This vintage circa 1942 news photo features Homestead Grays catcher Josh Gibson rounding third base during a game against the Baltimore Elite Giants at Griffith Stadium. The photographer's credit stamp, "Jones Photo Service, 113 W St., N. W. Hobart 7614 Wash. D.C.," appears on the reverse. (The Homestead Grays were originally based in Pittsburgh, but beginning in the early 1940s they began playing at least half their games in Washington, D.C. From 1943 on, they often played over two-thirds of their games in our nation's capital.) Negro League photos of any kind are scarce, let alone a game-action scene featuring Josh Gibson. This is one of only a few vintage Josh Gibson photos we have offered and it comes with a unique provenance: it originates from the estate of Buck Leonard, who was a teammate of Gibson's on the Grays from 1942 to 1946. That also explains why Leonard's signature, scripted in blue fine-point marker (grading "10") appears on the front. Both Gibson and the third baseman pictured here (Felton Snow of the Baltimore Elite Giants) are identified in faded black ink below their respective images. The locale, "Griffith Stadium," is also written in faded black ink along the base.The photo (8.5 x 6.5 inches) displays a tack hole in each corner, a number of small border tears, and a few light creases. In Very Good condition overall. An extremely rare and striking image of the legendary Josh Gibson in action. Auction LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+.
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