Monday, February 23, 2015
no. 382 - jake gibbs
Who is the man: Jake Gibbs was entering his final season in the majors when this card arrived. In fact, he said in June of 1971 that he'd retire at the end of the season. This is the last card of him issued during his career.
Can ya dig it: This card has a few problems. The name and team lettering appears "smeared" and the bottom left edge appears as if it touched white paint.
Right on: Gibbs looks like he's about to swing in front of Orioles catcher Elrod Hendricks. (the catcher's cap and shin guards initially looked red to me, but Hendricks was one of the few black catchers around then. On closer inspection those are orange shin guards).
You see that cat Gibbs is a bad mother: Gibbs was the favorite player of former Orioles manager Dave Trembley when he was a kid. Trembley told me that when I interviewed him for a story.
Shut your mouth: Gibbs was a star quarterback in college and chose baseball over pro football even though he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns and Houston Oilers. "I never had any regrets about choosing baseball," Gibbs said in Maury Allen's book "Yankees: Where Have You Gone?" "I knew I would have a longer career in baseball than in football, and I did."
No one understands him but his woman: Gibbs is the Yankees starting catcher link between Elston Howard and Thurman Munson.
(A word about the back): After his retirement, Gibbs returned to Ole Miss for good, becoming the baseball coach and working there until 1990. He retired with 485 victories.