Josh Gibson was the greatest home run hitter in the history of the Negro Leagues. Most of Gibson's feats are exaggerated like Paul Bunyan fables. Chapter Seven of Beyond the Shadow of the Senators documents how Gibson hit more home runs (10) over Griffith Stadium's left- and center-field walls in 1943 than the entire white American League (9). Gibson joined the Grays in the middle of the 1930 season as an 18-year-old Pittsburgh sandlot legend. At the end of his first season, he hit a ball 485-feet into the back wall of Yankee Stadium's left-field bullpen (discussed in Chapter 3). Gibson left the Grays for the rival Crawfords in 1933 but rejoined Posey's team in 1937. Together with Buck Leonard, the right-handed hitting Gibson formed a powerful offensive combination known as the "Thunder Twins." A catcher, Gibson was known as the "Black Babe Ruth." He died of a stroke in January 1947 at age 35, after a series of physical and mental problems.
Photo Credits: Josh Gibson - Art Carter Papers, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University. Josh Gibson (Upper Right) - National Baseball Hall of Fame Library.