Something to really get under the McGwire fans.
Wed Sep 16 09:54:27 CDT 1998
I somewhat agree with your "traditionally been racist" argument. However,
in the past decade or so, I think that the MLB has promoted equality among
the races. I think that Mr. Gibson was probably a great home run hitter,
and maybe the best of all time, but he is not the best hitter to play in
the MLB. Sad, but true. In the old days when the MLB would not allow black
men to play on their teams, you couldn't get more racist, but now-a-days
look at the teams. Look at the "franchise" players - Griffey, Bonds,
McGwire, Sosa, Mo Vaughn, Tony Gwynn, Albert Belle, Jim Thome, Manny
Ramirez, Gallaraga, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Nomar Garciaparra, Greg
Maddux, Pedro Martinez, etc, there are many more, but I do not want to
continue this. These are all high paid players- of all ethnic backgrounds,
equally important to his own team, Racist? I don't think so. Oh I forgot
one very important, absoutely phenomenal player - Mark Grace <happy now
On Wed, 16 Sep 1998, Krueger wrote:
> At least I know his name, Scott, and it is Josh Gibson.
> As far as II's claim, the major leagues has traditionally been racist, but that isn't really relevant. For all to learn:
> [from http://web.syr.edu/~adtodd/nlb/josh.html]
> He was the most prolific home run hitter ever to step up to the plate in the Negro Leagues. Josh Gibson hit the ball so hard and so far that many thought him as good a hitter as Babe Ruth -- if not better.
> During his 17 years as a catcher for the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords, Gibson was credited with as many as 89 round-trippers in a season. Although some of these epic blasts came against semi-proteams, it is also worth
> noting that Gibson faced some of major league baseball's best pitchers when Negro All- Star teams barnstormed across the country.
> Perhaps the greatest tribute to the great right-hander's ability were the home runs themselves. The Sporting News credits Gibson with a shot that caromed off of an outfield wall 580 feet from home plate. It was estimated that, had
> the ball sailed unhindered, it would have travelled some 700 feet! In another instance in the late 1930's a Gibson blast so amazed the city's mayor that the game was stopped and the shot measured. The battered rawhide lay 512 feet from the
> Jack Marshall, a contemporary of Gibson, gives the most convincing testimony:
> "In 1934, Josh Gibson hit a ball off of Slim Jones in Yankee Stadium....They say a ball has never been hit out of Yankee Stadium. Well, that is a lie! Josh hit the ball over that triple deck next to the bullpen in left
> field. Over and out!"
> It was the House That Ruth Built, but even the mighty Babe never hit one out of Yankee Stadium.
> As far as his defensive ability was concerned, there were conflicting opinions. It is generally agreed that Gibson started out a bit rough around the edges behind the plate. Some would argue that, as he developed, he became an
> competent backstop, though others (Biz Mackey, for instance) were far superior.
> Jimmy Crutchfield, a teammate, put it this way:
> "I can remember when he couldn't catch this building if you threw it at him. He was only behind the plate because of his hitting. And I watched him develop into a very good defensive catcher. He was never given enough
> credit for his ability as a catcher."
> Others were awed by his defensive prowess as well as his hitting ability. Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella idolized Gibson as a kid coming up through the Negro Leagues and described him as "not only the greatest catcher but the
> greatest ballplayer I ever saw."
> Unfortunately, Gibson's private life was somewhat less storybook. Battling a brain tumor, and troubled by alcohol, the Negro League's greatest hitter died of a stroke just two months before Jackie Robinson played his first major
> league game. He was elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1972.
> Michael Krueger
> Director of Debate
> Middle Tennessee State University
> Box 43
> Murfreesboro, TN 37132
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> (615) 898-5826 (fax)
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