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Josh Gibson: Dependable Champion
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Josh Gibson: Dependable Champion
1997
mixed media w/ found objects
10 x 12
Private collection
NFS

Undoubtedly the greatest hitter of the Negro Leagues, Gibson is credited with 962 home runs in his 17-year career. He was equally impressive behind the plate, possessing a rifle arm which stifled base runners. Gibson played for the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords and complied a .354 lifetime batting average with several .400-plus seasons. He is the only player to have hit a fair ball out of the old Yankee Stadium.

Gibson, though, was not without his demons. In 1943, he had a nervous breakdown, perhaps brought on by a lifestyle which included excessive drinking. In 1947, just prior to Jackie Robinson’s debut in the Major Leagues, Gibson suffered a fatal stroke at the age of 35. He felt betrayed that he had been passed up for the younger Robinson. Many romantics felt that Gibson died not of a stroke but a broken heart.

In this portrait, note the words in the outer billboards which comment on Gibson’s play and status, whereas the Anacin ad which visually touches him at head level contains the word pain.

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Fine art by Phillip Dewey 734-277-3805