RELEASE: Cardinals launch #completegamer campaign to honor Bob Gibson

The St. Louis Cardinals are using today’s 59th Anniversary of Bob Gibson’s first Major League game to launch the #CompleteGamer fan engagement campaign to honor the first-ballot Hall of Famer who played his entire 17-year career with the Cardinals picking up more career complete games (255) than his franchise leading number of victories (251).

“Bob Gibson is one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history,” said Bill DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals. “His tenacity, legendary competitiveness and unrivaled commitment to excellence can be summed up in one word – he was the ultimate ‘gamer.’”

In sports, a player who consistently puts forth maximum effort and achieves at the highest level is referred to as a “gamer.”  Renowned for his fierce competitive nature and intimidating presence on the mound, Gibson is the living embodiment of a “gamer.”  Gibson is the Cardinals all-time leader in innings pitched (3885.1), wins (251), strikeouts (3117), complete games (255) and shutouts (56).  During his 17-year career with the club, Gibson won two N.L. Cy Young Awards (1968, 1970), the N.L. MVP Award (1968), nine Gold Glove Awards, two World Series MVP Awards (1964, 1967), hit 24 home runs and was named an All-Star nine times.  His 1.12 ERA in 1968 remains the lowest for a single-season in Major League history.  He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.

“When you learn more about Gibson’s personal story you understand that the ‘Complete Gamer’ moniker extends beyond his on-field heroics,” said Ron Watermon, Vice-President of Communications. “As fans, we are all drawn to players like Bob Gibson for what they accomplish on the field, but it is their humanity that we truly connect with.  Our goal with this campaign is to share Gibson’s extraordinary story with multiple generations and provide all of our fans with the opportunity to express their appreciation and affection for Gibby in a way that he can fully enjoy.”

The team is planning a variety of special #CompleteGamer promotions throughout the season to keep fans engaged in the campaign.  As part of the campaign, fans will be asked to share examples of people that they know who are a #CompleteGamer in their own respective field or vocation.  Whether it’s a teacher, nurse, volunteer, musician, athlete, etc., the Cardinals want fans to nominate individuals they believe epitomize Gibson’s unrivalled commitment to excellence, ability to overcome challenges and demonstrated drive to achieve at the highest level to be the best that he or she can be.  Fans can nominate someone through an online submission form at cardinals.com/Gibson.

Each week the team will highlight at least one fan #CompleteGamer and they will receive a special Gibson autographed item from the team.

To try to reach a new generation of fans, the team has released a #CompleteGamer song today that serves as a theme song for the campaign and that seeks to convey Bob Gibson’s extraordinary life story in a musical style reminiscent of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton by using hip hop accompanied by powerful music performed by an orchestra.  The Cardinals hired Adam Maness, a composer recommended by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, to develop the song.  Maness worked with soul singer Brian Owens who oversees Compositions for L.I.F.E. (Leadership. Innovation. Faith. Excellence), an innovative therapeutic songwriting program that works with talented urban youth.

The Compositions for L.I.F.E. students wrote and performed the lyrics of the #CompleteGamer song using Bob Gibson’s 1968 autobiography “From Ghetto to Glory” as their source of inspiration.  The song is available for download for free to fans at cardinals.com/Gibson.

Throughout the season, as the team honors Gibson with the #CompleteGamer campaign, they will also be raising awareness and money for the Compositions for L.I.F.E. program to continue their work with urban youth.  Fans can learn more about the campaign at cardinals.com/Gibson and they can celebrate Gibson and join the conversation on social media with #CompleteGamer.

The Cardinals Care Bob Gibson Fund Benefiting Compositions for L.I.F.E.

Cardinals Care, the Cardinals’ charitable foundation that supports children, has established a special fund in the name of Bob Gibson to help support the Compositions for L.I.F.E. (Leadership. Innovations. Faith.  Excellence), a therapeutic songwriting education program of L.I.F.E. Arts Inc. that develops the leaders of today, where they live, using the arts with a specific focus on urban youth.  American soul singer and Executive Director of L.I.F.E. Arts Inc., Brian Owens, had the Composition for L.I.F.E. students write and perform the lyrics of the #CompleteGamer song after having the students read Bob Gibson’s 1968 autobiography “From Ghetto to Glory.”

Cardinals Care was established to give fans a way of teaming up with Cardinals players and the organization to help children in our community – both on and off the baseball field. Since it was established in 1997, Cardinals Care has distributed nearly $23 million to support St. Louis area non-profit youth organizations and built 23 youth ball fields in local disadvantaged neighborhoods.  2018 marks the 15th year of Cardinals Care’s innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls and other equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,000 kids who participate in the program each year.  Fans can team up with the Cardinals to help children in our community by donating to Cardinals Care at cardinals.com/donate.  Fans can donate to the Cardinals Care Bob Gibson fund directly at cardinals.com/Gibson

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