Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
He was born Pack Robert Gibson in Omaha, Nebraska. Despite a childhood filled with health problems, including rickets, asthma, pneumonia, and a heart murmur, he was active in sports as a youth, particularly baseball and basketball. He won a basketball scholarship to Creighton University.
In 1957, Gibson received a $4000 bonus to sign with the Cardinals. He delayed his start with the organization for a year, playing with the Harlem Globetrotters, earning the nickname "Bullet" Bob Gibson (his nickname in baseball was "Hoot", after Hoot Gibson, the cowboy and silent movie star). In 1958 he spent a year at the triple-A farm club in Omaha. He graduated to the major leagues in 1959 and had the first of nine 200-strikeout seasons in 1962.
His ERA in 1968 was 1.12, which is a modern record. He threw 13 shutouts, and allowed only two earned runs in 92 straight innings of pitching. He also won the National League MVP. His season was so successful that it contributed to the lowering of the pitching mound by five inches for 1969. The change had only a slight effect on him; he went 20-13 that year, with a 2.18 ERA. Some say that his 13 shutout season may never be repeated by anyone again given the heavier emphasis on pitch counts and relief pitching today.
He was the second pitcher in MLB history (after Walter Johnson) to strike out over 3,000 batters.
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