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Gibson's Last Stand: The Rise, Fall, and Near Misses of the St. Louis Cardinals, 1969-1975 Hardcover – September 1, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of Missouri; First Edition, 1st Edition edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826219500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826219503
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,331,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Every baseball fan should read Gibson's Last Stand. Not only does it give you in-depth knowledge about one of the greatest righthanded pitchers in the history of the game, but also gives great insight into the Cardinal decades of the '60s and '70s.  The book is a great read, and I enjoyed it very much." - Whitey Herzog

"Accessible to readers of all backgrounds, Gibson's Last Stand is highly recommended especially for sports biography collections and Cardinals fans." - Midwest Book Review

"Even if you are not a St. Louis Cardinals fan, this book should be in your library of solid baseball history." - The Past in Review

About the Author

Doug Feldmann is an Associate Professor in the College of Education at Northern Kentucky University and a former scout for the Cincinnati Reds, the Seattle Mariners, and the San Diego Padres.  He is the author of nine books, including El Birdos: The 1967 and 1968 St. Louis Cardinals.  He lives near Cincinnati.

More About the Author

Doug Feldmann is a professor in the College of Education at Northern Kentucky University and a former scout for the Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners, and San Diego Padres. He completed his Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies at Indiana University, his master's degree in Secondary Education at Rockford University, and his bachelor's degree in English and History at Northern Illinois University (where he played baseball and was a walk-on running back on the football team).

Dr. Feldmann has written extensively on baseball history and the sport's sociological impact on urban and small-town America. A multiple-time nominee for the Casey Award and the Seymour Medal from the Society for American Baseball Research, Dr. Feldmann is married and lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Visit his Facebook page at

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Larry Underwood on November 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Having appeared in three World Series engagements between 1964 and 1968, the St Louis Cardinals seemed to be a good bet to make a return engagement to the Fall Classic prior to the start of the 1969 season. Instead, it would be the Miracle Mets representing the National League in the World Series, knocking off the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles in five games.

The decline of the St Louis Cardinals had begun, and author Doug Feldmann has compiled a fascinating perspective of the team's performance - both on and off the field - during the waning years of Bob Gibson's Hall of Fame career, which ended at the conclusion of the 1975 season. Although the Cardinals came close to division championships in '73 and '74, the reality was they were a mediocre team playing in a relatively weak division. The winning culture from the '60s had morphed into a sullen group of lackadaisical players in the '70s. The chasm between ownership and players, which began with August Busch's tirade against the team prior to the start of the '69 season, only worsened with the trades of pitchers Steve Carlton and Jerry Ruess after the 1971 season.

Sadly, Gibson's "last stand" began a period of disappointing performance from a team that had been accustomed to winning. Feldmann does a wonderful job of chronicling what went wrong with the Cardinals - from their Game Seven loss in the '68 World Series to the conclusion of Gibson's storied career.

This book sheds a great deal of light on many unanswered questions over that period, providing readers with the anatomy of a team in decline.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on October 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book contains only 210 pages of text, but I felt as though it was much longer due to the great detail covering the years 1969 through 1975 of the St. Louis Cardinals and their stalwart on the mound, Bob Gibson. This is not a game-by-game rehash of these seasons, but brings to life Redbirds' players in addition to those on other teams, and the incidents that took place in the United States during these years. Included are numerous anecdotes I haven't read before in other books. In addition to Gibson other prominent names in the book are players Curt Flood, Lou Brock, Tim McCarver, Ferguson Jenkins, Jerry Reuss, Steve Carlton, and a number of supernumeraries from both the Cardinals and other teams. Manager Red Schoendienst, Owner August "Gussie" Busch, announcers Harry Caray and Jack Buck, and General Manager Vaughn "Bing" Devine also play a prominent part.

Some detail is provided regarding the trade of Curt Flood to the Philadelphia Phillies following the 1969 season. This in addition to the players strike and the apparent lack of gratitude in the eyes of Owner August Busch caused rancor between the owners and players. Temper tantrums of Busch resulted in the loss of quality pitchers Jerry Reuss and Steve Carlton which may very well have resulted in lost post-season play for the Cardinals. Mr. Busch's rant against the players in spring training of 1969 led to a widening chasm between the owner and Gibson to the extent that Gibson never even mentioned Busch in his Hall of Fame acceptance speech.

Despite being a fan of the Detroit Tigers the Cardinals have always been my favorite team in the National League especially during the 1960s and the years covered in this book. This book brought back a lot of memories to those years I faithfully listened to KMOX radio with my transistor radio perched atop our wall phone to use as an antennae. If you like the Cardinals this is a must book for you to have in your library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pugwash on January 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When Bob Gibson was elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame, reporters descended upon him for a quote. Typically, sparse with quotable material with reporters, Gibson said something to the effect of "I thought about being elected on my first year of eligibility, and would have downright angry had I not."

Gibson left all his talent and desire on the field during his brilliant career. Few have represented any uniform with more passion or fight or desire than did Bob Gibson with the Cardinal Red. Consider the fact that the baseball rules committee changed the size of the mound and the size of the strike zone after Gibson's historic 1968 season.

This book picks up in 1969, after the Cards lost in seven games in the World Series to Detroit in the 1968 World Series. the team began a reshaping that would leave it almost indistinguishable over the rest of Gibson's career. Before free agency, the Cardinals began to trade away, release and sell the integral parts of the 1967 and 1968 World Series teams, leaving future Hall of Famers Gibson and Lou Brock to lead these teams. Gibson battled through aging and injuries to continue to post stalwart numbers.

Though little is said of his personality, or his relationships with his teammates, it is implied tht his leadership came through his fierce competitiveness.

The Cardinals have had many faces of the franchise over the years. the Gas House Gang, and the oft mentioned (in this book) Dizzy Dean come to mind in the 1930's, Stan Musial into the 1960's, and Lou Brock through the 1970's. But Gibson'sgreatness rivals all these players. His dominance, his pride and will to win have been almost unparalleled.

For the baby boomer, this book brings back a treasure trove of memories about the players who wore the Cardinal Red during this time frame, and about the turbulent and unique times of baseball in this era.

I thoroughly enjoyed this read.
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