“I have given Alabama a voice, a clearer, more concerned, compassionate voice for all the people of the state, in the U. S. Senate, for the past two years,” says Doug Jones

• Working through the Senate Armed Services Committee to provide support for military bases and defense contractors from Huntsville to Mobile.
• Negotiating, together with Senator Richard Shelby and Congresswoman Terri Sewell an adjustment in the wage index rate for calculating Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, which boosted the payments to all hospitals in the state who serve impacted patients.
• Together with Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, adding a section to the 2018 Farm Bill to assist farm families with Heir Property problems. This helped many African-American farm families, whose land is held as heir property, to access USDA farm credit and conservation programs. This section also authorized a new $5 loan program to assist families with heir property, to receive technical and credit assistance to clear their land titles and tenure arrangements.
Jones said he is working hard to get another coronavirus relief package passed by the U. S. Senate, based on the $2.2 Trillion-dollar HEROES Bill passed by the U. S. House of Representatives. “People are unemployed and suffering, we need to do something that will help people make the rent and put food on the table, as well as implement a plan to control and contain the virus,” he said.
Doug Jones is currently locked in a re-election battle with former Auburn football coach, Tommy Tubberville, which will be decided by the upcoming November 3rd General Election.
“My opponent, Tommy Tubberville, uses talking points from Trump and McConnell, as his campaign program. He has not barthered to learn the issues that face our state, in terms of the coronavirus pandemic, economic impacts of the pandemic, voter suppression and voting rights and many others,” said Jones.
“Tommy refuses to talk to the media and he is also not talking with the people and voters of Alabama. I, on the other hand, have been very transparent, talking to the media, holding telephone and Facebook townhalls ands trying to communicate with people in this state about my positions on the issues that face us,” said Jones.
One of the things that I am most proud of is the annual reading of Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1963 “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” on the floor of the U. S. Senate, which I helped to initiate. This year the reading was postponed by the COVID-19 crisis and the death of George Floyd. “Having a bi-partisan group of my colleagues read this letter, on the floor of the U. S. Senate, after Floyd’s death was a profound and powerful moment, for our nation,” said Jones.
After my interview with Senator Doug Jones, I am more committed than ever to vote for him for a full six-year term, as U. S. Senator.

Bingo facilities distribute $484,468.83 for October; Forkland’s improvements supported by bingo funds

Following summary provided by Mrs. Kinya Isaac
Bingo Funds regulated by Sheriff Jonathan Benison have afforded the Town of Forkland the opportunity to promote economic development, create jobs, enhance community programs for senior citizens, purchase a recreation and education center for our youth and property for a future park development. It has not only insured a balanced operational budget for the town, but the bingo allocations have also provided seed and matching funds for numerous projects such as vehicles for the newly reactivated police department, $350,000 CDBG Grant to pave streets, Equipment Purchase Grant and the Forkland Innovative Center. Accomplishing the visions of the town’s 2017-2020 Strategic Plan would have been impossible without Charity Bingo.
Mayor McAlpine and the Town Council have initiated the process to build a Public Safety Building which will house the police department, the fire department and the municipal court. Charity Bingo Funds give the Town of Forkland an opportunity to provide vital services which enhance the quality of life for the residents of the community and the surrounding areas.
Distribution for October
On Wednesday, October 14 2020, Greene County Sheriff’s Department reported a total distribution of $484,468.83 from four licensed bingo gaming operations in the county. The bingo distributions were contributed by Frontier, River’s Edge, Palace and Bama Bingo.
The recipients of the September distributions from bingo gaming include the Greene County Commission, Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
Sub charities include Children Policy Council, Guadalupan Multicultural Services, Greene County Golf Course, Branch Heights Housing Authority, Department of Human Resources and the Greene County Library.
Bama Bingo gave a total of $113,499.98 to the following: Greene County Commission, $30,570; Greene County Sheriff’s $33,750; City of Eutaw, $7,750; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500, and the Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities, each $1,133.33.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $114,994.98 to the following: Greene County Commission, $30,570; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $33,750; City of Eutaw, $9,250; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500; Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities each, $1,333.33.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $114,994.98 to the following: Greene County Commission, $30,570; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $33,750; City of Eutaw, $9,250; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500; Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities each, $1,333.33.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $140,983.89 to the following: Greene County Commission, $37,478.82; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $41,377.50; City of Eutaw, $11,340.50; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $4,750.75; Greene County Board of Education, $12,873 and the Greene County Health System, $15,325; Sub Charities each, 1,389.47.

Newswire:  Joe Morgan, “Big Red Machine” star dies at 77

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Joe Morgan, Cincinnati second baseman

Joe Leonard Morgan, one of the all-time greatest second basemen in Major League Baseball history, and a key cog in Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine, has died at the age of 77.
Over 22 mostly magnificent seasons, the left-handed batting Morgan, who memorably flapped his left arm before each pitch thrown to him, totaled 2,517 hits, 1,650 runs scored, and a .271 lifetime batting average.
Additionally, he slugged 268 home runs and stole 689 bases.
Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990, Morgan began his illustrious career with the Houston Colt .45s in 1963. He remained with Houston, which in 1965 changed its nickname to the Astros for nine seasons. In 1971, the Astros traded Morgan to the Cincinnati Reds.
In Cincinnati, he joined Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey Sr., George Foster, and others to form the renowned Big Red Machine.
In 1975, the Reds defeated the Boston Red Sox in one of the most memorable World Series ever, an epic matchup where five of the seven games were decided by one run.
The following year, Morgan helped lead the Reds to a sweep of the New York Yankees in the Fall Classic to capture a second straight title.
Morgan earned League Most Valuable Players in each of those seasons. He earned selection to the All-Star team 10 times and won five Gold Gloves.
In 1983, Morgan joined the Philadelphia Phillies and helped lead them to a World Series appearance against the Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore won the series in five games, and Morgan would play one more season, ending his career with the Oakland A’s.
Morgan’s death is the latest among several legendary baseball players over the past several months, including fellow Hall of Famers Lou Brock and Bob Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals, Tom Seaver of the New York Mets, and Whitey Ford of the New York Yankees.

Newwire : As clinical trials halt, U.S. Covid cases surge

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Eli Lilly announced this week that it would pause a government-sponsored COVID-19 clinical trial because of a potential safety concern.
The drug manufacturer did not specify the concern, but the experimental vaccine is reportedly similar to the one President Donald Trump has claimed cured him of the coronavirus.
Earlier, Johnson & Johnson put the brakes on a COVID-19 vaccine trial after the company noted an “unexplained illness” reported by a participant.
In September, Great Britain officials held off on a potential vaccine when a participant reported a concerning reaction.
The difficulty in producing a vaccine for the deadly virus comes as a new wave of COVID-19 infection has begun.
Data provided by Johns Hopkins University in Maryland revealed that the U.S. surpassed 51,000 new daily cases on Oct. 13, marking the first time in over two months that the number exceeded 50,000.
The average daily number of new cases stands at 48 percent higher than two months ago when 34,354 were reported.
More than 36,000 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized on Oct. 13, the highest number recorded since August.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that African Americans remain three times as likely as whites to contract the coronavirus, five times as likely to end up in the hospital, and twice as likely to die from COVID-19.
While the race and ethnicity of those who contract the virus are known in just 52 percent of cases, 7 of the 10 U.S. counties with the highest death rates from COVID-19 have populations where people of color make up the majority, according to data compiled by USA Today.Of the top 50 counties with the highest death rates, 31 are populated mostly by people of color. “Put simply, America’s history of racism was itself a preexisting condition,” study authors wrote for USA Today. Additionally, one report noted that had African Americans died at the same rate as whites; approximately 20,800 Black people would still be alive.
Dr. James Hildreth, the president of the historically Black Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, told the Black Press that his school is among four HBCUs preparing to host on campus COVID-19 clinical trials.
Dr. Hildreth previously advised against any vaccine touted by Trump, where the president exclaimed would be ready before Election Day.
“It’s true that Black people have little trust in clinical trials, and that’s understandable,” Dr. Hildreth stressed. “We’ve engendered a level of trust with communities of color that other organizations just don’t have, and it’s imperative for us as HBCUs to rise to this occasion.”
Dr. Hildreth noted that Meharry’s trial would feature a vaccine made by Novavax. “I’ll be the first patient,” Dr. Hildreth said, again punctuating the trust that’s needed to secure African American participants.
“By engaging with the four Black medical schools, [participants] will have individuals who look like them, sitting across the table, having these conversations, and we think that’s going to make a huge difference.”

Newswire: Domestic terror arrests in Michigan heighten alarm of rightwing violence

By Barrington M. Salmon, NNPA Newswire Contributor

Armed white extremist militia members


In recent months, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, and several lower-level Trump administration officials had been warning about the danger posed by homegrown domestic terrorists. Those concerns escalated throughout the summer after clashes between protestors who were marching to remonstrate against the police-involved murder of George Floyd in May and white nationalist Trump supporters.
Those fears were realized last week when the agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working with Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, her staff and Michigan state law enforcement, apprehended 13 men tied to two militia groups who are charged with hatching a plot to kidnap, try and murder Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, kill those in law enforcement, kick off a civil war and overthrow the government.
Whitmer, Nessel and other critics argue that white extremists in Michigan and elsewhere are animated by dangerous racist and inflammatory rhetoric from President Donald Trump. They have castigated his embrace of white nationalist militias, his unwillingness to condemn their violence and intimidation tactics and his complicity in the recent rise of rightwing violence.
“My greatest fear is what’s different now than when I was working these cases in 1990s, there was no rhetoric coming from the White House supporting White supremacy and law enforcement is failing to properly react to that violence that occurs,” said Mike German, a retired FBI agent and a fellow at the Brennan Centre’s National Security Program. “This makes these groups and individuals feel that they have a greenlight.”
German, a writer, author and scholar, has been monitoring and studying white identity extremists, white nationalists and other domestic terror groups for a number of years. This follows his time in the FBI in the 1990s working undercover and infiltrating white supremacist and right-wing militant groups.
He said he’s deeply concerned about the increase in violence perpetrated by far-right individuals and groups over the past three years. Of equal concern, he said, is that these groups have been allowed to operate with very little response from the Department of Justice, the FBI and local law enforcement and with the sympathy of the White House.
In September 17, 2020 testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee, Wray said “many of these violent extremists, both domestic and international, are motivated and inspired by a mix of ideological, sociopolitical, and personal grievances against their targets, which recently have more and more included large public gatherings, houses of worship, and retail locations.”
“Lone actors, who by definition are not likely to conspire with others regarding their plans, are increasingly choosing these soft, familiar targets for their attacks, limiting law enforcement opportunities for detection and disruption ahead of their action,” Wray continued. “Domestic violent extremists (DVEs) pose a steady and evolving threat of violence and economic harm to the United States.”
The FBI director said trends may shift, but the underlying drivers for domestic violent extremism – such as perceptions of government or law enforcement overreach, sociopolitical conditions, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, misogyny, and reactions to legislative actions – remain constant. He said the FBI is most concerned about lone offender attacks, primarily shootings, as they have served as the dominant lethal mode for domestic violent extremist attacks.
But the rise of groups like the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters, the Hell Shaking Street Preachers, the G416 Patriots, Odinsvakt Kindred, Stormfront and others belies the FBI analysis and narrative of the lone wolf domestic terrorist.
German and Wray said more deaths were caused by DVEs than international terrorists in recent years. For example, 2019 was the deadliest year for domestic extremist violence since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Wray added that the top threat America faces from domestic violent extremists stems from those in law enforcement has identified as racially/ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVE). RMVEs were the primary source of ideologically motivated lethal incidents and violence in 2018 and 2019 and have been considered the most lethal of all domestic extremists since 2001.
“Of note, the last three DVE attacks, however, were perpetrated by anti-government violent extremists,” Wray said.
Experts who monitor White nationalist extremist groups have watched with increasing alarm at the rash of violent clashes, the shootings, use of vehicles to injure protestors and brawls that have broken out between the Proud Boys and other far-right, neo-fascist, armed and unarmed militia groups and protestors seeking social and racial justice.
Yet, to the consternation of many, Trump, Attorney General William Barr, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been spending their time and effort since Trump came into office targeting Black Lives Matter activists, the broad coalition of multiracial social justice advocates involved in protests and members of Antifa, all while ignoring the real threat that confronts this country.
In response to massive social justice protests, Mr. Trump and top officials such as Attorney General William Barr, have emphasized the threat posed by leftist groups like Antifa, but rarely mentioned or blamed far-right groups involved in the majority of the violence. Mr. Trump himself has regularly downplayed the threat of White supremacist violence during his presidency and has recently described Black Lives Matter as “a symbol of hate.”
“This administration is not unique for not prosecuting right-wing violence. The fact that the murderers involved in the Greensboro massacre in 1979 were never caught illustrates that,” said DC-based talk show co-host and longtime social justice activist Jacqui Luqman. “The Klan was openly communing with law enforcement. The danger now is the danger that has always been allowed to exist. We’ve already seen it.”
“There is a long history of violence these groups have waged against Black people and their allies who have shown up to confront this anti-Black racism. Recently, they have attacked people with cars and other vehicles and there have been several shootings with one person killed. There have been assaults of protestors committed by far-right wing people armed with baseball bats and other weapons. They have shown their willingness to commit violence because time-and-time again, the police has not stopped them. Officers are very slow to apprehend them if they have done so at all. They know they can be violent because the police are on their side and Donald Trump and Barr have sanctioned what they’re doing.”
An FBI affidavit points out that the plotters seemed to be motivated at least in part by their belief that state governments, including Michigan’s, were violating the Constitution. Militia members were and are opposed to stay-at-home orders, limitations of public movement and other restrictions, and in response, the plotters talked about targeting police officers in their homes, blowing up Whitmer’s country home and kidnapping her.
“There has been a disturbing increase in anti-government rhetoric and the re-emergence of groups that embrace extremist ideologies,” said Nessel in a statement announcing the charges. “These groups often seek to recruit new members by seizing on a moment of civil unrest and using it to advance their agenda of self-reliance and armed resistance. This is more than just political disagreement or passionate advocacy, some of these groups’ mission is simply to create chaos and inflict harm upon others.”
In a news conference after the arrests, Whitmer reiterated that she had made “tough choices to keep our state safe.” And she placed the problem squarely on Trump.
“When our leaders speak, their words matter. They carry weight,” she said. “When our leaders meet with, encourage, or fraternize with domestic terrorists, they legitimize their actions, and they are complicit.” Trump, she said, “refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups like these two Michigan militia groups” and told one far-right group to “stand back and stand by.”
With less than a month before the presidential election, federal and local law enforcement officials are watching closely and are ready to stamp out any flare up of politically motivated violence by domestic terrorists.

