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Sat, 11.09.1935

Strike Three……Bob Gibson

Bob Gibson

*Bob Gibson was born on this date in 1935. He was an African American baseball player.

From Omaha, Nebraska he was named Pack Robert Gibson, after his father who died 3 months before his birth and changed his name to Robert when he turned 18. Despite a childhood filled with health problems, including rickets, asthma, pneumonia, and a heart murmur, he was active in sports particularly baseball and basketball. After a standout career at Tech High in Omaha, Gibson won a basketball scholarship to Creighton University.

In 1957, Gibson received a $4,000.00 bonus to play with the St. Louis Cardinals. He delayed his start with the organization for a year, playing basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters, earning the nickname "Bullet" Bob Gibson (his nickname in baseball was "Hoot". In 1958 he spent a year at the triple-A farm club in his home town. He moved up to the major leagues in 1959 and had the first of nine 200-strikeout seasons in 1962.

Over 17 seasons (all) with the Cardinals, Gibson won 20 games five times and established himself as the definition of intimidation, competitiveness, and dignity. He posted a 1.12 ERA in 1968, the lowest figure since 1914, and was named the National League Cy Young Award winner and Most Valuable Player. Known as a premier big-game pitcher, Gibson posted World Series records of seven consecutive wins and 17 strikeouts in a game, and was named World Series MVP in 1964 and 1967.

Gibson was a fierce competitor who rarely smiled and was known to hit players when pitching to let them know who was in charge. Known by many as the best pitcher in Cardinals history, Gibson dominated with his fastball, sharp slider, and a slow, looping curve ball. Since retirement, he now resides in Bellevue, Nebraska.

Reference:
20th Century Baseball Chronicle
Year-By-Year History of major league Baseball
Copyright 1999, Publications International Ltd.
ISBN 0-7853-4074-2

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