BASEBALL PLAYER (1911-1947)
Only Satchel Paige was a better-known
personality than Josh Gibson. The 6'1 205lb strongman was the standard against whom
other hitters were measured. A natural hitter, the right-handed slugger hit for both
distance and average. With a confident countenance beneath a turned-up cap bill and
a rolled-up left sleeve, displaying his powerful muscles, Gibson's presence in the batters
box personified power.
He awaited the pitch in a semi-crouched,
flat-footed stance, and without striding generated a compact swing that produced
tape-measured home runs with such regularity that, it came to be expected as the
norm. Credited with 962 home runs in his 17-year career, he also compiled a .391
lifetime batting average in the Negro Leagues. In
addition, to his slugging prowess, Gibson possessed a rifle arm and, by hard work behind
the plate, he made himself into one of the best receivers in the league.
Revised: July 18, 2013.