Tales of a Baseball Lifer
by John Gibbons and Greg Oliver, foreword by Josh Donaldson
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Pub Date 04 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 06 Feb 2023
A captivating and candid memoir from one of the most beloved and colorful figures in Toronto Blue Jays history
John Gibbons is one of the most beloved figures in Toronto Blue Jays history. Over 11 years and two separate managerial stints with the team, he endeared himself to fans with his folksy manner and his frequent battles with umpires: “Here comes Gibby!” Winning helped too. Under Gibbons’s management, the Jays made the American League Championship Series in 2015, ending a 22-year playoff drought; then they did it again in 2016. Along the way the team defied odds, won over a nation, and with one iconic flip of a bat produced one of the most iconic moments in MLB history. Now, in his memoir, Gibby shares the story: an on-field career that didn’t pan out, but a managing career that did . . . eventually.
Raised in a military family, he played his first competitive baseball in Newfoundland and Labrador, and, with the family now in San Antonio, Texas, Gibby, a catcher, developed into a first-round draft pick of the New York Mets. While Gibbons only played 18 major league games, he did earn a World Series ring as the 1986 Mets bullpen catcher and knew all the characters from that team, including Doc Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Lenny Dykstra, and Gary Carter. In 1990, Gibby began his journey as a coach and manager. An old teammate, J.P. Ricciardi, hired him to work with the Jays, and he moved his way up the ranks and into the hearts of baseball fans.