PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — He’s regarded as one of the greatest baseball players of all time, so it’s hard to believe that it took three decades for Josh Gibson to get a marker on his grave at Allegheny Cemetery.
“He didn’t have a grave stone – he didn’t have a head stone either. He didn’t get his until the ’70s,” Sean Gibson, Gibson’s great grandson, said.
It took the help of friends and former teammates to install the stone, but one of those men, Pittsburgh Crawford teammate Ted Page, never had the favor returned.
While the Crawfords and Grays are memorialized on the Homestead Grays Bridge, it’s taking the work of Dr. Jeremy Krock, of Chicago, to provide a proper marker.
“It’s called the grave marker project,” Gibson said. “What he’s done is gone around to different cities and different states putting headstones on deceased Negro League Baseball players.”
Sean Gibson heads up the Josh Gibson Foundation. This weekend, he’ll honor Krock as well as several other local people for their community work.
“The way to keep the name alive is through the youth and that’s why we deal with the youth today because my grandfather, Josh Gibson, Jr., always felt that he wanted to definitely keep his father’s legacy alive and the Negro League’s legacy alive and that’s what made him created the Josh Gibson Foundation,” he said. “And we feel like today’s youth will be the ones to carry the torch and teach other people about the name of Josh Gibson.”
And through endeavors like the awards, memorials and even Josh Gibson Field, Sean Gibson says even without a stone, his legacy lives on.
“I can say the city has embraced Josh Gibson,” he said. “I’m just very honored and blessed to be the great grandson of Josh Gibson.”