Joe Gibbon: Former LHP several teams, 1960 World Series Champs Pirates, also Drafted by the Boston Celtics


1. Could you tell us your story on dropping down?

Guess I had always thrown that way, 3/4 or sidearm. When I got to pro baseball they tried to get me to throw more over the top but when I did my ball was flat and had no movement from there.  It's a round surface trying to hit a round object and the flatter the baseball is the easier it is for the hitter to do just that. I was actually a basketballl/baseball player in college at Ole Miss. My Sr year I averaged 30.0ppg and was drafted by the Boston Celtics. But I had always wanted to be a professional baseball player. Grew up listening to Harry Carry on the radio and knew who all the players were.  So I signed to play professional baseball. We didn't make the same money they do now, back in 1960 the minimum salary was $7000per year. It helped when we won the World Series in 1960 we got an $8000 bonus. 


2. What are some of the advantages you had from your arm angle?

The movement I'd get sometimes from sidearm it would be all over but that makes it difficult to hit, compared to when I was over the top it was straight as an arrow. 

3. If you didn't drop down, do you think you would have had the same success?

I doubt it. The movement that I got with the lower arm angle helped me be a successful pitcher. I remember in Spring Training pitchers used to have to throw batting practice to the hitters. They used to hate facing me because they couldn't get their timing ready for the season. They would rather face a catcher that was throwing it right down the middle at perfect bp speed. 

 4. What would you tell someone debating on changing their arm angle?

You have to do what feels natural. Throw from your natural arm angle. Do you what you need to do to stay in the game. 

5. Are there any mechanical tips that you'd give to someone throwing sidearm/submarine?

No it just came naturally for me. 


6. What pitches did you throw?

Fastball, slider, forkball.  I made the Major Leagues with two pitches than mixed in the forkball later on in my career. I had thrown in it in High School but then not again till I was older. 


7. How did you pitch to lefties/righties?

Lefties I just went after them and trusted my movement. Righties I struggled with them like every LHP. As a lefty pitching to a righty you need to establish you can come inside. I struggled with my movement that when tried to come inside it would come tailing back in towards middle of the plate. 


 8. Lastly what was your favorite part about pitching from down there?

Plain and simple, it was how I got hitters out.