I’m sorry Hank Aaron.  I’m sorry Babe Ruth.  I’m sorry Sadaharu Oh.  I’m sorry Alex Rodriguez.  I’m sorry Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew and Ken Griffey Jr.  I’m not sorry Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Raphael Palmeiro.

But the best home run hitter of all-time never played in the Major Leagues.  He only played 60 official baseball games a year throughout his entire 17-year career.  He died of a stroke at 37 years old, and not from steroids-related illnesses. 

Josh Gibson hit a home run every 15.9 at bats.  He regularly hit home runs that traveled over 500 feet.  Josh Gibson wasn’t all about home runs though.  He also hit at least .350, while some people say his career average was as high as .384.  Gibson didn’t have to use steroids to hit the way he did.  He did it with a goal to become a major league player.  And he should have been.

In 60 at bats in exhibition games against major leaguers he belted 5 home runs and hit an outstanding .426.  If there was one negro league player that deserved to be in the major leagues before Jackie Robinson (and I’m not saying there is one, just pointing out that someone else deserved in as well) it would be Josh.  He hit a home run at Yankee stadium that was estimated at 580 feet from home plate.  It hit two feet from the top of the wall behind the center field bleachers.  Rumor has it that he hit the only home run that was hit completely out of Yankee stadium.  While evidence isn’t there to support many of these rumors, and no one knows exactly how many home runs he hit in his illustrious career, there is one source that everyone can look at and believe.  On Josh’s plaque in the Baseball Hall Of Fame, in which he was the second negro-league player inducted, it clearly states that he hit “almost 800 home runs”.

Gibson died at 37 years old from a stroke.  If he would have been able to play as long as some of the players that are playing right now such as Barry Bonds, I would go out on a limb and say that he would have hit at least 1100 home runs in his career.  So Barry, keep trying to become the best home run hitter in the major leagues, but remember that no matter how many home runs you hit, you will never be able to match Josh Gibson.