Orlando Cepeda: Bob Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals Did It All in the 1967 WS

Harold FriendChief Writer IJune 3, 2012

He Still Can Bring It
He Still Can Bring ItDilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

“You can do it all … you can do it all,” an ecstatic Orlando Cepeda shouted to Bob Gibson as the future Hall of Fame first baseman kissed the future Hall of Fame pitcher four times on the right cheek.

Gibson had just won for the third time in the 1967 World Series, beating Boston Red Sox ace Jim Lonborg in the seventh game.

It was Gibson’s fifth consecutive complete-game World Series win, which tied him with the immortal Christy Mathewson and New York Yankees great Red Ruffing.

The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Red Sox 7-2, as Gibson held them to three hits and hit a home run for good measure.

Cepeda was right. Gibson could do it all.

Red Sox manager Dick Williams, who led his team from a ninth-place finish in 1966 to the American League pennant in 1967, knew how well Gibson had performed.

“He’s one helluva a pitcher. I would have to say he was the outstanding player in the Series. After all, he beat us three times.”

Gibson had been on the disabled list from July 15 to September 6 with a broken ankle, but he was at full strength for the World Series.

He beat the Red Sox 2-1 in the series opener, allowing six hits. Then he shut them out on five hits in the fourth game.

When comparing the 1967 championship to the one in which he beat the New York Yankees twice in 1964, Gibson told reporters, “As you get a little older, maybe you cherish these things a little more.”

Gibson had a lot of help. Lou Brock had 12 hits and stole seven bases, Julian Javier batted .360 and Roger Maris belted out 10 hits in 27 at-bats, including seven RBIs.

Maris made a statement that explained why he was a winner.

“I learned when I was with the Yankees that you take all teams seriously, and you don’t anticipate a team can be handled lightly.”

To show how different the game was managed during the 1960s, when Carl Yastrezemski opened the bottom of the ninth inning with a single, manager Red Schoendienst paid a visit to the mound.

Unlike the time that Gibson told catcher Tim McCarver to go back behind the plate because the only thing that he knew about pitching was that he couldn’t hit it, Gibson pleaded to remain in the game. Schoendienst relented.

Ken “Hawk” Harrelson grounded into a double play. George Scott became Gibson’s 10th strikeout victim and the Cardinals were once again world champions.