Cardinals Hall of Fame Pitcher Bob Gibson Diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2019

Bob Gibson, a member of the St. Louis Cardinals' 1967 World Series championship team, takes part in a ceremony honoring the 50th anniversary of the victory before the start of a baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has been hospitalized for the last two weeks in Omaha, Nebraska, as he receives treatment, according to Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The 83-year-old is expected to start chemotherapy next week.

"We all know what a competitor he is," agent Dick Zitzmann told Hummel.

In an interview with Hummel back in January 2018, Gibson revealed that it's possible he had a heart attack during the 1968 season. He noted that he suffered from cramps near the top of his stomach that "hurt so bad that I couldn't get out of bed," with symptoms lasting half of the day. Two decades later, a doctor told him an EKG showed signs of a heart attack.

He told Hummel that had he gone to a doctor at the time and been diagnosed with a heart attack, he likely never would have pitched again.

Incredibly, the 1968 campaign wound up being the best not only of Gibson's career but also one of the best in MLB history. The right-hander went 22-9 that season with a 1.12 ERA and a .170 average against, winning both the National League Cy Young and MVP awards. 

Gibson spent his entire 17-year MLB career with the St. Louis Cardinals and holds the title of the greatest pitcher in franchise history. He went 251-174 with a 2.91 ERA in his career, racking up 3,117 strikeouts. He also no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 14, 1971 at the age of 35.

He finished his career with two Cy Youngs, one MVP, nine All-Star selections, nine Gold Gloves, two World Series titles and two World Series MVP awards. 

Gibson's No. 45 has been retired by the Cardinals, and he was inducted into Cooperstown in 1981.