Bob Gibson to Receive Jim Thorpe Legends Award


Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson has been selected to receive the 2005 Jim Thorpe Legends in Sports Award March 29 in Tulsa.

“Bob Gibson is truly a Legend in Sports and the Jim Thorpe Association is particularly honored to have him come and share an evening with us,” says Tommy Thompson, director of the Tulsa Division of the Thorpe Association.

Gibson was a big-game pitcher and an intimidating presence on the mound during his 17-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals.

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981, the first year of his eligibility.

Gibson will be the first baseball player to receive the Jim Thorpe Legends in Sports Award.

At the inaugural dinner in 2003, Legends awards were bestowed upon rodeo cowboy Jim Shoulders, football players Steve Largent and Drew Pearson, and golfer Dale McNamara.

Earlier this year, Randy White and Bob Lilly of the Dallas Cowboys were in Tulsa to receive the 2004 Legends awards.

“The Jim Thorpe Legends committee targeted Bob Gibson some time ago,” Thompson comments. “We have waited a long time to make the announcement that, finally, Bob Gibson will be coming to Tulsa.

“For years, even decades, Tulsa has been such a great St. Louis Cardinals town. And Bob Gibson represents the greatness of the St. Louis Cardinals. We have already heard from so many Cardinal and Bob Gibson fans who are happily anticipating March 29,” Thompson says.

At 6-foot-1 and normally about 189 pounds, Gibson was a superb athlete. He won nine National League Gold Gloves for fielding his position. He played basketball for Creighton University in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, and even toured with the Harlem Globetrotters before joining the Cardinals in 1959.

He put together one of baseball’s greatest pitching seasons in 1968 as the Cardinals reached their third World Series in five years.

The right-handed Gibson amassed 13 shutouts among his 28 complete games in 1968. He struck out 268 in 304 innings and he posted a 22–9 record. But it was his earned run average, 1.12, which elevated Gibson to baseball eminence.

His ERA was the lowest in the major leagues since 1914, and no one has come close to that number in the 36 years since. Following Gibson’s incredible performance that year, baseball officials lowered the pitching mound the next season.

He won the National League Cy Young Award and the Most Valuable Player Award in 1968. He picked up his second Cy Young Award in 1970 when his 23–7 record topped the league.

Gibson twice was named World Series MVP, 1964 and 1967, and set records for consecutive victories, 7, consecutive complete games, 8, and strikeouts in a game, 17, and a Series, 35.

Upon Gibson’s retirement, his 3,117 strikeouts ranked second in major league history.

Bob Carpenter, a Tulsan and longtime Cardinals announcer, will serve as master of ceremonies for the Legends dinner, scheduled for the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center.

An array of other celebrities and honorees will be announced in the future.

For table and ticket information, call 499-5337.

Updated 11-12-2004

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