Monday, April 25, 2011

#54 Joe Gibbon

#54 Joe Gibbon
Before we get down to brass tacks, I'd like to apologize to Joe Gibbon. I just looked over the list of upcoming posts on this blog, and Ol' Joe is about to be overshadowed in a big way. Have I tantalized you? Stay tuned!

Fun facts about Joe Gibbon:

-Joe was born in Hickory, MS and attended the University of Mississippi, where the 6'4" youngster was an All-American basketball player. The Pirates signed him in 1957.

-He spent three seasons in the minors, going 16-9 with a 2.60 ERA at AAA Indianapolis in 1959 to earn a spot in the big leagues the following year.

-Gibbon earned wins in each of his first two big league games: April 17 and April 23, 1960. He totaled five scoreless innings of relief in the two contests. Overall he went 4-2 with a 4.03 ERA for the World Champs. He also allowed three runs in three innings of relief in the World Series.

-Starting a career-high 29 games in his sophomore season, Joe went 13-10, one win shy of Bob Friend's team lead. He had a tidy 3.32 ERA and led the Pirates with 3 shutouts. He ranked sixth in the N.L. in ERA and WHIP (1.23), third in shutouts, and tenth in strikeouts (145).

-The southpaw was at his best on September 26, 1961, blanking the Dodgers on one hit and three walks and striking out seven. A Bob Aspromonte pinch single to lead off the sixth inning spoiled the no-hit bid, but Gibbon promptly picked off the runner.

-He sported a sub-4.00 ERA in four consecutive seasons, including a hard-luck 1962 in which he had a 5-12 record.

-Joe was traded to the Giants along with Ozzie Virgil for Matty Alou after the 1965 season, and soon became a relief specialist. In 1968 he allowed only 7 earned runs in 40 innings for a 1.58 ERA.

-He totaled 11 saves each in the 1969 and 1971 seasons. He split the former between the Giants and Pirates, pitching to a 1.93 ERA in 35 games after his return to Pittsburgh. The latter season was spent with the Reds.

-Cincinnati and Houston both released Gibbon over the course of the 1972 season, bringing his career to an abrupt halt. In parts of 13 seasons he was 61-65 with a 3.52 ERA and 32 saves.

-His cousin was Don Castle, the Senators' 1st-round draft pick in 1968. Don peaked in 1973, when he hit .325 with 31 doubles and 88 RBI at AAA Spokane to earn a cup of coffee with the Rangers.
#54 Joe Gibbon (back)


  1. Bigger that Joe Gibbon? Frank Bertaina!!

  2. Don't worry. I'm sure Joe Gibbon was used to being overshadowed during his career. At least his family loves him.

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