Josh Gibson of the Homstead Grays in the Negro leagues is one of the greatest and most iconic players of the baseball world. He began his debut for the Grays in 1930 and ended his career in 1946 with the Grays. He died later in 1947 at a very young age of 35 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is considered to be one of the best catchers and hitters the world of baseball has ever seen. For his exceptional contributions to the game he was inducted to the baseball hall of fame in, as early as 1972. Josh never got to play for the Major league as non-whites were not allowed to play in the major league during Josh's short lifetime.
Career and records
It is somewhat difficult to know the exact achievements of Josh Gibson or any other player in the Negro league for that matter. This is because, the Negro league scheduled only a handful of league games and allowed the teams a greater opportunity to earn money by allowing them to brainstorm with other non-league and semi-professional teams. As a result, many of the records and milestones remained unaccounted in the Negro league. However, according to the baseball hall of fame, Josh Gibson may have scored as many as 800 home runs in his 17-year-long-career with a lifetime career average of more than .350.
Josh Gibson is also known to have hit a 580 feet ball in the Yankee stadium. This is a record that overshadows that of any other player even in the Major league. There are also some reports that Josh Gibson had been successful in hitting a fair ball out of the Yankee stadium in 1934. If this is true, Josh is the only person to have ever hit a ball outside the Yankee stadium. It was not uncommon for Josh Gibson to hit homers over 500 feet.
Death and ignorance
The legendary baseball players life came to a crashing halt after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and he went into a comatose state in 1943. However, he did regain consciousness and refused treatment for the brain tumor and lived a painful life for the next four years. In 1947, the 35-year-old Josh Gibson succumbed to the tumor and died of a stroke in Pittsburgh, three months after which Jackie Robinson became the first ever African-American to play in the major league.
Josh's final resting place is at Allegheny Cemetery at Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh in a modest and unmarked grave until 1975, when a small plaque was placed to mark his grave after he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. Despite his astronomical contribution towards the game of baseball, Josh Gibson is a name that is not often remembered by baseball fans. Josh's most forgotten records include his 84 home runs in 170 games that he achieved in 1936; over 50 years after this feat, Mark McGwire came close to repeating it with 64 home runs and came close to Gibson's record, as well as career average.