Josh Gibson

Discussion in 'Baseball' started by Babe_Ruth, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Babe_Ruth

    Babe_Ruth Sultan of Swat Staff Member V.I.P.

    I decided to start this thread, because it seems like Salsa knows a lot about him, and I want to learn about Josh Gibson. Any information you have about him please post it here in your own words.

    One question that has been asked for years, do you believe the Urban Legends behind the man they call "The Black Babe Ruth" ?

  2. salsanchezfan

    salsanchezfan Registered Member

    i tend to believe the urban legends, mainly because of one man, Buck O'Neil, who, unlike many Negro League players of teh day, never once spun a tall tale about any player. This is what i can recall.

    He was born in 1911.

    He was signed by the Pittsburgh Crawfords, at the age of 18 as a catcher when original Catcher Buck Ewing split a finger. He was shaky in his defense at first, but under Ewing's tutelage, became a SUPERIOR defender. the story goes that when he first took batting practice, he had hit the ball so hard anbd so far, that, like Babe Ruth, fans would flock to the field just to see him take batting practice. He hit some of the longest home runs in baseball history, including a shot that struck two feet from the top of the wall circling the center field bleachers, about 580 feet from home plate, in Yankee Stadium. He was a terror with a bat in his hands, some say, probably the greatest hitter EVER, with a batting average of .384.

    He was a teamate of Satchel Paige for many years, and, of course, with that they became the greatest battery in baseball history.

    I can and will post more info about him. There's so much more, too, that I am sure you'd find interesting.
  3. Babe_Ruth

    Babe_Ruth Sultan of Swat Staff Member V.I.P.

    I cant wait to read all about it. I've been a fan of Josh Gibson ever since I started to read about the History of the game. Like I said it's really hard to believe some of the tales that are said about Gibson, because so many of them are different. But deep down I truly want to believe it.

    It's just a shame he died at such a young age, and it's a shame, that there's not a lot of footage with Josh Gibson. I would of love to see one of his long home runs in an old video.
  4. Wade8813

    Wade8813 Registered Member

    I believe some of the legends are probably true, just because the best players in the game tend to do incredible things.

    But I find it unlikely they're all true.

    I would guess that he's the best catcher ever, but I wouldn't say that he's as good of a hitter as Ruth, plus a very good fielding catcher. It's too unlikely.

    SHOELESSJOE3 Registered Member

    Feeling the same here, difficult to know where the truth ends.
    There was the case of a ball that Josh supposedly hit a ball out of Yankee Stadium. I did much research and came up with the following description. The ball was hit deep into the bullpen in left center field and on one bounce it the back wall. This should settle that story. The words underlined, the description are the words of Josh Gibson himself when asked to describe some of his longest drives.
    By the way, that is still a very long drive.
    It's also doubtful that he hit close to 900 home runs, he passed away before the age of 36. Now some of the home runs accounted to Josh were in exhibition games and winter league so that would up the count.

    What ever the case this man was some ballplayer, it was terrible he never had his chance at MLB. Would he hit the same, not likely, pitching in black baseball was not on the level of MLB in the days Josh played. It's certainly not because white MLB pitchers were superior to black pitchers.
    There was little scouting, the money was not always good enough to keep some good pitchers, some would leave black baseball and gain other means of income.
    This is not to diminish Josh, for sure he would more than hold his own and no surprise that he would some day make the Hall of Fame. MLB lost out, the fans lost out because skin color alone kept Josh and some others out of MLB. Being a baseball history fanatic, what can I say, the history of the game would have been greatly enriched if the black players of long ago had their shot at MLB.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  6. salsanchezfan

    salsanchezfan Registered Member

    I apologize for being away so long, I have a lot of updating and catching up to do.

    I was able to find much more info on Gibby, and I will put it up maybe today, if not tomorrow.

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