To the great Bob Gibson, RIP
Back in October 1968, I ran home with my little transistor radio hoping to catch Game 1 of the World Series on TV. I knew that my mother would have the game on TV, so my objective was to get home.
I ran faster and faster when I heard that Gibson was pitching a shutout and about to set a post-season record for strikeouts. Well, I did not make it home, but I did hear strikeout #17 on the radio and caught the post-game interview.
It was arguably the greatest pitching performance of the 20th century because he was facing a Detroit lineup that included Al Kaline, Norm Cash, Willie Horton, Bill Freehan, and Jim Northrup. The 1968 A.L. champion Tigers were a great team. It's hard to believe that anyone could strike out 17 against a lineup like that. He was as dominating as any pitcher in one game.
The amazing Bob Gibson died this weekend. He was 84 and fighting cancer.
Over the years, Gibson won 251 games with a 2.91 ERA. He also threw 56 shutouts! Add 255 complete games plus winning Game 7 in 1964 versus New York and 1967 versus Boston!
In the aforementioned season of 1968, he won 22 games, pitched 28 complete games and 13 shutouts. His ERA was a super-human 1.12!
I did not make a typing mistake. It was indeed 1.12 over 304 innings.
Gibson added a no-hitter in 1971 and was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1981.
He was absolutely awesome and died shortly after Lou Brock, his teammate from those Cardinals who won three N.L. pennants in five years, passed away. Sad month for Cardinal nation.
Never saw him in person but lots of times on TV. As I told my late father one day, I would have Bob Gibson on the mound if my life depended on one pitch.
Image: MLB via YouTube.