The Black Babe Ruth
Josh Gibson Was One of the Greatest Baseball Players of All Time
by Camron Morgan, age 11
Many people call him the “Babe Ruth of the Negro Leagues.” His name was Joshua Gibson, and he was one of the most famous Negro League baseball players ever. Throughout his life, he got better and better at baseball. He started as a pitcher, a catcher, and a hitter.
Josh Gibson hit so many home runs during his career in the Negro Leagues that some experts say if he had been a player in the Major Leagues, Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron would still be chasing his records.
Gibson’s motivation came from the love of his fans and his family. Josh Gibson never got the chance to demonstrate his amazing talents in the Major Leagues because of the color barrier. On January 20, 1947, just three months before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, Gibson died of a stroke at the age of 35. Although his teammates were sad, the .426 home run hitter Joshua Gibson will always be remembered.
His many homeruns and .426 lifetime batting average place Josh Gibson among baseball’s greatest players. Even Hall of Fame pitchers Walter Johnson and Carl Hubbell place Josh Gibson among baseball’s greatest catchers. He will always be remembered.
[Source: Baseball: An illustrated History; Baseball: The biographical encyclopedia; The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues]