AKA Patrick Robert Gibson
Birthplace: Omaha, NE
Location of death: Omaha, NE
Cause of death: Cancer - Pancreatic
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Two-time Cy Young Award winner
Gibson was a sickly child, with chronic asthma, a heart murmur, hay fever, rickets, and a bout with pneumonia. His father died of tuberculosis before Gibson was born. He attended college on a basketball scholarship, and before he played professional baseball, Gibson played professional basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters.
Gibson was a pitcher for 17 years, beginning with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1959. He won nine Gold Glove Awards, for being the league's best defensive player at his position. Twice he went through an entire year committing no defensive errors. In five separate seasons, Gibson was a twenty-game winner. For thirteen consecutive seasons, he won more games than he lost. Twice he won the Cy Young Award, given to the league's best pitcher, and he was also named as the league's Most Valuable Player in 1968 -- Gibson's best year.
Gibson's 1968 was phenomenal. His Earned Run Average was 1.12, which remains a modern record (for comparison, allowing an average of even three earned runs per game is considered quite good). He pitched 13 shutouts that year, and over the course of two months, June and July, he pitched 99 innings and allowed only two earned runs -- an utterly impossible ERA of 0.18. And unlike today's game, there were rarely relievers waiting to give Gibson a rest -- he started 34 games that season, and pitched to the finish in 28 of them. The next season, as a direct result of Gibson's utter dominance the previous year, baseball lowered the pitcher's mound from 15 inches to just ten inches above the rest of the playing field. The intent was to make the game easier on hitters, harder for pitchers, but Gibson remained dominant, and had 20-win seasons in both of the next two seasons.
He retired from baseball in 1975, as only the second pitcher to strike out more than 3,000 batters (the first was Walter Johnson). His jersey number, 45, has been retired by the Cardinals, and Gibson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.
In 2002, Gibson and a stranger, Miguel B. Sanchez, squared off in a fist fight at a gas station near Omaha. Both men alleged that the other had cut him off on the freeway, and both men claimed that the other man threw the first punch after they got out of their cars. Police said they were unable to corroborate either man's story, and no charges were filed. Mr Sanchez, 45, reportedly needed six stitches to repair damage above his eye. Mr Gibson, then 66, suffered no perceptible injuries.
Father: Pack Gibson (d. 1935)
Mother: Victoria Gibson (laundry worker)
Brother: Leroy Joshua Gibson (b. 1921, d. 1982)
Brother: Richard Gibson (d.)
Sister: Beulah Gibson
Brother: Fred Gibson
Brother: Donald Gibson (d.)
Sister: Barbara Gibson
Brother: David Gibson (d.)
University: Creighton University (basketball scholarship)
Endorsement of Novartis
World Series MVP 1964
World Series MVP 1967
National League MVP 1968
Cy Young Award 1968
Cy Young Award 1970
Baseball Hall of Fame 1981
Missouri Sports Hall of Fame 1996
St. Louis Walk of Fame
Pitched a No-Hitter 14-Aug-1971
Risk Factors: Asthma
SPORTS FRANCHISE HISTORY
St. Louis Cardinals Pitcher (1959-75)
Harlem Globetrotters 1957
Author of books:
Stranger to the Game: The Autobiography of Bob Gibson (1994, memoir)
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