St. Louis Cardinals Franchise Four: Bob Gibson


Until May 8, St. Louis Cardinals fans can vote for the top four players in franchise history.

The players from each group that receive the most votes will be honored at this summer’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Cincinnati.

Today, we profile Bob Gibson, one of the greatest Cardinals pitchers of all-time.

The Omaha native stayed home for college and attended Creighton University. He signed with the St. Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent in 1957. Gibson made his debut with the Cardinals on April 15, 1959. In two innings pitched against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Gibby allowed two runs on two hits.

When Gibson retired from the Cardinals at the end of the 1975 season, he had accumulated a 251-174 (.591) won-loss record with a 2.91 ERA in 528 games (482 career starts). Gibson pitched 255 complete games, 56 of which were shutouts. In 3,884.1 innings pitched, Gibby allowed 1,420 runs (1,258 earned) on 3,279 hits, walking 1,336 batters and striking out 3,117 hitters.

It was Gibby’s 168 season that ended up becoming one for the ages. In 34 games, Gibby recorded a 22-9 record with an impressive 1.12 ERA. This led to Gibson taking home both the National League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player Awards–one of the few pitchers to accomplish both in the same season. The Cardinals went on to meet the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, where Gibby would strike out 17 hitters in Game 1.

A nine-time All-Star, Gibson also received the National League Cy Young Award for the 1970 season. Pitching in three postseasons, Gibson won two World Series rings with the Cardinals while recording a 7-2 record with a 1.89 ERA in nine starts.

Gibson was elected by the BBWAA to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981 with 84% of the vote. Gibson’s name appeared on 337 of 401 ballots.

Stay tuned during the rest of the week and next week as Redbird Rants profiles the other candidates being considered for the Franchise Four: Dizzy Dean, Albert Pujols, Red Schoendienst, Rogers Hornsby, and Ozzie Smith. We have previously profiled Lou Brock and Stan Musial.