ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) --Legendary Cardinal and Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson died Friday, according to the team.
The announcement came just moments after the Cardinals were eliminated from the playoffs by the Padres.
"When it rains, it pours," said manager Mike Shildt. "We knew he wasn't in great shape the last couple days. It's another big loss that's hard to swallow, right after Lou [Brock]. And for the Gibson family, our thoughts and prayers go out to them. We know he's in a place with more comfort and peace."
Gibson, 84, had been battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year. His death comes just weeks after Lou Brock, another franchise legend, died in early September.
A day after the death of Hall of Famer Lou Brock, his son has released a statement about his legacy.
Gibson, who won two World Series rings with the Cardinals in 1964 and 1967, has been a part of the organization since he retired. The greatest pitcher to ever wear the Birds on the Bat, he changed the way baseball is played with his otherworldly 1968 season.
On the strength of a 22-9 record and an incomprehensible 1.12 ERA in 304.2 innings that summer, Gibson earned both the National League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards. His performance headlined the 'Year of the Pitcher,' leading MLB to lower the height of the mound the following year.
"He stood up for himself, stood up for his teammates," Shildt said. "He was a winner... We're going to miss him."
Given the nature of the game today, it's impossible to adequately appreciate Gibson's accomplishments, his contributions to the sport, without ever having seen them in person--but the back of his baseball card is truly candy to the eyes of baseball fans.
Gibby won 251 games during his 17-year career with the Cardinals. Remarkably, he pitched 255 complete games, meaning he had more complete games in his career than he did wins.
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
Gibson remained close to franchise, often appearing at spring training and mentoring young players. Yadier Molina was visibly emotional on video chat with reporters after the game while talking about the loss of Gibson, saying the team's elimination pales in comparison to his death.
"Yeah, we lose a game, yeah, we lose a series. But without him, we lose one great man. It's hard," he said. "To lose a legend like that, it's hard."
"That's probably one of the first things that come up when people describe him, when he came up on the mound and you just looked in his eyes, he had no fear."