This week as part of Black History Month, we introduce you to Josh Gibson. With apologies to Satchel Paige and Oscar Charleston, is considered the greatest Negro Leagues Player of all time.
Josh Gibson hit for both distance and average, and was the standard against whom other hitters were measured. He was known as the "black Babe Ruth".
In 1933, he would hit .467 with 55 home runs in 137 games. His lifetime average is credited at over .350, (with some believing it was as high as .384).
Gibson's Hall of Fame plaque states he hit "almost 800 home runs in league and independent baseball during his 17-year career."
He was credited with nine home run titles and four batting championships playing for the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays. Legend credits Gibson with hitting a home run in a Negro league game at Yankee Stadium that landed two feet from the top of the wall circling the center field bleachers - some 580 feet from home plate.
Among his accomplishments:
- 12× All-Star (1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1939-Comiskey, 1939-Yankee, 1942-Comiskey, 1942-Griffith, 1943, 1944, 1946-Griffith, 1946-Comiskey)
- 2× Negro World Series champion (1943, 1944)
- Washington Nationals Ring of Honor
In 1972, preceded only by Satchel Paige, Gibson became the second player from the Negro League to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.