Bill Text: MS SC608 | 2019 | Regular Session | Enrolled

Bill Title: Express condolences of the Legislature on the loss of Joe Gibbon of Newton, acclaimed two-sport Mississippi athlete.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Passed) 2019-03-25 - Enrolled Bill Signed [SC608 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2019-SC608-Enrolled.html


2019 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Burton, Carmichael, DeBar, Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd), Jordan

Senate Concurrent Resolution 608

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, in 1957, Joe Gibbon scored more points than college contemporaries Wilt Chamberlain and Elin Baylor.  Three years later, Gibbon helped the Pittsburgh Pirates win baseball's championship, defeating the New York Yankees in the World Series.  Joe Gibbon, one of the greatest multisport athletes in Mississippi history, passed away on February 20, 2019; he was 83 years old; and

     WHEREAS, Joe Gibbon, born in Newton County in the Town of Hickory, was an All-American Basketball Player and an All-SEC Baseball Pitcher for Ole Miss in the mid-1950s.  Later, he played 13 seasons in the Major Leagues and, as a Rookie in 1960, was a contributor to the World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates; and

     WHEREAS, at Ole Miss Gibbon was better known for his basketball skills.  Joe Gibbon, a 6-foot-4 Forward, finished second in the nation in scoring in 1957 with 30.2 points per-game average.  Gibbon averaged a whopping 14 rebounds a game that same season.  Grady Nelson of South Carolina led the nation at 31.2 points per game.  Here's what is more impressive:  Elgin Baylor was next among the nation's scoring leaders at 29.7, followed by Wilt Chamberlain of Kansas at 29.6.  Gibbon was ahead of both Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain!  That's rare company; and

     WHEREAS, Gibbon also played against rare company in the Ole Miss-Mississippi State rivalry when he went against the great All-American Bailey Howell in 1957, who remembered that "Joe could shoot the lights out of the gym.  "He was left-handed and was a really good athlete.  I saw Joe pitch against the Mississippi State Baseball Team and remember he hit one of the longest home runs I had ever seen that day.  We played against him twice my sophomore year," Howell said.  I was in the Top 10 and my teammate, Jim Ashmore, was in the Top 10, as well.  It was amazing that three of the Top-10 scorers in the nation were on the floor at the same time in Mississippi"; and

     WHEREAS, Gibbon was drafted by the Boston Celtics in basketball, despite his insistence beforehand that he planned to play professional baseball.  As a rookie pitching as a starter and in relief, Gibbon had a 4-2 record for the World Champion Pirates.  His World Series check for $8,400.00 was more than his rookie salary of $7,500.00.  In 1961, his second season, he achieved a 13-10 record that included a career-high three shutouts.  Over 13 seasons with the Pirates, San Francisco Giants, Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros, Gibbon won 61 games, lost 65 and saved 32 more.  His lifetime earned run average was a nifty 3.52.  In the Major Leagues, he was often called "Hickory Joe" Gibbon; and

     WHEREAS, Joe Gibbon was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1979, and the Ole Miss Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988.  On February 21, 2009, he was honored as a member of the Ole Miss Men's All-Century Basketball Team; and

     WHEREAS, he was preceded in death by his wife, Donna Price Gibbon.  Survivors include his children, Joe Gibbon, Jr., David Gibbon (Kristi), Jennifer Gibbon Seal, Luke Gibbon (Dawn) and Dan  Gibbon; and

     WHEREAS, Joe Gibbon leaves an unparalleled legacy as a Mississippi sports legend and will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to have witnessed his special talent:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby express the condolences of the Legislature to the surviving family of Joe Gibbon of Newton, Mississippi, and recognize his lasting sports legacy as one of the state's greatest two-sport athletes.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Joe Gibbon, forwarded to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, and made available to the Capitol Press Corps.