Gibson's Last Stand: The Rise, Fall, and Near Misses of the St. Louis Cardinals, 1969-1975

Gibson's Last Stand: The Rise, Fall, and Near Misses of the St. Louis Cardinals, 1969-1975

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by Doug Feldmann
     
 

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Instar-pitcher Bob Gibson’s most brilliant season, the turbulent summer of 1968, he started 34 games and pitched every inning in 28 of them, shutting out the opponent in almost half of those complete games. After their record-breaking season, Gibson and his teammates were stunned to lose the 1968 World Series to the Detroit Tigers. For the next six years, as

Overview

Instar-pitcher Bob Gibson’s most brilliant season, the turbulent summer of 1968, he started 34 games and pitched every inning in 28 of them, shutting out the opponent in almost half of those complete games. After their record-breaking season, Gibson and his teammates were stunned to lose the 1968 World Series to the Detroit Tigers. For the next six years, as Bob Gibson struggled to maintain his pitching excellence at the end of his career, changes in American culture ultimately changed the St. Louis Cardinals and the business and pastime of baseball itself.

Placed against the backdrop of American history and popular culture, from the protests of the Vietnam War to the breakup of the Beatles, the story of the Cardinals takes on new meaning as another aspect of the changes happening at that time. In the late 1960s, exorbitant money and free agency was threatening to change America’s game forever and negatively impact the smaller-market teams in Major League Baseball. As the Cardinals’ owner August A. Bush Jr. and manager Albert “Red” Schoendienst attempted to re-invent the team, stop the decay of its cohesiveness, and bring new blood in to propel the team back to contention for the pennant, Gibson remained the one constant on the team.

 

In looking back on his career, Gibson mourned the end of the Golden Era of baseball and believed that the changes in the game would be partially blamed on him, as his pitching success caused team owners to believe that cash-paying customers only wanted base hits and home runs. Yet, he contended, the shrinking of the strike zone, the lowering of the mound, and the softening of the traditional rancor between the hitter and pitcher forever changed the role of the pitcher in the game and created a more politically correct version of the sport.

 

Throughout Gibson’s Last Stand, Doug Feldmann captivates readers with the action of the game, both on and off the field, and interjects interesting and detailed tidbits on players’ backgrounds that often tie them to famous players of the past, current stars, and well-known contemporary places. Feldmann also entwines Missouri history: President Truman and the funeral procession of President Eisenhower through St. Louis; Missouri sports legends Dizzy Dean, Mark McGwire, and Stan “the Man” Musial; and legendary announcers Harry Caray and Jack Buck. Additionally, a helpful appendix provides National League East standings from 1969 to 1975.

 

Bob Gibson remains one of the most unique, complex, and loved players in Cardinals’ history. In this story of one of the least examined parts of his career - his final years on the team -  Feldmann takes readers into the heart of his complexity and the changes that were whirling full force around him.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Every baseball fan should read Gibson's Last Stand.  Not only does it give you in depth knowledge about one of the greatest right hand pitchers in the history of the game, but also gives great insight into the Cardinal decades of the 60's and 70's.  They included three pennants, two World Series Championships in the 60's and some near misses in the 70's, along with the arival of Ted Simmons, and the advent of free agency (Curt Flood).  The book is a great read and I enjoyed it very much."--Whitey Herzog

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780826219503
Publisher:
University of Missouri Press
Publication date:
09/30/2011
Series:
SPORTS & AMERICAN CULTURE Series
Edition description:
First Edition, 1st Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

Meet the Author

 Doug Feldmann is Associate Professor in the College of Education at Northern Kentucky University and a part time scout for the Cincinnati Reds. He is the author of ninebooks, including El Birdos: The 1967 and 1968 St. Louis Cardinals. He lives near Cincinnati.

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Gibson's Last Stand: The Rise, Fall, and Near Misses of the St. Louis Cardinals, 1969-1975 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im going to guess this is a good book because it is about the St. Louis Cardinals! GO STL!