#Spotlight – This week we welcome our newest partner - The Josh Gibson Foundation!
1937 - HOMESTEAD GRAYS
Josh Gibson would return to the United States and the Pittsburgh Crawfords owner Gus Greenlee was short of cash and was forced to sell Gibson back to the Homestead Grays for $2,500 and players Pepper Bassett and Harry Spearman.
Gibson would hit .392 with 12 home runs in just 97 at-bats, and part of the year playing in the Dominican Republic for Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, Josh batted .453 and led the Dominican League in RBIs and triples.
It would take three decades, but in 1967, The Sporting News credited Gibson with another titanic homerun, this time 580 feet in Yankee Stadium. It was further estimated that had it not hit a barrier, it would have traveled over 700 feet.
1938 - HAVANA AND HOMESTEAD GRAYS
In 1937-38 Gibson hit .342 for Havana, in the Cuban League, then back with Homestead in 1938 he hit .365 with 10 homers in fewer than 100 at-bats.
1940-1941 - VERACRUZ AZULES
For the 1940 season, Gibson would accept more money to play for the Veracruz Azules in the Mexican League. Even playing only a quarter of the season, he tied for second in the league in homeruns.
After the Mexican League season, Gibson would return to the Puerto Rican Winter League, hitting .480 and hitting another prodigious homerun estimated at 600 feet.
Back in Mexico for 1941, alongside fellow Negro Leaguers Cool Papa Bell, Martin Dihigo, Leon Day, Willie Wells, and Ray Dandridge, Gibson hit .374 and slugged at a .754 clip with 100 runs, 33 homers, and 124 RBI in 94 games, drawing 75 walks while striking out only 25 times.
1942 - 1943 - HOMESTEAD GRAYS AND HEALTH ISSUES
The 1942 season would see Gibson return to the Homestead Grays. In January of 1943, newspapers reported that Gibson had suffered a nervous breakdown, but in reality he had suffered a seizure before being diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Despite his health issues, Josh would go on to have one of his finest seasons in 1943. At age 31, he would hit .486 with 12 home runs and 22 two doubles. 1943 was also the year that the Grays started splitting their schedule between Homestead and Griffith Stadium in Washington D.C.
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)
Proceeds from the Sales of these products benefit The Josh Gibson Foundation