Monday, June 19, 2006

June 19th, 1957

Bob Gibson Born

I've written before on people with the same name as great players. The thing about those names is that they almost entirely came either before or simultaneously with the player who made the name famous. Now admittedly the parents of Robert Louis Gibson can't be blamed; they didn't know their son was going to grow up to be a Major League pitcher and the Bob Gibson hadn't even made his MLB debut in 1957. So this one is all on Bob.

And the question must be asked, then: Why Bob, Why? Robert is a fine name all on its own, and one that leads to plenty of nicknames. You could've been Robert Gibson, or Bobby Gibson or Rob Gibson. And Louis isn't a bad name either. Louis Gibson. Or Louie Gibson. Both good. Instead you chose to give yourself the same nickname as one of the greatest post-war pitchers who ever lived. That's a tough comparison for any pitcher not named "Clemens" or "Pedro." And this Bob Gibson isn't exactly on that level.

He finished his career with a 12-18 record and 4.24 ERA over five mediocre seasons. Gibson did once earn eleven saves in 1985. That was the best year of Gibson's career, as he posted a 3.90 ERA in ninety-two and one-third innings. That's forty earned runs, which is indicative of just how badly Gibson suffers in comparison to the Bob Gibson. In his best season the Gibson threw three hundred four and two-thirds innings and gave up thirty-eight runs. That's a 1.12 ERA, of course. All of which, you see, is why Bob really, really should've been smart enough to be Louis Gibson.

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