On this date in 1975, according to the Baseball-Reference.com Bullpen entry for today:
On the final pitch of his Hall of Fame career, Cardinals great Bob Gibson gives up a grand slam to Pete LaCock. It will be LaCock’s only bases-loaded homer of his career.
I have heard this fact many times–it’s a sad thing.
But a fellow on Twitter named Al Yellon (@bleedcubbieblue) pointed out to me that this “fact” is not a “fact” at all.
Take a look at the box score for the game.
In the 7th inning of the game, here’s how it went:
Bob Gibson replaces Larry Lintz (PR) pitching and batting 9th Fly ball Walk Single Walk Ground out Wild pitch Intentional walk Home run (by Pete LaCock) Ground out (end of inning)
Mike Wallace replaced Bob Gibson to start the top of the 8th.
So, the grand slam clearly did not come on the last pitch of Gibson’s career, since he recorded a ground out following the home run.
What gives? Why does this story about Gibson persist when it is so obviously false?