Big Jim Bibby now only a memory, as JB passes away up in Lynchburg, Virginia

He was a big man and his brother Henry Bibby was a great athlete as a basketball player(UCLA/NBA) and his nephew Mike Bibby is still a guard in the NBA, but Big Jim Bibby will long be remembered as a one heck of a baseball pitcher from Franklinton, North Carolina…



LYNCHBURG, VA – Former major league pitcher Jim Bibby, who started for World Series-winning Pittsburgh in 1979, has died. He was 65.

Community Funeral Home said Wednesday that Bibby died Tuesday night at Lynchburg General Hospital. The cause was not disclosed. The family asked for privacy but said a statement would be released later.

Bibby played 12 years in the majors starting in 1972 and pitched the first no-hitter in Texas Rangers history, beating Oakland 6-0 in 1973. He was a member of the Pittsburgh team that won the 1979 World Series, starting two games against Baltimore — including the deciding seventh game.

Bibby’s best season was 1980, when he went 19-6 and was a member of the National League All-Star team.

“All of us at the Pittsburgh Pirates are deeply saddened by the passing of Jim Bibby,” Pirates president Frank Coonelly said in a written statement. “Jim was a well-respected member of the Pirates family, both as a player and a coach. Jim won 19 games and finished third in Cy Young Award voting for the Pirates in 1980 but will always be remembered in Pittsburgh as a key member of the 1979 World Series championship team.”

More on Big Jim Bibby from

Bibby’s professional baseball career began when he was signed by the New York Mets as an amateur free agent out of Fayetteville State University on July 19, 1965. He would become the only person from the school to play in MLB. He was involved in an eight-player transaction on October 18, 1971, when he, along with “Amazin’ Mets” hero Art Shamsky, Rich Folkers and Charlie Hudson, were sent to the Cardinals for Chip Coulter, Chuck Taylor and two players who would later help New York capture the National League pennant in 1973, Jim Beauchamp and Harry Parker.

Bibby was primarily a starting pitcher, although he also worked in relief towards the latter part of his career. He was an integral part of the 1979 Pirates team, who won the 1979 World Series. His best season was 1980, when he posted a 19–6 record with a 3.32 ERA with the Pirates.

Bibby was acquired by Texas on June 6, 1973 in exchange for Mike Nagy and John Wockenfuss. The trade was made at the urging of Whitey Herzog who, prior to becoming the Rangers manager, was the Mets director of player development. Herzog said about Bibby, “I had him for five years in the minors. With the exception of Nolan Ryan, he throws harder than anybody in this league.”

Just under two months later on July 30, Bibby pitched the franchise’s first-ever no-hitter in a 6–0 victory over the defending World Series Champion Oakland Athletics at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Despite throwing six walks, he still registered thirteen strikeouts and outdueled Vida Blue. After he fanned in the ninth inning, Oakland’s Reggie Jackson commented on the strike three pitch, “That’s the fastest ball I ever saw. Actually I didn’t see it. I just heard it.” Bibby, whose salary was $15,000 that year, earned a $5,000 raise from team owner Bob Short as a result of this achievement.

On May 19, 1981, at the age of 36 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bibby gave up a leadoff single to the Atlanta Braves’ Terry Harper, then was perfect for the remainder of the game, proceeding to retire the next 27 straight batters. He pitched nine innings for the 5–0 shutout. On top of that he hit two doubles, going 2 for 3, and drove in a run and scored a run.

Bibby would not play during the 1982 season, but returned to the Pirates for the 1983 season, and ended his career in 1984 on his second tour of duty with the Rangers.

1 comment

  1. Growing up in Pittsburgh as a lifelong Pirates fan I will always remember Jim Bibby as an integral part of “The Family” — the last Buccos team to win the World Series. It now seems like a distant memory. RIP, Jim. You will be greatly missed!

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