Saturday, June 03, 2017

1937: Josh Gibson's 580 ft homerun!


Josh Gibson never got to play in the major leagues.   

He did play in the old Yankee Stadium and hit one of the longest HRs of the 20th century:
On this day in 1937, The Sporting News reports that catcher Josh Gibson of the Negro League’s Homestead Grays hit a ball two feet from the top of the façade of Yankee Stadium, 580 feet from home plate. 
If Negro League records were kept alongside those of the National and American Leagues, Gibson’s home run would eclipse Mickey Mantle’s record 565-foot home run hit off Chuck Stobbs in Washington’s Griffith Stadium on April 17, 1953 as the longest ever hit. 
This is not the only record Gibson might hold, and possibly not the only record for distance. Some credit him with crushing a fair ball out of Yankee Stadium in 1934, which if true would make him the only player ever to accomplish that feat.
Gibson was born in 1911 and became the best power hitter of the Negro Leagues.   Unfortunately, the Negro Leagues did not keep complete records.   Nevertheless, they say that he retired with a career batting average over .350 and probably hit 800 HR.

Gibson went into The Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.






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