Thursday, February 21, 2008


Missed it when first ran, but Jonah Keri (one of the much more brilliant baseball minds behind has a nice retrospective at on the 40th anniversary of Bob Gibson's 1.12 ERA season in 1968.

One has to love the quote Keri got from Billy Williams, the Hall of Fame outfielder about what it was like when Gibson and Ferguson Jenkins, who were both fast workers, would go head-to-head at Wrigley Field:

"When he and Fergie were pitching, you could always schedule something after the game ... The game would be done at 3:30, so you still had a lot of daylight left to go fishing."
Gibson was never pulled from a game during that season (28 complete games in 34 starts; he was pinch-hit for the other six times) when he recorded the lowest ERA since the end of the Dead Ball era that concluded shortly after World War One. Guess what, though? The Cubbies, who finished 13 games behind Gibson's pennant-winning Cardinals, won two of the three Jenkins-Gibson matchups.

Forty years later, Gibson's 1.12 ERA remains magic number (Jonah Keri,

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