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Joseph Charles Gibbon (April 10, 1935 – February 20, 2019) was an American professional baseball player. A left-handed pitcher, he spent all or parts of 13 seasons (1960–72) in Major League Baseball as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros. Gibbon was born in Hickory, Mississippi; he was listed as 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) tall and 200 pounds (91 kg).
|Born: April 10, 1935|
|Died: February 20, 2019 (aged 83)|
|April 17, 1960, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 11, 1972, for the Houston Astros|
|Earned run average||3.52|
|Career highlights and awards|
Career in sportsEdit
An alumnus of the University of Mississippi, where he was a standout in both baseball and basketball, Gibbon signed with the Pirates in 1957. In 1959, his third minor league season, he won 16 of 25 decisions for the Triple-A Columbus Jets, posted a strong 3.22 earned run average, and hurled 11 complete games and four shutouts in 28 starting pitcher assignments. He led the International League in strikeouts with 152.
His performance helped Gibbon win a spot on the roster of the 1960 Pirates, for whom he pitched in 27 games (including nine starts). He was the winning pitcher in his first two big-league games (as a relief pitcher) and during the year posted a 4–2 record for a Pirate team that captured the 1960 National League pennant by seven games. In the 1960 World Series, Gibbon worked in Games 2 and 3 (both lopsided losses to the New York Yankees) and surrendered three earned runs (on a three-run home run by Mickey Mantle in Game 2) in three full innings pitched. However, the Pirates won the Series in seven games, on Bill Mazeroski's famous walk-off Game 7 home run.
Apart from three games pitched for the 1962 Kinston Eagles of the Class B Carolina League, Gibbon spent the remainder of his pro career in the big leagues. In his sophomore season, 1961 with Pittsburgh, he set personal bests in wins (13), games started (29), complete games (seven), shutouts (three), strikeouts (145) and innings pitched (1951⁄3). As his career progressed (and especially after his December 1965 trade to the Giants), Gibbon became more of a relief specialist. He started his last game on August 29, 1967, hurling a complete-game, three-hit 11–1 triumph for the Giants over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
When he returned to the Pirates in June 1969, he pitched out of the Pittsburgh bullpen through 1970, appearing in two games of the 1970 National League Championship Series against Cincinnati and working a total of one-third of an inning. Released at the end of October, Gibbon joined the Reds in 1971 and enjoyed one more season of effective relief work, posting a 2.94 ERA and tying his career-best mark for saves with 11.
During his MLB career, Gibbon compiled a 61–65 record with a 3.52 earned run average and 743 strikeouts in 1,1192⁄3 innings pitched; he allowed 1,053 hits and 414 bases on balls. He made 419 total appearances, 127 as a starting pitcher, and logged 20 complete games, four shutouts and 32 career saves. Gibbon had good speed as a base runner and was frequently called upon as a pinch runner by the Pirates after Joe Christopher departed for the expansion New York Mets in 1962.
Death and legacyEdit
- Perrotto, John (February 20, 2019). "Joe Gibbon, who pitched for the World Series-winning 1960 Pirates, dies at 83". DKPittsburghSports.com. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
- "Retrosheet Boxscore: New York Yankees 16, Pittsburgh Pirates 3". www.retrosheet.org. October 6, 1960. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
- "Retrosheet Boxscore: San Francisco Giants 11, Los Angeles Dodgers 1". www.retrosheet.org. August 29, 1967. Retrieved February 20, 2019.