(BaseballStL) -- Cardinal Great Bob Gibson said it’s a misnomer to say that the pitcher owns the inside half of the plate.
“It’s the outer half,” he said Monday before ceremonies honoring the 1964 World Series champions. “When you throw on the inner half, it goes about 490 feet in the other direction,” he laughed. “The outer half was mine.”
Gibson was asked about his reputation for being an uncompromising competitor on the mound, particular when it came to facing opposing hitters.
“I always protected my team. If someone on my club was hit, I took care of it my way. But I never liked it if anyone came up and asked me to hit someone. I’d never do that. I made the decisions and I took care of it. And I never asked anyone if they wanted me to hit someone. ”
Even though he never wanted to throw inside with regularity, Gibson said he would often move hitters off the plate if he thought they were too comfortable by throwing hard inside. “I wanted them to think that I might be coming in when they were standing up there. That’s part of pitching.
“But I wanted that outside half of the plate. Guys didn’t hit the ball 490 feet on the outside half. If they did, I was in trouble.”