Thursday, May 12, 2016

Memory Lane: Bob Gibson's brilliant 1968 season!




Imagine this. 

Imagine that you are a major league manager. 

Imagine that you can pick any pitcher to start game 7 of the World Series.

Who would you pick? My choice is Bob Gibson hands down. No one comes close.

Gibson won game 7 of the 1964 series against the Yankees. He followed that with another game 7 victory against Boston in 1967.

Gibson was the top dog in the great Cardinals teams of the late 1960s. He was surrounded by other great players like Orlando Cepeda (MVP '67) and Ken Boyer (MVP '64). In the outfield, he played with Lou Brock and Curt Flood. His catcher was Tim McCarver, the same one who does the analysis on Fox Sports.

In 1968, Gibson pitched the Cardinals into the Series again but lost to Detroit. Nevertheless, the 1968 season was magical for Gibson:

1) 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 over 304 innings.

2) In game 1 of the Series, Gibson struck out 17 Tigers.

I remember running home from school to catch the last few pitches of this game. I missed the game but caught the last few K's on the radio.

It was the greatest pitching 
performance of the 20th century because he was facing a lineup of Al Kaline, Norm Cash, Willie Horton, Bill Freehan and Jim Northrup. The '68 Tigers were a great team. It's hard to believe that anyone could strike out 17 against a lineup like that.

The Tigers beat the Cards in '68.

Gibson went on to win 251 games in his career with a 2.91 ERA. He also threw 56 shutouts!

Bob Gibson was the greatest pitcher of his time.

Gibson was inducted in the Hall of Fame. He is one of all my time favorites because he threw strikes and wasn't afraid to throw inside once in a while.


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