St. Louis, MO (OnFocus) – Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, 84, died Friday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Gibson played his entire 17 year career with the St. Louis Cardinals, and racked up some pretty impressive career statistics:
- 251 wins
- 255 complete games
- 2.91 ERA
- 3117 strikeouts
- CY Young Award winner in 1968, 1970
- Two-time World Series MVP, 1964, 1967
- 9 time All Star
- 9 time Gold Glove Award winner
Gibson’s passing marks the third legendary baseball player to pass away in the last few months, joining Tom Seaver and Lou Brock .
The 1968 season is remembered as Gibson’s very best. He was the face of the “Year of the Pitcher,” posting a Major League-best 1.12 ERA with 268 strikeouts, 13 shutouts, 15 consecutive winning decisions and a stretch of 95 innings in which he gave up just two runs. He won both the Cy Young and the MVP Award that year, and he led a season so uniquely dominant from the pitching perspective that MLB took the bold step of lowering the mound the following year.
Fellow Hall of Famer Don Sutton once said Gibson “hated everyone, even Santa Claus.” Gibson’s former catcher Tim McCarver described him as having “eyes smoldering at each batter, almost accusingly.” Dusty Baker once said the only two people he ever felt intimidated by were “Bob Gibson and my daddy,” and when Baker was preparing to face Gibson during Baker’s time with the Braves, Hank Aaron gave him some advice.
“Don’t stare at him, don’t smile at him, don’t talk to him,” Aaron said. “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.”
“I wasn’t trying to intimidate anybody, are you kidding me?” he once told Joe Posnanski. “I was just trying to survive, man.”
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