Bob Gibson…more Eastwood than Hartung.
The final nail in the coffin came several years later. The team’s program at this time contained a very nice picture of manager Joe Torre and coach Bob Gibson. Two former teammates were going to help turn things around as coaches of a particularly decrepit team. If memory serves, Gibson was not officially the pitching coach for Torre. Rather he was listed as the attitude coach. And as I can attest, Mr. Gibson certainly had an attitude.
I got Torre to sign my program before the game but Gibson would not come anywhere near the horde of us yelling for him. Undeterred, I stayed after the game, convinced that I could get Gibson’s autograph. There weren’t nearly as many people then and I was sure that once he saw that I was a diehard that he would be glad to oblige.
Back then, only a handful of people would stay after a game trying to catch signatures and you could stake out your own territory, at least until the point when you convinced someone to come over, at which point a crowd would develop. So, I had my space and continued the game.
I did succeed in getting Gibson’s attention and I even got a reaction. However, it was not a smile and an outstretched hand to take my pen. Rather it was a terse invitation to perform an impossible solo sexual act.
You could say I was surprised. If in the afterlife we get the chance to review moments of our just-completed life, I no doubt will go to this time to see if I cried or not. While I certainly heard the phrase before, I never heard it uttered by a grown man towards me. I’ve never asked anyone for an autograph since.
Posted: November 26, 2012 at 06:39 AM | 44 comment(s)
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