Eutaw City Council certifies municipal elections; approves $70,000 + in CARES funds for EMS equipment

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, at 12 noon, the Eutaw City Council met to certify the municipal run-off election held Tuesday, October 6, 2020. Mrs. Mattie Atkins, Eutaw Municipal Election Official, presented the Resolutions and Certificates of Election attesting to the process that confirmed the final number of votes for each candidate, declaring the respective winners for mayor and council members. The current council members and mayor signed all Resolutions and Certificates.
Mrs. Atkins acknowledge the assistance of Mrs. Johnnie Knott and Eutaw staff who provided invaluable assistance. Mayor Raymond Steele also offered special appreciation to Mrs. Atkins and Mrs. Knott for their service.
The Eutaw City Officials will be sworn in prior to their first official meeting in November.
The council approved a budget of $2,000 for the inauguration ceremonies.
The Eutaw City Council met in its regular 2nd Tuesday monthly meeting, following the certification. Mayor Raymond Steele did not remain for the City Council meeting. Mayor Pro Tem LaJeffery Carpenter presided.
The council approved approximately $ 68,000 in CARES funds to purchase two Life Pak 15 Defibrillators with consideration of purchasing a multiple year service contract for the equipment at $2,000 per year. The federal CARES money must be spent by December 31, 2020. Eutaw EMS Director Nick Wilson reported that the Eutaw Ambulance Service now has six Federally Registered Para Medics – three full time and three part time.
Councilman Joe Powell asked the council to consider the bid for constructing a storm shelter in Branch Heights. The only bid submitted was for $95, 495 for a shelter with a 96 capacity. The item was tabled. The council commented that the bid process for the shelter could re-open.
The council approved a request from Katie and James Powell for a daycare center in Branch Heights, with the necessary documentation from the Fire Marshall.
The council announced that Eutaw Police Chief, Derick Coleman submitted his letter of retirement effective October 30, 2020. Two additional Eutaw police officers have resigned: Assistant Police Chief Rodriquez Jones effective October 15 and Officer Christopher Gregory effective October 6. Councilman Carpenter stated that Sheriff Jonathan Benison has agreed to assist until the Eutaw Police Force is rebuilt.
The council agreed that inventory lists of city equipment from all supervisors must to be submitted by 4:00 pm Tuesday, October 20.
The council agreed to secure quotes for improvements to the park behind city hall.
On the recommendation of the city attorney the council approved payment of the John Darden claim. The attorney reported that the John and Jane McGee claim has been turned over to the insurance company.

Terminated employees in Sheriff Department continue to report to work, drive county vehicles

The Greene County Commission held its regular monthly meeting, Tuesday, October 13, 2020, since Monday, October, 12 was a federal holiday. Early in the commission’s meeting, Commissioner Lester Brown again stated his concerns regarding the employees from the Sheriff’s Department, who were layed-off on September 30, 2020 and continue to report to work and drive county vehicles. Reportedly, through various written and verbal communications, the Commission had informed Sheriff Jonathan Benison that his additional employees, supported by bingo funds, would be layed-off unless the Sheriff provided the necessary payroll payments at the beginning of each quarter of 2020-2021, as well as reimburse the county the back pay due for the same employees.
“We are allowing the sheriff to put the county in danger, as well as giving those employees false hope that they are still employed,” Brown stated.
At the commission’s work session held October 7, several commissioners raised those same concerns regarding the terminated employees continuing to report to work in the Sheriff’s Department. At Commissioner Chairman Allen Turner’s request for guidance, Attorney Hank Sanders, advised that the commission should consider taking appropriate steps of informing the county’s insurance agency that letters have been sent to the terminated employees regarding their last day of employment; and that letters have been sent informing these former employees that they must not drive county vehicles.
The commission approved a contract adjustment for CFO, Macaroy Underwood. Underwood’s contract provided for a monthly compensation of $7,000 beginning with the fiscal year of 2020-2021.
In other business, the commission acted on the following:
Received the financial report presented by Mrs. Brenda Burke and approved the payment of claims.
Approved a resolution for spreading and/or grading material for Greene County Volunteer Fire Departments.
Approved the 2020-2021 bid tabulations for treated timber, metal pipe, plastic pipe, petroleum products and aggregates.
Approved roofing repair from Holland Roofing.
Approved contracts for Digital Information System; Delta Computer Systems, Inc.; Alabama Computer Systems, Inc.
Approved travel for employees.

