Bob Gibson

American football player and coach (1927-2015)

Robert Gibson (born Pack Robert Gibson; November 9, 1935 - October 2, 2020), nicknamed "Gibby" and "Hoot", was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1959 to 1975. Known for his fiercely competitive nature, Gibson tallied 251 wins, 3,117 strikeouts, and a 2.91 earned run average. A nine-time All-Star and two-time World Series Champion, he won two Cy Young Awards and the 1968 National League Most Valuable Player Award.

Bob Gibson in 2010
Bob Gibson in 1962


  • When a hitter like Pete LaCock hits a grand slam off you, it’s time to hang them up.
  • Robert, the scales must be balanced no matter how long it takes.
    • Said to Bob Costas after Costas asked about the story about beaning Pete LaCock at an old timer's game (video).
  • In a world filled with hate, prejudice and protest, I find that I too am filled with hate, prejudice and protest. I hate phonies. I am prejudiced against all those who have contempt for me because my face is black and all those who accept me only because of my ability to throw a baseball. I am not proud of that ability. It is not something I earned or acquired or bought. It is a gift.
    • From Gibson's 1968 book From Ghetto to Glory
  • People make it sound like it was easy, like all I had to do was stare at a hitter or throw inside and they’d wilt. It wasn’t like that. It wasn’t easy. There wasn’t anything easy about it.
    • From Joe Posnanski's 2021 book The Baseball 100
  • I’m proud of that fact that whatever I did, I did it my way.
  • I guess I was never much in awe of anybody. I think you have to have that attitude if you're going to go far in this game.
  • I've played a couple of hundred games of tic-tac-toe with my little daughter and she hasn't beaten me yet. I've always had to win. I've got to win.
    • From Roger Angell's 1982 book Late Innings

Interview with Joe Posnanski, Feb 11, 2020, The Atlantic

  • Is that all I did?...Hit batters? Is that really all they remember?...I wasn’t trying to intimidate anybody — are you kidding me? I was just trying to survive, man.
  • I wasn’t mean. I don’t buy into any of it. You hear people talk about this glare that I had. You know, I’ve been wearing glasses for almost 60 years. I wasn’t glaring...I just couldn’t see the catcher’s signals. I was just trying to see. That’s all. But people turn everything into something else.
  • People don’t know what it was like to be a young black pitcher in those days.

Quotes about Bob Gibson

  • Gibson was so mean, he’d knock you down and then meet you at home plate to see if you wanted to make something of it.
  • The only people I ever felt intimidated by in my whole life were Bob Gibson and my daddy.
    • Dusty Baker, From Joe Posnanski's 2021 book The Baseball 100
  • I remember one time going out to the mound to talk with Bob Gibson. He told me to get back behind the plate where I belonged and that the only thing I knew about pitching was that I couldn’t hit it.
  • Don’t dig in against Gibson, he’ll knock you down. He’d knock down his own grandmother. Don’t stare at him. Don’t smile at him. Don’t talk to him. He doesn’t like it. If you happen to hit a home run, don’t run too slow and don’t run too fast. And if he hits you, don’t charge the mound. He’s a Golden Glove boxer.
  • Bob Gibson is the luckiest pitcher in baseball. He is always pitching when the other team doesn't score any runs.
    • Tim McCarver, From Hillel Italie's 2020 APNEWS obituary about Gibson
  • Children whose fathers are not old enough to have seen him pitch, still come up to Gibson to say he’s their favorite pitcher, not because of his 3,117 career strikeouts or his 1.12 ERA in 1968 or his unrelenting brilliance in the World Series. No, it’s because he was mean, tough, a symbol of badass.
    • Joe Posnanski blogging for Medium.
  • He hated everyone. He even hated Santa Claus.
    • Don Sutton, From David Keech's 2020 ONNEWS obituary about Gibson
Wikipedia has an article about: