Josh Gibson was big and he was strong, “built like sheet metal. If you ran into him it was like you ran into a wall.” He was considered the best baseball hitter of his time. Maybe even the best ever. Some said he was the black Babe Ruth. Others said Babe was the white Josh Gibson.
And the fact that he was black shouldn’t matter. But it does.
For Josh spent his entire career playing in the Negro League or baseball leagues abroad. He never got his chance to play Major League ball. For his many accolades, all the home runs he hit, the home run he once hit that traveled 580 feet in Yankee Stadium landing just two feet from the top of the bleacher wall, Josh passed away 3 months before Jackie Robinson became the first black player in modern major league history in April of 1947.
Josh Gibson, Negro League superstar sources: Harrison Studio – Wikimedia Commons / Mark Ribowsky, Josh Gibson: The Power and the Darkness (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004), 30. / Society for American Baseball Research – Josh Gibson