Monday, June 18, 2007


The Frontier League has three .400 hitters at the one-quarter pole in its 96-game season, but it seems a pretty good bet one of the most scrutinized players in the 27-and-under league is rookie Chris Gibson, who is battling to get back to the coveted .300 plateau.

Chris Gibson is the son of Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson, who also was capable of swinging the bat during his days with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Young Gibson, a lefthanded-hitting designated hitter and occasional outfielder, is at a respectable .289 while helping the Gateway Grizzlies (Sauget, IL) and not far from St. Louis's Gateway Arch, take command of the Western Division race. Phil Warren's Grizzlies have built a six-game advantage in winning 18 of their first 25 games.

Gibson, a 6-foot-2, 210 pounder, has not shown much power to date with four doubles and seven runs batted in in 22 games, but he has had two torrid stretches. He went 7-for-14 over one four-game stretch, then blazed away at a .550 pace (11-20) in another seven-game period which zoomed his average to .407. He had four multi-hit games in that span, including a 4-for-4, four-RBI effort at River City (O'Fallon, MO) June 5.

"He is an exceptional athlete," Warren praised, when Gibson first signed. The Cardinals drafted the Bellevue, NE product out of high school, but he opted to attend college, first at Pratt (KS) Community College and later at Southeast Missouri State.

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