Gibbs reflects on days with Rebels, Yankees at Rotary

Ole Miss legend Jake Gibbs, who also played for the New York Yankees, spoke at the Tupelo Rotary Club on Monday.

Posted: Jul 15, 2019 9:15 PM
Updated: Jul 15, 2019 9:19 PM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Jake Gibbs is one of the few people who can say he's a Rebel and a Yankee.

Gibbs is a football and baseball legend for the Ole Miss Rebels, but he played professional baseball for the New York Yankees.

Gibbs, who's now 80, was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Tupelo on Monday.

Gibbs played quarterback for Ole Miss during the late 1950s and early 1960s, but he also played baseball for the Rebels and eventually became the school's head baseball coach.

Gibbs led Ole Miss to the College World Series in 1972, and retired in 1990 with a then-school record 485 wins, a mark that has since been broken by current head coach Mike Bianco.

"Mike Bianco has done one great job at Ole Miss," Gibbs said. "He doesn't need to be thinking about anywhere else or the alumni doesn't, either. He is a good baseball man, he knows what he's doing, he's got great recruiting, he's got great facilities, (and) kids want to come to Ole Miss."

During his days with the Yankees, Gibbs played catcher, and he was part of the New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox rivalry. He says when he played professional baseball, those two teams got along....most of the time.

"We had a fight one night with the Red Sox, Rico Petrocelli and Joe Pepitone, and it was a good fight," Gibbs said.

"Joe Pepitone, at that time, was wearing toupees, and when the fight started, somebody knew that Joe had a toupee on when they played in the game, and they had him down on his knees, and they were trying to get his toupee off, and he was holding his head trying to hold it on," Gibbs said, laughing.

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