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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

NPR: Fresh Air: Reggie Jackson, Bob Gibson Slug It Out (transcript, audio link)

Few confrontations in sports are as personal and dramatic as a batter standing in against a pitcher with a baseball game on the line. The batter adjusts his helmet, tightens his batting gloves, digs into the batter’s box and looks toward the mound. The pitcher fingers a rosin bag and drops it, stares at the catcher for a sign, then grips the ball in his glove and begins his windup. If his pitch is a Major League fastball, it will reach the plate in less than half a second.

The strategies, emotions and sometimes explosive confrontations that arise from that duel are at the heart of a new book by two legends of Major League Baseball: Reggie Jackson and Bob Gibson. Jackson was a homerun hitter who won five World Series rings with Oakland and New York, and earned the nickname Mr. October for his post season heroics. Gibson was one of the most intimidating pitchers who ever played, an eight-time All Star who won two championships with the St. Louis Cardinals. Both were extraordinary performers in the World Series and both are in baseball’s Hall of Fame. Their new book is based on a series of recorded conversations with writer Lonnie Wheeler. It takes its name from the distance between the pitcher’s mound and home plate. It’s called “Sixty Feet, Six Inches.”

Reggie Jackson in his career vs. Bob Gibson:

7 PA, 0 BB, 2 H, 1 HR, 2 RBI, for a line of .286/.286/.714

Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 13, 2009 at 11:04 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, athletics, cardinals, orioles, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 14, 2009 at 12:30 AM (#3351401)
Since Jackson played his entire career in the AL, and Gibson in the NL, they never met in the regular season, and their teams never met in the World Series. Jackson's only at bat against Gibson in counting competition came in the 1972 All-Star Game, where Jackson doubled.
   2. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 14, 2009 at 12:35 AM (#3351406)
Since Jackson played his entire career in the AL, and Gibson in the NL, they never met in the regular season, and their teams never met in the World Series. Jackson's only at bat against Gibson in counting competition came in the 1972 All-Star Game, where Jackson doubled.


Different Bob Gibson. Baseball should have rules regarding identical names like the SAG does. Firinstance, William H Macy has to go by that name because Bill Macy was already taken by Maude's husband.
   3. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: October 14, 2009 at 12:39 AM (#3351408)
That's cool. Gibson's honesty is awesome.
   4. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: October 14, 2009 at 12:42 AM (#3351410)
Different Bob Gibson. Baseball should have rules regarding identical names like the SAG does. Firinstance, William H Macy has to go by that name because Bill Macy was already taken by Maude's husband.

To be clear, it looks like the different Bob Gibson is the one referenced in the intro. The intimidating 8-time AS referenced in the quoted blurb is the one who only faced Jackson in the 1972 AS game.
   5. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 14, 2009 at 01:08 AM (#3351419)
Since Jackson played his entire career in the AL, and Gibson in the NL, they never met in the regular season, and their teams never met in the World Series. Jackson's only at bat against Gibson in counting competition came in the 1972 All-Star Game, where Jackson doubled.


All of that occurred to me after I looked it up. Well, this Baseball Reference mistake will have my fake name attached to it on the internets for all time.

My favorite part of the interview is when Gibson talks about how he used to get Clemente out.
   6. Cooperstown Schtick Posted: October 14, 2009 at 01:18 AM (#3351423)
How much for just the Gibson half of the book?
   7. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 14, 2009 at 01:18 AM (#3351424)
All of that occurred to me after I looked it up. Well, this Baseball Reference mistake will have my fake name attached to it on the internets for all time.


Ah, now I thought you were being clever, and it was vortex who was taken in. Thus, I referenced his quote in #2, not your intro.
   8. OCF Posted: October 14, 2009 at 01:23 AM (#3351426)
At the end of the interview, Gibson is talking about having his leg broken by the Clemente line drive in 1967. I've mentioned this before, but I don't know that anyone has ever had as good a recovery from an injury as Gibson had on that occasion. At the time of the injury, Gibson was having a pretty mundane year - in fact, it looks to me like his ERA+ through that much of the season was about 93. (The Cardinals were very much in the pennant race but it was contested.) He was out less than two months with that injury - less than two months for a broken leg. (And the Cardinals pretty much sewed up the pennant while he was gone - thank you Nelson Briles, Dick Hughes, et al.) When he came back from that, he was a fire-breathing monster, doing things he'd never come close to doing before in his career (and he was already 31 years old.)

In 37 regular season innings to finish of 1967, he had an ERA of 0.96.
In 27 innings in the World Series, he allowed 3 runs. 3 complete game victories, 1.00 ERA.
And perhaps you've heard of his 1968 season?
And his 1969 season wasn't all that shabby either, 314 innings at ERA+ 164.

That's the mystery - that his big injury kicked off his absolute peak performances.
   9. Leroy Kincaid Posted: October 14, 2009 at 01:56 AM (#3351436)
b-ref doesn't have player IDs, ala the Lahman database?

*EDIT* OK, they do. But I see how someone would make that mistake.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: October 14, 2009 at 05:39 AM (#3351496)
Think of the hitter as dog with an electronic collar

funny quote about pitching inside, I do really recommend that everyone reads this article/interview, it's quite funny in regards to Bob Gibson quotes.
   11. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 14, 2009 at 05:42 AM (#3351498)
Looks like the game Reggie's talking about -- sort of "intimidating" the pitcher and catcher into a walk -- was this game:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TEX/TEX197306250.shtml

Kind of looks like Dick Williams got outmanaged by Whitey Herzog there: Rangers up 4-1, two out in the bottom of the ninth. Bases loaded, Reggie up... and Rich McKinney in the on-deck circle. Reggie walked to make it 4-2, but McKinney grounded out to end the game.
   12. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 14, 2009 at 05:53 AM (#3351499)
To be clear, it looks like the different Bob Gibson is the one referenced in the intro. The intimidating 8-time AS referenced in the quoted blurb is the one who only faced Jackson in the 1972 AS game.

You mean Frank Thomas doesn't have 807 home runs and 2,666 RBI?!?

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