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Gibson, Joshlocked

(21 December 1911–20 January 1947)
  • Rob Ruck


Gibson, Josh (21 December 1911–20 January 1947), Negro League baseball player and Hall of Famer, was born Joshua Gibson in Buena Vista, Georgia, the son of sharecroppers Mark Gibson and Nancy Woodlock. The man that many call the greatest Negro League baseball player came north in 1924 after his father left sharecropping for work in a Pittsburgh steel mill. Josh came of age on Pittsburgh’s Northside, where he studied the electrical trade at Allegheny Pre-Vocational School and began playing for sandlot and semipro baseball clubs. After stints with the Gimbel Brothers and Westinghouse Airbrake company teams, he was recruited to catch for the Pittsburgh Crawfords in 1927. “The day I saw him,” Crawford captain Harold Tinker recalls, “I said ‘This boy is a marvel.’ Near the end of the game he hit a home run and hit the ball out of existence. They didn’t even go after it.”...

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