William Joel Gibson, Sr.
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 198 lb.
- School Wilmington College, North Carolina State University
- High School Eugene Ashley High School
Starting pitcher Joel Gibson played in the minor leagues from 1961 to 1962 and from 1964 to 1966 in the Philadelphia Phillies (1961-1962, 1964) and Chicago White Sox (1965-1966) systems. He reached Triple-A in three seasons.
Gibson was 13-4 in two seasons at UNC Wilmington, then 14-6 at NC State, winning All-Atlantic Coast Conference twice. He split his first pro summer between the Magic Valley Cowboys (8-6, 4.19, 141 K in 116 IP) and Williamsport Grays (1-0, 6.75 in 2 G). He was 9th in the Pioneer League in strikeouts. In 1962, he was 12-11 with 12 complete games and 3 shutouts in 30 starts split between the Williamsport Grays (12 G, 7-3 W-L, 2.54 ERA) and Triple-A Buffalo Bisons (18 G, 5-8 W-L, 3.21 ERA). In 207 innings, he allowed only 169 hits and struck out 186 batters. He tied for 5th in the Phillies chain in wins, tied Gary Kroll for second in complete games (two behind Ray Culp), led in strikeouts (3 over Culp) but was third in walks (102).
Joel pitched in the Puerto Rican League with the Arecibo Lobos following the 1962 season. In January 1963, returning from a picnic, he was injured in an auto accident. The driver, José Urdaz (a director of the Arecibo club), was killed - he had suffered a heart attack and ran off the road into a stone culvert. Teammate Dennis Bennett, sitting in the front seat, was thrown through the windshield and suffered a broken left ankle. Gibson's wife and Phillies pitching coach Al Widmar were shaken up but not badly hurt. Gibson broke the humerus in his left (non-pitching) arm.
"They had to put a steel pin through my shoulder socket to keep it in place," Gibson reported about a year later. "The shoulder gave me more trouble than the arm." He pitched just once during all of 1963, an in-season exhibition game against the Minnesota Twins on August 22nd - but he spent all season traveling with the Phillies, watching from the bench. For most of the season, he was on the disabled list, making periodic trips to be evaluated by team physicians. On September 1st, however, he was put on the active list (The Sporting News, September 14, 1963).
In 1964, he was 10-7 with 7 complete games and 2 shutouts in 31 games (27 starts) for the Triple-A Arkansas Travelers.
On November 23, 1964, he was traded as the player to be named later in a deal made between the Phillies and White Sox on October 15th. The transaction sent Gibson and catcher Bill Heath from the Phillies to the White Sox for pitcher Rudy May. He played in the White Sox system through 1966 - reaching Triple-A both years - but was largely unsuccessful. He spent 1965 with the Lynchburg White Sox (2-2, 2.83 in 8 G) and Indianapolis Indians (0-4, 9.00 in 10 G). In 1966, he allowed 11 walks, 16 hits and 9 runs in 13 innings for Indianapolis to end his career.
Overall, Gibson was 33-30 with a 3.75 ERA in 102 games (85 starts).
He also played basketball at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. After baseball, he worked for Piedmont Airways.