Bob Gibson Had A Heart Attack During His Epic 1968 Season?


There are times when we say… this will never happen again in sports.

And then it happens again in sports.

Just yesterday around 5p I got a ‘Brady era is over’ message.



But I promise you, THIS? This will NEVER happen again in sports.


On January 12th, Rick Hummel wrote a story on Bob Gibson entitled “Gibson wonders if he suffered a heart attack during dominant ’68 season“.

Say what?

“I’ve never said this to anybody,” he [Gibson] said. “But we were in Houston and I had cramps in the top of my stomach that hurt so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed. I didn’t know what it was and it lasted half a day. It would start in the front and go all the way to the back. I thought it was indigestion.

“Twenty years later, I had a checkup and some doctor ticked me off when he said, ‘Have you ever had a heart attack? The EKG looks like you’ve had a heart attack.’ I walked out of his office and never went back. I said, ‘It’s too late to tell me now. You’re going to cause another one.’

So much to unpack here.

First off, the image of Bob Gibson storming out of a doctor’s office at the mere suggestion that he had a heart attack 20 year prior is perfect.

Second… R U SERIOUS?

He did this right after having a self-medicated (with wine, of course) heart attack?


“I got to thinking about that. I wonder if that’s what it could have been. It hurt so bad that I was down on my knees. You know when you’re young, you say, ‘Ah, just take some aspirin.’ But that’s the only time I can remember having something hurt that badly that it could have been a heart attack. It started in my rib cavity and went straight through to my back.”

On the other hand …

“If I had gone to the doctor and if I were having heart attack, I probably never would have pitched after that,” Gibson said. “Good thing I didn’t go check it out.

This is in 1968, a year in which, I assume, there were trained medical professionals in America.

That was only 50 years ago, but it may as well be 500 year ago considering how far sports medicine has come.

Hell, when pro-athletes like Andrew Luck or Markelle Fultz have injuries that aren’t immediately diagnosed and then treated, it inspires think pieces and fuels sports talk radio conspiracies.

Mr. Gibson having a HEART ATTACK?

Shake it off. Rub some dirt on it.

“All I know was that it was really painful. Doc (Bob) Bauman said, ‘You’ve probably got the gout. Too much rich eating.’ He didn’t even know what I ate. You can’t get the gout by eating red beans and rice. But he called everything the gout.”

Good to know not not much has changed with the Cardinals team docs over the years, though.


I encourage you to click on the link above and read the whole story.

How ESPN didn’t spend all day talking about this is beyond me. Might just be the craziest sports story we hear all year.

Photo: Bob Gibson Project

Arrow to top