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Creighton's D.J. Sokol Arena to host celebration of life for Bob Gibson

Sep 28, 2021
5 min Read
Bob Gibson News

Creighton University will host a Celebration of Life for Bob Gibson on Saturday, Oct. 2, at D.J. Sokol Arena inside the Wayne & Eileen Ryan Athletic Center. The date will mark the one-year anniversary of the Hall of Fame pitcher’s death, and the 53rd anniversary of his memorable 17-strikeout performance in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series, which remains a World Series record.

The event is open to the public, with doors opening at 10 a.m., and the service beginning at 11 am. Face coverings will be required for all in attendance. The program will also be live streamed at

The Gibson family and others in attendance will not be doing interviews during the day. Additional questions can be directed to Scott Moller (

Born in Omaha in 1935, Bob Gibson attended Omaha Tech High School before enrolling at Creighton. He starred in both baseball and basketball with the Bluejays, and finished his college career in 1957 third with 1,272 career points (he's currently 24th). He remains in the top-five in CU history in free throws made (418), free throw attempts (575) and scoring average (20.2 ppg.).

Gibson became the first member of the Creighton Athletics Hall of Fame in 1968, joined the Missouri Valley Conference Hall of Fame as an "Institutional Great" in 2005, and was part of the St. Louis Cardinals inaugural Hall of Fame class in 2014. His No. 45 was retired by the Creighton Basketball program, as well as the St. Louis Cardinals. Gibson was also honored with a spot on Major League Baseball's All-Century Team in 1999.

Following his college career, Gibson spent a year with the Harlem Globetrotters famed basketball team before electing to play professional baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

With the Cardinals, Gibson developed into one of the greatest pitchers of all-time and would become a first ballot Hall of Famer to Cooperstown in 1981. Gibson finished with 251 wins and 3,117 strikeouts. His 1.12 ERA in 1968 remains the best in the Majors in the last 100 years, helping win him National League MVP honors and the first of two Cy Young awards given annually to the best pitcher in each league. Gibson's nine Gold Gloves for defensive proficiency rank third all-time amongst pitchers, and he's also one of three men (joining Reggie Jackson and Sandy Koufax) to be World Series MVP twice.

A 2005 Omaha World-Herald story on the best athletes in state history ranked Gibson as atop that list. He repeated that same honor in 2015, just ahead of Chicago Bears great Gale Sayers on both occasions.

Gibson passed away at the age of 84 on Oct. 2, 2020 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.