Friday, July 12, 2013

"CAREER CAPPER" #4: 1976 BOB GIBSON

Bob Gibson has always been one of my favorite all-time players and competitors. Besides the obvious things to love about the guy as far as his stats go, it was the over-the-top drive and no-nonsense play that had me hooked.
Ever hear Tim McCarver tell the story of the first time he saw Gibson after Tim was traded to the Phillies in Octover of 1969? If not here goes:
Before a game between the Cardinals and the Phillies in 1970, both teams were on the field loosening up and getting ready. Tim, who was a teammate of Gibson for about ten years before being traded, figured he'd go say hello to him. Not only were they teammates for so long, but they came up in the Cardinals system together in the late-50's.
Well as Tim says it, he went up to Gibson near the batter's box, stuck out his hand and went to say "hi", and knew immediately he was done for. Gibson just stared him down and walked away.
First time McCarver was up at the plate, Gibson delivered his first pitch and brushed him back.
Message delivered: they weren't teammates anymore, and while ON the field, they were enemies.
How can you NOT love that!?
The man was a force on the mound, and of course his 1968 season is the stuff of legend. I STILL wonder how on earth he managed to have 9 losses with a season E.R.A. of 1.12!!! Just incredible.
Needless to say, the Hall of Fame was sure to call in 1981 and an obvious choice for induction was granted.
Well, here is my design for a 1976 card had Topps wanted to have one last card for the sure-fire Hall of Famer.
Nice and colorful. Just what you'd expect for a card in that fantastic 1976 set.

"Gibby" closing out his amazing career.

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