Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cards from the Old Man Part 14: Bob Gibson

This is the fourteenth in a series of posts about cards I received from the old collector in our town who had library catalogs full of cards from the 1950's-1970's. You can see those original posts here and here if you missed them.

This is the last of the '71 Topps cards. This is another card the Old Man picked out for me. He had numerous Cardinals duplicates because that was his favorite team. I didn't have a clue about who this guy was until some time after I got the card.

"Bob Gibson is the luckiest pitcher I ever saw. He always pitches when the other team doesn't score any runs." - Former Cardinal Catcher Tim McCarver

I never saw Bob Gibson pitch, but looking at his career numbers, it's easy to see why McCarver made that comment.

Bob Gibson pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals for 17 years. In 528 career games, Gibson went 251-174 and even managed 6 saves. The amazing thing to me is the 255 complete games. He also posted 56 shutouts and an ERA of 2.91. With that many complete games it's not hard to believe he pitched 3,884.1 innings, striking out 3,117. He also hit 24 homers in his career.

Gibson was a 6 time All-Star and pitched in 3 World Series. His Cards won it all in 1964 and 1967 and lost to Detroit in 1968. His World Series numbers are amazing. He pitched in 9 games, going 7-2 with a 1.89 ERA. Oh yea, 8 of the games were of the "complete" variety. In 1967 he won all 3 of his W.S. starts. He even managed to hit 2 W.S. homers. He won World Series MVP honors in '64 and '67.

He also won the N.L. MVP in 1968, posting some of the most dominant numbers ever. He went 22-9 with an unreal 1.12 ERA, 28 complete games and 13 shutouts. Toss in the 268 Ks and you get the MVP and the first of his two Cy Young awards. He would also win it in 1970, the year featured on this card back. I don't know if you can read the back, but it's pretty amazing that you can post a 3.12 ERA and it raises your career ERA.

Gibson helped his own cause in the field, winning 9 Gold Gloves. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1981 with 84.04% of the vote. This is the only Gibson in my far.

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