The hard-throwing Hall of Fame right-hander was at his best when the pressure was most intense, winning seven of his nine World Series starts, eight of them complete games. Gibson was the first pitcher in almost 50 years to finish his career with more than 3, strikeouts.
Batters feared to step up to the plate against the scowling, intimidating Bob Gibson. Like the pitchers of an earlier era, he wasn't afraid to throw inside, sometimes knocking down hitters. Gibson's will to win was unquenchable.
He led the Cardinals to three league championships and two World Series titles. His pitching performance in is among the very best in baseball history. He was the youngest of seven children, and he never knew his father, who died of tuberculosis before he was born. His mother, Victoria, supported her large family by working in a laundry.
In , when he won 15 games, Gibson struck out batters and allowed only hits in innings. Three days later, a weary Gibson gutted out nine more innings in the decisive Game Seven. Feller is survived by his wife, Anne; his sons Steve, Martin and Bruce from his marriage to his first wife, Virginia, which ended in divorce; his stepchildren John and Rachel, and a grandson, Daniel. He organized lucrative barnstorming games between major league players and stars of the Negro Leagues. But even while he struggled with his control, his opponents were struggling to get hits off him, and his strikeout totals kept rising. About Your Privacy on this Site. Then came his strikeout game against the St.
They lived in an inner-city slum in Omaha, Nebraska. As a child, Gibson's own health was problematic. He suffered from asthma and hay fever. He had a heart murmur. While very young, he contracted rickets and almost died of pneumonia. Yet he overcame his maladies to become a star athlete at Omaha Technical High School, excelling in track and basketball as well as baseball, where he was primarily a catcher.
Gibson applied to the University of Indiana, but that school turned him down because in those days it had a quota on black athletes. Instead, he went to Creighton University in Omaha on a basketball scholarship. At Creighton, he also played baseball, starring as a shortstop and outfielder.
Bob Feller was born on November 3, in Van Meter, Iowa. He grew up on As a child, Feller always wanted to play baseball with older kids. When he was. Robert William Andrew Feller (November 3, – December 15, ), nicknamed "The .. Feller appeared in the May 12, , edition of Life, which said: " he is unquestionably the idol of several generations Bob Feller Oral History Interview (1 of 2) - National Baseball Hall of Fame Digital Collection · Bob Feller Oral.
In , the St. Louis Cardinals gave Gibson a small bonus and signed him to a professional baseball contract. They decided he was best suited to be a pitcher. Yet Gibson was still undecided about which sport to pursue, and he played one season of basketball with the barnstorming Harlem Globetrotters before casting his lot with baseball.
Gibson spent parts of three seasons in the minor leagues, refining his pitching skills, before earning a spot on the Cardinals roster in He was unimpressive in his first two seasons, winning six games and losing 11, and was twice sent down to the minors. Thirteen consecutive winning seasons in the major leagues would follow. Gibson threw the ball hard, but he had trouble throwing it over the plate with any consistency at the beginning of his career.
His walk totals were unacceptably high: 69 free passes in 87 innings in , and a league-high in innings in , his first year as a regular member of the Cardinals' starting rotation. But even while he struggled with his control, his opponents were struggling to get hits off him, and his strikeout totals kept rising.
In , when he won 15 games, Gibson struck out batters and allowed only hits in innings. He would strike out more than batters in eight of the next ten seasons. When he perfected a devastating slider to go with his intimidating fastball, Gibson became a complete pitcher. In , Gibson pitched innings and won 19 games, despite battling arthritis in the elbow of his throwing arm most of the season.
Louis won the National League pennant, thanks largely to Gibson's great stretch run: he won 9 of his final 11 decisions. The Cardinals edged out two other teams as Gibson won the deciding game on the last day of the season with a gutsy performance in relief.
In the second game of the World Series, Gibson pitched eight strong innings but was pulled for a pinch-hitter with his team trailing, Never again would he be removed from a World Series game. The series was tied at two games apiece when Gibson took the mound for Game Five. He dominated for ten innings, striking out 13 and allowing only two runs, and the Cardinals won. Three days later, a weary Gibson gutted out nine more innings in the decisive Game Seven.
He allowed three home runs, but the Cardinals hung on for a victory and a world championship. The next season was the first of five in which Gibson would win at least 20 games. He was also establishing his reputation as an intimidator. He believed that the inside part of the plate belonged to him, and batters who would dare to lean in close could expect a fastball up and in.
It's none of the above. You pitch inside to make them think inside. Gibson said that when he did hit a batter, often it was a mistake. But he wouldn't acknowledge it was unintentional. That's the worst thing in the world to do.
You just stand out there like you did it on purpose. His catcher, Tim McCarver, knew how tough Gibson could be. Often, when McCarver went to the mound to settle him down, Gibson would scowl and wave him away.
Gibson's athleticism helped him be an all-around contributor to his team. He was one of the smoothest-fielding pitchers of any era, jumping on bunts and grounders like a cat. He was awarded the league's Gold Glove as the best fielder at his position for nine consecutive years, from through He also was a formidable hitter, batting a respectable. In , Gibson's leg was fractured by Roberto Clemente's hard line drive.
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