Gibson completes fantastic 1968 season with NL MVP honors
But when the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced the results of the National League Most Valuable Player voting on Nov. 13 of that year, it was clear that Gibson’s 34 games meant more than anyone else’s.
In response to Gibson’s success in 1968 – along with dominant seasons by dozens of other pitchers – Major League Baseball instituted several rule changes for 1969, including the lowering of the pitching mound. Gibson responded with another 28 complete games that year, going 20-13 with a 2.18 ERA and 269 strikeouts. In 1970, Gibson won his second Cy Young Award by going 23-7 with a 3.12 ERA and a career-best 274 strikeouts.
Gibson retired following the 1975 season with a career record of 251-174 and a 2.91 ERA. He finished with 3,117 strikeouts, becoming just the second pitcher – after Walter Johnson – to top the 3,000 mark.
He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1981.
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum