The Power and the Darkness: The Life of Josh Gibson in the Shadows of the Game

Mark Ribowsky, Author Simon & Schuster $22.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-80402-6
Hall-of-Famer Gibson (1911-1947) was to black baseball what Babe Ruth was to white baseball: a prolific home run hitter who also hit for average. He was a victim of the game's color bar and died just three months before Jackie Robinson broke it. In relating Gibson's life, Ribowski (The Complete History of the Negro Leagues, 1884-1955) is handicapped by the paucity of documentation and by the equivocation of many of the catcher's contemporaries in speaking candidly about his drinking and drug abuse. Like many Negro Leaguers of that era, Gibson changed teams several times. He also played in Latin America, where he was a beloved figure. His personal life was darkened by the death of his wife in childbirth, and although he later had a longtime common-law wife, Ribowski raises the question of whether Gibson ever had a happy domestic life. First serial to Interview. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1996
Release date: 05/01/1996
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