Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson may have altered history for 2 leagues

Wow! The most multi-something or another Kirk since Rahsaan Roland!

Kirk Gibson is in a happy place.

He’s a baseball icon, immortalized by one of the most famous at-bats in history. He’s been a Most Valuable Player and a World Series champion. He loves his sport, his job and the 2014 Diamondbacks, a team that could make good on his vow to bring another championship to Arizona.

And what if it never happened? What if Gibson stuck with football?

“I would’ve been a top-five pick,” said Gibson, an All-American wide receiver at Michigan State. “I was big, fast and I caught everything.”

...Gibson is also a different cat. And after a great junior season at Michigan State in 1977, he decided to try baseball, “just to enhance my leverage in the NFL,” even though he hadn’t played since high school.

Why not?

“But I struggled,” Gibson said. “I felt football was so much easier. The thing about baseball is, when you get mad, you have to stay focused. In football, you go and drill somebody and, for whatever reason, it makes you feel better. If the play is going in the other direction, you can smoke some guy and feel better about things.

“Baseball was different. I had to make sure I didn’t throw my helmet into the stands and kill somebody. I did that a lot.”

Repoz Posted: February 09, 2014 at 07:33 AM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: diamondbacks, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 09, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4653806)
I've seen video of Gibson running the bases, based on that I don't think he'd be a good receiver.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: February 09, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4653811)
I feel like I see this kind of claim pretty often from athletes - that they surely would have excelled in their other sport too. Not surprising that these guys are so confident, but it's like they don't realize how tough it is to make it as a pro athlete.

I heard former NBA center John Salley on the radio about a year ago, and he said, with absolute confidence, that he was a better basketball player, today, than most of the centers in the league. It was couched in "kids these days" terms, that nobody playing has the type of technique that they used to. John Salley is almost 50. He left the NBA when he was 30. He did make a comeback when he was 35. He averaged 1.8 points per game. About 15 years ago. He's a smart guy, but that might have been the dumbest damn thing I've ever heard.

Chris Johnson saying that he was faster than Usain Bolt was another.
   3. BDC Posted: February 09, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4653814)
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson may have altered history

When Gibson hit the home run off Eckersley, the 4-year-old Mark Zuckerberg was thrown to the floor in the commotion and wound up face down atop an open photo album. Pinned there for a half hour, he became deeply imprinted on the row of faces with captioned names beneath, and never lost the obsession.
   4. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 09, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4653815)
Gibson was very injury prone as a baseball player. How could he have stayed healthy playing a real contact sport?
   5. BDC Posted: February 09, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4653816)
But all seriousness aside, as to #s 1 and 2: Gibson would unquestionably have been a high NFL draft pick, which is all he's claiming. I went to college with Gibson (and 70,000 other people :) and saw him play football; he was a superior Big Ten player. Now, as Pasta notes, his knees might have collapsed after half an NFL season as opposed to ten of pro baseball, but that's another story, and just confirms his wisdom in moving to baseball.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 09, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4653821)

I feel like I see this kind of claim pretty often from athletes - that they surely would have excelled in their other sport too.


If coach had me put me in, we would have won state. No doubt in my mind. Watch me throw this football over that mountain.
   7. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 09, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4653825)
Gibson was the best receiver in the big ten pretty much his entire career. He has the immortal ed smith throwing him the ball and the conference was a run dominated league

He helped the Spartans become one of the best offenses in the country by his senior season

He plays pretty much every game in college so unsure if there was something about baseball that created injury issues

Gibson would at minimum been a solid nfl player barring injury issues.

His college stats don't look like much but he ranked up there in catches, yards and yds per catch. He scored a fair number of tds

Gibson isn't my kind of manager but he is not totally full of it here
   8. BDC Posted: February 09, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4653828)
Amen, Harvey.

This is one of those FAs with a hyperbolic headline. Gibson: "I would have gone in the top five in the draft." TFH: "Gibson may have altered history." Makes it sound like he was guaranteed to be Jerry Rice, or something. Unfortunate.
   9. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 09, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4653830)
“I would’ve been a top-five pick,” said Gibson, an All-American wide receiver at Michigan State. “I was big, fast and I caught everything.”

I guess tracers only get run on writers who say they're in the Hall of Fame. (smile)

Gibson was never a first team All-American, and not too many players who weren't wind up as a #5 draft pick. The chances are about 99 in 100 he made the right choice in sticking to baseball.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 09, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4653831)
Receivers taken in the 1979 NFL Draft

1st round
5 - Jerry Butler, BUF
20 - Willis Adams, HOU
2nd round
29 - James Owens, SF
34 - Gordon Jones, TB
36 - Earnest Gray, NYG
39 - Rickey Watts, CHI

Butler was a Pro Bowler, Gray had a 78 catch season, the rest were mostly 3rd or 4th receivers or kick returners. I imagine that's what Gibson would have been, a solid 3rd receiver, maybe a 2nd option.
   11. BDC Posted: February 09, 2014 at 12:45 PM (#4653834)
My God, I've crossed the watershed from nose in the spreadsheet to "You hadda be there" :-D
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 09, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4653835)
I heard former NBA center John Salley on the radio about a year ago, and he said, with absolute confidence, that he was a better basketball player, today, than most of the centers in the league. It was couched in "kids these days" terms, that nobody playing has the type of technique that they used to. John Salley is almost 50. He left the NBA when he was 30. He did make a comeback when he was 35. He averaged 1.8 points per game. About 15 years ago. He's a smart guy, but that might have been the dumbest damn thing I've ever heard.

That's pretty dumb, but the all-time prize for stupidity is shared by Wilt Chamberlain and Jim Brown, in thinking they could have been a heavyweight boxing champion by beating Muhammad Ali. Mercifully for Wilt, that fight never got off the ground, but here's a description of what happened when Brown encountered Ali:

Although Chamberlain had no competitive experience as a boxer, he approached the Ali fight with a plan. He would retain the services of world-class trainer Cus D’Amato – who readily volunteered to prepare Chamberlain for the bout. The choice of trainers was thoroughly appropriate, as D’Amato possessed an uncanny ability to create heavyweight champions quickly. He had trained Floyd Patterson to become at age 21 the youngest Heavyweight titlist in history, a record that stood for decades until broken by D’Amato’s next protégé – Mike Tyson. D’Amato opined that with proper coaching, Wilt could utilize his overwhelming size advantage to secure victory. The strategy was to keep Ali at bay by using the long jab – indeed, the longest jab of all time – and employ Chamberlain’s massive reach to prevent Ali from landing damaging shots. If Chamberlain could jab effectively it would give him the space to land blows outside of Ali’s range, and if enough shots landed Chamberlain would win a decision simply based on the punch count.

In contrast, Ali was so confident that he hardly felt a plan was necessary. Other top-level athletes outside of boxing had entertained the idea of fighting him before. While Ali was preparing for a fight in London in 1966, football legend Jim Brown was in the area working on the film “The Dirty Dozen”. Brown informed Bob Arum, with whom he was acquainted, that he wanted to challenge Ali to a fight for the title. When Ali heard this, he instructed Arum to have Brown meet him in Hyde Park where Ali took his morning training runs. When Brown arrived, Ali told the NFL star to try and hit him and not worry about whether Ali got hurt. Brown proceeded to throw a barrage of heavy punches, all of which Ali dodged with ease. With Brown still swinging in earnest, Ali playfully slapped Brown’s face repeatedly as the latter’s punches sailed by in futility. Brown quietly dropped his challenge thereafter. For the fight with Chamberlain, Ali summed up his prognostication in a single word. As Wilt entered the office in the Astrodome to discuss the final terms of the match, Ali sized up his foe and shouted: “Timber!”

   13. Lassus Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4653844)
I heard former NBA center John Salley on the radio about a year ago, and he said, with absolute confidence, that he was a better basketball player, today, than most of the centers in the league. It was couched in "kids these days" terms, that nobody playing has the type of technique that they used to. John Salley is almost 50. He left the NBA when he was 30. He did make a comeback when he was 35. He averaged 1.8 points per game. About 15 years ago. He's a smart guy, but that might have been the dumbest damn thing I've ever heard.

In 2001 during lunch I sat one table over from John Salley at the Ray's Pizza on 6th Avenue and 11th Street as he was trying to make a distribution deal with two guys for some girl he said would be the black Jenna Jameson. Thus endeth my John Salley story.
   14. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4653871)
In 2001 during lunch I sat one table over from John Salley at the Ray's Pizza on 6th Avenue and 11th Street as he was trying to make a distribution deal with two guys for some girl he said would be the black Jenna Jameson. Thus endeth my John Salley story.


I'm sorry, what?
   15. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 09, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4653872)
Receivers taken in the 1979 NFL Draft

1st round
5 - Jerry Butler, BUF
20 - Willis Adams, HOU


boy, you just gave me a horrible flashback--that was the pick of the immortal Tommy Prothro in his stint as personnel director for my Browns. His (bad) draft picks are legendary
1979 1st:Adams

1980 1st Charles White (cokehead)
   16. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 09, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4653883)
Gibson was never a first team All-American, and not too many players who weren't wind up as a #5 draft pick.

Yeah, that almost *never* happened:

Draft    Player             AA?

1979     Jerry Butler       No
1978     Terry Miller       Yes
1977     Gary Jeter         Yes
1976     Mike Haynes        No
1975     Mack Mitchell      No
1974     John Dutton        Yes
1973     Dave Butz          Yes
1972     Riley Odoms        No
1971     Richard Harris     No
1970     Al Cowlings        No 

Share more of the wisdom that can only be achieved by not following a sport, Mr. I-thought-the-College-Football-Playoff-started-*this*-year.
   17. BDC Posted: February 09, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4653891)
To further clarify, Gibson certainly was a first-team All-American in 1978, chosen by the UPI and the Sporting News, among other selectors. He's not on the "consensus" list linked in #9, but that list is an abstraction from the raft of teams that were named by different agencies that year. He's not pulling a Tim Johnson by claiming to be an All-American :)
   18. puck Posted: February 09, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4653927)
His college stats don't look like much but he ranked up there in catches, yards and yds per catch. He scored a fair number of tds


Here are his college stats.

Sports-reference.com lists him as 1st and 2nd in the Big 10 in catches in '76 and '78; 1st, 4th and 1st in receiving yards from '76-'78, 1st in receiving TD's in '75-'76 and 2nd in '77-'78. Played 11 games all four seasons. Pretty good college career.
   19. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 09, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4653935)
The grittyness factor is off the effing charts!

I feel like I see this kind of claim pretty often from athletes - that they surely would have excelled in their other sport too.


Yeah, you're selling him short. He was already excelling. All American is a big deal. Not sure about his ability to stay on the field in gridiron, but the guy could play.

I'm not sure if you played competitive sports through your teens or even as a young adult, but I did. I played a few different sports with people who went to play semi professional. People who can achieve that level in sports or higher are just freakish in their hand/eye coordination, balance, timing and spacial awareness. It's insane how good a pro athlete is at pretty much any sport. Even a casual game of tennis, ping pong or golf is just ridiculous.
   20. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: February 09, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4653937)
Not golf, sir. I've seen a few NE Patriots play (Wolfork with 2 guys I whose names I don't know). They weren't good at golf.
   21. Curse of the Andino Posted: February 09, 2014 at 06:01 PM (#4653942)
In 2001 during lunch I sat one table over from John Salley at the Ray's Pizza on 6th Avenue and 11th Street as he was trying to make a distribution deal with two guys for some girl he said would be the black Jenna Jameson. Thus endeth my John Salley story.


I'm sorry, what?


Anal. She was gonna do anal.
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: February 09, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4653943)
1979 SI story; helpful in that it was written after we know what his MLB career was

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1094754/

"As far as the National Football League is concerned, it will be all right if Gibson never finds a bat. In the eyes of many scouts, he is the "best athlete available" in the upcoming draft, a 6'3", 225-pound wide receiver the Patriots' Bucko Kilroy says is the "first legitimate 4.2/40 white man we've timed." The Seattle Seahawks scouting staff says that on a l-to-8 rating scale, Gibson rates a 9."

"Gibson survived the football season, leading the Spartans to a tie for the Big Ten title, setting school and conference receiving records, starring in the Hula and Senior Bowls and making most All-America teams. Michigan State was on probation, however, and Gibson got no national television exposure, so people in East Lansing like to tell you that Gil Brandt of the Dallas Cowboys said Kirk Gibson should have won the Heisman."

   23. PreservedFish Posted: February 09, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4653954)
Yeah, you're selling him short. He was already excelling. All American is a big deal. Not sure about his ability to stay on the field in gridiron, but the guy could play.


Yeah, it sounds like I was.

People who can achieve that level in sports or higher are just freakish in their hand/eye coordination, balance, timing and spacial awareness. It's insane how good a pro athlete is at pretty much any sport. Even a casual game of tennis, ping pong or golf is just ridiculous.


