Historic Baseball

Historic Baseball

Bringing Baseball History To Center Field

Josh Gibson Jr.

Born: 1930 in Pittsburgh, Penn. 
Died: Sept. 10, 2003 in Homewood, Penn.

Josh Gibson Jr., a former Negro League player and the son of Hall of Famer Josh Gibson, died on Sept. 10, 2003 in Pittsburgh, Penn. He was 73.

Gibson Jr. became interested in baseball after watching his father, a legendary Negro Leagues catcher with the Pittsburgh Crawfords and Homestead Grays. Gibson Jr. served as a batboy for the Pittsburgh team.

Josh Gibson did not want his son to play baseball because of the prejudice that faced minority players. His son, however, followed him into the Negro Leagues.

Gibson Jr. began his career at 17 with the Youngstown Colts. From 1949-50, he played third base for the Homestead Grays, but he broke his ankle sliding and he never returned to baseball. His father died in 1947, the same year that Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier by joining the Brooklyn Dodgers.

After his playing career ended, he worked at U.S. Steel Corp’s Homestead Works.

In the late 1970s, he went to work for Manpower and was given an assignment of teaching baseball to youth at Boyce Park.

In the 1990s, he was a part of a number of conventions of former players and he accepted a number of awards recognizing his father’s accomplishments on the baseball field. In 1992, he attended a ceremony at the White House to honor the surviving members of the Negro Leagues.

He teamed with his grandson, Sean, and other family members to form the Josh Gibson Foundation in 1994. The nonprofit organization sponsors a youth league with teams that carry the names of Negro League clubs.

In 2003, Gibson Jr. took part in a ceremony at a Pittsburgh Pirates’ game to honor the Negro Leagues.