with seventeen strikeouts which still stands as the record for strikeouts in a World Series game. He would win again in game 4 but lost a tight game 7 giving the Detroit Tigers the championship. Gibson won National League MVP honors for his efforts in the regular season.

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Winning the World Series in 1968 would have just been a repeat of previous accomplishments. He had already led the Cardinals to World Series championships in 1964 and 1967 and had been named World Series MVP both times.

Coaching career

Gibson had a long coaching career after his retirement, working with manager Joe Torre for the Mets and the Braves.

Gibson on winning

“My thing was winning. I didn’t see how being pleasant or amiable had anything to do with winning, so I wasn’t pleasant on the mound and I wasn’t amiable off it.” —he and Lonnie Wheeler wrote in his autobiography “Stranger to the Game.”

What they said about him

Full obituary: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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