PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Station Square has always been a popular spot for Pittsburgh natives and tourists, and now it will be the site of a new park honoring some of the greatest players in baseball.
“We looked at this area because of a lot of traffic,” said Sean Gibson, of the Josh Gibson Foundation. “Station Square has a ton of traffic, you have the Gateway Clipper, which is right down the street. It will bring a lot of kids to this area, the hotels. So we thought this would be a great location to immortalize these great players.”
A project 10 years in the making took a big step forward on Wednesday. Greats from the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords will be featured at the new Josh Gibson Heritage Park.
Gibson played for both the Grays and Crawfords and was considered to be the greatest player in the Negro Leagues. He died at age 35 in 1947, just three months before Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier.
“For me and our family, it’s exciting, keeping the legacy alive,” said Sean. “We had two great teams here in Pittsburgh, the most well-known teams around the country.”
The Josh Gibson Foundation received the land, which is across from the Sheraton Hotel, from Forest City Commercial Group. In addition, FedEx Ground donated $500,000 toward construction of the new park.
The park will be an interactive memorial that focuses on the contribution of Negro League baseball in Pittsburgh. It will incorporate special plaques that visitors can use their smartphones to learn more.
“I think things like this can help bring the world together,” Sean said.
The Josh Gibson Heritage Park is set to open in the spring of next year.