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Gibson, Bob

byname of Robert Gibson

(born Nov. 9, 1935, Omaha, Neb., U.S.) American professional National League right-handed baseball pitcher, who was at his best in crucial games. In nine World Series games, he won seven and lost two.

At Omaha Technical High School Gibson was a star in basketball and track, as well as a baseball catcher. He played basketball and baseball at Creighton University (Omaha) as a shortstop and outfielder. He was signed to a contract by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1957 and played with their minor-league teams until 1959. A regular with the Cardinals from 1961, he won 20 games in 1965 and 22 (including 13 shutouts) in 1968; he led the league with 23 victories in 1970. In 1968 he started 34 games, completed 28, and had an earned run average of 1.12. He pitched quickly, and his best pitches were a fastball and a slider. In his career he had 3,117 strikeouts, the first pitcher to accumulate more than 3,000 since Walter Johnson in the 1920s. He retired as a player in 1975 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.

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