Cardinals legend Bob Gibson has passed away at age 84.
The St. Louis Cardinals, who were just eliminated from the postseason by the San Diego Padres, have been through plenty of trials and tribulations in 2020, headlined by the passing of former league stolen base king and Hall of Fame outfielder Lou Brock. Unfortunately for Cardinals fans, they now have to deal with the passing of a franchise icon and one of the true titans of baseball.
Hall of Fame starting pitcher Bob Gibson, who played his entire 17-year with the Cardinals, passed away in his native Omaha at the age of 84. No. 45 had been fighting an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer for some time.
Bob Gibson was one of the greatest players of the 1960s
Gibson debuted with the Cardinals in 1959, but he started to make the leap to stardom in the mid-1960s. In his career, Gibson was an All-Star and Gold Glove winner nine times. He won the Cy Young award twice while leading the Cardinals to two World Series titles, winning World Series MVP twice along the way. Gibson was one of the game’s most ferocious competitors of all time, if not the most ferocious. With an intimidating demeanor on the mound and the upper 90s fastball to match, Gibson was unhittable in his prime.
1968 was his crowning achievement. While his Cardinals lost in the World Series, Gibson went 22-9 with an insane 1.12 ERA, taking home Cy Young and MVP honors. In June and July, Gubson threw 11 straight complete games and gave up just three runs. In Game 1 of the World Series against the Detroit Tigers, Gibson made history by striking out 17 batters. Gibson’s performance was so dominant that it was a major factor in the league lowering the pitcher’s mound height.
Gibson stayed connected to baseball after his retirement, serving as a coach in the ’80s and ’90s. He had his number retired in 1975.
Stan Musial is the greatest position player in the illustrious history of the Cardinals, but Gibson is assuredly the greatest pitcher in one of the league’s gold star franchises. It’s impossible to tell the history of the Cardinals, the 1960s, or baseball as a whole without Gibson, and he will be missed greatly around the league.