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REMEMBERING THE NEGRO LEAGUES

Gibson Maintains Strong Foundation in Game

Remembering The Negro Leagues

July 23, 2006|Lonnie White

Sean Gibson, great-grandson of Hall of Fame catcher Josh Gibson, didn't play baseball, but that has not stopped him from maintaining his family's commitment to the sport.

"My great-grandfather was denied an opportunity to play baseball because of his skin color, and my goal is to make sure that doesn't happen to any child today," said Gibson, who heads the Josh Gibson Foundation, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization that promotes baseball and educating disadvantaged youths.

"And while teaching the kids, if we get them to learn about the history of the Negro leagues, that just adds to the experience."

Today, Gibson will accept an honor for his great-grandfather when Josh Gibson is inducted into the Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals in the Donald Wright Auditorium at the Pasadena Central Library at 2 p.m.

Josh Gibson died in 1947.

Gibson, former Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela and Japanese American legend Kenichi Zenimura will be inducted by the Reliquary, which has been honoring baseball players for their contributions to sports for more than a decade.

"This is a very special honor for Josh Gibson and our family," said Sean Gibson, who says his foundation is nearly halfway to its goal of building a state-of-the-art sports and learning complex at Pittsburgh's West Field, the historic home of the Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords.

"When we started our foundation in 1994, we had a goal of keeping the game alive for our children. We had 30 kids involved in the program when we first started and today, we have over 300. That's a movement in the right direction and we're determined to get more programs involved around the country."

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-- Lonnie White

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