Former Cardinals Pitcher Bob Gibson dies at 84, fans pay tribute to 'most intimidating man on the mound'

The Omaha man played the entirety of his 17-year career from 1959-75 with the Cardinals that saw him register 251 wins and a 2.91 ERA while he struck out 3,117


                            Former Cardinals Pitcher Bob Gibson dies at 84, fans pay tribute to 'most intimidating man on the mound'
Hall of Famer Bob Gibson (Getty Images)
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Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Gibson died on Friday. He was 84. His death was confirmed by the St. Louis Cardinals. The Omaha man played the entirety of his 17-year career from 1959-75 with the Cardinals that saw him register 251 wins and a 2.91 ERA while he struck out 3,117. He was a nine-time All-Star and two-time World Series Champion. Gibson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2019 summer. 

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According to ESPN, the pitcher had one of his best-ever seasons in 1968 with a 22-9 record, 1.12 ERA, and completing 28 of his 34 starts. Nicknamed Hoot, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1981 and was inducted to the Cardinals' HOF in 2014. After a decorated career, Gibson spent time in the sidelines as the "Attitude coach" with the New York Mets with former teammate, Joe Torre. The duo then moved to the Atlanta Braves where he worked as the pitching coach. 

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Prior to the coaching stint, he served as a backup color analyst for ABC's Monday Night Baseball in 1976. Twitter and his fellow teammates along with the MLB fraternity mourned the loss of the pitching legend. "Lou Brock & now Bob Gibson. This born and bred St Louisan and lifelong Cardinals fan salutes both of these HOFers for their performances both on and off the field. Get ready for a season-long celebration for both of them at Busch Stadium next year. RIP to these Cardinal legends," read one of the tweets.

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"I was a 10-year-old fanatic baseball fan in 1968 when Bob Gibson had a 1.14 ERA. It was the most dominating season I’ve ever witnessed. He was a joy to watch," recollected one of the fans in his comment. Fans of other teams paid their tribute as well. "Before my time and played for the enemy, but a massive player, one of the best of his era and all time. Sad to hear it," read a tweet.

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In 1968, his record lead to the pitcher's mound to be lowered from 15 to 10 inches. A move that fans of that era distinctly remember. "Wasn't this guy the reason they lowered the mound? If so amazing. I wish that I had seen him pitch," a fan exclaimed. "If you’re not sure who Bob Gibson was in the context of baseball history, let’s start with this and you can take from here: Bob Gibson is the main reason that the pitching mound is 10 inches high instead of 15 inches high. #BobGibson," another fan seconded.

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According to ESPN's report, fellow Hall of Famer and former Chicago Cubs man, Billy Williams opined it was hard to beat Gibson and recalled the time when he played with a broken leg. "One year, Roberto Clemente hit a line drive that hit him right in the shin. He pitched another five, six innings to finish the game, then it turned out he had a broken leg." Also sharing his condolences was Cardinals pitcher, Jack Flaherty.

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"He's a legend first and foremost, I was lucky enough to learn from and you don't get that from someone like that very often," Flaherty said. "Just to have the ability to form a relationship and for him to offer up his advice and offer up anything he could give, it's special." "This sits in a place of honor in my home. Bob Gibson was my idol as a kid. Read “From Ghetto to Glory” and tried to mimic his stance and windup. #45 was pride, power, determination, and intimidation on the mound. Losing him and Lou Brock in the same two weeks is awful, really," said a fan posting an image of a baseball autographed by Gibson.

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And the tributes just continued: "RIP Bob Gibson. There are exceptions to the rule- Randy Johnson by all accounts seems like a normal, nice guy- but the great MLB pitchers tend to be sullen, flaming fireballs of hatred and fury. I don't think anyone went to bat against him without being a little scared."


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Gibson wrote his memoir, "Pitch by Pitch" in 2015. 

 






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