Adios, Bob Gibson

This one took a while to write. Bob Gibson was one of those larger-than-life heroes you develop when you’re younger (I was a teen). Now he’s gone.

I was a Dodgers fan, but Gibson was special. I never saw a pitcher more able to impose himself on a game the way Gibson did. It was different that others like Sandy Koufax or Tom Seaver. They were simply better than their opposition and went out and proved it. Gibson was also better, but there was an attitude that struck me as more dominating. Both Koufax and Seaver could win a game and be elegant; Gibson was never elegant. He leaped at batters with his follow thru, he snarled on the mound. His eyes bored into the heads and souls of batters and probably scared them at least a little (I doubt anyone ever scared Frank Robinson much).

He was a joy to watch in a way that contrasted with Juan Marichal or Koufax or Seaver. They showed excellence, Gibson showed power. Don’t get me wrong, he was excellent also but there was an overt power the others didn’t show. And I, and a generation of others, loved him.

Now it’s RIP, Bob Gibson. We who saw you know what others missed. And we thank you for the opportunity to have watched you perfrom.

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