Tales of a Baseball Lifer

By John Gibbons and Greg Oliver

April 2023, ECW Press

Over 11 years and two separate managerial stints with the Toronto Blue Jays, John Gibbons endeared himself to fans with his folksy manner and his frequent battles with umpires: “Here comes Gibby!” Winning helped too. Under Gibbons’s management, the Jays made the American League Championship Series in 2015, ending a 22-year playoff drought; then they did it again in 2016. Along the way the team defied odds, won over a nation, and with one flip of a bat produced one of the most iconic moments in MLB history. Now, in his memoir, Gibby shares the story: an on-field career that didn’t pan out, but a managing career that did … eventually.

Raised in a military family, he played his first competitive baseball in Newfoundland and Labrador, and, with the family now in San Antonio, Texas, Gibby, a catcher, developed into a first-round draft pick of the New York Mets. While Gibbons only played 18 major league games, he did earn a World Series ring as the 1986 Mets bullpen catcher and knew all the characters from that team, including Doc Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Lenny Dykstra, and Gary Carter. In 1990, Gibby began his journey as a coach and manager. An old teammate, J.P. Ricciardi, hired him to work with the Jays, and he moved his way up the ranks and into the hearts of baseball fans.

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On June 28, 2022, I submitted the manuscript for  Gibby: Tales of a Baseball Lifer, which I wrote with former Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. It’ll be out in the spring of 2023 from ECW Press. Started it in November 2021, finished it today — a tight deadline but John was great to work with.


I’m on the left, with John Gibbons and his wife, Christi, at the beginning of December 2021, in San Antonio, Texas.