Gibson was born in Omaha, Nebraska on November 9, 1935. At a very young age, Gibson excelled at both basketball and baseball. He played basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters briefly but later decided to play only baseball professionally. He played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1959-1975. He was given the Nick-names "Gibby" and "Hoot". Gibson played in the 1964 World Series, 1967 World Series and the 1968 World Series. He retired from baseball in 1975 but returned to baseball in 1981 after he accepted a coaching job with Joe Torre. Torre was the coach of the New York Mets. In 1982 Torre was let go by the Mets. Torre went on to coach the Atlanta Braves where he would retire Gibson as a pitching coach. Gibson's jersey was retired by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1981. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame that same year.