The sad news broke Saturday that Bob Gibson has pancreatic cancer. We all know what a fighter Gibby is. Our thoughts are with him. I spent some time with him a few years ago when I wrote for Sports Illustrated. This is what I wrote. Bob Gibson smiles hard. It’s about to happen again. Over the years, Gibson has learned to tell when someone is about remind him how ferocious … heartless … intimidating he used to be. He has learned to brace himself for those overenthusiastic, ‘Oh, you were vicious!” compliments (they are compliments, right?) and the awed “You were a killer out there!” tributes (they are tributes, right?). He has learned to see them coming, the fans — they’re definitely fans — who remember him for the glare and the up-and-in fastballs, who think of him as young and raging and invincible, with fury and pride and the purest annoyance oozing from his forehead along with the sweat.

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