Former Lynchburg pitching coach Jim Bibby died last Tuesday night at Lynchburg General Hospital. He was 65 years old. Bibby was a foundation for baseball in the Lynchburg area, an institution in the Carolina League and his #26 is the only retired number in Lynchburg baseball history.
The former Potomac Cannons P.A. Voice announced him as the "Legendary Jim Bibby" every time the Hillcats visited Potomac during the 90's. Anyone who knew Bibby would tell you, you could not find a more jovial soul.
Bibby's major league career spanned from 1972-1984, during which time the pitcher posted a combined 111-101 record and a 3.76 ERA with the Cardinals, Rangers, Indians, and Pirates. The 6'5" right-hander started both Game Four and Game Seven of the 1979 World Series for the world champion Pittsburgh Pirates. He threw the first no-hitter in Texas Rangers history in 1973 against the Oakland Athletics and later was a member of the 1980 National League All-Star Team. He even retired with five home runs to his credit as a hitter.
A graduate of Lynchburg College, Bibby began his coaching career in 1984 with the Durham Bulls after a successful 13-year playing career in the Major Leagues. He returned to Lynchburg in 1985 and instructed hurlers for the Mets (1985-87), Red Sox (1988-94) and Hillcats (1995-2000). His brother, former NBA star Henry Bibby is an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies. Also, his nephew Mike Bibby currently plays for the Atlanta Hawks.
Bibby was born in Franklinton, NC, and resided in Madison Heights. He is survived by his wife Jackie and his two daughters, Tanya and Tamara.
In 2002, the Hillcats retired his #26 with a ceremony at City Stadium. The first 1,000 fans who came out to the ballpark that night received a Jim Bibby bobblehead doll.
"Anytime you get a two-for-one deal, it sounds pretty good, don't it?" he was quoted in The News & Advance article of the event. "Not many minor-league coaches get their jerseys retired. It's an honor for me, and I'm really appreciative of it."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.