Vision: Our vision is to carry on the legacy of greatness and accomplishment embodied by Josh Gibson, by developing programs that help children of every level of ability reach their potential, and to create opportunities that set The Josh Gibson Foundation apart from other organizations and provide value for our communities.
Mission: The Josh Gibson Foundation believes in the endless possibilities for potential in today's youth. By providing academic and athletic programs that foster leadership and scholarship, the skills necessary for tomorrow's successes are created today.
Gibson was born on December 21, 1911 in Buena Vista, Georgia. He moved to Pittsburgh's North Side with his family ten years later after his father found work in the steel mills. As a youngster Josh was a natural athlete. While baseball was his first love, Josh excelled at a number of sports, winning several awards in track. By age 16 Gibson had made a name for himself as a sandlot player for several amateur teams, gaining the notice of the owner of the Negro League’s Homestead Grays, Cumberland Posey. The Grays were talented deep, but Posey needed a solid substitute catcher and Gibson with his build and quickness was a superb candidate.
A young Josh Gibson could not have joined a better team. Beginning in 1928 when Posey aligned his team with the Negro National League, the Grays were the class of Negro Baseball. Posey's teams were talented, disciplined, and consistent winners. Gibson's raw talent and his willingness to learn from veteran players such as Ewing and Judy Johnson, who later boosted “If Josh Gibson had been in the Big Leagues in his prime, Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron would still be chasing him for the home run record”, transformed him into a marquee star. Considered one of the greatest home run hitters, most feared sluggers of any era, and called by many "the Black Babe Ruth", Josh Gibson left an undeniable legacy of greatness and accomplishment.
To honor that legacy of achievement, the surviving family members established a private, non-profit foundation in 1994. The goal of the foundation is to provide the type of access that Josh Gibson never enjoyed with the creation of facilities and baseball fields dedicated to the youth of the Pittsburgh community. The Josh Gibson Foundation has evolved into an organization dedicated to providing a variety of academic and athletic programs that allow the next Josh Gibson to reach his or her potential. In addition, another goal is the establishment of the Josh Gibson Negro League Museum. Because preserving a heritage of achievement helps inspire the accomplishments of tomorrow.
After many years of successfully providing after school education programming for youth ages 6-13, the Josh Gibson Foundation (JGF) has extended the agency’s efforts to the high school level. The Business of Sports Academy (BOSA) curriculum, developed and funded by JGF, is an exciting new opportunity for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors to view many options in sports – beyond the playing field - as a potential career track for their future. This innovative three-year curriculum includes Sports Media, Sports Business, Sports Marketing, Sports Sales/Event Management, and Sports Law.
The Josh Gibson Foundation offers seven different programs to youth focusing on mentoring, education and sports. Our cornerstone is the improvement of the lives of young people. Over the past years, the foundation’s vision of ensuring that the youth of our community remember the legacy of Josh Gibson while providing opportunities that will improve their lives has made significant progress. Through exposure to life skills coaching and educational support, the Josh Gibson Foundation has become an instrument for positive change in the Pittsburgh community. However, the next step in the journey - the Josh Gibson Academy – has yet to be fulfilled.
Creating a safe haven where our future legends can focus on preparing for college, successful careers, and learning the game of baseball, requires dedicated facilities. Funding, staffing and opening the Josh Gibson Academy is the next focus of the Josh Gibson Foundation.
As Executive Director, I am extremely proud of what our organization has been able to accomplish with the steadfast support of our Board of Directors and supporting organizations. With your continued support, the goal of creating the Josh Gibson Academy will be realized...