On this day in 1979 the Brewers signed pitcher Bob Gibson as an amateur free agent. He wasn't related to or nearly as talented as the Hall of Fame pitcher with the same name, but Gibson still carved out a better career for himself than the usual undrafted free agent.
Gibson's pro career probably could have been over almost before it started: He posted a 5.52 ERA for Burlington (low A) in the Midwest League during his age 22 season. The Brewers held onto him, though, and he got better each season in the minors before earning his first opportunity in the majors in 1983.
As a Brewer Gibson posted a 4.24 ERA in 98 appearances (18 starts) over four seasons. Control was his biggest weakness: He walked 5.5 batters per nine innings for his career. Despite the fact that he had been a big leaguer for the last four seasons, the Brewers left Gibson unprotected in the 1986 Rule 5 draft and the White Sox selected him. He only pitched one more major league game (with the Mets in 1987) after leaving Milwaukee.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:
- 1978 Brewer Randy Stein, who turns 59.
- Milwaukee native and UW-Madison alum Red Wilson, who turns 83. He played ten seasons in the majors between 1951-60 as a member of the Tigers and two other teams.