Happy birthday to Josh Gibson, who would've been 102 today
Monte Irvin compared his eye to Ted Williams and his bat to Babe Ruth. Bill Veeck said he was "at a minimum, two Yogi Berras."
Although he never got a chance to play in the Majors (he died three months before Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier), Josh Gibson was a legend just about everywhere else. Stories tell of the 18-year-old catcher homering clear out of Yankee Stadium while playing for the Homestead Grays. According to Baseball Reference, in 1937, the 25-year-old hit .344 in the Cuban Winter League, .462 for the Grays and .453 in the Dominican League. Three years later, in the Mexican League, Gibson reportedly clubbed 33 homers and 124 RBIs in just 94 games!
Along with dominating the Winter Leagues, the perennial All-Star's Hall of Fame plaque shows that he led the Negro Leagues (Grays, Pittsburgh Crawfords) in batting four times and totaled around 800, yes 800 homers in national and international play.
So, happy birthday to you today, Josh Gibson. Even though it's difficult to completely track all of your accomplishments, you're definitely one of the best to ever play the game.