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Bob Gibson: “Who will buy my memories?”

OK, the line was more famously used by country and western icon Willie Nelson when the Feds were threatening him with jail time to square up some weighty tax issues a decade or so back.

Yet it also applies to a St. Louis Cardinals icon, Bob Gibson, the best pitcher to ever don the birds on the bat, according to our all-time ranking at

In just one month from now, on July 31st, 100 items representing the best of the Hall of Famer’s lifetime collection of baseball memorabilia will be sold to the highest bidders through the services of a Cleveland firm called Legendary Auctions.

The auction is scheduled to coincide with the National Sports Collectors convention and will include Gibson’s World Series rings, Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Awards, game-used equipment and more.

The items to be auctioned include the following:

  • Gibson’s 1968 MVP Award
  • Gibson’s 1968 and 1970 Cy Young awards
  • Gibson’s 1964 and 1967 World Series rings
  • Gibson’s Hall of Fame induction ring
  • A complete compilation of all of Gibson’s player contracts
  • Gibson’s first MLB victory ball
  • A Gibson game-used glove

Just yesterday, I was reading an article highlighting the top ten “hocked” World Series rings. But in that case, most of the players/coaches who originally owned the rings are either dead or the sellers were obscure participants who perhaps needed a quick cash infusion.

That doesn’t seem to be the case with Gibson, who seemingly has lived a comfortable life back home in Bellevue, Nebraska with an occasional spring foray to Jupiter, Florida for spring training or a summer visit for a ceremony of some type in St. Louis.

Apparently, Gibby has decided that this is the right time to put his memorabilia on the open market.

While that is clearly his right, it seems a shame that he feels the need to put such tangible elements representing his legacy up for sale to the highest bidder. On the other hand, Gibson is now 73 years old and must have decided he’d rather this is carried out while he is still alive instead of after his passing.

At least the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) will receive an undefined portion of the proceeds. The charity aids long-time members of the “baseball family” that are unable to help themselves due to personal hardships.

Gibson does not apply.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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