Oh, I'm definitely aware of this.
   24. dejarouehg Posted: February 09, 2014 at 07:16 PM (#4653960)
Even a casual game of ....... ping pong
You bet! Have been whupped on myself by a (now) former MLBer.

These people are just blessed with a unique skill-set. Often, the blessings stop there.

I've written this before, but when I was outside Tiger Stadium (magnificent ballpark!!!!) the day of the last game, Gibson was walking around. People were booing, saying really nasty stuff and being downright hostile towards him. Not being from Michigan, I was stunned. I was under the impression that he was a real popular player. During the closing ceremonies, you definitely heard a smattering of boos.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: February 09, 2014 at 07:27 PM (#4653963)
A glimpse at how the world has changed in that those A-A teams linked by Andy featured only one WR.

I imagine that's what Gibson would have been, a solid 3rd receiver, maybe a 2nd option.

We'll never know but #1 receivers have to come from somewhere. There need to be 2-4 of those in each draft (on average). Your statement is surely true in the same sense that just about any non-#1 MLB draft pick is likely to produce less than 3 WAR (or whatever) but Gibson probably had a better chance of becoming a #1 NFL receiver than most of those other guys you listed.

The first 10 picks of the 79 draft:

Cousineau -- 66 games, 36 AV (whatever that is)
Mike Bell -- 135 games, 45 AV
Jack Thompson -- oops
Dan Hampton -- HoF, 101 AV
Butler -- 88 games, 35 AV
Barry Krauss -- 152 games, 47 AV
Phil Simms -- 165 games, 91 AV
Ottis Anderson -- 182 games, 82 AV
Al Harris -- 149 games, 49 AV (better than I remember apparently)
Keith Dorney -- 112, 47 AV

but who can forget #11 -- Russel Erxleben?

Gibson was a WR but the guy in that first round who strikes my addled brain as most similar is Kellen Winslow at the #13 pick.

I don't follow the NFL anymore or even that much ever. I'm guessing that's one of your better drafts all-time, at least for depth. The only bust in that top 10 is Thompson, only 4 busts in the top 26 with 2 HoFers plus Simms. Anyway, point being there probably was a good chance Gibson doesn't go top 5. If he punted a bit too, maybe the Saints would have taken him at #11. :-)
   26. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 09, 2014 at 07:33 PM (#4653965)
The first 10 picks of the 79 draft:

Cousineau -- 66 games, 36 AV (whatever that is)
Mike Bell -- 135 games, 45 AV
Jack Thompson -- oops

The Overthrowin' Samoan
   27. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 09, 2014 at 07:42 PM (#4653966)
I don't follow the NFL anymore or even that much ever. I'm guessing that's one of your better drafts all-time, at least for depth. The only bust in that top 10 is Thompson, only 4 busts in the top 26 with 2 HoFers plus Simms.


1978 was better with 3 HOFers in the first round, plus a bunch of guys with AVs in the90's. 1980 had only 1 HOFer, but no outright busts. 1977 and 1981 were pretty bad, each with 5 guys worse than Erxleben.
   28. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 09, 2014 at 08:13 PM (#4653967)
kind of surprised that Gibson was getting any grief for his comment. the guy excelled at a position (arguably the best in his league for more than a season) in a quality conference. it's reasonable to think he could have done pretty well at the next level. maybe not be 'the best' but a solid player.

frankly, think some folks are showing some knee jerk reactions versus using any critical thinking.
   29. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 09, 2014 at 08:18 PM (#4653971)
the 83 draft had 6 HOFers in the 1st round, but 84 made up for it by having none
   30. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 09, 2014 at 08:39 PM (#4653972)
but who can forget #11 -- Russel Erxleben?


Certainly not me, Arkansas fan that I am. I have a vague memory of Erxleben & our Steve Cox both kicking FGs around 65 yards in the same game. (Or maybe Steve Little was our guy instead.)
   31. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 09, 2014 at 08:57 PM (#4653975)
I have a vague memory of Erxleben & our Steve Cox both kicking FGs around 65 yards in the same game. (Or maybe Steve Little was our guy instead.)


They were both your guy. Little kicked the still-record 67-yard-field goal in a game against Erlexben's Longhorns, but Russell had set it earlier in the season. Both came when the NCAA allowed the use of a tee on FG attempts, though such an aid has been banned for a long time.

