A statue of Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, the pride and joy of Omaha, was unveiled at Werner Park, home of the Omaha Storm Chasers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League.)
A passel of baseball luminaries was on hand to honor the former St. Louis Cardinals great, including MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, former teammates Joe Torre and Tim McCarver, and Omaha investor (and former Storm Chasers owner) Warren Buffett.
Gibson was one of the most feared pitchers in MLB in the 1960s and 1970s. He spent his entire 17-year career as a Cardinal, compiling a 251-174 record and winning Cy Young awards in 1968 and 1970 while also picking up the league MVP trophy in 1968, when he went 22-9 with a phenomenal 1.12 ERA. His dominance led to rule changes lowering the height of the mound.
Gibson, a longtime Sarpy County resident, told the audience he was lost for words.
“This is really wonderful,” he said. “I’ve said before that baseball has provided me with a wonderful life. I’ve met wonderful people, and I got inducted into the Hall of Fame. I didn’t think things could ever get any better, but it’s getting better by the day.”…
Selig, in his remarks to the crowd, said, “38 years after he threw his last pitch in the major leagues, the name Bob Gibson continues to conjure up magic to everyone in the baseball world.”
Storm Chasers President/GM Martie Cordaro with Bob Gibson.
The statue is envisioned as the first of many to honor Omaha natives who made their marks in the bigs, including Grover Cleveland Alexander, Richie Ashburn, Wade Boggs, Sam Crawford and Billy Southworth.
Images courtesy of the Omaha Storm Chasers.
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