Happy birthday to Cardinals Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson who turned 77 today.
Gibson, who compiled a 251-174 record with a 2.91 from 1959-75, had inarguably the best career of any pitcher who was primarily or exclusively a St. Louis hurler.
Hoot struck out 3,117 hitters, was a nine-time National League All-Star and helped the Cardinals to two World Series titles and three NL pennants with a 7-2 record and a 1.89 ERA in the post season.
But he was best known for his record setting 1968 season in which Gibby posted a ridiculously low 1.12 ERA in 304 2/3 innings. While the amount of runs he allowed was amazing, what is even more remarkable that Gibson was 22-9. How was it possible to lose nine games while allowing a shade over one run over a complete game?
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He pitched 28 games that year from start to finish, winning only 22 contests. In 1969 he also pitched 28 complete games and won only 20.
Gibson was a guy who was uncompromisingly competitive, unapproachable and driven. And for that he has my unending respect. Today, when players care more about posing for the camera and looking good over playing well, it's nice to think about how Gibson played the game. They don't make 'em like him anymore... Well, maybe Chris Carpenter, but that's it.