OMAHA (KMTV) — Courtesy: Creighton Media Relations
Bob Gibson, one of the greatest athletes in Creighton Athletics history, died on Friday night at the age of 84 after a bout with pancreatic cancer.
Born in Omaha in 1935, Gibson attended Omaha Tech High School before enrolling at Creighton.
He starred in both baseball and basketball with the Bluejays, and finished his college career in 1957 third with 1,272 career points (he's currently 22nd). He remains in the top-five in CU history in free throws made (418), free throw attempts (575) and scoring average (20.19 ppg.). Many of his baseball stats are Creighton have been lost to history, though recent research found an old Omaha World-Herald [twitter.com] article with his stats from 1957 (.318 with 14 runs scored, and a 3-0 record on the mound), when he played for future Hall of Fame NBA coach Bill Fitch.
Gibson became the first member of the Creighton Athletics Hall of Fame in 1968, joined the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame as an "Institutional Great" in 2005, and was part of the St. Louis Cardinals inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2014. His No. 45 was retired by the Creighton Basketball program, as well as the St. Louis Cardinals, as well. Gibson was also honored with a spot on Major League Baseball's All-Century Team in 1999.
Following his college career, Gibson spent a year with the Harlem Globetrotters famed basketball team before electing to play professional baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
With the Cardinals, Gibson developed into one of the greatest pitchers of all-time and would become a first ballot Hall of Famer to Cooperstown in 1981. Gibson finished with 251 wins and 3,117 strikeouts. His 1.12 ERA in 1968 remains the best in the Majors in the last 100 years, helping win him National League MVP honors and the first of two Cy Young awards given annually to the best pitcher in each league. Gibson's nine Gold Gloves for defensive proficiency rank third all-time amongst pitchers, and he's also one of three men (joining Reggie Jackson and Sandy Koufax) to be World Series MVP twice.
A 2005 Omaha World-Herald story on the best athletes in state history ranked Gibson as atop that list. He repeated the that same honor in 2015 [dataomaha.com], just ahead of Chicago Bears great Gale Sayers on both occasions. Sayers passed away nine days ago.
Gibson's death came on the 52nd anniversary of his memorable 17-strikeout performance in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series [twitter.com], which remains a World Series record.