Celebrating yesterday’s news about the elevation of the Negro Leagues to MLB status with some well deserved Josh Gibson love.
Strongly suggest you also read this article from MLB about the effort by Sean Gibson (Josh Gibson’s great-grandson) to get the MLB Most Valuable Player award renamed in Josh’s name. You can sign the petition HERE. Also, get your JG20MVP t-shirt HERE.
The Case for the Josh Gibson Memorial MVP Award
The Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) is annually given to one outstanding player in the American League and one in the National League. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) has issued the award since 1931 and from 1944 until this year, the award was named in honor of the late Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis who passed away in 1944, having served continuously as Commissioner of the Major Leagues since 1920. Landis’s name has been removed from the award in acknowledgement of his role in maintaining MLB’s color line.
“We will no longer be associated with the Landis name, and the MVP plaques will be nameless in 2020,” BBWAA president Paul Sullivan wrote.
One of several names that has surfaced to replace Landis on the trophy is Josh Gibson. Gibson never played in the Majors, but has been widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Sean Gibson, great grandson of Josh Gibson notes that “Josh was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1972, despite never wearing a Major League uniform. However, renaming the MVP in memory of Josh Gibson is not just about him. It speaks to the redemption of the Negro Leagues and the salvation of its stars who were denied their dream of playing ball at the highest level. All they wanted to do was compete against their peers. For those from 1947 onward, this was their legacy. For those who came before, the Josh Gibson MVP Award would be an act of redemption. And poetic justice.”
Visit the Josh Gibson Foundation