September 17, 2021

Gammons: How Jack Flaherty’s friendship with a Cardinals legend helped him find his edge (The Athletic)

Before Jack Flaherty  — a week out from his 24th birthday — dressed, stretched and began his walk to the bullpen in Atlanta to start the deciding fifth game of the National League Division Series, he checked his text messages and saw one he immediately recognized.

“Go get ‘em,” it began, “just do what you do. Good luck.”

Twenty-eight years and three days before Flaherty was born, the person who wrote that text walked out to the visitors’ bullpen in Fenway Park to start the seventh game of the 1967 World Series. Which, of course, he won. Of course, the texter was Bob Gibson, and Bob Gibson never needed luck, though he welcomed it; that Oct. 12, 1967, afternoon, he had the fortune of facing Jim Lonborg, who had to work on two days’ rest, and Gibson had a two-run lead just six outs into his day. On the day Gibson sent that text, Oct. 12, 2019, Flaherty went out for the bottom of the first with a 10-run lead.

During this year’s World…

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