PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — At the Sheraton Inn at Station Square, plans were announced Wednesday for a Josh Gibson Heritage Park, just across the street.
The Pittsburgh slugger is considered the greatest player in the Negro Leagues, before Major League Baseball erased the color barrier.
The late catcher’s great grandson, Sean Gibson, introduced the plan.
“This project here today that we’re going to announce is just another piece, another stepping stone, for us moving forward to educate not only the city of Pittsburgh about the Negro Leagues, but the nation,” he said.
Plans call for a line of full-size interactive bronze panels, celebrating baseball greats shut out of the Majors because of their race.
Josh Gibson’s tribute panel will replace the bell tower across from the Sheraton. And panels honoring seven other Negro League stars will be spread all along the esplanade, beside the parking garage.
Artist Dino Guarino teamed up with Sean Gibson and others on a plan that was conceived back in 2005.
“There’s two great teams that Josh Gibson played for, the Pittsburgh Crawfords and Homestead Greys,” his great grandson says. “To be able to do this park, after eight years, it’s finally great.”
Sean’s mother, Josh Gibson’s granddaughter Lillian Bailey, agrees.
“I’m very proud of my grandfather and my son. Like he said, it’s been a long time coming,” she said.
Josh Gibson never had a chance to play in the big leagues. But he was Major League all the way.