Full Name: Robert Gibson
Height: 6'1" Weight: 195 Bats: Right Throws: Right
Born: November 9, 1935 in Omaha, Nebraska
Years with Cardinals: 1959-1975
Number Retired: 1975
Inducted into Hall of Fame: 1981
Bob Gibson ranks as the greatest pitcher in Cardinals' history. A glance at the record book supports the claim. On the franchise's career lists, the right-hander is first in wins (251), complete games (255), shutouts (56), innings pitched (3,884.1) and strikeouts (3,117). He is second in games pitched (528) and tied for ninth in ERA (2.91).
An outstanding athlete, Gibson played with the Harlem Globetrotters before arriving in St. Louis to stay in 1961. Three years later, he posted a 19-12 record with a 3.01 ERA in helping the Cardinals win the National League pennant. After losing Game 2 of the World Series to the New York Yankees, Gibson posted complete-game victories in Game 5 (5-2 in 10 innings) and Game 7 (7-5) and earned series Most Valuable Player honors.
Gibson was on his way to another banner season in 1967 when a line drive off the bat of Pittsburgh Pirates' outfielder Roberto Clemente on July 15 broke Gibson's right leg. He was sidelined 52 days but returned to pitch the N.L. pennant clincher against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sept. 18. In the Cardinals' World Series victory over the Boston Red Sox, Gibson went 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA, three complete games and 26 strikeouts to again be named series MVP.
The postseason dominance was a sign of things to come. In 1968, Gibson authored the greatest season by a pitcher in modern history. His 1.12 ERA established an all-time record for 300 or more innings. Gibson posted a 22-9 record with league-leading totals of 13 shutouts and 268 strikeouts. During one stretch, he surrendered merely two earned runs over 95 innings. Gibson was named the N.L. Cy Young Award winner and MVP. For an encore, Gibson set a record with 17 strikeouts in Game 1 of the World Series against the Detroit Tigers (a 4-0 victory). He pitched two more complete games (winning Game 4 by the score of 10-1 before losing Game 7 by a 4-1 margin) to run his streak to a record eight straight distance-going performances. Gibson totaled 35 strikeouts in the three games to establish a Fall Classic standard.
Gibson won his second Cy Young Award in 1970 on the strength of a 23-7 record and 3.12 ERA. He fired a no-hitter against Pittsburgh on Aug. 14, 1971, winning 11-0 at Three Rivers Stadium, and became the second pitcher in baseball history to record 3,000 career strikeouts July 17, 1974 (following Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators).
Accompanying his blazing fastball and pinpoint control was an intense demeanor. Gibson was a complete pitcher, socking 24 home runs and winning nine Gold Glove Awards. The nine-time N.L. All-Star was a first-ballot National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee in 1981 and an inaugural member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014. He was selected to the Major League Baseball All-Century team in 1999 and voted the starting pitcher on the All-Busch Stadium II team in 2005. In 2015, Gibson was voted by the fans as a member of Franchise Four, joining Lou Brock, Rogers Hornsby and Stan Musial as one of the most impactful players who best represented the history of the Cardinals.
"Gibby" served as pitching coach for the New York Mets (1981) and Atlanta Braves (1982-84) and bullpen coach for St. Louis (1995). He also has done some broadcasting and has been a special instructor for the Cardinals since 1996