Josh Gibson
Homestead Grays ~ Pittsburgh Crawfords
Hall of Fame Inductee - 1972
Mexican League MVP, HR & RBI Champion 1941
Negro League Batting Champion 4 times
Negro League Homerun Champion 9 times

Full Name: Joshua Gibson
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 215 lbs.
Born: Dec 21, 1911 in Buene Vista, CA
Major League Debut: Jun 19, 1930
Died: Jan 20, 1947 in Pittsburgh, PA

YEAR   TM/L       G    AB     H    2B   3B    HR   RBI   SB    BB    SO    AVG
Total  18       

Josh Gibson was known as "the Babe Ruth of the Negro Leagues". Next to Satchel Paige, the barrel-chested catcher who generated tremendous batting power with little apparent effort was the biggest attraction of his race in baseball.

Hall-Of-Famer Judy Johnson gave the young Josh Gibson his first taste of professional baseball in 1930 when, on the basis of Gibson's local reputation, he allowed Gibson to don a Homestead Grays uniform to complete the game as catcher after Gray's catcher Buck Ewing sustained an injury. Gibson offered such a performance that the Grays signed him to a contract the next day. This began Gibson's 16 year reign as the Negro Leagues' finest hitter.

In his 13 seasons with the Homestead Grays and 3 seasons with the Pittsburgh Crawfords Gibson took home the league homerun title 9 times and on four occasions grabbed the league batting title as well. In a Mexican League season playing with the Vera Cruz team in 1941 Gibson won an additional homerun title and was the league leader in RBI's.

Former teammate Jimmie Crutchfield recalled, "Josh was a really gifted hitter. A natural hitter. He swung with terrific power, but he still had complete bat control. He could react to the curve ball, and he ate fastballs up! There is no question that Josh was the best hitter in the Negro Leagues - maybe the best anywhere at that time. As a catcher he was good, and he worked really hard at making himself better on defense. It paid off. By the time he passed away he was probably one of the best catchers in the league."

In January 1947 at the age of 35 Gibson unexpectedly died (of a brain tumor) at his home in Pittsburgh.


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