Illness Couldn’t Derail Bob Gibson’s Desire to Be the Best Baseball Pitcher

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Bob Gibson overcame his early life respiratory illnesses to become one of the best baseball pitchers. He’s remembered for his performances in the 1968 season, where he managed a 1.12 ERA (Earned Run Average). 

He followed that with a no-hitter but soon after, suffered from swelling knees that eventually forced him to leave the game. In this article, we recount Bob Gibson’s career.

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Bob Gibson: The Beginning

spotcovery-Illness Couldn’t Derail Bob Gibson’s Desire to Be the Best Baseball Pitcher
Former player Bob Gibson. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-3.0

Gibson didn’t have the best of starts to life. His father died before he was born and he fought respiratory illnesses when he was young. Despite his health issues, he was heavily involved in sports. Gibson played basketball and baseball and naturally, competed in high school sports. 

However, he developed other health complications and needed a doctor’s approval to compete. This didn’t hold him back, and he was successful. In his senior year, he was part of the All-State basketball team, an achievement that helped him earn a scholarship to Creighton University. 

He was a standout player and several teams courted him. He received an offer from the Harlem Globetrotters and the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. Gibson played for Harlem for a year before he finally decided to pursue baseball with the Cardinals.

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Baseball Career

A review of Bob Gibson’s career. Video Credit: KSDK News

Gibson dedicated the rest of his career to baseball and the St. Louis Cardinals. He debuted in 1959 and by 1961, he was already establishing himself on the team. In 1963, he won 15 games and 19 the following year in which the Cardinals won the World Series

He put on a show-stopping performance, winning the game for the team and was named the World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP). 

The pitcher consistently produced epic performances. In 1965, he won 20 games and won the Gold Glove Awards nine times consecutively. 

Two years later, he won another World Series for the team, with a 1.0 ERA, and received his MVP. His numbers were impressive and added the Pitcher of the Year and the Cy Young Award accolade. 

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Retirement and Life After Baseball

The next years were just as successful, hitting a no-pitcher. However, injuries slowed him down and after hitting double figures in 1973 and 1974, he called it a day in 1975.

Bob Gibson registered a win-loss record of 251-174, with 3,117 strikeouts. After his playing career, he coached the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals. For his services to the game, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1981.

Away from his sporting exploits, he ran a restaurant, was a board chair and was interested in the St. Louis radio station.

Bob Gibson was one of baseball’s best pitchers. He overcame illnesses from a young age to become one of the best players in the game. When he got to the top of the game, he showed his level of skill and talent. 

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