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From Ghetto to Glory

PDF As a young Cardinal fan during the the late 1960's and onwards, Bob Gibson was my favorite player — by a long shot.

While still a grade-schooler, I devoured this book about Gibson written in collaboration with Phil Pepe, reading it front and back multiple times. I don't think it was an accident that knowing more about him, his personal struggles with racism in American society and ultimately becoming one of the greatest pitchers in the history of baseball was framed to me by reading this book. Along with the integration that occurred in Green Bay due to the Packers winning and championship teams under Vince Lombardi ("He treated us all the same — like dogs." — Henry Jordan). I first identified with the sting of racism through my sports heroes.

Of course, it is many years later and I lost track of that book somewhere along the way on the road of life. Undoubtedly, it probably wouldn't stand up to the memories connected to it. But it made a huge impression on me, nonetheless, and did its job at the time. How bad could it have been?

As a postscript, an old friend of mine knew that I was a huge Gibson fan and managed to secure an autographed baseball signed by him as a gift to me. It currently sits prominently and proudly in my "sports shrine" of Cardinal and Green Bay Packer memorabilia and artifacts.

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