Blog Entry

Re: All-Time Greatest Catchers - Josh Gibson

Posted on: March 25, 2009 3:01 pm

This is an addendum to my most recent blog entry..."Vote for the Greatest Catcher of All Time"

Josh Gibson should certainly be considered in the company of Yogi Berra, Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk and Ivan Rodriguez when we're talking about all time great catchers. I said I wasn't going to be doing any voting here, but I feel Josh Gibson should be included in any 25 man roster of any greatest ever team. Josh played 16 seasons in the Negro Leagues. The Negro League schedule was significantly shorter than the MLB schedule as seasons were shorter than 60 games. Due to finances many Negro League players including Gibson played in a ton of barnstorming games against teams of varying quality, and shabby record keeping. However I feel that Gibson's Negro League statistics would be similar to what he could have done in the major leagues as the level of competion would be comparable. Gibson logged 1855 career Negro League at-bats with 115 home runs and a lifetime average of .359. The most games Josh ever played in a single season in the Negro Leagues was 55 so his career numbers should probably nearly be tripled to reflect what he may have achieved in 16 seasons in the majors which would put him around 330 lifetime home runs which would probably be a conservative estimate at best. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any fielding records on Gibson and write-ups concerning Gibson only speak of his hitting prowess. Since I feel VERY STRONGLY that Gibson would have had a career at least on par to the likes of Bench and Berra, I'm going to advance him along with the winner of this vote as the reserve catcher. I hope you all don't mind me making this command decision, but Josh Gibson is regarded by many as the greatest hitter in the history of the Negro Leagues and had he been afforded the opportunity to play in the majors its likely he would be mentioned in the same breath with names like Ruth, Cobb and Hornsby.



Category: MLB
Tags: Josh Gibson

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2009 8:11 pm

Re: All-Time Greatest Catchers - Josh Gibson

Hey Lazer,

Thanks for adding Josh in the addendum.  He was from everything I've read a greatly feared backstop from both behind and at the plate and if given the opportunity would be in with these catecher we speak of.  In the film "Soul of the Game," Josh Gibson's story, as a player and his tortured private life, are dealt with.  The film itself gives at least a Hollywood portrayal. paying tribute to the stars of the Negro Leagues and what it was like playing in them as the Majors considered integration.  My vote does not change but I thought it was worth bringing Gibson into the discussion and placing him among the other great players that you listed. 

Keep up the great work, man!  Rock on in peace.



Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: March 26, 2009 10:52 am

Re: All-Time Greatest Catchers - Josh Gibson

Good add Lazer, I can't believe I didn't think of him, but when I think catchers, I still think Bench.  But Josh Gibson was one of the best from the Negro Leagues and really would have been one of the best ever against any level of competition. 

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