St. Louis Cardinals’ Top Ten Starting Pitchers of All-Time

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#1 Bob Gibson

Taking a look at his career statistics shows us a number of different things about Bob Gibson. The first thing I look at, is his career ERA+ of 127, which is well above average and could have been much higher had it not been for two sub par seasons at the end of his career in 1974-1975. We all know about his extraordinary season in 1968, that ranks as one of the best all time.

Looking at the stats of that season, shows that it very well should be the best all time season of any starting pitcher. Gibson had a fWAR of 8.6 that season, which was the highest of his career at the time and had the seventh best ERA+ (258) season by any starting pitcher. At the time Gibson’s ERA+ stood fourth behind the seasons of Tim Keefe (1880), Dutch Leonard (1914), and Walter Johnson (1913).

Looking into Fangraphs fWAR numbers for Gibson, shows that Gibson had a strong three years from 1968-1970, with his highest fWAR coming in 1970 at 9.8. That was the season in which Gibson went 23-7 with a 3.12 ERA (2.29 FIP), with the best K/9 numbers of his career at 8.39.

Awards wise, Gibson is probably the most recognized Cardinal ever, as he won nine straight Gold Glove awards from 1965-1973, while winning the NL MVP award and Cy Young award in 1968 and winning the Cy Young award again in 1970. Gibson also led the Cardinals’ to three World Series’, where they won two out of three titles in ’64 and ’67. Gibson led the way, making three starts in each series, with an ERA of 1.89 and a 10.2 K/9, while also garnering MVP honors in the ’64 and ’67 series’.

Without a doubt the greatest Cardinals’ pitcher of all time.

Next: Dizzy Dean