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Bob Gibson played 17 seasons in the MLB, becoming one of those most dominating and intimidating pitchers in the game. Nicknamed both “Gibby” and “Hoot,” the Omaha, Neb. native was born November 9, 1935.

Gibson excelled at both basketball and baseball in high school, earning a full ride to Creighton University. He was offered a contract with the St. Louis Cardinals while also becoming a touring member of the Harlem Globetrotters.

While both sports appealed to him, the long road games kept him away from his family and so he chose baseball instead. The move proved to be fruitful as the right-hander opened up the 1962 season with the Cards and was named to the NL All-Star Squad twice in the same season due to a two-game All-Star schedule at the time.

In 1964, Gibson helped the Cards defeat the New York Yankees in the World Series, setting a record with 31 strikeouts and winning the MVP title. Gibson repeated his dominating performance in the World Series in 1967 against the Boston Red Sox, once again helping the squad win the title along with another MVP nod.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner retired in 1975 and attempted to leave the game behind, but he returned for stints as a coach for several teams. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Cardinals have retired both his number and jersey. Gibson also worked briefly as an announcer as well.

Over the summer, Gibson’s agent revealed that the tough as nails pitcher was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is currently under treatment. He is 84.

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