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camera day 1972 --- chapter 2: hoot

more pixs from camera day 1972; if you missed shots of torre + the birthday cake, click here.

you all know this guy. 1972 was the last year gibson was really gibson. at age 36, he threw 278 innings (4th in the nl) and had a 2.46 era (5th); also finished 5th in wins, 3d in strikeouts, 2d in complete games, 3d in hits per 9. for good measure he started the all-star game and threw two shutout innings; also won the gold glove (his 8th in a row). here's his line:

ip h bb so w-l era cg sho
278 226 88 208 19-12 2.46 23 4

it took gibby a while to get untracked in 1972, probably because of the strike. he yielded 6 runs in three of his first six starts and, incredible as it may seem, didn't get his first win until may 25. not april 25; may 25.

whereupon he won his next 10 starts in a row.

the day these pictures were taken, gibson was near the end of that incredible run, which lasted may 25 through july 27: 11 starts, 11 wins, 10 complete games. the line:

ip h bb so w-l era cg sho
97 62 22 77 11-0 1.48 10 3

gibson's 5 hr in 1972 (in 103 ab) equaled his career high, which he'd set back in 1965 in the old ballpark. his isolated power in '72 was .204, far and away the best on the team. ted simmons' was .162, torre's was .130, and bernie carbo's was .117. joe hague compiled a .210 iso power in 76 at-bats for st louis before getting traded to cincinnati (for carbo) on may 19.

for my money, gibson's the greatest cardinal ever -- even greater than musial. i'm glad i got to see him pitch when he was still great.