Josh Gibson: The Power and the Darkness

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University of Illinois Press, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 319 pages
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It is said that Josh Gibson is the only man ever to have hit a fair ball out of Yankee Stadium. Some claim he hit as many as seventy-five home runs in a season. All agreed that he was a frightening hitter to face. What Satchel Paige was to pitching in the Negro leagues, Gibson was to hitting: their greatest star, biggest gate attraction, and most important symbol. Though Gibson is best remembered as the black Babe Ruth, Ruth became a beloved symbol of the national pastime, while Gibson lived a life veiled in the darkness that came both from the shadow world of the Negro leagues and from within his own tortured soul. Mark Ribowsky, the widely acclaimed biographer of Satchel Paige, pulls no punches in his portrait of this magnificent, troubled athlete. Ribowsky shows us Gibson's dark side, but he also enhances Gibson's historical status even as he separates fact from fiction by examining the truth behind his legendary performances. Josh Gibson is the most complete, through, and authoritative account of the life of black ball's greatest hitter, and one of its most important stars.
  

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Contents

Preface
3
The Man
21
Gray and Blue
45
The Revenge of Big Red
72
Satch and Josh
88
Seasons EndtoEnd
104
A Player
123
Bronzed Bambino
137
A Martyr to the Cause
175
A Household Word
193
Gone South
210
Josh Versus Satch
226
Tomorrow May Not Come
251
Last Call
270
Legacy
296
Index
308

A Complex Temperament
156

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About the author (2004)

Mark Ribowsky is the author of seven books, including Howard Cosell and the New York Times Notable Book Don't Look Back: Satchel Paige in the Shadows of Baseball. He lives in Florida.

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