Cox was your kicker after Little.

   32. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 09, 2014 at 09:02 PM (#4653976)
Thought so -- that Cox came after Little, this is. IIRC, he kicked a 60-yarder for Tulsa against us before transferring to Fayetteville.

Before Little, I believe, we had Bill McClard, one of the first college guys to covert a 60-yarder.
   33. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 09, 2014 at 09:17 PM (#4653978)
Cox was the punter for the Browns and their designated long field goal kicker. He only had 5 attempts and 2 makes--one from 58 and the other from 60
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: February 09, 2014 at 09:39 PM (#4653984)

"Cox was your kicker after Little."

sequence being Little.... Cox

   35. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 09, 2014 at 09:49 PM (#4653990)
Cox was the punter for the Browns and their designated long field goal kicker. He only had 5 attempts and 2 makes--one from 58 and the other from 60


I looked that up a couple of weeks ago, actually, during a conversation with a co-worker who happens to share Cox's name (& is roughly his age, as of course is not the case with the former Tampa 1B).
   36. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 09, 2014 at 09:53 PM (#4653992)
To further clarify, Gibson certainly was a first-team All-American in 1978, chosen by the UPI and the Sporting News, among other selectors. He's not on the "consensus" list linked in #9, but that list is an abstraction from the raft of teams that were named by different agencies that year. He's not pulling a Tim Johnson by claiming to be an All-American :)

-----------------------------------------------

Gibson was never a first team All-American, and not too many players who weren't wind up as a #5 draft pick.

Yeah, that almost *never* happened:


Draft--Player---- AA?

1979 Jerry Butler No
1978 Terry Miller Yes
1977 Gary Jeter Yes
1976 Mike Haynes No
1975 Mack Mitchell No
1974 John Dutton Yes
1973 Dave Butz Yes
1972 Riley Odoms No
1971 Richard Harris No
1970 Al Cowlings No


Share more of the wisdom that can only be achieved by not following a sport, Mr. I-thought-the-College-Football-Playoff-started-*this*-year.

Better to be temporarily ignorant than permanently so, and in this case the two of you have spared me the latter condition. Glad to be corrected about a player I've always admired, at least when he was a Tiger.
   37. PreservedFish Posted: February 09, 2014 at 10:25 PM (#4653999)
Yes, HW, my first comment was lazy and ill-informed. I admit it.
   38. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 09, 2014 at 10:28 PM (#4654001)
pf

didn't call anyone out in particular. was just commenting
   39. PreservedFish Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:32 AM (#4654036)
Well, it wouldn't be a problem if you had me in mind, because I was guilty.
   40. villainx Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:22 AM (#4654044)
As remarkable, to me, is that he picked up baseball again during (or after) his junior year in college, after taking several years off, and even though he (per his description) struggled, he did enough to be a 1st round pick, and made it to the majors (albeit probably late season roster expansion addition) in his second year as a professional, with traditional stats that superficially didn't suggest greatness, and became a decent player by his third season as a pro.

Is that development crazy good?

And for folks following during that time period (early 1980s), was Gibson obviously good early on and much heralded?
   41. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:35 AM (#4654048)
And for folks following during that time period (early 1980s), was Gibson obviously good early on and much heralded?


He was on the cover of SI in March of 1980 (filling the same role previously held by fellow Hot Topic occupant Clint Hurdle), when the Tigers gave him 1/2 of the starting centerfield job coming out of camp. The Tigers raved about his phenomenal athletic ability (as you can imagine, Mr. Anderson was at his Sparkiest).

"If a fifth-place ball club can't give a chance to a 22-year-old player," says Anderson, "then who can? Gibson might be as good an athlete as we've ever seen. He's a lot like Jabbar and Walton in basketball. He can turn this franchise around. If he doesn't, we're in trouble."

   42. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:51 AM (#4654057)

"If a fifth-place ball club can't give a chance to a 22-year-old player," says Anderson, "then who can? Gibson might be as good an athlete as we've ever seen. He's a lot like Jabbar and Walton in basketball. He can turn this franchise around. If he doesn't, we're in trouble."


Adding, "he's got a chance to be among the greats - Jim Walewander, Torey Lovullo and Scott Lusader."
   43. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:04 AM (#4654059)
When Ali heard this, he instructed Arum to have Brown meet him in Hyde Park where Ali took his morning training runs. When Brown arrived, Ali told the NFL star to try and hit him and not worry about whether Ali got hurt. Brown proceeded to throw a barrage of heavy punches, all of which Ali dodged with ease. With Brown still swinging in earnest, Ali playfully slapped Brown’s face repeatedly as the latter’s punches sailed by in futility.

I don't think that made Jim Brown that much different from most heavyweight contenders at the time. That was just before he got exiled and just about to enter his prime. Nobody was hitting Ali very often during that time.
   44. God Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:20 AM (#4654061)
It's interesting how many parallels there are here to Jackie Robinson. All-American football player takes up baseball as a college junior, completely sucks rocks (Jackie batted .097), but is nonetheless signed to a pro baseball contract due to his crazy athleticism. In both cases it worked out incredibly well.

Of course, in Jackie's case he didn't really have pro football as an option.
   45. Wahoo Sam Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:50 AM (#4654064)
"Pretty good college career?" Were you all born in 1992?

Gibson was an All-American, he was invited to the Heisman Awards dinner his senior year, and he received the honor as the outstanding receiver in college football. Not sure why this is news. Gibson would have easily been a first round pick, and he was drafted by two NFL teams, one in his first year of eligibility, and another later when he had been in baseball for a few years.

He isn't "bragging" here, he's stating a fact.
   46. Wahoo Sam Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:53 AM (#4654065)
It's interesting how many parallels there are here to Jackie Robinson. All-American football player takes up baseball as a college junior, completely sucks rocks (Jackie batted .097), but is nonetheless signed to a pro baseball contract due to his crazy athleticism. In both cases it worked out incredibly well.


He didn't suck rocks in college as a baseball player. Funny how a website dominated by folks who preach to everyone as if they're stupid if they don't understand sample size, judge a 21-year old kid on 50-60 college baseball games. Gibson was a stud athlete, probably one of the best natural athletes in baseball his entire career. he didn't suck at baseball, he didn't hit for a high average all the time, but he hit the ball a LONG WAY.

Earlier comment stated that based on watching "video" of Gibson running the bases he wouldn't have been a good football player. That is one of the stupidest things ever written on this website, which is saying a lot.
   47. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 10, 2014 at 08:17 AM (#4654078)
It's interesting how many parallels there are here to Jackie Robinson. All-American football player takes up baseball as a college junior, completely sucks rocks (Jackie batted .097), but is nonetheless signed to a pro baseball contract due to his crazy athleticism. In both cases it worked out incredibly well.

Of course, in Jackie's case he didn't really have pro football as an option.


Realistically you're right, given that Jackie signed with the Dodgers organization in October of 1945. But it's interesting to note that two of Jackie's UCLA teammates (Kenny Washington and Woody Strode) integrated the NFL when they played with the LA Rams six months before Jackie played his first game in Ebbets Field.
   48. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 10, 2014 at 09:04 AM (#4654086)
was Gibson obviously good early on and much heralded?

sosh covers it pretty well but will just add that every manager asked about Gibson spoke of him in gushing tones because of the combination of speed and strength.

what's forgotten today is that Gibson had a serious wrist injury early in his baseball career that almost ended said career. it's the type of thing that likely would have been a nothing injury in football but hitting and wrists are intertwined. it flared up throughout his career.
   49. BDC Posted: February 10, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4654137)
Very gracious, Andy. I learn a lot from your posts here and am somewhat amazed I can offer you any bit of learning :)

#24, that response you observed to Gibson is odd. By contrast, when I was at the Tiger playoff games in Arlington in '11, there were any number of fans walking around with Gibson jerseys, happy to be chat about good times with State and the '84 Tigers. Maybe just the vagaries of sample size in each case.
   50. AROM Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4654210)
kind of surprised that Gibson was getting any grief for his comment. the guy excelled at a position (arguably the best in his league for more than a season) in a quality conference. it's reasonable to think he could have done pretty well at the next level. maybe not be 'the best' but a solid player.

frankly, think some folks are showing some knee jerk reactions versus using any critical thinking.


I'm old enough to remember when Gibson first came up. So when he says he would have been a top 5 pick in football, I don't look at it as bragging or bluster. Just an honest statement of fact.

