George “Mooney” Gibson was a standout catcher on his hometown London squad in the 1901 Canadian League, before he inked a deal with the Eastern League’s Montreal Royals in 1904. In the middle of the 1905 campaign, the Pittsburgh Pirates purchased the rights to Gibson from the Royals.
The rifle-armed catcher would play 12 seasons in Steel Town and evolve into one of baseball’s most reliable defensive backstops. In 1909, he caught 133 consecutive games (then a major league record) and led the league in fielding percentage and putouts. Gibson would also limit Ty Cobb to two stolen bases in his team’s World Series upset of the Detroit Tigers that season.
In 1914, Gibson hit a career-high .285 for the Pirates. He would play two more seasons in Pittsburgh before being claimed on waivers by the New York Giants in 1916. In all, the gritty Canadian catcher played 1,213 games in parts of 14 major league seasons. After retiring as a player, he would manage the Pirates from 1920 to 1923 and again from 1932 to 1934. In between, he would manage the Chicago Cubs in 1925. Gibson remains the last Canadian to be a full-time big league manager.
Career Major League Statistics
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