Why Bob Gibson Became a Globetrotter

A Story of Sports, Race and Resistance

Bob Gibson (center) playing for the Harlem Globetrotters in 1957.

Bob Gibson was one of the three or four greatest pitchers in the history of baseball. He won the Cy Young Award as best pitcher twice. He was twice named MVP of the World Series, once in 1964 and again in 1967.  Gibson set the modern record for the lowest earned run average in a year. He was deemed so unhittable in the 1968 season that the league’s owners ordered radical changes to the game, including shrinking the strike zone and lowering the height of the pitcher’s mound. He was named to the All-Star game nine times and voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot. But still Bob Gibson would have preferred to play basketball. The reason might be found in Gibson’s experiences in Columbus, Georgia.

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Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is An Orgy of Thieves: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents (with Alexander Cockburn). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net or on Twitter @JeffreyStClair3

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