Let it be known that Josh Gibson was one of, if not, the greatest ball players to ever step onto a diamond. Had he been allowed to play in the Major leagues, there is no doubt that he would have won countless awards, championships, and been inducted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Unfortunately, he goes unrecognized by most fans because he played in the Negro and Independent leagues for 17 seasons. As is noted on his Hall of Fame bio, he hit close to 800 home runs (without Steroids). Take that Barry Bonds! Another fantastic stat: in recorded at bats against major league pitchers, Gibson hit .426.
Gibson is rarely featured on baseball cards. He, like a lot of Negro League stars, has been overlooked. He stopped playing in 1946; it wasn’t until 1972 that he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. That’s almost 30 years.
However, there was one man who was able to recognize the incredible skills and career that Gibson and other Negro league players had: Ted Williams. In 1966, Williams was inducted into the Hall of Fame and famously said, “I hope that one day Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson will be voted into the Hall of Fame as symbols of the great Negro players who are not here only because they weren’t given the chance.”
In 1993, Ted Williams Company Baseball Cards produced a wonderful set of cards full of players from the Golden and Silver ages of baseball, including the Negro League stars.
#105, Josh Gibson
This is one of the best sets of cards for those interested in baseball history. This particular card is very nice. The picture in the foreground shows a one of the greatest power-hitters getting ready to do some damage. In the background is a picture of Josh Gibson avoiding a tag. The Ted Williams logo in the upper right corner as well as the lettering are raised. I think I shall have to post more about this set in the weeks to come.