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Author Topic: RIP Bob Gibson  (Read 2215 times)
JoeC
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« on: October 03, 2020, 07:27:32 AM »

One of the greatest pitchers ever.

Nice tribute from the great Bob Costas who, with all his St. Louis connections, knew Bob well. As you'd expect, some great anecdotes about Gibson and Mays, Mantle and, of all people, Pete LaCock.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pci9PFONAb0
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 08:01:04 AM by JoeC » Logged
doctordoowop
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2020, 11:53:31 AM »

I know the Lacock story-last HR -so  Bob  hit him in an old timers game. Wonder if any clips-prob not-of  him playing hoops.  Great athlete--RIP.  Was  he a good hitter?  Like a Greinke?
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2020, 12:28:42 PM »

Gibson was a superb hitter. Superb everything.  Superb competitor. Had he played in NY or LA his "star" would not have been overshadowed by Koufax/Marichal. As it stands, he is quite underrated comapred to his prowess. looked up his batting stats. Had 5 HRs in two seasons, batted over .300 once, lifetime 24 HRs, 144 RBI, 274 hits, .206 average.

As an aside, Sweet Lou Johnson also passed the other day at age 86.
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2020, 04:26:49 PM »

I knew Lou--nice guy--amazingly  filled in for Tommy Davis in 65 & 66  after  Davis broke ankle in terrible accident.  RIP  Lou.  Davis told me he played  hoops with Lenny Wilkens  at Boys High  in 56..  It was very human of him to brag a little how good he was  at hoops. Too many of these fantastic athletes are  way too modest--but I  understand they are probably instructed to be modest on TV.

I  really hate to see  lost talent by injury--Davis, Conigliaro , even Koufax, who quit at 31.

Hard work  counts--but so much is body type, coordination, DNA  etc..   I remember my father told me  a few  yrs ago that  the  fifty fastest 100 meter runners were all black. Prob true.

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JoeC
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2020, 04:48:23 PM »

Bob was a .206 lifetime hitter, with 24 HR and 144 RBI in like 1400 ABs. WAY above average for a pitcher.

Drysdale, by comparison, hit .186, with 29 HR and 113 RBI in 1300+ ABs. He had two 7 HR seasons.

Also, from my youth, I recall Don Newcombe and Don Larsen as really good hitters. Newk was often used as a PH. In 1955, the year the Brooklyn Dodgers won the pennant, he hit .359 with 7 HR and 23 RBI in 125 ABs. Lifetime .271 hitter.

« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 05:01:14 PM by JoeC » Logged
bklynmike101
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2020, 01:01:55 PM »

Big Newk was arguably the best of the bunch at batting. Add Ron Perranoski now to the sad list of fallen heros - superb "closer" in his day and long-time coach. Per the LA Times, Lou Johnson had fallen upon hard times - drugs - until baled out and successfully resurrected by the Dodges organization. 
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JoeC
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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2020, 06:21:43 PM »

Mike,

Sorry to hear that about Lou Johnson.

And, think you're right that Newcombe was the best hitting pitcher. Maybe Drysdale second. I put them in different generations as they were 10 years apart and Don D's glory years came in LA; Newk's in Brooklyn.

Newk was the only one I recall being used, on a reasonably often basis, as a pinch hitter. Even sometimes when there were other position players available on the bench, Alston would sometimes call on Newk. That says a lot!  

« Last Edit: October 05, 2020, 07:35:01 AM by JoeC » Logged
bklynmike101
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2020, 12:28:01 AM »

Of course, there is also the case of pitcher/position players (does Otani count) like Mike Lorenzen, Willie Smith, or Mel Queen Jr. (I suppose Ruth does not count). Warren Spahn was also fairly handy with a bat in his hand. 
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JoeC
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2020, 07:49:10 AM »

Mike, I'd forgotten Spahn (in terms of hitting) but you are so right. Almost a .200 lifetime hitter over 2000 ABs. And -- 35 career HRs.

As an aside, when I looked up his stats, the numbers 5,243 and 382 jumped out. Those were the innings he pitched and the Complete Games he threw. What an arm!! Not to mention, of course, his 363 Wins.

Of course, I had to look up where Spahnie stood in terms of those numbers. For pitchers starting after 1940, he's only 5th in IP!!

Top Career IP among the more "modern" - after the Cy Young's and Walter Johnson's - were: (1) Phil Nieko, (2) Nolan Ryan, (3) Gaylord Perry, (4) Don Sutton. Then Spahn.

In career Complete Games, Warren is #1 (there's 20 really old timers with more). In Wins, again eliminating the old timers like Grover Cleveland Alexander and Christy Mathewson, Spahn is #1.
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2020, 11:51:26 AM »

Joe,

Old Spahnie was quite a pitcher - somehow somewhat forgotten today - as well as quite an interesting and likable character. Like Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens (with help), he was still incredibly effective past the age of 40. Won something like 21 games at age 40 or 42 or something like that. Once said - per an article I remembered reading back around 1960 or so, that "the batters will let me know when it's time to go".  After which, he continued to pitch for my Mets at age 44 or 45 long past his expiration date, and followed that up with a further stint in the Mexican League. Seemingly he love to pitch as long as someone - anyone - would have him. Ultimately retired to his large ranch and lived a quiet and comfortable retirement for many years.
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2020, 06:15:29 PM »

Just watched great interview on YT  with Gibson--2018.  In 1968 with a 1.12  ERA he lost  8 games!   Why? Not so complicated-always pitched against best pitchers -- Marichal, Drysdale, Jenkins etc.

McCarver was amazed anybody could hit him--"I knew what was  coming and it was hard. to catch  B/C it moved so much -late."."
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2020, 02:32:30 AM »

Lost  9 games.  Many 2-1
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Robb_K
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2020, 03:19:58 AM »

Mike, I'd forgotten Spahn (in terms of hitting) but you are so right. Almost a .200 lifetime hitter over 2000 ABs. And -- 35 career HRs.

As an aside, when I looked up his stats, the numbers 5,243 and 382 jumped out. Those were the innings he pitched and the Complete Games he threw. What an arm!! Not to mention, of course, his 363 Wins.

Of course, I had to look up where Spahnie stood in terms of those numbers. For pitchers starting after 1940, he's only 5th in IP!!

Top Career IP among the more "modern" - after the Cy Young's and Walter Johnson's - were: (1) Phil Nieko, (2) Nolan Ryan, (3) Gaylord Perry, (4) Don Sutton. Then Spahn.

In career Complete Games, Warren is #1 (there's 20 really old timers with more). In Wins, again eliminating the old timers like Grover Cleveland Alexander and Christy Mathewson, Spahn is #1.

He didn't start MUCH after 1940!  And imagine how amazing his totals would be if he hadn't missed '43-'45 being in the military during WWII!  He'd probably been ahead of everybody but Niekro in IP.
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JoeC
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« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2020, 09:46:07 AM »

Somehow mentioning Phil Niekro and Spahn in the same breath rubs me wrong. Both were great pitchers but ... Spahn won 363 (118 more games than he lost); Phil won 318 (44 more than he lost). And Niekro had 50 more starts!

Warren's career ERA was 3.09; Phil's was 3.35. And Warren's ERA rose due to trying to hold on too long in the mid-to-late 60s.

Also, Spahn used a full pitcher's repertoire to excellent results. Where would Phil have been without the knuckler?

The Milwaukee Braves signed Niekro for $250 in 1959. Spahn was signed by the Boston Braves for no bonus whatsoever to play in the Pony League.Talk about bargains!

Wonder who had the higher leg kick in their prime -- Marichal or Spahn?
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Robb_K
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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2020, 02:22:49 PM »

Somehow mentioning Phil Niekro and Spahn in the same breath rubs me wrong. Both were great pitchers but ... Spahn won 363 (118 more games than he lost); Phil won 318 (44 more than he lost). And Niekro had 50 more starts!

Warren's career ERA was 3.09; Phil's was 3.35. And Warren's ERA rose due to trying to hold on too long in the mid-to-late 60s.

Also, Spahn used a full pitcher's repertoire to excellent results. Where would Phil have been without the knuckler?

The Milwaukee Braves signed Niekro for $250 in 1959. Spahn was signed by the Boston Braves for no bonus whatsoever to play in the Pony League.Talk about bargains!

Wonder who had the higher leg kick in their prime -- Marichal or Spahn?

Spahn's 3.09 ERA during 1942-64 much greater hitting and a LOT higher walks era than Niekro's era of weak hitting and no walks, would have been something like 2.40 in Niekro's era.  And Niekro's 3,35 in his later era, would have been a much less impressive over 4.00 figure.  So Spahn was one of the absolute top few pitchers of his era, while Niekro was about 3-4 group levels down from that in his era.
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JoeC
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« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2020, 04:47:01 PM »

Somehow mentioning Phil Niekro and Spahn in the same breath rubs me wrong. Both were great pitchers but ... Spahn won 363 (118 more games than he lost); Phil won 318 (44 more than he lost). And Niekro had 50 more starts!

Warren's career ERA was 3.09; Phil's was 3.35. And Warren's ERA rose due to trying to hold on too long in the mid-to-late 60s.

Also, Spahn used a full pitcher's repertoire to excellent results. Where would Phil have been without the knuckler?

The Milwaukee Braves signed Niekro for $250 in 1959. Spahn was signed by the Boston Braves for no bonus whatsoever to play in the Pony League.Talk about bargains!

Wonder who had the higher leg kick in their prime -- Marichal or Spahn?

Spahn's 3.09 ERA during 1942-64 much greater hitting and a LOT higher walks era than Niekro's era of weak hitting and no walks, would have been something like 2.40 in Niekro's era.  And Niekro's 3,35 in his later era, would have been a much less impressive over 4.00 figure.  So Spahn was one of the absolute top few pitchers of his era, while Niekro was about 3-4 group levels down from that in his era.

Good points, Robb. Why I would never put the two in the same category. To give Phil some righteous due, it is hard to amass 318 wins in any era.

Because of WWII, Warren really didn't become a force until 1946, when he was 25 yrs old. Niekro made his mark in 1967, when he was 28. Amazingly, Spahn went 23-7 at age 42. Niekro went 17-4 at age 43. Phil lost 20 games in a season twice, and lost 18 in three other seasons. Was Atlanta really that bad in the 70s? I forget.
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2020, 12:28:43 PM »

Both Spahn and Niekro were truly great pitchers in their respective albeit very different ways.
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2020, 12:26:53 AM »

Juan had biggrer leg kick--leg went straight up-Spahn much smoother--Koufax  looked like he copied  him.

About leg  kicks--I guess  Kershaws coaches couldn't change his weird motion. Why he's  always getting a bad back.
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