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Intersting perspective on the HOME RUN race. Where is Josh Gibson

I was googling and found this perspective. It is very interesting.

Has there ever been a man like Josh Gibson, either before or since?

Had he played in an integrated major league, I am convinced, he or his main rival, Mule Suttles, would have smashed Babe Ruth’s 60-home run mark once, and more maybe more times, in the 1936-39 era. Babe’s mark might not have lasted a decade.

Great as he was, Babe was given a free pass when these two black bombers were denied the chance to take a shot at his mark.

Although Negro League seasons were much shorter than the white majors’ 154-game schedule, if Gibson, Suttles, and Ruth were all measured against the same number of at bats -- say 550 a season -- the numbers suggest that Ruth might have come in third.I’m not going to dignify McGwire’s and Bonds’ steroidal homers by comparing them to the other three.

No one seriously believes that Josh would have hit 119 homers . But 61? Why not? Roger Maris did it, and Rog was no Josh.

Was Gibson facing soft pitching in the black leagues? Actually, black pitchers beat white big leaguers more than half the time in inter-racial games after the season was over.

What makes Gibson’s record even more amazing is that he played his home games in the biggest park in the major leagues, Griffith Stadium in Washington.. His target, leftfield, was 408 feet away at the foul line. Ruth’s target, rightfield in Yankee Stadium, was 296 feet from home.

to read more go to

Re: Intersting perspective on the HOME RUN race. Where is Josh Gibson

also, Josh supposedly hit over 900 HRs but it is disputed because of the competition played. Some came against club teams, etc.

His life was cut short at the age of 35 too.

Re: Intersting perspective on the HOME RUN race. Where is Josh Gibson

more from the website:

Suttles’ 1927 home field, in St Louis, had a short porch about 250 feet away, though centerfield was about 500 feet. His target in 1937 was Newark’s Ruppert Stadium, with about a 301-foot foul line in left, though again, centerfield was huge. (Mule’s two other home parks were Comiskey Park, one of the larger fields in the majors, and Birmingham, perhaps as big as, or bigger than, Griffith.

Griffith Stadium was so daunting that in one season, 1944, all the right-handed sluggers in the American league could hit only one ball into the bleacher in 77 games. Josh single-handedly hit seven there in ten games.

Can you imagine Gibson in the white majors in a bandbox like Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn, where the power alley in left was 348 feet? Or Fenway Park in Boston? (Josh was a line-drive hitter, so the famous Wall might actually have hurt his home run production.)

To get an appreciation of just what Gibson was up against, I inclose diagrams of Griffith, Ebbetts, and Fenway superimposed to scale.

/// John B Holway is author of Josh and Satch and The Complete Book of the Negro Leagues. Autographed copies are available from the author at