When a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest pitchers of all-time wants to speak with you, you make it a point to make that conversation happen. And that’s exactly what Jack Flaherty did this past Saturday with Bob Gibson.
“I had just gotten word, he wanted to have a minute with me,” shared Flaherty, who immediately headed down to the clubhouse. “I came in here and was looking for him, I didn’t see him. and then saw on tv he was outside, so I went out there to say hi to him. Anytime you get a chance to talk with somebody like that, you try to take advantage of it.”
The two connected in the dugout and were able to speak at some length before the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame ceremonies began.
“He didn’t try to say too much,” said Flaherty. “We just talked about how he went about things. Where his mindset was at when he got to certain points. But we just talked about different things here and there.”
Flaherty enters tonight with 134 strikeouts–tops amongst on the team and amongst all National League rookie pitchers. His 154 strikeouts in his first 26 games is the most ever by a Cardinal. Many of those have come as a result of pitching inside.
“He said keep doing that,” acknowledged Flaherty. “Keep doing it with effectiveness. His big thing was just be aggressive and give it all you got every time out, so I’ve got that to take with me.”
Earlier this season, Gibson also offered some advice and shared pitch grips with Luke Weaver and this was not the first time he had met Flaherty, having talked in Spring Training. But this was the longest of their conversations and the Hall of Famer has been known to text his thoughts along from time to time. That would be more than okay with the rookie.
“Hopefully, going forward we can be,” smiled Flaherty. “In the past, we haven’t been but now that I got some time with him, you never know what can happen going forward.”
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports