How Bing Devine tried coaxing Kirk Gibson to Cardinals

Great flashback to the 1979 NFL draft. The Cards already made some excellent picks when they took a flier on Michigan State All-American wide receiver Kirk Gibson.

RetroSimba

In 1979, Kirk Gibson rejected a chance to play for the St. Louis Cardinals.

kirk_gibsonThat’s because he was committed to playing baseball, not football.

On May 4, 1979, the St. Louis football Cardinals selected Gibson, a wide receiver at Michigan State, in the seventh round of the NFL draft.

A year earlier, June 1978, Gibson had been chosen by the Tigers in the first round of baseball’s amateur draft and signed a $200,000 contract with Detroit. The outfielder spent the summer of 1978 playing for the Tigers’ Class A Lakeland (Fla.) team managed by Jim Leyland before returning to Michigan State for his senior football season.

Gibson established school single-season records for receptions (42) and receiving yards (806) in 1978. He finished his Michigan State football career with four-year totals of 112 receptions, 2,347 yards receiving and 24 touchdown catches, all school records.

Gibson would have been “a certain first-round pick” in the 1979…

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