Saturday, December 3, 2022

Mississippi’s Greatest Athletes: Hickory’s Joe Gibbon


Joe Gibbon was a two-sport star at Ole Miss in baseball and basketball before focusing on a professional career in baseball and becoming a World Series champion.

Joe Gibbon  Photo Courtesy of Mississippi's Greatest Athletes
Joe Gibbon
Photo Courtesy of Mississippi’s Greatest Athletes

The Hickory native, born in 1935, played at Ole Miss from 1953-57. He was named All-American in basketball in 1956, and All-Southeastern Conference in basketball in 1956 and 1957. He pitched the Rebels into the College World Series in 1956 and also slammed a home run in a CWS victory over Bradley.

He was named the SEC’s Most Valuable Player in basketball in 1957, and he scored 1,601 points in his basketball career. In 1957 he averaged 30 points per game, which was second in the nation.

In baseball, Gibbon was named All-SEC in 1957, and that is the sport he chose to continue after college.

He was on the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 1960 World Series champion team, and he played with that franchise from 1960-66. He was 4-2 for the World Champion Pirates his rookie season and pitched two games, without a decision, in the World Series victory over the New York Yankees.

After that, Gibbon spent time with the San Francisco Giants, the Cincinnati Reds, and the Houston Astros through 1972.


Courtesy of Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum director Rick Cleveland, author of Mississippi’s Greatest Athletes. Cleveland can be reached at