Cardinals All-Time Top 40 – Bob Gibson #2

The Top 40 countdown of the greatest St. Louis Cardinals of all time nears the top with their Hall of Fame pitching star from the 1960's and 1970's, Bob Gibson.

Robert Gibson

The Basics



Total Yrs

Yrs in StL













The Awards


Retired #

World Champ



Cy Young

Gold Glove






1968, 1970


Note: All stats and awards listed are for years as a Cardinal only.
Gibson's career stats available from

Voter Comments

Rob Rains (2): Former Cardinal Joe Torre, who played with and against Bob Gibson in his career, called Gibson "the most intimidating pitcher I've ever faced, and when I caught him in the All-Star Game, he didn't even acknowledge that I was in the game."

Gibson's 251 wins are the most ever by a Cardinal pitcher, as are his 3,117 strikeouts. He won 20 or more games in five seasons, and his 1.12 ERA in 1968 is a record which may never be broken, a feat which helped him win the MVP and the first of his two Cy Young awards. An eight-time All-Star and a nine-time Gold Glove winner, Gibson also is the franchise leader in complete games, shutouts and innings pitched.

Said another of his former catchers, Ted Simmons, "Hitters almost always knew what was coming, and they still couldn't hit him."

Jerry Modene (2): Personal prejudice aside (Bob Gibson is my all-time favorite baseball player, hands-down), I still regard Gibson as one of the greatest – if not the greatest – pitcher of all time; there's nobody else – not Koufax, not Johnson (either Walter or Randy), not Clemens, not even Seaver – who I'd rather hand the ball to if I had but one game to win for all the marbles.

Even with my own personal hyperbole showing, Gibson rates as the greatest of all postseason pitchers; his seven postseason wins still rates second-best in history (Whitey Ford won 10, but lost seven – Gibson was 7-2) and let us not forget that he threw 81 innings in his nine postseason games (all World Series games, I hasten to add; none of this new-fangled NLDS/NLCS nonsense). Wonder how many pitchers can match that? Answer: none.

Gibby wound up with "only" 251 wins, but how many more would he have if Solly Hemus had not buried him for the first three years of his career? He was 11-17 under Hemus, but once Johnny Keane handed him the ball on July 2, 1961, Gibby went 214-124 from that date until 1972, his last great season (19 wins, and starting the All Star Game at age 36, which was old for those days).

His knees finally betrayed him in 1973 and he finished his career just 26-33 over his final three seasons, but for those 11 ½ years from mid-1961 until 1972, he was the greatest pitcher of his day – if not all time.

Ray Mileur (3): If I had to win one game, the guy I would give the ball to is Bob Gibson. The greatest pitcher in St. Louis Cardinals history, Gibson won two Cy Young Awards (1968 & 1970), two World Series MVP Awards (1964 & 1970), and nine Gold Glove Awards throughout his career with St. Louis from 1959-1970.

I was only 13 years old during the Gibson's historic 1968 season, when he posted a 1.12 ERA that established an all-time record for 300 or more innings. He threw 13 shutouts, won the National League MVP and in Game One of the 1968 World Series he struck out 17 Detroit Tigers to set a World Series record for strikeouts in one game that still stands today.

Gibson's number 45 was retired by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1975 and he was later inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981. In 1999, he ranked at Number 31 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players. Fans voted Gibson the starting pitcher of the All-Busch Stadium team, which was announced on October 1, 2005 as part of the final weekend festivities at the stadium.

An intense competitor, he's the guy I'd give the ball to if I had to win that one game.

Brian Walton (2): Simply the best ever in Cardinals history when considering performance by a starting pitcher, Gibson had it all – a blazing fastball, pinpoint control and an intense, no-nonsense demeanor.

Gibson was just the second player to ever reach 3,000 strikeouts, but was more than just a fireballer – he was truly a balanced player. The righty could hit, as evidenced by his 24 career home runs and could man his position with the very best, collecting nine Gold Glove Awards for fielding excellence.

Along with that 7-2 World Series record was a 1.89 ERA, including two shutouts and he went nine innings every time out! Gibson fanned 92 enemy hitters in those 81 frames while walking just 17.

Gibson was always dominant, but was especially so when it mattered most and is truly deserving of being named as our greatest Cardinals pitcher ever.

Voter Comments Key: Voter (Individual Ranking); NR = Not Rated

Master List: To see our entire list of the greatest 40 Cardinals players of all-time as they are unveiled daily, click here.

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