#Spotlight - Part 7 - Josh Gibson - The Man, The Myth, The Legend
#Spotlight – This week we welcome our newest partner - The Josh Gibson Foundation!
Josh Gibson would be recognized as not just one of the Negro Leagues greats, but also one of baseball's greats.
“You look for his weakness and while your lookin’ for it, he’s liable to hit 45 home runs.”
– Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige
“I played with Willie Mays and against Hank Aaron. They were tremendous players, but they were no Josh Gibson.”
– Negro League and Major League Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Monte Irvin
“No, in my heart it belongs to Josh Gibson… Why doesn’t that count? Why don’t any of those statistics count? … If Josh Gibson is the home run king, recognize it.”
– Barry Bonds in 2003 when asked about his single-season home run record.
“There is a catcher that any big league club would like to buy for $200,000. His name is Gibson. He can do everything. He hits the ball a mile. He catches so easy he might as well be in a rocking chair. Throws like a rifle. Too bad this Gibson is a colored fellow.”
-Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson
“Josh was a better power hitter than Babe Ruth, Ted Williams or anybody else I’ve ever seen.” Anything he touched was hit hard. He could power outside pitches to right field. Shortstops would move to left field when Josh came to the plate.”
– Negro League pitcher and manager Alonzo Boone
“He was a hitter, one of the greatest you ever saw. The most powerful. Never swung hard at the ball either. Just a short swing. Never swung all the way around. He hit them straight. Line drives, but they kept going. ”
– Negro League Hall of Fame outfielder Cool Papa Bell
“If someone had told me Josh hit the ball a mile, I would have believed them.”
– Negro League and MLB outfielder Sam Jethroe
Kansas City Monarchs manager Buck O’Neil recalled a conversation during a 1942 game between Gibson and another player named Lick Carlisle after Carlisle was thrown out stealing.
“Man, I should have been in scoring position with a steal,” Carlisle said.
“Man, when I come to the plate, I’m in scoring position” Gibson replied.
Josh Gibson is the catcher in the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Field of Legends
In 2000, The Sporting News ranked him 18th on the list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players.
Gibson was the highest-ranking of the five players to have played all or most of their careers in the Negro leagues. (Satchel Paige, Buck Leonard, Cool Papa Bell and Oscar Charleston).
In 2009, he was nominated as a finalist for Major League Baseball's All-Century Team.
In 2009, a statue of Gibson was installed at National Park in Washington DC.
Ammon Field at 2217 Bedford Ave., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was renamed Josh Gibson Field.
Josh Gibson, Jr. played baseball for the Homestead Grays.
Josh Gibson would grace the cover of We Are The Ship, The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson, released in 2008.
An opera based on Josh Gibson's life, The Summer King by Daniel Sonenberg, premiered in 2017.
JOSH GIBSON FOUNDATION
Read about the Foundation here
JOSH GIBSON HALL OF FAME SHIRT
As part of our celebration, we have created a new design that recognizes the 1972 Hall of Fame induction of the greatest hitter in the history of the Negro Leagues.
Each letter has an image of Josh's illustrious career for the:
Homestead Grays (1929-1931, 1937-1940, 1942-1946)
Pittsburgh Crawfords (1932-1936)
Santurce Cangrejeros (1932)
Dragones de Ciudad Trujillo (1937)
Azules de Veracruz (1940-1941)
Celebrate Josh Gibson with a keepsake of your own.
Proceeds from the Sales of these products benefit The Josh Gibson Foundation