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Indians sign son of Hall of Famer

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Chris Gibson, the son of former Cardinals great Bob Gibson, will play at Southeast.

By Marty Mishow ~ Southeast Missourian

Southeast Missouri State University's baseball team has added a player with some famous Cardinals bloodlines.

Bob Gibson's son -- yes, THE Bob Gibson -- will be playing for the Indians this coming season, Southeast coach Mark Hogan announced on Monday.

Robert Chris Gibson -- he goes by the first name Chris -- recently signed a letter of intent with Southeast and is beginning classes this week.

"I'm looking forward to playing at Southeast," Chris Gibson said.

But before Southeast followers begin dreaming of amazing pitching performances from Chris Gibson -- along the lines of his Hall of Fame father, the former Cardinals' great -- there are a couple of things Indian fans should know.

First of all, Chris Gibson is not a pitcher; his normal positions are either first base or in the outfield. And, although his statistics were solid, he didn't even bat .300 last season as a sophomore at Pratt (Kan.) Community College.

Hogan, however, thinks the best just might be yet to come for Gibson, who he believes is loaded with potential. Hogan is looking forward to working with Southeast's late signee who the coach was only recently turned on to by Pratt coach Jeff Brewer.

"Jeff is a friend of mine and he told me that Chris is still kind of raw, but he has a huge upside," Hogan said. "He's a work in progress, like all our kids, but I really like him. He seems sincere, and he seems to really like baseball and wants to work at it. He's just a very athletic kid, and when you look at him, he'll fill out a uniform."

Said Brewer, "Chris' best baseball is still in front of him. I think it's a very good, solid pickup for coach Hogan. I'm partial, of course, I've had him for two years, and he's just a quality young man, a great guy."

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Gibson batted .298 last season, with four home runs, 11 doubles, 18 runs scored, 17 runs batted in and 13 stolen bases in 15 attempts. He made the Region VI all-tournament team in the championship series. What Hogan perhaps was most impressed with is that he struck out just 10 times in 161 at-bats.

"That's what really jumps out at you, the contact he makes," Hogan said.

Gibson, who was born and raised in Nebraska -- his father's home state -- acknowledged that living in his dad's shadow can at times be a bit daunting but he handles it as best as possible.

"I don't play the same position, so that helps a little bit, but there will always be expectations and I realize that," said Gibson, who was drafted in the 47th round out of high school by the Cardinals. "Everybody expects a world class athlete, like my dad, but I'm just who I am."

Gibson, who was born after his father retired, said his dad has been nothing but supportive throughout his son's career.

"He's always been there to help me out, and my parents enjoy taking visits to see me play," he said. "They came to a lot of my games at Pratt, and I'm sure they'll come to a lot of my games here."

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