Stamps wins $1.95 million jury award for Cassandra Jordan, a Boligee resident in car accident

A Greene County civil jury awarded a Boligee woman $1,950,000.00 on Friday, October 2, 2020 after she was seriously injured in a 2017 automobile accident with a Hi-Yield Logging truck. Cassandra Jordan, who was represented by John T. Stamps III of The Black Belt Law Group and Taylor T. Perry of the law firm of Manley, Traeger, Perry, Stapp and Compton in Demopolis, sustained a herniated disc in her back when her automobile was struck by a log truck.
“I am very proud the jury saw through the unwarranted attacks on Cassandra and made a just award for Cassandra. I will always fight the good fight for the people of the Black Belt like Cassandra Jordan” Stamps said.
“The jury’s award is just because Cassandra will have to deal with pain and suffering for the rest of her life. I trust the judgment of the jury in this case” Perry said.
The Defendant, Hi-Yield Logging, L.L.C. was represented by the law firm of Griess, Shaw and Willingham of Eutaw and attorney Josh Arnold of Shelby County, Alabama. A Greene County civil jury awarded a Boligee woman $1,950,000.00 on Friday, October 2, 2020 after she was seriously injured in a 2017 automobile accident with a Hi-Yield Logging truck. Cassandra Jordan, who was represented by John T. Stamps III of The Black Belt Law Group and Taylor T. Perry of the law firm of Manley, Traeger, Perry, Stapp and Compton in Demopolis, sustained a herniated disc in her back when her automobile was struck by a log truck.
“I am very proud the jury saw through the unwarranted attacks on Cassandra and made a just award for Cassandra. I will always fight the good fight for the people of the Black Belt like Cassandra Jordan” Stamps said. “The jury’s award is just because Cassandra will have to deal with pain and suffering for the rest of her life. I trust the judgment of the jury in this case” Perry said.
The Defendant, Hi-Yield Logging, L.L.C. was represented by the law firm of Griess, Shaw and Willingham of Eutaw and attorney Josh Arnold of Shelby County, Alabama.
Stamps said, “ It is likely that Hi-Yield Logging will appeal this verdict. But we are equally confident that we will win the appeal.

Newswire : African teens on World stage demand action on climate change

Pictured at left is Ayakha Melithafa

Oct. 12, 2020 (GIN) – Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has at least two African partners stepping up on the global stage and telling world leaders to “wake up” and recognize the dangers to women and girls of climate change.
 
In a speech broadcast as part of the Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture, Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate tied climate change to poverty, hunger, disease, conflict and violence.
 
“See the danger we are in,” Nakate urged the leaders at the Tutu peace lecture.
 
The lecture is given every year to coincide with the South African Nobel Peace Prize winner’s birthday. Tutu turned 89 on Oct. 7. The pre-recorded speeches, not given in person this year because of the pandemic, called for “climate justice globally.”
 
Nakate’s speech focused on the African continent, which contributes the least to climate change but stands to suffer its effects the most.
 
“Climate change is a nightmare that affects every sector of our lives,” she said. “How can we eradicate poverty without looking at this crisis? How can we achieve zero hunger if climate change is leaving millions of people with nothing to eat? We are going to see disaster after disaster, challenge after challenge, suffering after suffering … if nothing is done about this.”
 
“Leave your comfort zones and see the danger we are in and do something about it. This is a matter of life and death,” she called out the world leaders.
 
There were also messages from South African climate activist Ayakha Melithafa and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who praised the younger generation’s work.
 
South African Melithafa is from a small farming town in the Eastern Cape which is also crippled by drought. She joined “Project 90 by 2030”, a social and environmental justice organization and now works as a recruitment official and spokesperson for the African Climate Alliance.
 
“We do need more people of color in the fight against climate change,” Melithafa told Daily Maverick, a South African news publication. “I want people to know that not only privileged people are aware of climate change. The privileged people might be protesting because the quality of the water is getting bad, but people of color have been drinking that water all along, and they feel lucky just to have water,” the young teen said.

