Author Topic: Bob Gibson slider  (Read 422 times)

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Offline tomterp

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Bob Gibson slider
« Topic Start: June 09, 2012, 10:11:46 AM »
No additional commentary needed.



But if you want some anyway, go here:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=17275

Offline welch

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Re: Bob Gibson slider
« Reply #1: June 12, 2012, 02:01:13 PM »
Probably from the year that Gibson had a 1.xx ERA, won more than 20- games, plus three in the World Series, and generally overwhelmed hitters so badly that MLB lowered the mound by about five inches.

Online Kevrock

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Re: Bob Gibson slider
« Reply #2: June 12, 2012, 02:10:36 PM »
That's interesting. It seems to have much earlier break than MLB sliders today. Of course, there is significantly more break as well. Because it comes out flat from the hand, unlike a curveball, it seems to take a sharp downward left turn about a third of the way to the plate.

I wonder what speed the pitch was thrown at.

Online mitlen

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Re: Bob Gibson slider
« Reply #3: June 12, 2012, 02:35:59 PM »
That's interesting. It seems to have much earlier break than MLB sliders today. Of course, there is significantly more break as well. Because it comes out flat from the hand, unlike a curveball, it seems to take a sharp downward left turn about a third of the way to the plate.

I wonder what pitch the speed was thrown at.

I bet someone on this board could probably narrow it down to within a few MPH (tomterp?).    The video seems to be in pretty accurate time and we all know it's 60' 6" from the mound to home.    This could be an SAT question.


Offline soxfan59

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Re: Bob Gibson slider
« Reply #4: June 12, 2012, 02:53:59 PM »
I'm trying to figure out who the batter is.  My guess is this is a video from the 1968 World Series -- the Cards are obviously home team.  The uniform, hard to make out in the black and white and slightly out of focus video, could very well be a Tiger road uniform from 1968.  If so, this would be Bill Freehan, who wore No. 11 for the Tigers in those days. 

Online mitlen

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Re: Bob Gibson slider
« Reply #5: June 12, 2012, 02:58:13 PM »
I'm trying to figure out who the batter is.  My guess is this is a video from the 1968 World Series -- the Cards are obviously home team.  The uniform, hard to make out in the black and white and slightly out of focus video, could very well be a Tiger road uniform from 1968.  If so, this would be Bill Freehan, who wore No. 11 for the Tigers in those days. 

I've tried to do that as well and I keep seein' New York on the front of the jersey.   Yet, it makes sense to be Detroit.   They are similar    ..   NEW YORK
                   DETROIT

Being old is interesting.   :P


Offline tomterp

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Re: Bob Gibson slider
« Reply #6: June 12, 2012, 05:35:49 PM »
I'm trying to figure out who the batter is.  My guess is this is a video from the 1968 World Series -- the Cards are obviously home team.  The uniform, hard to make out in the black and white and slightly out of focus video, could very well be a Tiger road uniform from 1968.  If so, this would be Bill Freehan, who wore No. 11 for the Tigers in those days.

Quote
1. Bob Gibson, slider (?) against Bill Freehan, Oct. 2, 1968
 I have a friend who runs marathons. He's really fast. He's really fast, but he's not an Olympian, and he doesn't win the Boston Marathon or anything like that. Just a guy who is fast. He told me his marathon time once, and I looked it up, and I figured out that it would have been the world record marathon time as recently as 1960. In 50 years, the greatest marathoner in the world became just a guy I know who is fast. So it's hard to know what to make of things like Bob Gibson. Was he just good for his time, or would you be impressed if you saw him pitching today? Are you impressed by this?
 
This is from the time that Gibson struck out 17 in a World Series game. I love this camera angle. Modern broadcasts show pitches from behind home plate now and then, but I guess it's never quite this close, and it's never from this angle. This is an entirely new angle, and it gives us a beautiful look at the break. I sent this to a friend, whose immediate reaction was: "The umpire called that a strike?" The pitch is so sexy that he didn't even notice the batter swing.
 
Kevin Goldstein showed this pitch to an NL scout. "It's a 70, maybe an 80. It's a terrific pitch with filthy late break," the scout said. Is it a slider? Gibson threw two different sliders, and describes one as "my hardest one and it would just break abruptly and mostly downward," which seems to fit the picture. Goldstein says it's not a slider, but he's not sure what it is. Ian Miller wonders if it's got spit on it, but no spitball is listed in the Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers. I saw a very poorly sourced message board comment that called it a curve, and quoted the batter as saying "it went behind me, and then across the plate."
 
Bill Freehan, the batter, had a 145 OPS+ that year. He struck out in his first five official at-bats against Gibson that World Series, and later in the series he walked over to Gibson during batting practice and gave him his bat as a gift. "He hasn't hit the thing yet. It's his."
 
I've watched this pitch at least 300 times.

Offline soxfan59

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Re: Bob Gibson slider
« Reply #7: June 13, 2012, 02:28:46 PM »
Thanks, Tomterp!  :)

Last week, on local (Chicago) sports radio, there was a lengthy discussion about pitchers who have "violent" deliveries.  Guys who really appear to be using everything they got when they throw.  This was in light of Chris Sale's recent renaissance with the White Sox.  A lot of the discussion centered on current pitchers who throw hard and have arguable issues with fundamentals -- which result in injury because they throw so hard.  Sale was held up as a candidate for this, Strasburg was also discussed, as well as a few others. 

But on the "old timer" announcers went back to guys who threw hard with violent deliveries in the past who didn't seem to get hurt.  Bob Gibson was the prime example held up.  But as you watch this video, and others of Gibson, there are no issues with fundamentals -- his release point is lower than most, and the power he uses to throw propels his whole body forward.  I haven't seen Strasburg throw this year yet since coming back, but I have seen Sale, and my concern with him is his delivery is all arms, and not enough legs.  You can't say that about Gibson.  He is poetry in motion.  A lot of effort, hard thrower, but its like a perfect, catapulting motion.  Like the ball is being fired from a gun.