San Francisco Giants feature report: Bob Garibaldi – Tale of Two Worlds (Series)

June 1, 2017

MLB, San Francisco Giants

photo by Topps Baseball cards: 1970 Topps Baseball Card of former San Francisco Giant pitcher Bob Garibaldi

Bob Garibaldi – Tale of Two Worlds (Series)

By Tony “The Tiger” Hayes

SAN FRANCISCO–With the College World Series just days away we take a look back at the Bob Garibaldi’s unusual 1962 campaign that saw him star in the College World Series for Santa Clara University and then weeks later appear on the active roster for San Francisco Giants in the world’s World Series.

Will Clark, Jeff Kent, Tim Hudson and Barry Bonds are all veterans of playing in the World Series for the San Francisco Giants and in the College World Series for their respective universities, but in each case each had long gaps between each appearance.

Tim Hudson for instance was in his penultimate season of a long and successful big league career before he appeared in the fall classic.

Garibaldi, just 20 in 1962, did the unheard of, going from a Madison Bumgarner-like iron man performance in the College World Series to staying loose and ready to pitch in Game 7 of the MLB World Series vs. the New York Yankees if needed.

Yet, despite the whirlwind beginning to his professional career, the Stockton born hurler would appear in just 15 major league games over the course of four sporadic seasons (all with the Giants) and never post a big league win.

After a brilliant performance for Santa Clara University in the ’62 college championship, the Giants won a bidding war for the sophomore – beating out the likes of the New York Mets, who who sent skipper Casey Stengel on a recruiting trip to the young hurlers house in a helicopter – to inking the pitcher to a $150,000 “bonus baby” contract.

The club was required to immediately place the 20-year-old on the major league roster. Though not obligated to carry Garibaldi on the World Series active list, they did so any ways, and the hard -throwing righty was in the bullpen when Willie McCovey lined to New York’s Bobby Richardson to end the classic Game 7.

Garibaldi’s ’62 college World Series performance is legendary – setting series records for innings pitched (27.2) and strikeouts (38). Like Mad-Bum did in the Giants 2014 championship run, several times Garibaldi came out of the Broncos bullpen to rescue the team after starting the pervious day. He was the losing pitcher in the championship game to Michigan, but only after coming into the game in the seventh inning and holding the Wolverines hitless for nine innings before being victimized by a misplayed fly ball in the 15th frame.

After making nine appearances for San Francisco in ’62 (all regular season) and a handful in 1963, the big righty would spend most of the next decade in the minors battling arm ailments. Many blamed “over-use” in the college World Series, but Garibaldi maintains he didn’t injure his arm until 1964 when he altered his pitching motion.

Though he never did achieve a big league win, Garibaldi was effective when given a chance to pitch, maintaining a 3.08 ERA in 26.1 innings spread out over four seasons. In his final big league appearance (and only start) he allowed one earned run in five innings vs. the visiting Padres, but was dinged with the defeat in the 9-4 loss (10/1/69).

After retiring from baseball, Garibaldi worked for many years as a WAC basketball referee, among the players games he officiated were future Giants outfielders and collegiate hoopsters Randy Winn (Santa Clara) and Terrell Lowery (Loyola-Marymount).





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