Newswire: MLB great Bob Gibson, Cardinals pitcher, dies at 84

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia


Robert Gibson (born Pack Robert Gibson — in his father’s honor — November 9, 1935 – October 2, 2020) played his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals. Gibson was arguably the greatest African American hurler in baseball history and certainly the greatest pitcher ever to play with the Cardinals. He announced in July 2019 that he had pancreatic cancer and died on October 2 at 84.
Ironically, Gibson’s death came 52 years to the day he dominated the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series, striking out a record 17 batters. All but four of those batters went down on “swings and misses.”
Over 17 electrifying big-league seasons, Gibson won 251 games, compiled a career 2.91 earned run average and 3,117 strikeouts – not counting the World Series record 17 K’s against the Detroit Tigers in the 1968 Fall Classic.
“Bob Gibson quite literally changed the game of baseball. He was a fierce competitor and beloved by Cardinal Nation,” the Cardinals wrote in a message posted on the organization’s official Twitter feed. “We will miss him dearly.”
Elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981, Gibson earned a profusion of awards, including two Cy Youngs, two World Series Most Valuable Player trophies, nine Gold Gloves and a league Most Valuable Player award.
His best year came in 1968 when the hard-throwing right-hander turned in one of the greatest seasons ever produced from a starting pitcher. Gibson went 22-9, boasting a surreal 1.12 earned run average (ERA). He recorded 28 complete games and 13 shutouts.
Gibson’s performance served as the catalyst for Major League Baseball’s decision to shorten the pitcher’s mound by five inches in height, lowering it from 15 inches to 10 inches.
On August 14, 1971, Gibson recorded his only career no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates. During that game Gibson fanned 10 Bucs, leading the Cardinals to an 11-0 victory. “This was the greatest game I’ve pitched anywhere,” Gibson declared at the time. “I didn’t think I’d ever throw a no-hitter.”
Born November 9, 1935 in Omaha, Nebraska, Gibson overcame childhood illness to excel in youth sports, particularly basketball and baseball. At Creighton University, he starred on the hardwood and later signed with the Harlem Globetrotters.
After briefly He is regarded as one of the most intimidating pitchers to ever take the mound, known for pounding the inside part of the plate and, at times, staring down sluggers who believed he had intentionally brushed them back.
“Don’t dig in against Bob Gibson; he’ll knock you down,” Home Run King Hank Aaron reportedly warned Los Angeles Dodgers star Dusty Baker.
“He’d knock down his own grandmother if she dared to challenge him. Don’t stare at him, don’t smile at him, don’t talk to him. He doesn’t like it. If you happen to hit a home run, don’t run too slow, don’t run too fast. If you happen to want to celebrate, get in the tunnel first. And if he hits you, don’t charge the mound, because he’s a Gold Glove boxer.”
Before Gibson won his first Cy Young Award in 1968, Dodgers ace Don Newcombe stood as the only Black player to earn such honors.
Vida Blue of the Oakland A’s, Ferguson Jenkins of the Chicago Cubs, Dwight Gooden of the New York Mets, CC Sabathia of the Cleveland Indians, and David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays would later join Newcombe and Gibson as African Americans who’ve won the award.
Gibson stood with other athletes, liked playing under contract to both the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team and the St. Louis Cardinals organization (the Cardinals offered him a contract in 1957), Gibson decided to continue playing only baseball professionally.
Gibson emerged as a raw, but immensely talented rookie who would not be denied stardom. He became a full-time starting pitcher in July 1961 and earned his first All-Star appearance in 1962. Gibson won two of three games he pitched in the 1964 World Series, then won 20 games in a season for the first time in 1965. Gibson also pitched three complete game victories in the 1967 World Series.
Gibson stood with athletes, like Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, and others who expressed strong support for the civil rights movement.
He credited the Cardinals for the team’s diversity and praised them for not forcing Black players to live in segregated housing during the baseball season.
After retiring as a player in 1975, Gibson later served as pitching coach for his former teammate Joe Torre. At one time a special instructor coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, Gibson was later selected for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999. Gibson was the author of the memoir Pitch by Pitch, with Lonnie Wheeler.
Gibson’s death came weeks after the death of his former teammate and fellow Hall of Fame member Lou Brock, and one month after another baseball legend and former Gibson rival, Tom Seaver of the New York Mets.
“Bob Gibson is the luckiest pitcher I ever saw,” retired Cardinal catcher Tim McCarver once said. “He always pitches when the other team doesn’t score any runs.”
Gibson is survived by three children: Anette, Chris and Renee, and his widow, Wendy.