Monday, June 6, 2022

Bob Gibson Breaks Leg - Keeps on Pitching


TRIVIA WINNER: Congrats to Rich Klein of Grand Prairie, TX, who correctly stated in the 1959 season Nellie Fox had nine sacrifice bunts to his credit. The Prize: Starbucks Gift Card.

NEW TRIVIA CONTEST:  By answering the TRIVIA QUESTION CORRECTLY you are automatically entered into a weekly drawing for a Starbucks Gift Card.  YOU MUST ENTER VIA THE EMAIL AT THE END OF THIS COLUMN. Don't forget to put your mailing address in with the answer so if you win we can send you the gift card in the mail.

ANSWER to the Trivia question in the previous column:  Nellie Fox had nine sacrifice bunts in 1959. 

Just a note to add; If you look at the top right hand corner of the side bar you will see a link to daily sports scores. We made an agreement with Baseball 24 in a mutual sharing situation. Hope its helpful to fans of several sports.

NEW TRIVIA QUESTION:   How many relief appearances did Bob Gibson make in the 1960s? 

In one of the most amazing feats of courage and strength the Cardinals Bob Gibson set a standard for gutting it out in baseball which may never be matched. It took place in the heart of mid-summer 1967 in St. Louis. The Cardinals were facing the Pirates on a Saturday evening at Busch Stadium. What the 39,000-plus fans were about to see they will never forget.

The Cardinals were in first place, four games up while the Bucs were struggling 7.5 back in sixth place. Coming off one of the most formidable hitting years in team history, the Pirates were just a shell of the previous season. Roberto Clemente, Matty Alou and Gene Alley were all running the lumber, but Donn Clendenon, Willie Stargell and a few others were struggling. The team had sent Bob Baily to the Dodgers for Maury Wills who was hitting .281 at the time but with little spark.  

The Cardinals meanwhile were sailing. Up and down the line-up led by Orlando Cepeda who was having an MVP season. Roger Maris, Lou Brock, Tim McCarver, Bobby Tolan, Julian Javier were all stroking hit after hit. The pitching staff led by Gibson, Dick Hughes and Steve Carlton was top notch. This club was World Series bound.

This day belonged to Gibson. In a scoreless game in the fourth, Clemente (who would have 3 hits on the day) came up to face Gibson. The Great One smashed a line drive back at Gibson caroming off his leg for a single. Gibson went down but in usual style got right back up. No one knew at the time but the drive broke Gibson's leg. It didn't matter. He wasn't coming out, not yet.

He walked Stargell, got Mazeroski to fly out and walked Clendenon before manager Red Schoendienst had seen enough. Al Jackson came in from the bullpen to take over and Gibby was through for weeks. He left with a record of 10-6 after pitching three innings, giving up one hit and the one run to Clemente. He would return to finish the season with a 13-7 pitching 175 innings with 147 strikeouts in 24 starts. 

However, it was in the World Series where he was the master. He won three games and even hit a home run. The following season, 1968 he had one of the greatest season ever in the history of the game finishing with a 1.12 ERA. 


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