As a kid I was a St. Louis Cardinals fan. The Braves had left Milwaukee, we hated everything about Chicago which meant the next closest team for us to cheer for was the Cardinals.
And one of the greatest Cardinals, one of the greatest pitchers of all time and one of the most intense players of all time was Bob Gibson.
Gibson passed away recently and it made me think of a couple great stories about him and his playing career. Gibson played in a much different era of the game but his dominance can not be argued. Some of that dominance can be tied to his attitude as much as his physical skills.
Tim McCarver tells the story that as a young catcher he tried to go to the mound to “settle” Gibson down in a game where he was struggling. Before he even got to the mound Gibson said approximately , “All you know about great pitching is that you can’t hit it. Get your (bleep, bleep) back behind the plate!” With which Gibson followed up by striking out the next hitter to get out of the inning.
Another example of Gibson and the way he played the game can be seen when you consider that the last pitch Gibson threw in a game was hit for a grand slam by Pete LaCock. Ten years later in an “Old Timers” game Gibson faced LaCock and hit him with the first pitch he threw to him. Talk about old school!!
RIP Bob Gibson. Those of us who cheered for you will always remember the fire and passion with which you played. I miss those days!