Consider that he was the #12 overall pick in baseball, and he was unquestionably a better college football player than he was a baseball player.
   51. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4654217)
Its cool to learn this about Gibson. I knew he was a good college football player, but I didn't have an idea that he was this good.
   52. villageidiom Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4654279)
Earlier comment stated that based on watching "video" of Gibson running the bases he wouldn't have been a good football player. That is one of the stupidest things ever written on this website, which is saying a lot.
The stupidest things written on this site are usually written by people who missed a joke.
   53. Nasty Nate Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4654292)
Earlier comment stated that based on watching "video" of Gibson running the bases he wouldn't have been a good football player. That is one of the stupidest things ever written on this website, which is saying a lot.

The stupidest things written on this site are usually written by people who missed a joke.


hehe
   54. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 10, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4654301)
In 2001 during lunch I sat one table over from John Salley at the Ray's Pizza on 6th Avenue and 11th Street as he was trying to make a distribution deal with two guys for some girl he said would be the black Jenna Jameson. Thus endeth my John Salley story.


I'm sorry, what?



Anal. She was gonna do anal.

Hmm, if she was going to be a black Jenna Jameson, then good news for her, no anal required!
   55. God Posted: February 10, 2014 at 07:50 PM (#4654505)
Realistically you're right, given that Jackie signed with the Dodgers organization in October of 1945. But it's interesting to note that two of Jackie's UCLA teammates (Kenny Washington and Woody Strode) integrated the NFL when they played with the LA Rams six months before Jackie played his first game in Ebbets Field.


I figured someone would chime in with that, but the cause and effect was the other way around. Jackie actually signed with the Dodgers on August 28, 1945. The Rams integrated as a direct result of the tremendous publicity generated by Jackie's signing with Brooklyn. But if you look at it superficially, it looks like the NFL integrated first, simply because almost two years elapsed between Robinson's signing and his MLB debut.
   56. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: February 11, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4655037)
Gibson would NOT have been a top-five pick. This is not my opinion; this is fact: he was drafted, by the Cardinals, in the 7th round.
   57. BDC Posted: February 11, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4655044)
he was drafted, by the Cardinals, in the 7th round

As he was starting to play his second season of pro baseball. The Cardinals secured his rights with a pick they could afford to splurge on, but it's not like they really expected him to sign.
   58. AROM Posted: February 11, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4655057)
It's a fact that he was drafted in the 7th round. It's an open question as to where he would have been drafted had he picked the NFL over MLB.
   59. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4655060)
Gibson would NOT have been a top-five pick. This is not my opinion; this is fact: he was drafted, by the Cardinals, in the 7th round.


The same round the Raiders drafted Heisman winner Bo Jackson.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogFull Count » Tim Kurkjian on MFB: ‘I’m going to say that Jon Lester is not going to be traded’
(33 - 3:14am, Jul 30)
Last: ellsbury my heart at wounded knee

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-29-2014
(62 - 2:54am, Jul 30)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(3571 - 2:20am, Jul 30)
Last: Joe Kehoskie

NewsblogESPN: Twins Sign "Out Of Nowhere" Prospect
(21 - 2:16am, Jul 30)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogSOE: Minor League Manhood - A first-hand account of masculine sports culture run amok.
(16 - 2:08am, Jul 30)
Last: Joe Kehoskie

NewsblogABC News: ‘Capital Games’: How Congress Saved the Baseball Hall of Fame
(48 - 1:32am, Jul 30)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogHoward: David Ortiz shaping up to become first steroid era Teflon slugger
(32 - 1:17am, Jul 30)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(1015 - 1:10am, Jul 30)
Last: RollingWave

NewsblogTrader Jack? As Seattle's GM struggles to complete deals, some rival executives wonder | FOX Sports
(59 - 12:58am, Jul 30)
Last: Spahn Insane

NewsblogMASN TV Contract Pits Selig vs Nationals vs Orioles
(21 - 12:34am, Jul 30)
Last: boteman is not here 'til October

NewsblogWhich Players Will Be Most Affected by the Hall of Fame’s New Rules?
(11 - 12:29am, Jul 30)
Last: cardsfanboy

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1957 Discussion
(13 - 12:02am, Jul 30)
Last: MrC

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(508 - 11:02pm, Jul 29)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogValencia traded to Toronto
(12 - 9:52pm, Jul 29)
Last: Davo Dozier

NewsblogBarney + cash to Dodgers for PTBNL
(28 - 8:56pm, Jul 29)
Last: Walt Davis

Page rendered in 0.7329 seconds
52 querie(s) executed